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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

Student one of ten Google Young Minds
2012-04-23

 

Sibusiso Tshabalala is making strides as an international young leader.
23 April 2012

Third-year B.Com Law student, Sibusiso Tshabalala from our university, is one of ten of Google’s Young Minds for 2012. He made it to the top thirty from a pool of 1 700 applicants at the beginning of April 2012.

“The standard of other competitors and the panel of judges were extremely high. I was excited to receive the news that I had made it,” he says.

Annually, Google searches for ten students internationally who demonstrate strong leadership capabilities. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is given to students who also have an entrepreneurial drive and a commitment to social activism. Sibusiso was selected for his involvement in renovating libraries and training budding public speakers. His projects also involve encouraging literacy and critical thinking in poor areas in the Free State by establishing reading clubs.

Sibusiso will be attending the Google Zeitgeist in London from 20 to 22 May 2012.

At the conference, he will have the opportunity to meet some of the world’s greatest minds. Over 400 influential business leaders and visionaries from around the world will be hosted. Speakers include Prof. Stephen Hawking, former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics: University of Cambridge; Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group; Eric Schmidt, Chairman: Google; Larry Page, CEO: Google; Angela Ahrendts, CEO: Burberry, and international musician will.i.am.

The ten winners will also take part in a series of ‘master classes’ with the aim of mentoring them to help further their future projects.

His achievements include the 2010 winner of the National SAGE Competition (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship). He represented South Africa in Brazil that same year and was also National Winner of the Best Speaker Award at the 2011 South African National Universities Debating Championships. He was ranked as one of the top ten debaters in Africa at the Pan African Universities Debating Championships held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 2011. Sibusiso recently chaired the committee that organised the first university based CANSA Relay for Life Event in South Africa. This took place at the UFS in February 2012.

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