The Beer Nut: Winner of homebrewing contest has his beer made

Norman Miller

When Chuck Mryglot brews his beers at home, he usually makes a 10-gallon batch, but this past Sunday the winner of the first Beer Nut Homebrewing Contest created a whopping 300 gallons of his beer.

Working with Jon Curtis, head brewer at the Tap and Haverhill Brewery in Haverhill, Mass., Mryglot brewed his winning beer formula. The opportunity to make his beer there was the prize Mryglot received for winning the Aug. 22 Beer Nut contest.

"It went great," Mryglot said. "When I brew, I use a handful of hops, and he put buckets of hops in the beer. I don't use that much hops in two years."

Mryglot's Bavarian Weiss, a German-style wheat beer, won the Beer Nut Homebrewing Contest, beating out 56 other beers from homebrewers.

Once it's ready, which should be in about two to three weeks, Mryglot's winning beer will be on tap at the Horseshoe Pub in Hudson, Mass., which hosted the contest.

Curtis and Mryglot got together Sunday at the Haverhill Brewery for a five-hour brewing session that began at 7:30 a.m.

"Everything went very smoothly," Curtis said. "I had a good time, and he seemed to enjoy himself."

The brewing process was interesting, Mryglot said. He said he knew the steps to take, but seeing it on a much larger scale than what he can do at home, and so automated, was fascinating.

"With the automation he had, it was cool to see," Mryglot said. "He said, 'Bring boots if you've got them.' It's a good thing I had boots, because there was a lot of things that spilled around. He makes it look so easy."

Much of the brewing at the Haverhill Brewery takes place in the Tap, which is a brewpub, and below the building next to the Tap, which is where the Haverhill Brewery is located. The beer travels between the two places in a series of hoses.

The automation came in handy when they had to load the 330 pounds of grain into the mash tun, a kettle in which the grain is mashed so it can be converted into fermentable sugars.

"Luckily he's got the machinery to move all of those grains," Mryglot said.

However, he did have to help shovel out all of the spent grains, which will be sent to a local farm to feed animals.

The recipe is nearly the same as his homebrew formula, Mryglot said. The ratio of hops and malt used is the same, although some minor changes had to be made due to the efficiency of Haverhill's brewing system compared to Mryglot's homebrewing system.

The type of hops was also changed, but the flavor profile is similar. Mryglot said he brewed a batch at home since his winning beer used the different hop.

But, both Curtis and Mryglot are confident the beer will taste the same.

Curtis said he enjoyed the beermaking process, particularly since he got to brew something different.

"I've never done a hefeweizen, and I've done almost every other German style," he said.

Mryglot said he and Curtis exchanged a lot of information about beer during the brewing session.

"We talked a lot about recipes and things that you can change," he said. "It was really interesting to pick his brain and I think it was interesting for him because he never brewed this style before, and it's a style I brew quite a bit."

Norman Miller is a Daily News staff writer. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, e-mail or call 508-626-3823. Check out The Beer Nut blog at or follow the Beer Nut at his Twitter page at