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Calling All Brewers and Tasters!

By Dave Jones on April 4, 2017 in University

Our university has the nation’s top brewing program, so maybe it’s only natural that we’ve got some very good brewers among staff and faculty. We know this because they’ve turned out some great beers in a campus competition the last two years.

Now comes the third annual event, with Staff Assembly as the new organizer — although the competition is still for staff and faculty. Top prize: the opportunity to work with the head brew master at Three Mile Brewing Co. to produce the winning beer and have it sold at Three Mile in downtown Davis.

The entry period will open this Friday (April 7), and this year’s two categories will be amber and stout. Teams are limited to six members each, and there is a limit of 15 teams in each category.

But, wait, even if you’re not brewing, you’re still invited to participate in the tasting event that will follow the judging, Friday, June 23, at the Buehler Alumni Center. See box for details.

Popular competition

All brewing contestants must be UC Davis staff or faculty, or Cal Aggie Alumni Association members. The registration fee is $10 per team entry.

Registration can be arranged online, April 7 to May 12 (this a week later than originally announced). Note this admonition on the website: “Space is limited, so select your teams and register soon!”

Based on the first two competitions, interest will be high. Hampton Sublett, the organizer of those two events, said the first one drew about 100 participants, and he had to cap the second contest at 125.

Tap handle graphic, with UC Davis water tower as the handle
Committee member Eri Furukawa, program assistant with UC Davis Extension, created this tap-handle art for the front of the competition's 2017 T-shirt. She also created the logo (a cropped version is shown at the top ot this page).

Sublett, director of financial sustainability in the office of Finance, Operations and Administration, started the competition on his own. A home brewer himself, he saw the brewing contest as a “fun activity that would bring together people from across campus and help foster a sense of community” — and in that he succeeded.

“Beer is in the middle of a renaissance,” Sublett said. “Making beer is such a fun way to express your creativity, and it’s loads of fun to share with others.”

Sublett said he is happy to have Staff Assembly take on the organizing and expand the contest to as many as 180 participants.

Lina Layiktez said the contest is a natural for Staff Assembly, considering staff interest in the event. “We’re all about organizing events like this one that boost morale and bring all parts of our campus together,” said Layiktez, a former Staff Assembly chair who now serves as the organization’s events chair. She’s working on the brewing competition with seven other staff volunteers as well as the Staff Assembly coordinator.

The competition has two campus sponsors: Conference and Event Services (Layiktez is the director) and the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.

Teams can enter one or both categories, and individual team members can be on two teams (one brewing amber and one brewing stout).

Judging will be the afternoon of June 23 (before the tasting event that evening). Layiktez said the panel will include BJCP-certified judges (BJCP is the Beer Judge Certification Program) and industry professionals.

Beyond the grand prize (best of show), teams will vie for Judges Choice and People’s Choice in each category, as well as a Best Label Award (by vote of the attendees).

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