THIS is the HOTV BREWSLETTER
VOLUME XX NUMBER 2
PRESIDENT: Scott Caul
NEWSLETTER EDITOR: Kendall Staggs
THIS MONTH'S MEETING
The next meeting of the Heart of the Valley Homebrew Club will be at the Oregon Trader Brewery. The OTB owner, Eugene, has confirmed that we may hold the meeting on these premises, and that it is legal to bring homebrew for consumption at the meeting. The brewery is located at 140 Hill Street, NE, in Albany.
Directions: From Corvallis via Highway 20, cross the bridge onto Ellsworth, then turn left at 2nd Street. Proceed until you cross a railroad track, then turn left at Hill Street (two blocks beyond the tracks). The brewery is two blocks ahead, at the corner of Water Street. There is plenty of parking diagonally across from the street. The brewery's telephone number is 928-1931.
SPECIAL MEETING: The festival committee, chaired by Mark Kowalski, will meet one hour before the regular HOTV gathering, at 6 p.m., at the Oregon Trader Brewery. Anyone interested in the festival committee's work is welcome to attend.
HIGHLIGHTS OF LAST MONTH'S MEETING:
Last month we met at the home of Jim Cantey and his wife Christine on West Hills Road in Corvallis. I wish to extend special thanks to them for their hospitality.
Amid the many fine brews sampled, Scott Caul called us to order and a few issues were discussed. Some additional competition responsibilities were assigned. The first meeting of the festival committee was arranged. There was a drawing for the stainless steel sink that Lee had acquired. We discussed if and when we would hold the summer picnic (did we finally set a date?). And we discussed the site for future festivals, agreeing that unless the cost goes up dramatically, we should continue to use the Benton Country fairgrounds.
In addition, there was a club-only barley wine taste-off, and even though I helped judge, I cannot remember who won (my apologies). Finally, Joel Rea offered samples from an experiment in evaluating brews from different yeast strains.
UPCOMING COMPETITIONS from Joel Rea
The entry forms for the Strangebrew Homebrew Club's annual competition, "Slurp and Burp," are now available at Corvallis Brewing Supply. The event will be April 1st (no fooling) and the drop-off date for entries at CBS will be March 28th. Direct questions to Ted Hausotter at 503-538-9501. I am certain that they need judges. The prize for Best of Show is a 15.5 gallon converted keg mash / lauter tun.
CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT from Helen Smith
Musica Antiqua will present a concert of 14th-century Pilgrim Music on the following dates: Friday, March 3, 7:30 p.m., at the Corvallis Arts Center, 7th and Madison Sunday, March 5, 3:00 p.m., at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 728 Ellsworth, Albany
Replicas of medieval instruments will be used, along with voices and percussion. Heart of the Valley-affiliated members participating in these performances are Helen Smith, Liz Yoon, and Jim Cantey. I hope you can make it.
CLUB-ONLY COMPETITIONS from Zymurgy
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.
Late March Category 20:
Lambic and Belgian-Style Sour Ale
Mid-May Category 17
Wheat Beers ("Weiss Is Nice")
Late August Pale Ales
("Best of Big Brew")
Mid-October Category 9:
German Amber Lager ("Best of Fest")
BJCP EXAM HIGHLIGHTS by Kendall Staggs
On Saturday, January 22, the Oregon Brew Crew sponsored a BJCP exam at the Lucky Labrador Brewpub in Portland. For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Beer Judge Certification Program promotes a greater understanding of beer styes and brewing processes, and helps assure that there will be quality judging at homebrew competitions. One does not need to hold a rank in the BJCP to be a qualified beer judge, but the BJCP's high standards insure that those who hold the rank will have strong credentials.
The exam is tough. It takes a full three hours and consists of ten essay questions (no dodging) and four interruptions to judge a beer (they tell you what style it is but not whether or not it is a commercial example or a homebrew). One of the questions on the last exam was "Describe in complete detail a recipe and brewing procedure for a German Weizenbier." One of the beers that was judged was Pilsner Urquell.
Fifteen people took the exam. Among them were HOTV members Ron Hall, Beto Zuniga, Scott Leonard, and Mike Bennett. All four indicated that they were confident that they passed. This was the result, they said, of a very helpful study group that met four times during the two weeks before the test to prepare people for the exam. I hosted the study sessions and provided some assistance, while Ron Hall served as instructor. On exam day I helped proctor and steward. This was a gratifying experience for me and I want to applaud the HOTV for its commitment to increasing the number of BJCP judges in the club.
COMMERCIAL BEER REVIEWS by Kendall Staggs
Have you had any good beers lately? Here are some brief reviews of some good ones that I have tasted recently. All were purchased at Burlingame Grocery in Portland, with the exception of Shipyard, which was purchased in New England.
Cantillon 1900 Grand Cru is a new product on the American market. It is something of a rarity: a straight lambic rather than the more common gueuze (blended) or one of the fruit-flavored varieties. It is also a good one: very tart, with plenty of characteristic barnyard odors and flavors. In other words, only the true lambic lovers need apply here. This is one beer style that I never try to talk people into liking, one either does, or one doesn't.
Alaskan Smoked Porter: This perennial favorite from the Last Frontier is a great porter, first and foremost, with a firm smokey aroma and flavor that nevertheless is not overpowering. It is definitely not an everyday beer, but it is still very good with certain foods, or on its own, as a winter specialty brew.
Shipyard Brown Ale: This is a good solid brown ale from an outstanding brewery in Maine. This beer is a closer to the English style than the hoppy American style so common among the West Coast breweries. The hop flavors and aromas are more subdued; a slightly roasted, chocolatey flavor dominates. Thanks, Dianna.
Wolaver's Brown Ale: Now this is an American brown ale. Hop aroma, flavor, and bitterness are very pronounced, in fact a little too pronounced for my tastes. I would have preferred a beer with more malt character and bigger body to go with all those hops. This beer is organically produced, and is brewed in Fort Bragg, California (North Coast Brewing Company).
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.
CLUES THAT YOUR HOMEBREWING HOBBY IS GETTING OUT OF HAND from the book, "Homebrewing for Dummies," forwarded by Mark Kowalski
1. You have more cooking utensils and gadgets than your spouse does.
2. You own the biggest cooking pot in the house (and no one else in the house can use it).
3. You have a spare refrigerator with nothing but brewing ingredient (and beer) in it.
4. You have the local homebrew supply shop on speed dial.
5. You have considered using hop oil as an aftershave or perfume.
6. Your friends stop bringing beer to your parties.
7. Your backyard garden has been taken over by hop plants (and you use spent grain for mulching).
8.Your Christmas and birthday gifts consist of nothing but homebrewing supplies.
9. Your spouse must plan the laundry schedule around your brewing schedule.
10. You have surfed the net looking for homebrewing "chat" rooms.
11. You plan your family vacations around brewery tours.
12. Your children think you brew beer for a living
13. You have awakened to the sound of bottles exploding.
14. You have had to wipe a mess off the ceiling.
15. Your house has been staked out by the FBI or the BATF.
How to evaluate the number of yes answers to the above:
1-5: You are still pretty normal
6-10: Start filling out that brewing school application.
10-15: Time for a second mortgage on the home and a FBI background check.