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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

Qwaqwa Campus launches No Student Hungry Programme
2013-05-02

 

Samkelo Duma (white shirt) flanked by some of the guests during the launch of the NSH Programme on the Qwaqwa Campus.
Photo: Thabo Kessah
02 May 2013

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State launched the No Student Hungry (NSH) Programme on Friday 26 April 2013. The programme aims to provide needy students with a daily balanced meal to enable them to concentrate in class and ultimately obtain their degrees. The programme – initiated by Vice-Chancellor and Rector Prof Jonathan Jansen in 2011 on the Bloemfontein Campus – already feeds hundreds of students.

Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs who represented the Rectorate, encouraged students in need to focus more on their desire for greatness.

“Through this programme, you will be able you to shift your focus from the hunger pangs and rather focus all your energy on the hunger to make Africa great,” said Buys. “We want you to be different from the rest of your generation that is reluctant to compete for greatness. Many of your peers prefer mediocrity and it is our wish that through this programme, you can start learning to compete with the best,” Buys impelled.

According to the Qwaqwa Campus programme co-coordinator, Selloane Phoofolo, NSH operates on a primary and a secondary level.

“The primary level offers a food bursary to the students whose academic performance is above 65 percent and not receiving any form of financial assistance. For the 2013 academic year, we had 53 students applying and 31 have qualified. They are getting a meal for R25.00 a day at the Dining Hall,” said Phoofolo.

She further explained that, “On the secondary level, we provide monthly food parcels to 19 students who did not qualify for the food bursary. These food parcels are donated by Pick n Pay and Stop Hunger Now SA. For this, beneficiaries must undertake 40 hours of community service during the year. They must also partake in student activities. Their academic progress is monitored by the Office of Social Work.”

One of the beneficiaries, a final-year BA degree student Samkelo Duma, expressed his gratitude towards the UFS for giving him an equal opportunity to those in more fortunate situations to do his best in his studies. “It is difficult to study and concentrate on an empty stomach and I must say that the NSH is very helpful. I do not just get a meal, but I get a healthy meal to keep me going throughout the tough day,” Duma said.

Also present at the launch were the patrons of the programme, Ms Grace Jansen and Dr Carin Buys. They volunteer their time and energy to raise funds for the project.

Students apply for the allowances and are selected on the basis of financial need, academic results, active participation in student life programmes and commitment to give something back to the community.

You can also invest in these students' future by contributing R10.00 each time you sms the word 'Answer' to 38722.

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