The July meeting at Dan Mages’ house featured a special guest presentation by Mary Izett, ably supported by Chris Cuzme, who drove all the way up from Brooklyn to be with us.
Many of you know Mary and Chris as brewers, judges, and competition organizers from the NYC area. The ran the NYC region of the National Homebrew Competition First Round this year. In fact, they did it so well that I wrote a long post about how enjoyable it was. (I would post a link to the article here if I wasn’t just a WordPress numnutz. You can search for it in the archives.) They host and produce the Fuhmentaboudit! podcast. Chris was, until recently, the head brewer at the 508 gastropub. Chris and Mary recently formed Cuzett Libations to gypsy brew all kinds of fermented liquids.
More to the point, Mary just published a book: Speed Brewing: Techniques and Recipes for Fast-Fermenting Beers, Ciders, Meads, and More. This isn’t just about brewing beer faster, although that’s part of it. The book also explores a number of other fermented beverages — kombucha, kefir, sodas, teas, short meads, etc. — all of which can be brewed very quickly and drunk fresh in a week or two. These are all low-alcohol beverages and mostly quite thirst-quenching. Very tempting as we head into the hot part of summer.
Mary spoke about the book and the motivations behind it, giving us insight into what kinds of beverages work well and why you might want to brew them. She brought samples of 3 different recipes: a fermented jasmine tea, a short mead, and a cider. All of them had been brewed within the last 2 – 3 weeks and none had more than 5% abv. All were delicious and flavorful. Based on these samples, I am guessing that this book will be a big hit.
Chris also shared with us Cuzett Libations’ “Revenge Of The Emu”, a heavily-hopped Kolsch-like beer. That was also extremely yummy.
So a huge Yahoos thank you to Mary and Chris for the long trip, the excellent talk, and the delicious samples!
Of course, we also did our regular Yahoos thing and judged some homebrew. Tasting notes are below. Colin was the clear winner for the evening, clocking a 42 for a cider and a 40 for an American Strong.