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Craft brew: Two Ave Maria IPAs win accolades

beer-tasting-eventTwo of the men of Ave Maria – Hampton Village to be precise – entered their own home-brewed India Pale Ales (IPA) in a beer tasting contest held at Hurricane Grill & Wings in Estero, Florida. The contest included both professional and amateur brewers. Chris Buccheri’s IPA earned 3rd place overall and Darryl Klein’s brew came in 2nd place overall!

Micro-brewing in the United States has rapidly

been growing, and Ave Maria is no exception. In the US there are over 300,000 micro-brewers. In Ave Maria, the small group seems to be growing every month. The informal Ave Maria club brews many different types of beers from lagers, to stouts, to IPA.

The recent contest was for IPAs. The American IPA is a different soul from the reincarnated IPA style. More flavorful than the withering English IPA, color can range from very pale golden to reddish amber. Hops are typically American with a big herbal and/or citric character; bitterness is high as well. These IPAs are moderate to medium bodied with a balancing malt backbone. Average alcohol by volume range is 5.5 to 7.5 percent.

The brew contest on Saturday included three local professional brewers (Naples Beach Brewery, Fort Myers Brewing Company, and Point Ybel Brewing Company) and twelve local amateurs. The amateurs were encouraged to taste the three professional brews and rate them 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The professionals rated the twelve amateur submissions in seven categories that included, taste, color, smell, clarity, etc. In this part of the judging, Chris won 2nd place with an excellent traditional IPA, and Darryl won 1st place with a Pale Ale IPA.

These two gentlemen apologize that not one drop of these award-winning brews is left, but they plan to brew again soon. They are planning an event where all their neighbors can sample the many local Ave Maria brews.

Editor’s note: This story is slightly modified from information supplied by Darryl, who forgot to mention that Jim Fox and yours truly were present and took an active role in the brewing of these two fine IPAs, which occurred on Chris’s front porch. Fortunately for Jim and me, I have already blogged about it, so Darryl can’t write us out of the historic accolades OUR brews won. Please take time to congratulate Darryl on the honors the two Buccheri-Fox-Klein-Klucik brews won (or feel free to realize Jim and I just happened to be hanging out with our talented friends while they brewed some amazing IPAs).

Brewing IPA in Ave Maria

Jim Fox, Darryl Klein and Chris Buccheri brew two award-winning IPAs, along with Robb Klucik, who took the photo.

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