Beer enthusiasts gather in Danielson for Harmonies and Hops

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Danielson - posted Mon., May. 6, 2013
(L to r) Joanne Hebert, Ray, Tim and Sue Levesque, and Jeanne Bonin sampled many of the craft brews on hand at Harmonies and Hops. Photos by D. Coffey.
(L to r) Joanne Hebert, Ray, Tim and Sue Levesque, and Jeanne Bonin sampled many of the craft brews on hand at Harmonies and Hops. Photos by D. Coffey.

Craft beer fans showed up in throngs for the second annual Harmonies and Hops event in Danielson on May 4. Fifteen craft breweries set up booths behind Danielson Adventure Sports and offered samples to ticket holders. The smorgasbord included pale, dark and seasonal ales.

Tim Levesque was there with fellow members of the Quiet Corner Home Brew Club. The 31-year-old has been brewing beer for almost four years. “It's a living art form,” Levesque said. “You can do anything you want with it.” Different malts, hops and yeast give rise to different smells, tastes and looks, he said.

Levesque and his brew club mates talk shop during their monthly meetings. “We bring home brews if we have them,” he said. “We do taste tests and talk about different brewing techniques and the different ingredients we use in our brews.”

“A lot of places are set in their ways,” Levesque said, “whereas the nature of America is a melting pot. I'll use malts from Germany, yeast from Belgium, hops from the Northwest. It's something I think about. The beauty of home brewing is I can make something that I can't get in stores. I can make it from my own head.”

Levesque's enthusiasm for home brewing has extended out in family circles. His aunt Joanne credited him with turning her allegiance from wine to beer. His mother, Sue, said that when she has beer now, she doesn't just drink it: she'll smell it, taste it and try to figure out what ingredients are in it. His dad, Ray, now grows hops in a portion of the front lawn.

The crowd was an indication of the popularity of the growing trend in home brewing. Organizer Don Dauphinais was proud of the collection of beer enthusiasts. “One of the goals of this event was to draw in people from outside the area,” he said.

The taste testing went on to the accompaniment of live music. A quartet of judges tested more than 50 submissions in the home brew contest. Levesque, who entered his Imperial Stout in the competition, walked away with an award in the dark ale category.


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