April 2001

(541) 757-1190

(541) 753-6538


The next meeting of the Heart of the Valley Homebrew Club will be Wednesday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Derek and Sarah Whiteside. Their address is 1510 SW Takena Street in Albany.

Directions: From Corvallis, take Hwy 20 east and follow it through downtown Albany. Take a right on 9th Street. Takena is about 8 blocks down; turn left, and continue 4 to 6 blocks. Their house is a blue and white jobber on the corner of 15th and Takena. Alternate directions: >From Corvallis, take Hwy 34 east until Oakville Road north (about 5 miles); there is a flashing yellow light at the intersection. Turn left, and drive about 5 miles into Albany. Oakville Road magically turns into Queen Avenue. Turn left on Takena (in front of the West Albany High School sign), and their house is one block down on the left hand side. (It is blue and white from this direction, too.) Derek says that if you don't want to drink beer out of a plastic cup, please bring your own glass. He and Sarah will provide some snacks.


Last month the club met at Corvallis Brewing Supply's new location in downtown Corvallis. I was unable to attend because I was grading Final Exams (one of the few times each year that I actually earn my salary). I was told that everyone who attended had a good time, and that there were no earth shattering issues discussed in the club's business meeting. Thank you, Joel, for hosting.

I can report that the last meeting of the Festival Planning Committee, held April 5 at the home of Mark Kowalski, was well attended (even I was there) and was very successful. Everything is falling into place and thanks to Mark and all the festival planners, I am confident that this year's Oregon Homebrew festival will be great. Be sure to check out Beto's cool festival website:

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PUB CRAWL from the notes of Don Darst, President of the Capitol Brewers

The Annual HOTV Pub Crawl was held on Saturday, March 18. Approximately 30 individuals participated, including several members of the Capitol Brewers, who were picked up in Salem. A keg of Anchor Steam Beer was the featured brew on the bus and various snacks were shared on the trip. The first stop was Gustav's in Clackamas. This is a nice, warm, and cozy German restaurant and bar featuring a full line-up of Northwest ales and European lagers. On tap were Helles, Pils, Bock, Maerzen, and Doppelbock from Spaten, along with Pilsner Urquel and Franziskaner Weizen. This year, like last year, Gustav's proved to be one of the most popular stops on the trip.

The next stop was the Hair of the Dog Brewery, which Don Darst aptly described as a warehouse with fermenters, mash tuns, pumps, and brewing equipment, all on a concrete floor. Hair of the Dog Owner Alan Sprints served Adam, Eve, Fred, Ed, and Golden Rose, plus some versions which had been aged in oak. This stop proved to be another one of the high points on the tour, and many club members purchased beer and souvenirs there. By arrangement, Lee Smith later returned to the brewery and purchased for club members several cases of uncarbonated (dead yeast) Fred, which the buyers are now lovingly restoring to consumable condition.

The "mystery stop" turned out to be the Bridgeport Ale House. The basic line-up of Bridgeport ales were available for sampling there, including Old Knucklehead Barely Wine.

The next stop was the Alameda Brewhouse, always of favorite of pub crawlers. Participants gave good reviews for the beers and the food. Among the brews was an intriguing Heather Ale. Pubcrawlers also enjoyed the Barley Wine at Alameda.

The last stop was the Portland Brewing Company, where the pub crawlers enjoyed a pitcher of Cream Stout among other delicacies.

Things got a little raucous on the ride home, but a splendid time was had by all. Thanks again to all those who planned and executed another successful HOTV pub crawl.

YEAST EXPERIMENT by Kendall Staggs

On April 2, eight HOTV members joined Jeff Clawson, the brewer at Oregon State University's Fermentation Studies Program, in brewing a large batch of beer for our yeast comparison experiment. As many of you know, this is the brainchild of our own Joel Rea. It featured a single beer batch that has been spit into 14 carboys, each fermented with a different White Labs yeast strain. The brewing went smoothly and, as of this writing, many of the beers are ready to be racked off to secondary fermentation. We are hoping to learn about the characteristics of each yeast strain from side-by-side comparisons, and engage in sensory analysis of the finished products. We hope to publish our results in Zymurgy magazine. Special thanks go out to Jeff and to OSU for all their help. For more information about the yeast experiment, contact Joel.


Here is the upcoming schedule of club-only homebrew competitions. I encourage you to brew one of these in time to enter it so our club can have some winners and tally some points.

Mid-May Category 17: Wheat Beers
Late August Pale Ales ("Best of Big Brew")
Mid-October Category 9: German Amber Lager ("Best of Fest")
Early December Category 24: Historical Beers


This is to remind all club members that we need lots of judges for the Oregon Homebrew Festival, which will be held Saturday, May 20, starting promptly at 9:30 a.m. If you are want to judge but lack experience, you are encouraged to attend the judge training session on Friday, May 19, at 7:00 p.m. I will offer some tips on beer judging and go over some of the dos and don'ts. Those of you who want to help the competition but do not feel like judging are invited to serve as stewards. Both of these jobs are important, and volunteer workers from our club are the keystone to a smooth, well-run competition. Please sign up soon!

by Kendall Staggs

I just received this news from our friends at Capitol Brewers. Doug Faynor, an accomplished homebrewer and the owner of Salem's Homebrew Heaven brewing supply store, won the national club-only lambic competition for his raspberry- boysenberry lambic. While we don't normally acknowledge the accomplishments of the members of other clubs, it is not often that a homebrewer from our area wins a national award. Besides, as many of you know, Doug is one of the true gentlemen in our hobby. Doug's award puts the Capitol Brewers in first place, with only the wheat beers to go in this cycle, for the annual AHA club-only national competition.


The March litter pick-up was greeted by an overcast, moderate temperature and, later, a touch of sunshine. Answering the call were Jim Cantey, Michael Villiardos, Dave Benson, Scott Caul (our infamous prez), Ron Hall, Mark Taratoot, Paul Jorgenson, and Lee Smith. We scavenged 24 bags of trash that had been marring the beauty of our stretch of Highway 20 and then retired to Hyack Park for the social hour. This was Paul Jorgenson's first time out and he can now bask in the warmth and satisfaction that comes with doing an important job well! Thanks, Paul.

As luck would have it, there remained a couple of gallons of Anchor Steam left over from the pub crawl. There was little point in leaving any of it and it is now history. Thanks to everyone who came out. Please remember, June is one of the best months to join in this rewarding club function.


On Saturday, April 1, the Strange Brew Homebrew Club hosted its annual Slurp and Burp Homebrew Competition in McMinnville. There were 323 entries in 27 categories. HOTV Club members won a total of 10 medals, including 5 first-place awards. Congratulations to Ingeborg Reed, John Sterner, Mark Kowalski, and Ron Hall for their medals. Special congratulations to Joel Rea for his first-place medals for Barley Wine and Soft Drinks. Finally, extra special congratulations to Dave Benson for first-place medals for English Bitter, India Pale Ale, and Wheat Beer. Ron Hall, Scott Leonard, and Kendall Staggs judged beers. John Sterner served as a Best-of-Show judge. Great job everyone.


Have you had any good beers lately? Here are some brief reviews of some brews that I have recently tasted. These were purchased at Portland's Burlingame Grocery.

EB Specjal Pils: Here is another one of the new wave of Polish beers that have recently become available in Oregon. This is a superior example of a Czech pilsner, with plenty of floral hop aroma and authentic pilsner malt flavor. I know I have been raving about Polish beers, but I can't help but recommend this one highly. I have asked the manager at Shop 'n' Go in Corvallis to stock this one. [4.5 percent abv]

Sinebrychoff Porter: This is easily the best beer I have ever had from Finland. All right, it is the only beer I have ever had from Finland. It is a very flavorful, very satisfying, strong brew. It is an excellent example of the style I call Baltic Porter (some other examples are from Sweden, Lithuania, and Poland). These beers are sweeter, more chocolatey, and smoother than Imperial Stouts, and they are bottom-fermented. [7.2 percent abv]

Saint Amand French Country Ale: The French are not known for their beers, and frankly, most French beer is not very good. But as some of you know, Bieres de Garde, brewed on the Channel coast very near the Belgian border, are exceptions. This is a good example of the style, with a deep copper color, an earthy, iron-like fragrance and rich, malty flavors. It is one of the better versions from Castelain, the brewer of most of the Bieres de Garde that are imported to the United States. [5.9 percent abv]

Ayinger Maibock: This old Bavarian specialty is familiar to many you. It is a favorite of mine, especially this time of year. It has a clean but rich German malt nose and palate, the perfect amount of noble hops for balance, and the thick mouth feel and evident alcohol of a classic bock. It is satisfying and almost dangerously drinkable, but I would not say that it has "suffigkeit" (see the Beer History article below for an explanation of "suffigkeit.")

If you plan on traveling to distant locales and want tips on what beers to bring back, please contact me. I offer generous rewards for beer hunters.


Beer and Lime Marinated Salmon

1/4 c           fresh lime juice   (save zest first)
                (2-3 limes)
1/3 c           beer
  3 TBS       soy sauce
1/2 TBS      minced fresh ginger root
  2               garlic cloves, minced
  1 TBS      minced onion
  l  TBS      brown sugar
  1 lb.         fresh  Atlantic salmon fillets
  l/4 c         very finely chopped bell peppers, any color
    l             very finely chopped jalapeno ( optional)
                  zest from the limes
                  freshly ground black pepper

Mix all for marinade--wipe salmon dry and put in zip lock bag--press all air out so marinade touches all fish. Place in refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.

Preheat oven, broiler, or barbecue. Remove salmon from marinade; discard marinade. Broil, grill, bake or barbecue). Cook about 3 minutes on each side for medium / rare, 5 minutes for well done.

Serve with finely diced peppers, lime zest, and pepper on top MAKES: 4 servings. High in Omega 3. oils.

© 1995-2009 HOTV

BEER HISTORY-- New Beer's Eve, April 7, 1933 from the Chicago Breweries Tour homepage

By 1932, National Prohibition was dying. The Volstead Act, which was supposed to enforce Prohibition, had proven to be an unpopular law that local law agencies enforced poorly or inconsistently. It had contributed to the growing power of organized crime, and had caused an entire generation of Americans to be raised with a casual disregard for the law. Probably no issue had done so much to divide the country since the Civil War. After some political maneuvering, the Democratic presidential candidate, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had declared himself an advocate for Repeal. The incumbent President, Herbert Hoover, however, had continued to support Prohibition until his last days in office.

The economic logic of Repeal was eloquently expressed by August A. Busch of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis. In 1931, Busch had issued a pamphlet titled "An Open Letter to the American People," and sent a copy to every U.S. senator and representative. Busch also took out ads in leading national magazines to explain his position on legalizing the production and sale of beer. With the country suffering record high unemployment in the middle of the Great Depression, Busch argued that the legalization of beer would put over one million people back to work, including farmers, railroad employees and even coal miners. In addition, the brewer argued, the federal government would save the $50 million a year it was then wasting through its feeble efforts to enforce Prohibition. The taxation of beer would also help the federal government recoup an estimated $500 million in revenues it had lost since the beginning of Prohibition.

The Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago was so sure of the legalization of beer that its faculty announced the resumption of their regular five-month training course for brewers in January 1933. The sweet smell of malt was in the air.

Support in the nation's capital for the reintroduction of 3.2 percent beer began with an opinion by Representative Beck of Pennsylvania that Congress already had the power to legalize beer and that the Supreme Court would more than likely uphold any favorable congressional action. After some political foot dragging, President-elect Roosevelt finally added his opinion to the debate, saying that he favored the 3.2 percent beer bill that now already pending in the Senate. The Senate continued negotiations on a bill to legalize beer and made no change to a proposal to tax beer at the rate of $5 per barrel, effectively acknowledging the eventual reinstitution of the legal brewing industry.

On February 15, 1933, the Senate took the debate even further when it voted 58 to 23 to begin formal consideration of a resolution proposing repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. Later that same day, the Senate passed its approval of the Blaine resolution, proposing repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. The issue was then passed on to the House of Representatives. When Speaker of the House John N. Garner heard of the quickness of the Senate's actions, he commented surprisingly, "The vote was better than most of us anticipated. We will pass the amendment here Monday--I should say, consider it." With a slip of the Speaker's tongue, there was little doubt on what the outcome of the vote in the House would be. On February 20, 1933, Congress passed the repeal of the National Prohibition Amendment and submitted its final approval to the states for ratification.

On March 13, 1933, President Roosevelt formally recommended to Congress that it approve a looser interpretation of the Volstead Act, which limited alcohol in beer to one-half of one percent. Finally, on March 21, 1933, the United States House of Representatives completed action on the Cullen-Harrison bill, permitting the resumption of the manufacture and sale of 3.2 percent beer and light wines in the states that had already repealed their dry laws. Roosevelt signed the bill on March 23. With a 15-day wait required after Roosevelt's signature, 3.2 percent beer would again be available on April 7 in the 19 wet states. Repeal advocates cheerfully anticipated that an additional 15 states would soon join these wet states.

As cities like Chicago prepared for the resumption of legal beer, local issues of home rule, licensing, taxation, and dispensing unfolded, especially after the wording of the congressional beer bill declared 3.2 percent beer as non-intoxicating, a legal technicality needed to nullify the alcoholic restrictions of the Volstead Act. With this ruling by Congress, Chicago's saloons would no longer hold domain over the retail sale of beer as they had done before Prohibition. As a "non-intoxicant," beer could now be available in such places as grocery stores and drug stores.

Chicago's breweries began a hiring spree of several hundred with promises of an additional hiring of one thousand more men and women by April 7, as the bottling of beer in Chicago began on March 25. At the Schoenhofen Brewing Company, two eight-hour shifts began a daily regime of filling 14,000 cases of beer a day. The politically connected Atlas Brewing Company, granted the first license to resume the brewing of real beer in the Northern District, including neighboring Milwaukee, began plans to bottle 20 to 25 thousand cases a day.

Realizing that he would probably never fill all their outstanding orders by April 7, even with a planned hiring of 200 to 300 more employees, Atlas President Charles Vopicka ordered outdoor posters to be printed for distribution throughout the city during the early morning hours of New Beer's Eve. Under a picture of a smiling Uncle Sam hoisting a beer, the posters asked for the indulgence of any customers who had not yet received their promised beer delivery.

At the Prima Brewing Company, management estimated that they would soon begin the bottling of over 3,000,000 bottles of beer a day. The brewery had recently been expanded to a 500,000 barrel capacity in anticipation of Repeal. Employees of the United States Brewing Company decorated the exterior of the plant with flags and bunting.

A picture of Franklin Roosevelt hung above the entrance of the brewery, edifying the man who represented Repeal to the grateful brewing industry. Coopers readied thousands of new wooden barrels, and bottlemakers prepared their glass containers for delivery to breweries. Fifteen hundred beer delivery trucks were prepped for the big night, supplemented by moving vans, milk wagons and coal trucks.

Federal inspectors started to make the rounds of Chicago's seven licensed breweries, measuring the aging tanks, also used for the computation of federal tax due. A final industry estimate, days before the resumption of beer in Chicago, figured that approximately 15,000 men and women had found new work in breweries and related industries in Chicago. A heady sense of festivity was settling over the city.

There was, however, a sobering note to all the gaiety at the breweries. District police captains quietly placed guards at all the breweries to discourage any possible attempts at hijacking when the trucks finally rolled out for deliveries.

WGN radio, anticipating the wild night ahead and the historical significance of it all, scheduled special programming throughout Thursday evening and Friday morning to broadcast from the Atlas Brewing Company at 21st and Blue Island. Radio personality Quinn Ryan was scheduled to give an on-site description of the beer manufacturing process straight through to the loading of the beer on to the waiting trucks ready for delivery. The brewery was preparing for delivery of 2001 barrels and 100,000 cases of beer to retailers on the first night. Additional off-site radio pickups from the Palmer House and the Blackhawk Restaurant would allow at home celebrants to join in Chicago's New Beer's Eve festivities.

Throughout the mix of confusion and anticipation, there seemed to be a sense of serenity coupled with the festivity of the upcoming big event. No one really anticipated any trouble. "Why shouldn't there be a little celebration?" one night club manager was quoted as saying. "Doesn't the country need to add a little gaiety to its gloom, and is there a better time than right after the legal restriction is first lifted to see whether 3.2 beer can be trusted to add to it?" State's Attorney Courtney added to the beery mellowness of the moment saying that he expected no trouble.

Jacob Ruppert, a prominent New York brewer and President of the United States Brewers' Association, was not so sure and recommended that Chicago's breweries delay their shipments until the late morning. The local brewers, however, cried that they would be swamped by back orders if they waited until morning and continued with their plans for a 12:01 a.m. delivery time.

In the days before beer sales were legalized, print advertisements for the Berghoff Brewing Company of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, reappeared in the Chicago Tribune. In a back handed reference to Milwaukee's Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, the Berghoff advertised its beer as "The Beer That Made Itself Famous." Long forgotten ads for Schoenhofen's "Good Old Edelweiss" also started popping up in Chicago papers. In a matter of days, the reputation of beer began to change in the city papers, from an Old World concoction or an intoxicating product of the "brewery interests"--as it was sinisterly portrayed in years past--to a refreshing family staple that Mom could now add to her weekly grocery list.

On Chicago's North Side, a new pretzel company opened to meet expected demand. Pretzels were becoming big business; one snack food plant manager described the industry's reaction to legal beer. "We are ready to turn out pretzels by the billion."

At 12:01 a.m., Friday, April 7, 1933, the drinking light was turned on in Chicago and legal, "democratic beer" was reintroduced to the public. With cheers for President Roosevelt ringing through the air, Prohibition agents and city police, supplemented with Brink's bank guards, escorted the brewery trucks as they left the plants and make their deliveries. To the delight of customers at hotels across the city, the beer was conveniently delivered cold from the brewery, saving the valuable time the pre-Prohibition retailer usually needed to ice it down.

After a beer or two, acting Mayor Corr stepped before the WGN microphone and hailed beer as a hope for prosperity. Atlas Brewing Company President Charles Vopika next came forward and proudly announced that the first case of bottled beer from his brewery was on its way by airplane to President Roosevelt in Washington, D.C.

Downtown, things were festive but controlled. In the alley behind the Bismarck Hotel, a throng of one thousand made it difficult for a beer delivery truck to make its first drop off of twenty barrels. When the truck finally backed into the loading dock, attendants quickly grabbed six barrels and rolled them in to the hotel for the thirsty celebrants. At the Brevoort Hotel, revelers still crowded the famous round bar at 5:00 a.m.

One of the most noticeable features of the downtown crowd was the large number of young women whom were joining in the celebration. Operators of the Brevoort Hotel and other "MEN ONLY" watering holes had prepared themselves for this intrusion. "What can we do about it?" bemoaned James Galbaugh of the Brevoort. "If the ladies insist on coming in--and I suppose they will--we can't put them out." Waving beer bottles or hoisting heavy steins, their appearances in bars and clubs were a far cry from the restrictive traditions of the pre-Prohibition era.

The principal areas of confusion and celebration were around the breweries themselves. In the streets adjacent to the breweries, cars were lined up, waiting to get to the loading docks for cases, half barrels or even the unwieldy 31-gallon barrels of beer. Some local breweries reported that delivery trucks were still waiting in line to be loaded with beer as late as 5:00 a.m. Police later confirmed that they spent most of their time trying to untangle the traffic jams around the breweries which began around 9:00 p.m. on April 6, having few other problems throughout the rest of the city.

By sunrise on April 7, the local breweries were still operating on a 24-hour basis, exhausting workers who were putting in double and triple shifts, trying to keep up with mounting back orders. Between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., frantic requests for beer tied up local phone lines, making it impossible to reach any of the breweries with additional orders.

In the afternoon on April 7, Chicagoans were treated for the first time to the sight of six, one-ton champion Clydesdale horses pulling a bright red Anheuser Busch beer wagon through the Loop. That same day another team of Clydesdales paid a visit to the New York City home of Al Smith, the former governor of New York who had run for President in 1932 and had campaigned vigorously for Repeal since the mid 1920s.

At the Bismarck Hotel, 20 barrels of fresh beer were emptied between 12:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. Perhaps overreacting to the initial rush, Bismarck Hotel officials announced later that morning that 50 barrels of beer would now be part of their normal inventory. By the evening of April 7 the Berghoff Hotel discovered that it had rolled out an unbelievable 81 barrels of beer since 12:01 a.m.

Even with the overwhelming demand, prices for beer remained stable. An eight-ounce glass was selling for ten cents; a twelve-ounce stein for ten to fifteen cents. Cases ran between $2.30 to $2.90. By the end of the second day of sales, however, questions were arising as to the quality of the legal brew. After years of drinking needle beer (0.5 percent alcohol near beer with a hypodermic injection of pure grain alcohol) with an alcoholic strength of around 7 percent, some neighborhood beer connoisseurs complained that the new beer did not quite have the taste or jolt of illegal brew, an opinion with which city officials agreed. Recently seized home brew, they noted, was always much stronger than the new legal limit of 3.2 percent alcohol allowable for the new commercial beers.

Dr. Robert Wahl, head of Chicago's Wahl Institute, explained that his laboratory was in the process of checking the new beer for taste, effervescence, and clarity. Because darker beers such as Kulmbacher or Munich Dunkels featured much higher alcohol rates, Wahl argued that Americans would have to be content with the pale, Pilsner-type beers. He noted that research was being conducted at the Institute to develop a dark, flavorful beer that would be under the legal alcoholic content of 3.2 percent by weight (4 percent by volume).

In developing such a beer, Wahl said how important it was for the beer to have what the Germans call "suffigkeit." A beer has "suffigkeit," explained Wahl, "when you can drink it all afternoon and still not have enough." Was this the beginning of "less filling, tastes great"?

Brewers William Faude of Schoenhofen and Charles Ellman of Atlas proclaimed their new beer better than pre-Prohibition brews. "Prohibition taught us how to make beer," Ellman argued. "When you are selling a beverage for its taste only, and not for a kick, you must strive for perfection."

Interestingly, federal authorities tested the new beers and found that none of them violated the 3.2 percent limit. In fact, most were well under it, averaging just 2.6 percent alcohol by weight. It is believed that the brewers were still using the old Prohibition formula for near beer. Why brew a full-bodied beer with choice ingredients, they apparently reasoned, only to have it watered down? This would explain how the brewers had hundreds of thousands of cases of beer ready for sale in such a short period of time. It also explains the police records, which showed that only 63 persons were charged with drunkenness on Saturday night in Chicago. This was about one-third of the normal arrest figures during a typical Prohibition-era weekend!


Within a year of New Beer's Day, new laws were passed permitting stronger beer to be brewed in Chicago and across America. But the damage had been done. Americans had effectively lost a taste for strong, flavorful beers. It would be another 50 years before the microbrewery revolution reintroduced Americans to a number of the styles that were available in the United States before Prohibition. Most Americans still don't know what good beer is. As the recent closing of the Saxer Brewing Company in Lake Oswego, Oregon, indicates, today's beer market remains precarious for the brewers of strong, dark, quality beers.

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