Q&A With Brandon Danziger Winner of Cafe au ale 2014
Beers In Sac interviewed Brandon Danziger, winner of Cafe Au Ale 2014 (Coffee Beer Comp.) during Sacramento Coffee Week, and here's what he had to say.
This Q&A is brought to you by Brew Ferment Distill, the regional source for everything home-brew in the Nor-Cal area.
Q. How long have you been home brewing?
A. December will be one year. I started with a Mr Beer Kit and then started extract brewing. This beer was my 4th all grain.
Q. How many comps. have you entered?
A. This was my first competition.
Q. How did you get into home brewing?
A. My friend started brewing which got me thinking about it, then got the kit as a gift and started to do a lot of research online.
Q. What brewing system do you use?
A. I have a 8 1/2 gallon brew pot with the cooler system for my mash. I also have a freezer to temperature control the fermentation.
Q. Do you have a favorite home-brew shop?
A. Favorite beer shop is definitely BFD, always very helpful if I have questions and they offer substitute grains if they do not have what I’m looking for.
Q. What beers have you brewed?
A. I have brewed a Heifeweizen, Double IPA, 2 Pale Ales, a Bacon Amber Ale (was not very good). Also, a Blue Moon style beer for my wedding, which I handed out as party favors. The Coffee Vanilla Porter for the Cafe Au Ale competition. Currently, I have a Scottish Ale and Belgian Dubbel fermenting right now
Q. Tell me a little about your winning home-brew for Cafe Au Ale 2014?
A. The Cafe Au Ale brew was kind of on the fly. I heard about the comp. at BFD so I decided to give it a try. It was a pretty standard Porter recipe. I soaked the vanilla bean in whiskey for 3 days. Then added it to the secondary for 5 days. Soaked Old Soul Whiskey Dreams medium roast for the last 3 days.
Q. Do you plan on entering any other competitions soon?
A. I would love to enter in more competitions to get feedback from professionals about my beer and try to make it better from there critiques. I don’t have a competition planned since I don’t know a lot about which ones are coming up.
Q. Finally, what's your favorite beer and brewery?
A. My favorite brewery locally would be Rubicon and Track 7, I have also visited Lagunitas, Russian River and Bear Republic which I love as well. My favorite beer right now would be strong Scottish Ales, but its hard to pick just one. Depends on my mood and the weather.
Stay up to date on other home-brew competitions, sign up for our newsletter.