British Columbia

Medical physicist with the BC Cancer Agency wins homebrewing competition

Derek Hyde of Kelowna works as a medical physicist with the BC Cancer Agency, but in his free time he brews beer at home— a hobby he does so well that he has won a competition to create a beer with a craft brewery in the Okanagan.

Derek Hyde will be teaming up with Bad Tattoo Brewery in Penticton to create a new beer for Canada Day

Derek Hyde won the competition with an Oktoberfest lager. "I did it in April but I still had a good three months lagering time and it was all temperature controlled so it’s just a really clean, dark lager." (Derek Hyde)

Derek Hyde of Kelowna works as a medical physicist with the BC Cancer Agency, but in his free time he brews beer at home— a hobby he does so well that he has won a competition to create a beer with a craft brewery in the Okanagan.

Hyde won a year-long amateur home brewing competition to work with Bad Tattoo Brewery in Penticton to brew an original seasonal beer for their label.

He won the competition with an Oktoberfest lager — a traditional German beer brewed in the spring and left to age over the summer, months before being tapped for the fall festival.

Began brewing after PhD

Hyde told Daybreak South host Chris Walker that they are still figuring out the details, but said the seasonal brew with Bad Tattoo will probably be a cherry wheat ale.

"I'm still bouncing emails back and forth with the head brewer working on the recipe," he said.

"It will probably be back sweetened with the cherry juice, so it will have lots and lots of cherry flavour."

Hyde said he began brewing his own beer after finishing his doctorate degree, because during his studies he tasted a friend's home brew and, "was surprised that it was among some of the best beer I tried."

Hyde has converted a cooler for use as a mash-lauter tun to brew his own beer. "I usually brew about 20 litres," he said. (Derek Hyde)

"So when I finished my PhD and finally had some time but not a lot of money — with a mountain of student debt — I started homebrewing."

He said that while there is plenty of information about home brewing online these days, he learned the craft a decade ago by doing what he knew best as a researcher: hitting the books.

"Before I even started I read probably close to a dozen books on it, and I've been doing it for over ten years now," he said, adding that he grows his own hops.

However, Canada Day won't be the first time Hyde has had one of his beers enjoyed by the public.

Recipe picked up

A couple of years ago a recipe he posted online was picked up by someone at Amsterdam Brewing in Toronto.

"He read the recipe and he said it was just like reading a menu, and said, 'Oh, I want to make that,'" Hyde said.

"So he contacted me and of course I was ecstatic that a brewer had contacted an amateur like myself.

"They brewed the beer and it won a Canadian Brewing Award, and they continued brewing it every spring for eight years."

Hyde said creating his own beer is time-consuming and though it is tempting to enter the industry professionally, he enjoys his day job and doesn't want to "ruin a good hobby."

"It really just is the craft that keeps me going."

With files from CBC's Daybreak South


To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Medical physicist in Kelowna wins homebrewing competition

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