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08 December 2020 | Story Leonie Bolleurs | Photo Supplied
At the BJCP beer judging competition, Dr Errol Cason won Best of Show with his Belgian Saison. Here he is presenting at the AfricaBrew2020 Brewing conference.

Staff and students from the University of the Free State (UFS) once again proved their skills in beer homebrewing when they walked away with one first place and two second places at the 13th annual Anheuser-Busch Inbev (AB-Inbev) – formally South African Breweries (SAB) – intervarsity beer brewing and tasting competition, and the Beer Judging Certification Programme (BJCP) competition held at the AfricaBrew2020 Brewing conference. Both these events took place over the weekend of 27 and 28 November 2020.

Evil Twin Double and Three Sips German 

Competing in the AB-Inbev/SAB Intervarsity brewing and tasting competition, was a group of students from the UFS Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, consisting of Eduvan Bischoff (PhD student), Elzette van der Walt (MSc student), Culien van der Merwe (MSc student), Gunther Staats (MSc student), and Twyne Skein (MSc student). This team came second in both the Indian Pale Ale (IPA) category with their Evil Twin Double IPA and in the Lager category with their Three Sips German Pils. 

“This is an outstanding accomplishment. Congratulations also go to our fellow Free Stater’s at the Central University of Technology (CUT) for winning the India Pale Ale (IPA) category as well as best overall beer with their New England IPA,” commented Dr Errol Cason, Senior Lecturer in the UFS Department of Animal Science, also representing the liquid yeast company LiquidCulture Yeast.

According to Dr Cason, this SAB-sponsored competition sees students from local universities brew and enter beers for judging, and competing for prizes, including the coveted ‘Best of Show’ trophy. 

“This event also aims to promote beer culture along with responsible drinking, by hosting talks by industry experts where students can interact with commercial brewers, scientists, and marketers,” says Dr Cason. 

The event was hosted by South African Breweries (SAB) and CUT, through the Centre for Applied Food Sustainability and Biotechnology (CAFSaB), in association with the UFS. 

Although the event was moved online in 2020 due to the international pandemic, it did not mean that there was a decline in the quality of presentations, or in the beer entered by universities. – D r Errol Cason

Dr Cason explains that entrants are usually challenged to brew beers according to the 2015 Beer Judge Certification Programme (BJCP) guidelines in lager, IPA, winter warmer, and fruit beer categories. 

“This year included the African Premium Ale and Lockdown Brew categories as well, where teams were mostly left to invent and experiment on their own with a few rules, such as using only indigenous African ingredients or ingredients that were available in supermarkets during lockdown,” says Dr Cason. 

There is also an award for the best bottle dress (label). 

Dr Cason believes that although the event was moved online in 2020 due to the international pandemic, it did not mean that there was a decline in the quality of presentations, or in the beer entered by universities. 

Belgian Saison and Extra Special Bitter

He and Christopher Rothmann, who is busy with a PhD in Biotechnology at the UFS and is co-founder of the company LiquidCulture (LC) Yeast, attended and presented at the AfricaBrew2020 Brewing conference. AfricaBrew is an annual brewing conference specialising in workshops and demonstrations for home and professional brewers. 

Accompanying the conference is a BJCP beer judging competition where all home and professional brewers can enter beers. During this competition, Dr Cason won Best of Show with his Belgian Saison. Rothmann came second with his Extra Special Bitter.

Since LiquidCulture Yeast was found in 2018, this commercial venture has since spun out and are now providing liquid brewing yeast to the homebrewing and commercial brewing industry. Rothmann and Dr Cason are also founding members of the Kovsie Brewery (along with Dr Jan-G Vermeulen and Eduan Hellmuth), which is currently being constructed on the UFS Paradys Experimental Farm facility.

News Archive

UFS football team promoted to ABC Motsepe League
2017-06-01

Description: UFS football team  Tags: UFS football team

The Kovsies were the best football team at the SAB
playoffs held in Sasolburg gaining access to the
ABC Motsepe League in 2017/2018.
Photo: Kyle Marais

It means a lot to the football loving community at University of the Free State (UFS) and gives them something to be proud of. This is according to Godfrey Tenoff, coach of the UFS Men’s Football Team, after his team’s recent promotion to the ABC Motsepe League.

The Kovsies were crowned SAB Provincial Champions, an amateur senior league, for a second consecutive year in 2016/2017, but gained access to the ABC Motsepe League by winning the SAB playoffs on 20 and 21 May 2017 in Sasolburg. Thabo (Number) Lesibe and Tenoff was also respectively named Player and Coach of the Tournament at the playoffs. The university has been promoted to the semi-professional ABC Motsepe league for the first time since 2008.

Flirting with success over past few years
Tenoff said UFS football can now be seen as “one that can make a significant contribution to championship culture of sport at the university”.

His troops had flirted with success over the past few years, but couldn’t always translate it into championships. They finished fourth in their SAB provincial league in 2013/2014, second in 2014/2015 and in 2015/2016 won the region, but lost in the SAB provincial playoffs.

Three reasons for outstanding season
Tenoff said there are three reasons for the team’s success and it went on a 22-game unbeaten streak, with 20 games won and two drawn.

They retained most players from the 2015/2016 season and many of them were recruited during that season. Local talent from high schools in Bloemfontein were also recruited and introduced earlier – in July 2016. Lastly, Tenoff said the players and technical team were resilient and objective in their planning.

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