Friday, March 4, 2016

Beers with Chuck: BBQ and Brews for a Good Cause at Iron Brewer

by Chuck P

For the last three years, Brasseurs a la Maison, Louisiana’s largest homebrew club, has partnered with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to put on the Iron Brewer, an event that accepts cash donations and donated canned goods to benefit the less fortunate.

With more than 15 competing homebrew teams from around the state serving up their signature homebrews and delicious BBQ from local Hogs for the Cause team Bacon Rouge, Iron Brewer is a great way to enjoy great beer and great food for a good cause.

iron brewer
Quite the crowd at the third annual Iron Brewer event at Tin Roof Brewing Company.

Like last year, this year’s Iron Brewer was held at the Tin Roof Brewing Company. After dropping off my canned good donation that doubled as an entry free, I grabebd my wristband, voting ticket, and sample cup as I headed toward the collection of tents sprawled across the grassy field next to the brewery. It was a beautiful and warm Saturday afternoon, and the smell of BBQ, malt, and hops lingered in the air as I made my way through the large crowd and arrived at the first tent to begin my sampling adventure.

I knew attempting to try all the homebrews here was going to be tough. Some of the teams had more than one to sample! With that in mind, I began the day with a tasty King Cake Blonde Stout called Bierre Des Rois. This one had everything you would want in a king cake beer. It helped that they paired each sample with a king cake donut hole from Tiger Deaux-Nuts. Not a bad way to start things off.

Then there was the Sazerac Beer. Blake Winchell came up with a delicious beer based on the classic Sazerac cocktail that was probably my favorite of the day. I was wishing I had a growler bottle of it when I got home.
Next, I had the Rum Soaked Scotsman. Another favorite, this brew had the perfect balance of rum that didn’t completely overtake the beer itself. I had this one a few times throughout the day.

Then I tried the Sweet India Chai Spiced Wheat Ale. This beer caught me off guard. I was worried it might be over-spiced, but luckily I was wrong. The balance of spice was exactly what I’d hoped it would be.

Next up, the Cafe Au Lait Brunch. Thanks to the 7th Tap Team for making me choose a favorite out of their four delicious beers. I love stouts and coffee, and this beer is a great mix of both. The chocolate and coffee notes jump out at you. I wish I could walk into a store and buy some now.

How could I not have a Brenton Day beer on here? His entry this year, a wasabi infused IPA (IPA? From Brenton? Shocker!) called the Hoppy Wasabi, was a really refreshing pale ale with just the right amount of subtle heat. As usual, a solid beer from the Ale Runner.

The last beer I got to taste also turned out to be the winner of the competition. The Habit Dropper Satsuma Belgian Triple was a fantastic beer. The citrus notes came through perfectly, and after sampling this one a few times, that 12% ABV started to creep up on me. 

iron brewer
Habit Dropper won the Iron Brewer competition. Congrats, guys!

At the end of the day, the event raised more than $1,000 and received more than 2,000 pounds of canned goods that will provide an upwards of 9,000 meals to people in the Greater Baton Rouge area. Make sure you put this event on your calendar for next year, and come out and support some great causes and enjoy some fantastic local homebrew.

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