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A Beer Brewed by A Roman Catholic Priest Takes Home First Place in Ninkasi Awards


The beer was brewed following the Trappist tradition.

Father Jeff Poirot, of Fort Worth’s Holy Family Catholic Church has won the 2017 Ninkasi Award.[/tweetit] This accolade, provided by American Homebrewers Association, is considered the ultimate prize for best drink. The decision takes place at the yearly National Homebrew Competition. Beer has been considered by Catholics as a “healthful drink for mankind,” and this accolade takes this idea to a new level.

A Beer Brewed by A Roman Catholic Priest Takes Home First Place in Ninkasi Awards[/tweetthis]

The Ninkasi Award goes to the best brewer or brewers who earn the maximum number of points at the National Homebrew Competition held every year. The award gets its name from an ancient Sumerian goddess. The name is first found in a Sumerian poem dated back 3,900 years. It bore the name Hymn to Ninkasi. It was also the first beer recipe discovered in human history.

For Poirot and his partner Nick McCoy, techniques were borrowed from the brewing methods developed and subsequently followed by the Trappists, a Roman Catholic religious order of contemplative monastics who follow the rule of St. Benedict. Belgian monks perfected the technique during the Middle Ages. To cook a perfect brew, they went on trips to the few remaining Trappist monasteries and visited their breweries. The two visited Westvleteren, whose beer has been adjudged multiple times to be the world's best beer.

The beer brewed by the two devout Catholics was judged as the best of all the drinks submitted. Approximately the beer won out-competing 8,613 other beers submitted by competitors. The competition included 33 varieties of beers, ciders, and meads. The duo submitted their homemade elixir under the name “Draft Punk.” It is a tweak on the name of the music band Daft Punk. Their beer earned the apex position in strong Belgian category. It also won first place in Trappist Ale and the Specialty IPA categories. The National Homebrew Awards were held in Minneapolis. This is the third time Fr. Poirot and his partner McCoy have submitted their beers into this particular competition. Their winning beer was the Belgian Quadrupel. The flavors of the liquid drew its aroma from Trappist tradition.

For Friar Poirot, the winning moment was surreal. Both he and McCoy screamed with excitement after the winning. They were clearly elated with winning the award. The duo brews their drink in McCoy's garage located in Plano. McCoy is the owner of a printing company and works out of Dallas. Unlike other winners of National Homebrewing Competition, they will not open breweries or write books about brewing. Both are satisfied with their present careers. “This is a hobby and it’s a hobby I’ve done all right with. So I would never want it to eclipse what I do… because my role as a priest takes precedence,” Poirot said.


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