Simon Tepas makes amazing beer. His IPAs are well-known in NYC. A homebrewer for approximately 7 years, his experience shines through in the award-winning beers that he makes. Upon pulling his name out of a hat of potential participants, there was no doubt that his brewing of hop-forward, yet balanced beers would be a great match for one of the more popular breweries in NYC; Other Half.
Tepas brews in a self-described "ghetto gravity system with a plastic mash tun, 15-gal kettle and embarrassingly inefficient immersion chiller." (Substitute 10-gal kettle, and I think Simon and I have a similar system.) He ferments in buckets and carboys in "an absurd handmade fermentation chamber, or my converted chest freezer." (Also check and check for my system.) He says, "A tight living space and a tighter budget has kept me from upgrading much beyond that - but hey it works." And it certainly does. I recently had the privilege to judge a competition for the Knights of Bruklyn Homebrew Sentry with some professional beer reps and his beer was hands down the best among the 8 or so entrants. That IPA was partially the reason that it was a no-brainer to team him up with Sam Richardson of Other Half.
Brewing with Sam gave Simon the opportunity to focus on the little things such as how to simplify a grain bill; how to add body and malt to a low gravity beer. He continues, "But of all the tips, techniques and general brewing principles I've read about and experimented with, it was so instructive to see which of those things Sam focused on, and how he went about it."
They will be bringing a session American rye beer with a "metric-ton-o-hops" that will be about 4.5% ABV and contains about 30% rye. By contrast, the homebrew that he'll also be bringing to the event is a similar hoppy rye beer fermented with French Saison yeast but clocks in at 8.2% ABV. And while this experience gave him a taste for what it means to be a professional brewer, he's not looking to quit his day job and start a brewery anytime soon. "I would like to work in beer at some point... but I do enjoy my present (non-beer) line of work, so I don't anticipate switching that up anytime soon. I plan to keep brewing, learning, and honing my craft as much as possible along the way."
Never satisfied, that's the mark of a great brewer.
His collaboration, and his homebrew, will be served alongside an offering from Other Half (I'm personally hoping Other Half brings Boogie Board Stuntz -- a collaboration kölsch they made with Bunker Brewing from Maine), as well as 4 other homebrewer collabs, homebrews, and commercial beers from Finback, Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co., Rockaway and Sixpoint on June 27th at Covenhoven in Brooklyn.
Tickets are still available in advance here. There are 2 sessions and tickets are limited to 50 per session. Get them while they last.