Tomorrow, Homebrewers and Pros Unite to Pour One-of-a-Kind Collaborations

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Tomorrow, witness a homebrewer’s dream come true at the NY Brewers Pro-Am competition at Covenhoven. Brew to Share and Bitters & Esters have collaborated to pair five homebrewers with five local breweries for a one-time sudsy partnership resulting in ten-gallon batches of never-before-seen nanobrews. Curious about what might happen when well-known breweries like Finback, Other Half and Sixpoint use recipes by serious homebrewers? We recommend you buy tickets to the competition now — last year’s first annual Pro-Am sold out. They’re $30 in advance and $35 at the door, available here.

We wrote about the 2014 NY Pro-Am Brew P.I.T., and this year they’ve upped the ante, swapping the P.I.T. (Passion, Inspiration, Technique) for a sleeker name and organizing a true collaboration between homebrewers and breweries. “We’re asking a lot of our professional brewers,” founder Robert Sherrill admits, “but everyone was really responsive to it.”

Sherrill received about 40 applications from homebrewers for the competition and he and his team chose the final participants at random. Once paired, amateur brewers and their professional counterparts fine-tuned their recipes and met at Bitters & Esters to make use of their pilot system.

The resulting beers range from a session IPA by homebrewer Simon Tepas and Sam Richardson of Other Half to a collaboration making use of the wild yeast brettanomyces, which Sherrill describes as giving off “a horse blanket and leather flavor that is desired in certain styles.” All three contributions from Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. and Justin Wilson will make use of the yeast.

Like any good competition, this one comes with an excellent prize. The audience will choose their favorite collaboration, and the winner will get to brew their recipe on the brewery’s home system. “The winner will be able to walk into a bar and order a beer they made,” Sherrill says. We’ll cheers to that.

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