This is the 1st part in a series of portraits of homebrewers participating in the NYC Brewers Pro-Am taking place on Saturday, June 25th at Covenhoven in Brooklyn, NY..
Meet Will Reder. Will is an award-winning home brewer and an owner of Julia's Beer and Wine Bar in Ridgewood, Queens. Reder is also the beverage program manager at Julia's where he curates a list of beer and wine with a focus on local. Listeners of the Brew To Share Podcast will remember him from Episode #014.
Given his background in the industry and his affinity for collaboration, Will is just the right kind of homebrewer for the NYC Brewers Pro-Am experience. Reder was 1 of 5 local homebrewers selected at random to participate in this year's event.
Now in its 3rd year, the Pro-Am seeks to bridge the gap between professional brewers (the Pros) and hobbyists (the Ams), some of whom are looking to turn pro. In fact, a good number of past Pro-Am homebrewers have found their way into the industry and are now working in breweries across the city. And each year interest in participating grows and this year's number of entrants was at an all-time high with more than 60 local homebrewers vying for 5 spots.
Pro-Am co-producers Bitter & Esters and Brew To Share partnered Reder with Greenpoint Beer and Ale to collaborate on a recipe, brew it together and serve it together while competing for Audience Choice this coming Saturday at Covenhoven in Brooklyn.
Last year's attendees will remember that Greenpoint, along with homebrewer Justin Clifford Wilson, won Audience Choice with their rhubarb sour collab called Acidifus Pie. Each year, the winner of Audience Choice has their beer brewed on their partner brewery's commercial system. It is then sold at craft bars throughout the city. Acidifus Pie popped up at some of the great craft spots throughout the city late last summer and into the early fall.
As for the Greenpoint collaboration this year, Will was eager to brew a California Common, and the guys at the brewery were up for it. The style California Common might be better known to the general public by the beer that defines the style; Anchor Brewing's Steam Beer. That beer is OG. Anchor Brewing is one of the first pioneers in craft brewing. Sometimes being first matters in beer and this is one such example. Anchor owns the trademark to the term "Steam Beer" so no other brewery can legally call their beer a Steam beer, hence the term California Common.
Referring to their collaboration, Reder says,"Steam beer is one of my favorite styles, especially in summer. The style also fit in with what Greenpoint Beer and Ale had available in the way of ingredients."
When asked about the overall experience, Will says,"Once again I'm reminded that brewing is my passion and not only is this dream attainable, there are professionals who will continue to encourage you and point you in the right direction."
Will is also bringing a homebrew and Greenpoint will be bringing a beer of their own as well. They will be joined by 4 other homebrewers partnered with local pros The Bronx Brewery, Folksbier, KCBC (Kings County Brewing Collective), and Strong Rope. Collectively they'll be bringing 15 beers for unlimited tastes. And while it is a competition, Will adds,"Good luck to the other competitors, I can't wait to taste what you've brewed!"
Can reigning champ Greenpoint repeat their victory with Will Reder on Saturday? The choice is up to you.
As in years past, there are 2 sessions for the NYC Brewers Pro-Am given the limited capacity of the space.
The 1st session is 1p-3p
The 2nd session is 3:30p-5:30p.
Covenhoven is located at 730 Classon Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.