Prickly Pear Festival Includes A Superior Home-Brewing Class

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Superior- Another unique element of the Aug. 23 prickly pear culinary festival is a Saturday morning home-brewing class where participants learn to make a batch of IPA, infused with locally-harvested juice guaranteed to make the beer truly ‘Superior.’ Chandler resident Pete Rendek leads the morning workshop brewing up a five-gallon batch of prickly pear IPA (that’s an India Pale Ale, for all you wine drinkers). Better known as a flight instructor and coach of a popular series of photography workshops, Rendek has been home-brewing for a decade making craft ales, porters, and weissbiers. For each of the past four years he has incorporated prickly pear juice into an IPA recipe. Class participants will observe up-close the creation of his new batch of beer — have ample opportunity to ask questions — and get to sample a few of Pete’s homebrews during the workshop. The Saturday session is limited to 20 participants; pre-registration of $25 is required. To enroll have a credit card ready and call Porter’s Cafe at 520-689-5003.

Prickly pear beer?

“Yes!” says Rendek “I have found that prickly pear cactus fruit juice provides an elegant, soft melon/cucumber flavor to our beer. And the beer ends up being pink. Not brownish-red. Pink! The beer-making process is very similar to most beers, but at the end of the process of boiling the wort, we add a half gallon of prickly pear juice. Should be great fun, we’ll tailor the class to address both experienced brewers and people who have never brewed beer, but want to learn more. “Our workshop is ideal for anyone who has been wanting to take the plunge and begin brewing your own beer,” explains Rendek. “We’ll have the basic equipment on hand and will give a discussion of ingredients as well as different brewing styles, techniques, and the modest equipment needed.” Plus samples, of course.

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