Fritz Fernow is perhaps something more than just a beer enthusiast—any who have seen the giant kegerator adorned with a neon green monster in his Cobble Hill bedroom can testify to the fact.
But after last night, he is also a beer champion, after winning the final round in a series of homebrewed beer competitions at Union Hall.
Beginning in June, the Union Street bar has hosted a series of four homebrew competitions—inviting beer nerds from Park Slope and beyond to try their suds out on the willing (and thirsty) public.
Over the course of six months, 30 contestants entered their brew, the winners of the first three contests advancing on to compete yesterday for the grand prize: a chance to brew a keg of beer at Sixpoint Craft Ales in Red Hook, and drink it at a private party at Union Hall.
In the first three rounds, beers were voted on by a series of beer experts, including folks from Kelso, Sixpoint and the Brooklyn Brew Shop. Last night, though, past contestants chose the winning brew—the "Horny Ryenocerous Ale," a hoppy, citrus-fragranced rye beer that Fernow said is actually something of an ode to Sixpoint's own Righteous Rye, though the two beers are very different.
Beer geeks will be interested to know that Fernow used six different varieties of hops, with a dry hopping at the end.
"This is one of my favorite beers to brew," said Fernow. "Its pretty much custom tailored to my tastes—it's a beer with good character."
Of course, Fernow was up against some stiff competition: Sforzato, an India Pale Ale from Dylan Mabin and Andrew Thomas, a Park Slope-Prospect Heights duo who collaborate under the auspices of Billingsgate Brewing; and Black Pepper, a brown ale by Timothy Evans of Brooklyn Heights.
This year's competition may be over, but next year's begins in April.
Let the brewing begin.