Lexie Grammer described a Belgian saison like the one she brewed as “refreshing, bubbly and effervescent.”
A panel of judges apparently agreed on Wednesday, deeming the ale made by the biomedical sciences major at the University of West Florida, as the best in a tasting competition of craft beers created by students in The Art and Science of Brewing honors seminar course, which is offered by UWF’s Kugelman Honors Program.
The six judges in the tasting competition included UWF faculty as well as representatives from Pensacola Bay Brewery and Goat Lips Chew and Brewhouse. Their criteria in selecting the winning brew included taste, aroma, drinkability and marketing.
The competition included five other beers made by students in the course. They included an American milk stout and a chocolate cherry porter.
Now that she has won, Grammer will see her saison, named Biere de Lavande, brewed and sold at Goat Lips Chew & Brewhouse in Pensacola.
The honors course is taught by Joe Moss, who is a research associate professor with the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation. In addition to being a Kugelman Honors student, each member of the class has to be at least 21 years old.
Moss said that, in the course, he teaches the science behind making beer, which includes the fermentation and malting process, and invites local brewing experts to talk to his students about the art behind brewing and how to develop marketing plans.
The beers made by the students for the competition were the third they brewed during the semester. Each student started the course by brewing the same type of ale.
“This class was so good that we branched out and on the second one and I let them do any style ale that they wanted to,” Moss said.
Before the tasting on Wednesday, each student gave presentations on the history of the beers they made as well as details on the flavor notes they were trying to capture.
Grammer told the class and the judges that she decided to make the saison because it had qualities similar to champagne, which she enjoys. Her ingredients included honey, coriander and lavender.
“With lavender being a natural calming herb, I wanted to create a craft beer that is both calming and relaxing,” Grammer told the judges. “I don’t know about you, but a naturally calming saison, especially around exam time or a hard day at work, sounds pretty appealing to me, and I hope you enjoyed it.”