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Lager with a hint of coffee wins student brew-off

A German-style lager with a roasted-coffee-like flavour led five University of Pretoria students to victory this weekend in SA Breweries' Intervarsity Beer Brewing Challenge.

Chemical engineering students David Wilson, Howard Benade, Monique Schmidt, Jacques Teessen and Ed Mills won R25,000 and an additional R15,000 category prize for their brew, Black Forest Lager.

Said 26-year-old Wilson: "I can't drink a beer the same way any more. Though I still enjoy it, it's different now.

"This was my fourth intervarsity, and my last. I am really glad to go out with a win."

The brewing - which produced 40-litres of dark lager - took more than three months. Then the beer was filtered and bottled for the competition.

Final-year student Schmidt, 21, developed a passion for beer while backpacking through Europe in 2009 before joining the team three years ago.

Their beer gained much popularity among their friends and "a complete stranger" offered to buy the recipe.

"We have been put under so much pressure that we are thinking of brewing another batch for the final-year chemical engineering braai," Schmidt said.

Now in its sixth year, the competition attracted 35 entries from 11 teams, with 10 of them making it to the finals.

Pretoria University beat 2012 winners University of Cape Town, who won the best speciality beer title with their TriNations Indian pale ale.

PhD student Brian Willis said the brew was made from hops grown in the country of each of the rugby championship participants: South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Source: The Times



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