Lawrence Brewers Guild

While there are always reasons to not do something, I have tried to make it a point to focus on the reasons TO do something. I'm not big on New Year's Resolutions, but I did tell myself that I wanted to climb out of my comfort zone and out of my daily routine more often and do things that I am interested in but... never really follow through on. One big adventure was for me to finally visit an event put on by my local brewers guild. This event was The First Big Brew Day Brew-Off.

The Lawrence Brewers Guild (LBG) began meeting in 1995 with help from co-founder Dwight Burnham. They are under the direction of President Dale Wheeler and Vice President Courtney Servaes. Courtney was the competition coordinator for the Brew-Off and was pleased with the turnout. The event totaled 95 entries judged and the LBG received a generous amount of support from local sponsors. When asked about the makeup of the guild, Courtney responded that it is made up of young and old and with brewers with a wide range of experience. LBG has had many professional brewers associated with it and also people who just enjoy beer and want to learn more about it.

One of the more unique categories of the contest was the Cinco De Mayo category that came from Angelo Ruiz of Yankee Tank. One of the contestants from this category was Tara Taylor of the Homebrew Pro Shoppe in Olathe. Tara brewed a Cerveza Agava Habanero brew with her husband James Taylor (she reassured me that he indeed cannot sing) that gave your throat just the right amount of tickle after each sip. The winner of the IPA category was Jarrod Lynds. Jarrod took the knowledge he gained while visiting his brother in Vermont to brew a very aromatic and tasteful New England IPA called New England Hazy.

The contestants had the opportunity to win many different prizes and two of those prizes included the opportunity to brew their award winning beer with Free State Brewery and Yankee Tank Brewery. Robert Rys of the Missouri Mashers brewed a sweet stout to win the best in show beer and will have the opportunity to brew with Free State and also have it on tap with Free State Brewery. Robert's Hallopeno also won the Cinco De Mayo category and he will be able to brew with Yankee Tank Brewery and have this beer on tap at Henry T’s. Winners of the Big Brew Day Brew Off can be found here.

With ingredients like friendly people, good beer, and free food, the first LBG Brew-Off was a success. I would encourage anyone interested in beer to seek out LBG or your local brewers club. They are a great resource to learn more about beer, brewing, or anything related to craft beer.

If you find yourself looking at an event/adventure from afar thinking it would be fun...go ahead and make a commitment to yourself to do what is necessary to take part in it. You will not be disappointed.

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