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NMSBrew take National Championship at AICHE Brewing Competition


Two men with diplomas TrophyEarlier this week, the NMSBrew team from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Rio Grande Local Section won both Best-in-Show and the Grand Prize for their Ginger Snaps ginger mild brown ale and “Bakery Beers” themed poster at the AIChE Young Professionals’ 2019 Beer Brewing Competition. The competition, now in its third year, was held as part of the AIChE Annual Meeting from November 10-15 in Orlando, FL.

Each team, which must include at least one professional member under the age of 35, can enter up to three home-brewed beers, with an accompanying poster and beer label design competition. Beers are judged by both BJCP judges for the beer tasting awards, as well as by guest judges from among AIChE members for a people’s choice award. Best-in-Show is awarded to the beer ranked best for its conformity to the specified BJCP beer style and its overall taste. Competition grand prizes are awarded as a weighted score of each team’s BJCP judge’s scores and poster.

Members of the winning team included Jacob Usrey, MS student in Chemical Engineering at New Mexico State University (NMSU), Catherine Brewer, associate professor in Chemical Engineering at NMSU, Juanita Miller, safety officer of the NMSU College of Engineering, and Nancy Garnett, retired chemical engineer and chair of the AICHE Rio Grande section. Ginger Snaps, entered under the spiced/fruit/vegetable beer category, was an all-grain English mild brown ale recipe (3.9% ABV) in which fresh ginger was shaved into the last 10 minutes of the boil to impart the ginger aroma. The team’s other two beer entries were the Big Newton, a 10.1% ABV Belgian dark strong ale with dark fruit flavors, and the Kolache, an American wheat beer brewed with Lemon Drop hops to impart a tangerine/citrus taste. This was the third year of competition for members of the team, who had taken 2nd in the dark and malty category at the 2017 competition at the Minneapolis.

In addition to the AIChE brewing competition, NMSBrew brings beer brewing to the NMSU campus through the Brewery Engineering academic minor within the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, teaching and research capabilities in the Frank & Jennifer Seidel Brew Lab in Jett Hall, collaborations with the NMSU Ag. Science Center in Farmington, NM for Humulus lupulus neomexicanus hop research, and involvement in the craft beer community through New Mexico Brewers Guild and Pink Boots Society Events, and the KRWG Radio Brewing Confidential Live! broadcast in May 2019. Most recently, NMSBrew director, Dr. Brewer hosted a demonstration on November 2 for National Learn-How-to-Homebrew Day.

More information about NMSBrew, the AICHE brewing competition, and the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines can be found at: