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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

Record number of students to graduate at UFS
2017-06-19

Description: Day 2 Mid-year Graduation Bloemfontein Campus Tags: Day 2 Mid-year Graduation Bloemfontein Campus

Eleven graduation ceremonies will form part of the
mid-year graduation ceremonies at the
University of the Free State.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Livestream of Graduation Ceremonies

Six days, eleven ceremonies, and more than 5 000 degrees. This all forms part of what is the biggest set of graduation ceremonies in the history of the University of the Free State (UFS).

The mid-year graduation ceremonies, taking place from 19 to 26 June 2017 in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus, will see the most students graduate during a week. A total of 5 258 degrees, which includes 460 master’s and doctoral degrees, will be conferred – including 72 doctoral degrees.

First graduation ceremonies for Prof Petersen
It will also be the first ceremonies that Prof Francis Petersen, new Rector and Vice-Chancellor, attends on the Bloemfontein Campus. Students from all seven faculties, as well as the South Campus, will graduate.

Graduates per faculty are (without master’s and doctoral degrees): Faculty of Education (488), Faculty of Health Sciences (345), Faculty of Theology (29), Faculty of Law (686), Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (1 029), Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (1 044), Faculty of the Humanities (826), and the South Campus (354).

Guest speakers include three judges
Guest speakers for the ceremonies include Dipiloane Phutsisi, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of the Motheo TVET College in the Free State, Dr Susan Vosloo, UFS Council member and founder member of the World Society for Paediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, and Prof Petersen.

Three judges will also act as speakers. They are Justice Ian van der Merwe, Judge of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal and former Chair of the UFS Council, Justice Mahube Molemela, Judge President of the Free State Division of the High Court and Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of South Africa, and Justice Connie Mocumie, Judge of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Graduations ceremonies:

19 June 2017:
09:00: Faculty of Education, except educational qualifications in Open Distance Learning –  South Campus
14:30: Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Theology and Faculty of Law (including the School of Financial Planning Law)

20 June 2017:
09:00: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: All Bachelor’s degrees
14:30: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: All Diplomas and Bachelor Honours degrees

21 June 2017:
09:00: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: All Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees and Bachelor Honours degrees, excluding BCom degrees
14:30: Faculty of the Humanities: Social Sciences and Communication Sciences only

22 June 2017:
09:00: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: BCom degrees only
14:30: Faculty of the Humanities: All qualifications except Social Sciences and Communication Sciences

23 June 2017:
14:30: Educational qualifications in Open Distance Learning – South Campus

26 June 2017:
09:00: All faculties except the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: Master’s and Doctoral degrees
14:30: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences: Master’s and Doctoral degrees


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