Today the University of Pretoria was announced the overall winner of the 6thAnnual SAB Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge which took place over the weekend.
The university’s Black Forest Lager claimed the Ben Lamaletie IBD Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge floating trophy, as well as the top honour of Castle Lager Best Bru Award , which carries a cash prize of R25 000, as well as the Carling Black Label Champion Lager with an additional cash prize of R15 000.
They beat 2012 defending champions, the University of Cape Town, which was this year presented with the award for Best Speciality Beer.
“The overall winning lager was very closely contested and the judges debated it for a while. The University of Pretoria’s Black Forest lager was the best balanced beer, which was not over the top, had no major faults and was perfectly to style, ” said Chris Roth of Worthog Brewers, independent and accredited beer tasters.
The University of Pretoria tested their brewing skills against 10 other of South Africa’s top universities, including University of the North West (Potchefstroom), University of the Free State, Rhodes University, UKZN Westville and Pietermaritzburg campus’, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Cape Peninsular University of Technology, University of Stellenbosch, University of Limpopo and Wits University.
The University of Pretoria has proven to be a winning team over much of the existence of the SAB Intervarsity Challenge, having brewed the best beer overall in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
“We looked very specifically at the criteria used for judging. We brewed against these and focused on getting the process right, including quality control and checklists. We also have continuity in our brewing team which has helped us to grow from year to year, ” said Carl Sandrock, University of Pretoria brewing team member and mentor”.
While the concept of the brewing challenge was started in 2003, the first official SAB Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge was initiated in 2006 as a means of encouraging beer appreciation amongst students and to introduce prospective SAB employees to the business. In addition to this, SAB uses the initiative to encourage a beer culture in South Africa.
“SAB actively works at encouraging a beer culture in South Africa by supporting the local craft brewing industry. Our Intervarsity Brewing Challenge helps us drive the growth of this important industry at a tertiary level, as well as provide opportunities for students to become part of business, ” says Vimlan Moonsamy, SAB Technical Services Manager.
Moonsamy said that competition had grown exponentially with this year having the most entries than any other year since it began 6 years ago. A total of 35 brews were received this year. He added that the quality of entries had also greatly improved.
Participating universities each have their own micro-breweries where students brew, ferment, condition and package their beers prior to the final stages of the competition when they are tasted by independent and accredited craft beer tasters. “An independent and experienced tasting panel is paramount in judging the high quality of the closely contested beers, ” said Moonsamy.
Each style category has specific tasting guidelines as set by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). Most beer styles are not defined by a single beer and many styles are broad, encompassing multiple stylistically accurate variants.
The category winners are:
Redd’s Best Cider: (R15 000) – Stellenbosch University’s Naughty Nurse
Miller Best Speciality Award: (R15 000) – University of Cape Town’s Tri-Nations Indian Pale Ale
Hansa Pilsner Beeg Dreamer Label Award: (R10 000) – University of Free State’s Black Hop label
SAB also announced it would fund the construction of micro-breweries at Rhodes University, University of Free State and University of Johannesburg, this year. University-based micro-breweries serve as valuable teaching aids for students involved microbiology, chemical technology and engineering programmes.
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The SAB Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge was founded by former SAB Senior Trade Brewer and pioneer Brewing Legend, Ben Lamaletie. It was through his efforts that SAB sponsored the first university micro-brewery at the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus in 2003.
SAB Prospecton Brewery in KZN and UKZN challenged teams from 6 other universities with micro-breweries to take part in the first Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge. The competition has since spread to many other universities in South Africa, which saw the advantage of installing micro-breweries as part of their scientific syllabus. Many of these micro-breweries were started with funding support from SAB, and this support continues today.