By Kathryn Rice
Art, Rhythm and Brews is adding the opportunity for attendees to sample home brewed beers at the third annual event from 7 to 11 pm, Friday, May 18 on the square in Maryville.
Brett Chloupek and Mat Beu are bringing samples of their brews. Chloupek is bringing dunkelweissen, a dark wheat ale and a pale ale made from his own hops. Beu is bringing a Bavarian hefeweizen, a German style beer of a lighter color, a farmhouse ale, which is a clone of Spotted Cow and has corn for a sweeter taste, and an American blonde ale.
“I wanted to see if I could learn the process and make a drinkable beer,” Chloupek said about starting to home brew.
He looked at it as a cheaper alternative to store bought beer. It helped him connect with his Czech and German ancestors, as he grew up listening to stories about the early Nebraska settlers brewing their own beer.
“I like the do-it-yourself part of home brewing and making something that I consume,” he said. “You respect it more because you see all the work it takes to make it.”
Chloupek, a Northwest Missouri State University assistant professor of geography, has been a home brew aficionado for 10 years. He actually grows his own hops, a necessary ingredient in beer which gives it a bitter taste depending on the amount added.
This year, he has found two wild plants which he has transplanted to his yard. He explained the settlers would plant hops along the railroad lines. These would then become wild. He is excited to see how the local plants will differ from his greenhouse variety hops.
The hops are picked the third week of August. He promptly makes a batch with the fresh hops and vacuum seals the rest. These are usable for up to six months.
He explained that beers are seasonal. Winter beer styles include IPA, which are pale ales and farmhouse types and are stronger light ales similar to saison French ales and Belgian style beer. In summer he makes wheat beers.
In addition to hops, beer and ale must have special yeasts. These yeasts vary by the outcome desired, and ferment at different temperatures. Chloupek estimates that his ales have a five to 10 percent alcohol content.
There is a large craft brewing scene in Iowa and Beu picked up the bug from friends to begin brewing his own. He’s been brewing for the last three to four years. There is an Iowa Brewers Guild that promotes craft beers throughout the state. His friend, Jay Wilson, is the minister of Iowa Beer, and Beu is also a member of the Adams County Brew Crew.
Beu, the Maryville High School athletic director, has made his home in Maryville for the past few years. He’s also a Northwest graduate.
“Joy of cooking,” Beu said about the other reason he started home brewing. “I like to spend time in the kitchen. I grew up watching my mom and grandmother cook. They were very patient with me.”
The variety of ales, lagers and beers that can be made fascinates Beu. Then add in the historical references and science of making the craft beer and Beu was hooked.
“Brewing has been around for 10,000 years,” he said. “These techniques have been used in every culture.”
Art, Rhythm and Brews tickets are $30. Attendees must be 21 or older and bring a photo ID along with the ticket to the event.
Tickets are available for sale at Hy-Vee, Maryville City Hall, Nodaway News Leader, Minnie Lane, from individual MPAC members and at eventbrite.com. Extra charges apply to online purchases.