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Now for something completely different, via the Fort Worth Star Telegram:
It’s hard to maintain any preconceived notions about the priesthood after the Rev. Jeff Poirot of Fort Worth starts talking about his beer. Or at least about this specific priest. Sure, he’s thoughtful, soft-spoken yet authoritative, and plays the role of his buddies’ more reverent counterpart on his (few) off hours. But two weeks ago, the Roman Catholic priest won a national award for his brewing, not his preaching. That’s right. He and his brewing partner-in-suds, Plano resident Nick McCoy, celebrated winning the coveted Ninkasi Award, which is like winning the homebrewing world’s version of a James Beard Award, on June 17. The Ninkasi Award is given each year to the home brewer, or in this case brewers, who win the most points at the annual National Homebrew Competition across all 33 categories of beers, meads and ciders being judged. “It’s surreal,” said Poirot, 43, who serves as pastor at Holy Family Catholic Church in Fort Worth. “After we were done screaming from excitement when we won, it was hard to put it into words what winning the Ninkasi means to us.”The award is named for the ancient Sumerian goddess of beer. Some of the earliest evidence of beer in human society dates back to a 3,900-year-old Sumerian poem, titled “Hymn to Ninkasi,” which is basically the first recorded beer recipe in human history.But closer to Poirot’s brewing heart is the Trappist brewing tradition, which was started by Belgian monks in the Middle Ages. He and McCoy have taken what they call “bros trips” to several of the remaining Trappist monasteries and their breweries, including Westvleteren, whose Westvleteran 12 has earned the title of “world’s best beer.” The duo — who named their homebrewing outfit Draft Punk as a play on Poirot’s love for the music of electronic duo Daft Punk — won the 2017 Ninkasi Award with first-place entries in the Strong Belgian and Trappist Ale and the Specialty IPA categories at the National Homebrew Awards.
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