Saturday, September 22, 2018

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Listen Up: Lazy Monk brings breweries together for craft Olympics

Event aims to expose people to new beers, brewers

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    Lazy Monk Brewery in Eau Claire on Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

    Staff photo by Dan Reiland
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Editor’s note: Listen Up is a Q&A featuring locals in the arts and culture community.

This week: Jenny Bertelsen, events manager for Lazy Monk Brewing, speaks about Brewery Olympics. The event will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the brewery, 97 W. Madison St.

What exactly is Brewery Olympics? 

It is a friendly competition among local Wisconsin breweries that features obstacles based on things one would do or use in a brewery.

What breweries are participating?

Bobtown Brewhouse (Roberts), Bloomer Brewing, Brewing Projeckt, Hop and Barrel Brewing Co. (Hudson), K Point Brewing, Lazy Monk Brewing, Modicum Brewing, Moonridge Brewing (Cornell), Northwoods Brew Pub (Osseo), Oliphant Brewing (Somerset), Sand Creek Brewing (Black River Falls), Swinging Bridge Brewing Co. (River Falls) and Zymurgy Brewing (Menomonie). 

What are some of the challenges teams will have to compete in? 

The competition will be a single-elimination obstacle course challenge in which teams must complete the following obstacles: Carry a 55 lb bag (two people carry) from one pallet to the next; carry a 20-foot hose in an upright position; put together Tri-Clamps; roll full size kegs back and forth from one point to the next; yeast pitch math; corn hole throw; and move spent grain barrels from one point to the next.

How did you come up with these challenges?

The whole idea of the Brewery Olympics and the challenges came about while our brewers were rolling kegs across the floor, and the idea kind of popped up, like “Hey, wouldn’t this be a fun relay idea?”

Why did Lazy Monk want to hold this event?

As small craft breweries, we are often so busy that we don’t have a lot of time to spend time with other breweries, so we thought this would be a great opportunity for all of us to gather, spend a little time together and have a little fun while we are at it.

What do you hope spectators get out of it? What about the other breweries?

Obviously, we are hoping our spectators and breweries will have some fun while cheering for their favorite team (or join in the fun and compete!). We have invited each brewery to bring a beer of their choice so our spectators and competitors will have a chance to try local brews from other areas. 

As far as the breweries go, we are hoping this event will help expand their base and promote their craft brewery to those who may not have heard of them or been to their place yet.

Besides watching the competition, what else will there be for spectators to do?

Lazy Monk prides itself on promoting camaraderie and an opportunity to socialize with strangers and leave as friends. 

But if talking over a tasty brew isn’t quite enough, we will also have the Hickory Kist BBQ food truck on site cooking up some tasty grilled chicken and barbecued ribs. 

Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor will also be here selling their delicious ice cream. 

Following the award ceremony, we will have live music in the Bier Hall featuring the amazing talents of Sue Orfield and Catya.

What are you most excited about?

I think the entire day is going to be fun and exciting. This is something new for us and for the area, and it is always amazing to collaborate and work with other local businesses, especially those in our field. 

I’m excited for the positive energy something like this brings and hoping the Lazy Monk team wins of course!

— Katy Macek


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