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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.

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Van Niekerk shines in Ostrava and breaks 300 m world record
2017-06-29

Description: Van Niekerk shines in Ostrava  Tags: Van Niekerk shines in Ostrava

Wayde van Niekerk is in great form leading up to the
World Championships in London in August.
Photo: Khothatso Mokone

Usain Bolt believes Wayde van Niekerk could well be his successor. Bolt, who has won eight Olympic and 11 world gold medals in his career, doesn’t doubt that the Kovsie athlete could take over the reins as an athletic superstar.

This after Van Niekerk broke another world record by Michael Johnson – 30.85 seconds in the 300 m which Johnson set in Pretoria in 2000 – at the IAAF Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on 28 June 2017. He took the honours in the 300 m in a time of 30.81 seconds. In 2016, Van Niekerk also improved on Johnson’s 400 m world record (43.18 s) with a time of 43.03 s at the Rio Olympics.

Unique honour over four distances
Because the 300 m event is not run very often, the record will be regarded as the world’s best by the IAAF. According to the IAAF, the 24-year-old Van Niekerk is now also the first man to run a sub-10 for the 100 m, sub-20 for 200 m, sub-31 for 300 m, and sub-44 for 400 m.

The legendary Bolt, who is in his final season, admitted that Van Niekerk could take over from him. “I think he really wants to be a sprinter, because he's set a personal best in the 100 m this year,” he said to AFP.

“He's shown that he's ready for the challenge. He's really down to earth, he's really humble, he's a great person. He listens and wants to be good, and if he continues like this he'll take over track and field."

Great run prior to Czech Republic
The 300 m world record follows after Van Niekerk also ran a personal best time of 9.94 in the 100 m in Velenje, Slovenia, on 20 June 2017. The 400 m world record-holder also became the South African record-holder in the 200 m again when ran a 19.84 in the 200 m at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica, on 11 June 2017.

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