Jason Gers has been brewing for almost 7 years. A beverage industry veteran who currently works on the Jameson whiskey brand, Gers began brewing with his friend Brian and, joining years later, his younger brother who he affectionately refers to as "the brew crew". He describes his passion for homebrew by saying,"I am always reading up and experimenting and trying new beers to pursue improvement in how I make my own." With over 80 batches under their collective belt, the NYC Brewers Pro-Am will be the brew crew's debut with kegging their beer. That's a lot of bottling by hand, congrats on making the leap, guys.
"Our home system has gotten a bit of a 2015 upgrade to match the increased demand of having 3 dudes in the brew crew." says Gers. The system consists of a 10-gallon mash tun and a 10-gallon kettle. They are now brewing 10-gallon batches, collecting wort into their main kettle and a smaller vessel for a total of 12 gallons of wort which they boil separately then combine for a 10-gallon final yield. Chilling takes place through a counter-flow chiller by running a ground hose through the kitchen window. They compost their spent grain and use it to fertilize the hops they grow at his mom's place in Long Island.
For the Pro-Am Jason was paired with Marcus Lutter from Sixpoint. They brewed their beer on Bitter & Esters' Brew on Premises system. Familiar territory for both brewers who have used the system before; Gers as a customer and Lutter as an employee of the homebrew supply store, the job he had prior to being hired to brew at Sixpoint. The beer they made together is called Oily Otter and is a black IPA with hints of roast and a piney/earthy hop balance. It clocks in at just above 5% ABV. When deciding what homebrew to bring, the brew crew considered 2 beers; a dark Bohemian lager and a summer Saison before ultimately opting for the latter. "...a light refreshing choice that we thought was just better for the season." he says.
When asked if he had aspirations to open his own brewery, Gers says,"Yes, I definitely spend a lot of time thinking about opening my own brewery. I have almost 10 years in the beverage industry - so it's definitely in reach if I was ready to take the risk. I imagine it being a brewery-restaurant where you drink the beer fresh, on-site. I think my brother would totally drop everything and go into business with me."
The Oily Otter Black IPA, the brew crew's Summer Saison, and Sixpoint's Dabble IPA, a juicy double IPA clocking in at 8% ABV will be served at the NYC Brewers Pro-Am taking place this Saturday, June 27th at Covenhoven. The crew will be competing against Glen Cupples with Finback Brewery, Justin Wilson with Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co., Simon Tepas with Other Half Brewing, and Katie Sloan with Rockaway Brewing Co. A limited amount of advance tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.