The Hammel Brew-Off
Where can you find a group of students drinking alcohol on a regular Tuesday afternoon? The Hammel Museum, on 6th St.
Profesor Pick’s American Leisure class spent a few weeks earlier this semester trying their hand at Prohibition era alcohol production, using only ingredients that would have been available during the time. Afterwards, they presented their concoctions to a team of judges at Socorro’s Hammel Museum. The competition was judged on flavor, presentation, history, process, and ingredients.
The Hammel Museum is the prime location for the Brew-Off because of its history as a brewery. The original brewery was opened by German immigrants, but was eventually put out of business by Prohibition. “The Hammel Museum is living history.” said Pick, who hosts the competition at the museum every semester.
This year, two of the judges at the Brew-Off were the owner, Frank Holloway, and brewer, Martin Ulloa, of Hollow Spirits Distillery in Albuquerque. “I was very impressed with their understanding of the chemistry and microbiology.” said Ulloa.
The winner of this semester’s competition was a tie between a honey mead and a blueberry mead. Both had exceptional flavor, but each had its own twist that motivated a tie. The honey mead was accompanied with a great presentation, and the blueberry mead was made with a process that even impressed a professional. “The way they cut through the sweetness with acid from lemon juice was genius.” said Ulloa.
The Hammel Brew-Off is a fun learning experience/cool excuse to sample alcohol, but it also brings humanities at Tech into the light. The Brew-Off, according to Pick, shows another side of Tech that could appeal to a wider audience.