Saturday, February 15th marks the 2nd annual Iron Brewer Festival in Baton Rouge, presented Brasseurs a la Maison, LA Homebrew and hosted by Tin Roof Brewing Company. What is the Iron Brewer Festival, you may ask? This is a friendly competition amongst the members of Baton Rouge’s largest homebrew club to help benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
The premise is similar to that of Iron Chef, the popular TV show on the Food Network. In this case, it is based on brewing beer rather than cooking. Last year, teams were assigned a specific Louisiana ingredient with which to to create a beer. For this year’s event, eleven club-member teams accepted the Iron Brewer challenge, with each team randomly assigned a different style of beer. In the spirit of romance and Valentine’s weekend, they were instructed to incorporate ingredients with aphrodisiac properties.
In 2013, ten teams each served ten gallons of beer, and the turnout to sample the brews was tremendous. Over 500 people came out for the event, and 1,300 pounds of canned goods and non-perishable food items were donated to the food bank. There were so many attendees that all the beer brewed for the event was gone within an hour and a half. This year, Brasseurs a la Maison is upping the ante. The goal is to, literally, collect a ton of food. They aim to collect at least 2,000 pounds of food to donate to the food bank. And this year, every team is set to provide twenty gallons of beer to serve. So with eleven teams, that’s 220 gallons of beer to serve at this year’s event. The only admission fee is a canned good or some other non-perishable food item, but attendees are encouraged to bring more in order to help reach the hefty goal. Guests will be given a wristband and a ticket, which will allow them unlimited samples and the opportunity to vote on their favorite beer. Those votes will determine the “People’s Choice” award.
“Last year’s event was incredibly successful and our teams had a great time, so we decided to do it again,” stated club president, Blake Winchell. “We have a variety of styles like stout, farmhouse, blond/cream ale, English bitter and more. Word on the street is that teams are using ingredients like chocolate, strawberries, chili peppers, honey, different types of herbs and who knows what else. It should be another great event.”
Among the beers confirmed for the competition are a wheat ale brewed with passionfruit green tea from Highland Coffees, a cherry witbier, a cream ale brewed with honey and strawberries, a pineapple-mango IPA, and a Tiramisu porter made with espresso, vanilla, cacao and dark rum, as well as several others that will be equally as intriguing.
The event will run from 2pm until 5pm on Saturday afternoon at Tin Roof’s brewery at 1624 Wyoming Street, off Nicholson Drive between downtown and LSU’s campus. The event is open to adults 21 and over.