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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

New brew event set in Oran

Sunday, January 6, 2013

ORAN -- The Oran Jaycees have come up with an event that will allow amateur beer and wine makers to swap recipes and techniques while also sharing their creations with others.

Set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 2 at the Jaycee Hall, 200 Haw St., in Oran, the Jaycees will host a homemade wine and beer competition and offer samples to the general public. Cost is $10 to sample as many beverages as one can. The admission is considered a tax-deductible donation.

"I make my own homemade beer and wine and we've been talking about it for a few years," said Travis Bickings, president of the Oran Jaycees.

Bickings, who has helped judged both local national tasting events, said he and fellow Jaycees felt the time was right to put on a tasting event.

"When I first started, I didn't think there were too many who made their own beer or wine, and then I got to talking to people in the community and finding out how many people who make it," Bickings said, adding within the last five to 10 years, the hobby has really taken off.

Bickings said it was his father-in-law who introduced him to homemade winemaking about 10 years ago. Then, as a joke, his brother-in-law, bought him a beer kit. He's been making both ever since.

"What I like about it is taking it from a thought or idea and following through to the finished product," Bickings said.

To enter, contestants must provide a minimum of 750 mL of wine and two 12-ounce containers of beer for judging before noon Feb. 23. There is no cost to enter.

Wine categories include dry grape, sweet grape, dry fruit, sweet fruit and dessert/fortified.

Bickings said dry and sweet grape wines are determined by the amount of residual sugar left in them. Dry and sweet fruit wines are wines made with any fruit other than grapes, and dessert wines are sweeter and higher in alcohol content, he explained.

Beer categories include American (pale) ale, German wheat and rye beer, light lager, winter specialty spiced beer and porters and stouts.

"The pale ale is more of an amber color and a little bit more 'hoppy' than most traditional beers," Bickings said.

Porters and stouts are darker beers and have more of a roasted coffee flavor. The holiday/winter specialty beers usually have "spicers" like nutmeg and cinnamon in them, he said. Wheat beers are brewed with a large proportion of wheat in addition to malted barley.

"Light lagers are the closest style to what you think of when you think of the traditional beer," Bickings said.

Entries will be judged Feb. 23, which is also one week prior to the public event. There will be one winner per category: people's choice and grand champion for beer and wine.

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