It’s every home-brewer’s dream, and Andy Melchers is living it.
Melchers, who has been homebrewing for about 14 years, spent Friday at Warped Wing Brewing Company in downtown Dayton, brewing up a 30-barrel batch (930 gallons) of one of his home-brew beer recipes.
This particular recipe captured first place in a Dayton Regional Amateur Fermentation Technologists (DRAFT, the Dayton-based home-brewers club) Saison-making competition held last May at FigLeaf Brewing Co. in Middletown.
Melchers, from Westwood in Cincinnati, has served as a judge and has participated in previous DRAFT competitions, and in similar events with his fellow Cincinnati-area home-brewers. For this DRAFT competition, he entered just the one beer that ended up winning — a “hoppy saison” that derived its appealingly bitter bite from the Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand. John Hagerty, the brewmaster at Warped Wing, served as a judge in the competition.
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“To have my beer selected in the final round by John and the group of very high-ranking judges, who I have the utmost respect and admiration for, is an incredible honor,” Melchers said
Warped Wing sponsors the annual DRAFT competition and has agreed to produce the “Best of Show” winner’s beer at Warped Wing, Hagerty said.
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Melchers and Warped Wing’s head brewer, Fred Pallant, spent a full day Friday on the first steps of the brewing process. The beer will ferment in the weeks ahead, and will likely be ready for rollout in about six weeks, Hagerty and Pallant said.
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The finished beer doesn’t have a name yet, and it will be available on draft only, at Warped Wing and a handful of beer pubs and restaurants in the Dayton and Cincinnati area.