Homebrew Hits Mardi Gras Casino In Hallandale Beach
Doug Fairall Eric Guerro of Angry Union Brewing manning the jockey box.
This past Saturday, fourteen homebrewers, either through clubs, small groups, or individuals, entered the Mardi Gras Casino's First Annual Homebrew Beer Competition, a BJCP certified event taking place track-side at the Hallandale Beach casino. All of the brewers were looking to win the coveted first place prize of $1000, one of the highest I've personally seen in the area.
With cool weather, and clear skies, it was the perfect day to get outside and sample some of the most creative beers from the sometimes mad scientist minds of area homebrewers.
Among the many participating was Aaron Caja of Maltese Cross Ale Works, a firefighter who makes beer making his hobby, but has no current aspirations to go pro. "This is something fun to do," he says, noting that some recipes he brews, like the dunkelweiss with chocolate and vanilla that was being poured, sometimes just happen.
Just a few tents down stood Erick Viera of Pilot Brewing with a duo of German wheat beers. A member of FLAB (Fort Lauderdale Area Brewers), Viera sought to bring some of his passion for German beers into the competition. Like his brethren, he says that he brews with his wife "for the fun of it." His dark Dunkel pleased with an effervescent level of carbonation, and showed lots of banana yeast flavors and a hint of dark bread.