Daugherty Passion Project: Award-Winning Homebrew

Senior Consultant Mike Walters has had a long-standing passion for craft beer. His interest started small with homebrew kits and grew into a multi-barrel operation. He created the kind of beer he wanted to drink but couldn’t find in stores. Not only that, but his interest has led to him becoming a certified beer judge and creating award-winning brews.

When people begin homebrewing, way too often their friends tell them it tastes good because they’re friends and, well, who doesn’t want free beer? However, Mike wanted an objective opinion about the beers he began to make once he started branching out from the kits and into his own creations.

Along the way on the beer competition circuit, Mike learned a lot about the score sheets judges use in homebrew competitions. They look not only at a beer’s aroma and flavor but also its appearance, mouth feel, and overall impression. The score sheets help the brewer learn how to improve as well as what’s working well in their technique.

Over the years, Mike and his friends continued refining their brews, adding innovative flavors like raspberry puree to create a raspberry gose. Following their first-place finish at the 2021 Boil Rumble homebrewing competition, Mike and his friends traveled to Melvin Brewing in Alpine, Wyoming to work on a test batch of their recipe, with the full release of the beer scheduled for spring 2022.

Mike sees a lot of parallels between homebrewing and software engineering in that each requires testing to make sure what you hope to achieve and what you actually achieve are in sync.

For instance, in homebrewing it’s important to check the water pH and the original gravity (or the sugars that would be converted to alcohol during the fermentation process) in the water. In software engineering, testing along the way to make sure the code is valid is similar so that the outcome does what you expect.

Daugherty consultants are creative inside and outside of work, and Mike’s homebrewing success shows that applying out-of-the-box thinking is in the innate nature of our team.