Marin Club Brews A Winner

Mike Brierley, left, and Damien Perry of MaSH examine homebrew beers made by their members. The brewing club came to Benoit-Casper Brewing in Richmond to brew a beer together.

Last month a homebrew club in Marin was at Benoit-Casper Brewing in Richmond to brew a beer they’ll use in an upcoming competition.

The Marin Society of Homebrewers (MaSH) collaborated brewing their beer with Benoit-Casper. Previously six homebrew clubs from the North and East Bay brewed there to determine a winner. MaSH won first place for their Black IPA and advanced in the competition. 

Homebrew clubs in the South Bay brewed their beers with Freewheel Brewing in Redwood City. The Grain Trust club won and will face MaSH at Freewheel Brewing on June 28 in the second annual, Monkey Knife Fight to determine the winner.

The Black IPA by MaSH will be on tap at Freewheel Brewing and at Benoit-Casper shortly after the Monkey Knife Fight.

Damien Perry is the MaSH president and said their Black IPA used Maiden Voyage malts from Admiral Maltings in Alameda.

“At a club meeting we brought in samples of all the beers that were available and tasted them all,” Perry said. “We ranked each category by aroma, flavor, mouth feel, appearance and gave them all a score. The winner was clearly the Black IPA and the club agreed that’s what we wanted to submit to the competition and we’re thrilled with the results.”

Benoit-Casper Brewing co-owner Chad Casper lives in San Rafael and started out in MaSH.

“My homebrewing roots go back to MaSH ” Casper said. “When they were first formed I was a member of MaSH and as I transitioned into commercial brewing I was in touch with a lot of these guys. We always like to be in touch with our homebrewing roots and do some fun things. All the time we love to experiment

and this gives us the opportunity to just mix up the beers that we do.”

Jonathan Massmann has been homebrewing for four years and in MaSH for two years. While he finds the club fun it’s also educational.

“It’s a good group of guys and it’s fun to talk beer and drink beer but you learn something every time,” Massmann said. “Every meeting is informative whether it’s some subject we’re talking about or an individual conversation with some other brewer. Everyone kind of brews a little differently so just to hear different things you’re thinking about your process and how you can improve.”

Vice President of MaSH Kevin McMahon enjoys the club and sees it as a place to get constructive criticism that makes people a better brewer.

“Before I joined the club I would share my beer with friends and family,” McMahon said. “They’re not qualified to give me feedback or they’d say it was great and then I’d see it sitting on the counter. They didn’t like it or whatever.

“So the club gives you people who are not afraid to hurt your feelings and you shouldn’t be afraid of getting your feelings hurt. It’s not about that, it’s about how to brew better beer.”

As for Casper, he also finds brewing fun but also a labor of love.

“Brewing is a lot of work but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s really rewarding and when you get people engaged and feel the same way, that’s what makes it all the much better.”

The Breastfest beer festival in San Rafael is on July 14. Currently 25 breweries will be pouring beers. Tickets are available at Moylan’s and Marin Brewing as well as on their website.

Tickets are also available for the Lagunitas Beer Circus on September 8. Last year’s event was canceled due to the wildfires and is expected to sell out. Tickets are on sale at their brewery and online.

Tamalpais Brewing is a new brewpub expecting to open in late June in San Rafael at 4th and C streets.

Iron Springs Pub and Brewery will be at the Fairfax Festival this weekend. They now have Major Science IPA on tap. In late June the pleasantly tart, Rhubarbed Wire Goose comes out.

Moylan’s has Helles Lager, Nor Cal IPA and Therapy Session IPA on tap as well as their wheat and pomegranate wheat beers. Haze Craze IPA comes out June 22.

They will be at the Novato Art and Wine Festival this weekend and at the Marin County Fair in late June.

At Marin Brewing, Tiburon Blonde returns and will be available all month. San Quentin Breakout Stout is on tap but goes quickly and will be on tap for only a few weeks. Their White Knuckle Double IPA comes out June 20 and should also last for a few weeks.

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