BREW club creates beer from scratch by the Bay

Photo by Sana Ullah

Consuelo Naranjo / Contributing writer

Photo by Sana Ullah

Bubbles tingle on the tastebuds as a sharp malt flavor touches the lips and a bitterness settles on the tongue.

A smell of hops inundates the nose. The cause? Beer with an apple twist – one of the most tasteful creations of the Biscayne’s Renowned Engineers of Wort club at Biscayne Bay Campus.

BREW FIU is an organization of beer and science lovers. It was founded by Matthew Weintraub along with David Rodriguez and Nicolas Armada.

The club has created high quality products with the support of Barry Gumps, Beverage Management Professor and Harvey Chaplin Eminent Scholar Chair.

With thirteen members and eighteen types of beer distinguished by content and varieties of flavors, the brewers seem unstoppable.

“We want to explore the different techniques and ingredients that can be used to make beer while educating people about different beer styles,” said Zhi Long Yang, a senior hospitality management major and BREW’s vice president.

From their signature Apple Jack Ale to the Red India Pale Ale, the brewers use 100 percent organic ingredients to manufacture their products.

“We want to give the best to the people,” said Matthew Weintraub, one of the founders and BREW president.

The team spends hours, with hard work and innovation, to see a piece of their creation in a glass, which for them is also an art piece.

They create beer from scratch using natural ingredients such as: malt, yeast, hops, water, natural fruit and spices.

The process takes a minimum of five hours beginning with malting, followed by milling, mashing, brewing, cooling, fermentation, maturation and finishing.

The flavor, texture, body and beer aroma will vary depending on the components and the fermentation time. Most of their beers contain 6 to 8 percent of alcohol. Kegs and recycled glass beer bottles are their main utensil to store their beer.

BREW creations are produced once a week, sponsored by Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and with the contribution of their own members who are trying to improve and upgrade the equipments and supplements.

Besides the beer, BREW produces soda, wine and sake. They also use spent grains to make whole grain bread.

Even though none of their products are currently commercialized, they are looking forward to expanding their brand to the market.

BREW is looking for members who want to learn the art of making beer and are willing to contribute while having fun.

There is no pre-knowledge required to enjoy the club. It is open to any student, 21 years old or older, who share a love for brewing.

Today, the club counts on an instructive blog, Facebook page and a YouTube channel to share their knowledge and beer production with the public.

BREW along with CSHTM are hosting “The Art of Beer Making”,  a course offering knowledge to Basic Home Growing on Sept. 8, Intermediate on Sept. 22 and Advanced on Nov. 7. The courses include all necessary materials and the prices may vary depending on the course.

On Aug. 30 at the Key West Brewfest, more than 60 beer companies presented hundreds of their beer creations. Representing Miami and Florida International University, the BREW brought 10 gallons of their signature beer, Back Apple Jack Ale.

The event began on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. and ended on Sunday, Sept. 2. The festival first started three years ago, but it is considered one of the most important in Florida.

Yang enjoyed representing FIU and interacting with other beer producers.

“We want to put FIU and the BREW out there so we can share to the world our high standard beer products our knowledge.”

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