November 20, 2012

Chapel Hill, NC: Homebrew for Hunger 2012

At the second annual Homebrew for Hunger festival, nearly 50 homebrewers and nine craft breweries teamed up to raise money and canned food for those in need.

The event, 
held at the West End Public in downtown Chapel Hill, raised over $8,500 through ticket sales and raffles to support PORCH, a volunteer organization providing hunger relief to families in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. 

The event was expanded from one session last year to two this year in order to accomodate more tasters and to raise more money. Still, the event completely sold out in advance. 

Most brewers came from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, though a few traveled from further away. Like many a homebrew festival, Homebrew for Hunger showcased a great deal experimentation in the beers being served. Among the many interesting homebrews were:
  • Jalepeno Cream Ale - a fiery, yet easy drinking brew by John Frank and Kate Blackman of Carrboro
  • Mocha Jack Chocolate Pumpkin Porter - a seductive dark ale combining chocolate and pumpkin flavors with cinnamon and nutmeg, brewed by Doug Widman, Rae Ann Spagnuolo, Charles McGee (aka Galvanized Brewing)
  • Chamomile and Whiskey Amber - a unique combination of ingredients, with several shots of whiskey added straight to the fermenter, created by Adam Rhiner and Anna Haupt of Charlottesville, VA
  • Olde Gruit Ale - a revival of a traditional style of beer common before hops became a standard ingredient, brewed with juniper, sweet gale, heather, and other herbs and spices by Andrew Turner of Durham
  • Graf - a beer/cider hybrid made by Greg P. and Darren of Durham
  • Randall Black IPA - a black ale pushed through a homemade Randall filled with whole leaf hops, by Chris and Katy Creech of Chapel Hill (Chris writes about homebrewing at
There were also an Andes Mint Stout, a Finnish-style Sahti, a Butternut Squash and Fennel Ale, and an Oatmeal Stout made with homemade granolaI contributed an English Brown Ale brewed with ginger. (I've provided the recipe at the bottom.)

The craft breweries in attendance were:

Ethan Johnston, of Fifth Season Gardening, was one of the event's primary organizers: 
"We were extremely pleased with the way the event went over. We didn't run into any snags or SNAFUs and everyone we spoke with had a great time. We served close to 400 people over 80 different beers and in the end we raised over $8500 for PORCH and donated a significant amount of canned food as well. All in all we couldn't have asked for a better festival!"
Congratulations go out to Doug Widman, Rae Ann Spagnuolo, Charles McGee of Galvanized Brewing, who were voted Best in Show! GB had this to say after the festival:
"This year's Homebrew for Hunger was a really great event. It was fantastic to see the local brewing community come together for such a worthy cause, and we were thrilled to be a part of it. The outpouring of support for PORCH and all of the homebrewers was phenomenal. There were a lot of tremendous beers being served by folks who take pride in their craft, and we are honored that so many people enjoyed our beers. We're already looking forward to next year's event!"
In closing, it's that time of year to be thankful for the things we have and to think about giving to those who aren't so lucky. Consider making a donation to PORCH through this link.

Cheers to all the brewers for getting out and supporting their local community! Beer for a cause: it's a beautiful thing!

Ginger Brown Ale Recipe

An English-Style Brown Ale brewed with freshly-grated ginger root:

8 oz. Caramel 60L
4 oz. Chocolate Malt
6 oz. Carapils
3.3 lbs. Munton's Amber LME
2 lbs. Amber DME
2 oz. Freshly Grated Ginger @ :60
1 oz. Willamette @ :60
1 oz. Willamette @ :15
.25 oz. Willamette @ :5
Danstar Nottingham Dry Yeast

For another variation on this recipe, check out the Homebrewer's Garden.

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