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Best Brews Come From Cross-Campus Collaboration

By Dateline Staff on May 25, 2018 in University

Quick Summary

  • Team members from 5 departments and units win best of show for an IPA, and take top honors for brown ale, too
  • The people's vote favors beer from One HR team for third consecutive year
  • Development team wins People's Choice award for best label, for Dad Bod IPA

A team with no name swept the beer awards in this year’s Staff Brewing Competition and did so with a remarkable demonstration of cross-campus collaboration — with members coming from five departments and units.

The winners for Beyond Pale (best specialty India pale ale, or IPA, and best of show) and Bigly Brown (best brown ale): Jennifer Amaya and Jeff Hays, Student Housing and Dining Services; Robert McMurry, Western Cooling Efficiency Center; Beau Parry, Medical Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Group; Elliott Pollard, University Writing Program; and Carrie Tamber, Shared Services Center.

“We had some ideas (for a name) but ran out of time before the digital submission deadline,” Hays said. So, they stuck with their assigned team numbers in the competition’s two beer categories: Team 6 in specialty IPA and Team 20 in brown ale.

One of the team members faced a time crunch of his own and had to bow out of brewing the IPA, Hays said. “Then Beau stepped in to save the day,” serving as chief brewer for both of the team’s beers. “He’s a talented brewer.”

The team’s Beyond Pale went beyond pale to hazy — on purpose. “It’s a unique style because it goes against a lot of the dogma with most beers,” Parry told The California Aggie. “Most brewers consider good beer to be very clear.”

For entering the best IPA and brown ale, the team won brewing opportunities at Blue Note Brewing Co. in Woodland (IPA) and Three Mile Brewing Co. in Davis (ale).

Industry professionals and certified judges evaluated 23 entries in the main categories (15 IPAs and eight brown ales), and five in a third category, cider.

Jared Duncan led the winning cider team, the Hop Heads, which also included his twin, Ryan, and Nick Harden. Last year the trio — who all work in campus utilities — brewed a stout judged the best in its category, as well as best of show, under a different team name, Here for the Beer.

This year’s brewing competition was the fourth annual, and it proved more popular than ever — with more than 250 people turning out for the tasting event May 11 at the Buehler Alumni Center.

See more photos on the Staff Brewing Competition’s Facebook page.

The people like One HR’s beers

The Guerren Solbach-led One HR team won the People’s Choice award for beer for the third year running — way to go, Guerren! “It’s all about the hops,” he told Dateline UC Davis.

His team’s winner this year: RIPA (Red IPA), featuring calypso, ekuanot (equinox) and mosaic hops. Joining Solbach on the team were: Patty Covington-Fleming, Linda Fairfield and Janette Manuel, all of Human Resources; Rich Shintaku of Student Affairs; and Michael Tyler of the workers compensation unit at UC Davis Health.

Winning label

The event also produced a People’s Choice award for best label: Dad Bod IPA, produced by a team called Beer Belly Brew, comprising Ellen Jordan (leader), Lindsay Clark and Anna Perantoni, all of Development and Alumni Relations.

Team of three women
Label this team a winner, from left: Clark, Perantoni and Jordan.

“We were simply thinking of a fun name that would intrigue folks at the competition,” Jordan said. “We actually came up with our team name and beer name first — which you can see they flow together — then figured out what style of IPA would go along with the name Dad Bod IPA. We came up with an earthy, piney, musky IPA, so it only seemed fitting when designing the label to go with an outdoorsy, mowing-the-lawn ‘dad’ type of activity.”

Beer label, lettering "cut" by lawn mower
Team Beer Belly Brew mows itself a label — and wins a People’s Choice award.

Cheers to the organizers

Here are the folks who put on the Staff Brewing Competition:

  • Carlos Barahona — Department of Environmental Science and Policy
  • Priscilla Cordova — Department of Anthropology
  • Jeremy Dalbeck — Transportation Services
  • Chris DiDio — Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship
  • Eri Furukawa — School of Law
  • Viendi Hoang — Department of Environmental Science and Policy
  • Karen Kinser — BFTV Administrative Cluster
  • Lina Layiktez — Conference and Event Services
  • Kevin Villanoweth — Finance, Operations and Administration

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or