Cal Poly may be a "dry campus," but one school-sanctioned club still has a license to brew. The Cal Poly Brew Crew has been making porters, stouts, browns, blonds, Irish pale ales, and more since 1994. The group has largely operated below the radar thanks to a loophole that allows them to purchase ingredients to produce alcohol so long as they don't actually pay for alcohol. Since 2006, however, the group has taken on a larger public role. They've picked up some local sponsors including Spike's and Central Coast Brewing Co. (and even had a beer on tap at the latter) they've got a new Web site, and they've been featured in Cal Poly's Mustang Daily. Now, they're set to host the first-ever Cal Poly Cup on March 10 at Central Coast Brewing Co.
- PHOTO BY JESSE ACOSTA
- THIS CLUB RULES! : Aaron Swink, assistant brewer for Central Coast Brewing Co., adds hops to one of CCBs unique ales. Learn about home brewing with Cal Polys Brew Crew at the Cal Poly Cup, hosted by CCB.
# The Cal Poly Cup will feature more than 30 homemade beers of different varieties, with prizes for the best amateur brewers. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. and is open to all brewers and swillers of beer. Participants will get to partake in the judging and learn from the brewers the secrets to making great beer. The Cal Poly Cup is designed to be fun for both seasoned drinkers and folks with less-discriminating palates, who can come and learn more about the wonderful world of brewing. The cost to taste is $10, and designated drivers can get in free and enjoy snacks.
The event, said club president Jeff Freitas, is designed to expose people to new styles of beer, bring home-brewers together from across the county, and transcend the perceived barrier in local student-resident relations. Also, it could prompt people to think about beer in a different fashion. Freitas said that a common misconception about beer is that it's not as complex as wine, and that it doesn't need to be aged. Some of it does.
The beers will be judged on a 50-point scale, based on taste, aroma, appearance, mouth feel or tactile quality, and overall impression. All styles will be judged in the same category, with three winners being honored for judge's choice, runner-up, and crowd favorite.
Aside from bragging rights, contestants are competing for a chance to brew a keg of their own for free at CCB. Other prizes include a $100 and $50 gift certificate to Doc's Cellar in SLO.
The competition and tasting are open to everyone 21 and over. To enter your home-brew, register at the crew's Web site: www.cpbrewcrew.com, or show up between 7 and 7:30 p.m. on the day of the event with eight unlabeled 12-oz. bottles, or four 22-oz. bottles. There's a $5 registration fee. Tasters should come with ID to Central Coast Brewing Co. and have a plan to get home. Carpooling is encouraged, but safe rides will be available. Central Coast Brewing Co. is located at 1422 Monterey St. in SLO. For more info, call (209) 617-9563 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week's Strokes and Plugs was compiled by Kylie Mendonca. Send your business news to email@example.com.