Pairing beer with food has become increasingly popular in recent years. This Saturday, you’ll be able to do just that, with a twist, and it’s all for a good cause.
The event benefits the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, and is free to the public, with voluntary donations of nonperishable food items appreciated.
What began as a small event on a rainy Friday night in 2013 has blossomed into a full-fledged festival in just a few short years.
The event was born as a way to showcase the club’s brewers in an Iron Chef-type competition.
In previous years, specific ingredients or beer styles were assigned to teams. This year, brewers had more freedom to go their own direction, as long as their beer still fit the theme, “Hot and Spicy.”
Brewers were instructed to create a beer that utilizes some sort of ingredient used to season food, and the resulting concoctions are certain to be interesting.
More than 15 teams of homebrewers from all corners of Louisiana will be serving their beer at the event. Brewers from clubs in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and even as far away as Shreveport, are all making the trek to Baton Rouge to showcase their beer.
With a canned good donation, attendees will be given a tasting cup and a ticket to vote for their favorite beer. The event serves as a friendly competition among the teams with the winners leaving with a trophy, and more importantly, bragging rights.
Among the beers available for tasting are a king cake-inspired blonde stout, a chocolate-covered cherry stout, a wasabi pale ale, a graham cracker porter, and a rum-infused Scotch ale.
Club members Toby Guidry and Eric Ducote decided that their team would attempt to prolong the Mardi Gras celebration a bit longer by brewing a blonde stout infused with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, making their beer a virtual king cake in a glass.
Dessert was also the inspiration for Douglas Barbin’s team, who brewed a sweet stout with cocoa nibs, tart cherries, vanilla beans and a touch of amaretto.
Chris Turner’s team used Old New Orleans Cajun Spice rum to soak oak spirals in before adding both to their Scotch ale, giving it a unique spin on the traditional style.
Club president Blake Winchell’s team will be serving a Sazerac-inspired rye beer, complete with whiskey, absinthe, bitters and a touch of lemon.
Dale Yoes’ team brewed a Belgian-style tripel, adding satsuma zest during fermentation to give their beer a dash of Louisiana citrus. Gavin Gautreau’s team added wasabi to a hoppy pale ale, giving it a spicy kick. Baton Rouge homebrew ingredient and supply store, LA Homebrew, will be serving their spiced version of a German gose, a tart and slightly salty sour ale.
The 2015 event raised over 2,900 pounds of food, which according to Mike Manning, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank President and CEO, equates to more than 2,400 meals for those in need.
Manning said that the event helps expand the awareness of the issue of hunger to a wider audience.
“The Food Bank relies on community support to help fulfill its mission to feed those facing hunger in our community,” Manning said. “Every contribution makes a difference.”