THIS is the HOTV BREWSLETTER
VOLUME XX, NUMBER 9
PRESIDENT: Scott Caul
NEWSLETTER EDITOR: Kendall Staggs
THIS MONTH'S MEETING
The Heart of the Valley Homebrew Club meets on the third Wednesday of
each month, alternating between Corvallis and Albany. Our next meeting
will be Wednesday, September 20, at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Scott and
Holly Leonard, 34121 Highway 99E, in Tangent. Parking is limited in
Scott's driveway and on the easement on the north side of his house, but
there are spaces across the highway in the McFarland School parking
lot. (Frogger for your life when crossing the road.)
>From Corvallis take Hwy 34 west. Exit on Tangent Road (Highway 99E) and
go north 1.5 miles. Scott's house is on the right (east) side of the
road, past the Goodyear store and the hay field next to it. From
Albany, take Highway 99E south past the Target distribution center. Look
for Scott's house between Earl's Oregon RV Appliance Repair and Merle's
Well Drilling. Ahhh, Tangent. The rest of the information is the same
as above. Scott's phone number is 791-3291.
HOTV HOMEBREWERS' PICNIC by Kendall Staggs
Our club held its annual Homebrewers' Picnic on Saturday, August 5, from
noon to 6:00 p.m. at Grand Prairie Park in Albany. A pleasant time was
had by all. There was lots of good beer and wonderful food, including
Lee's famous deep-fried Cajun turkey, roasted sweet corn, lots of
casseroles, veggies, chips, and dips, and several berry good desserts.
Activities for the kids included water balloon catapulting and pinata
bashing. Many of the adults forfeited their dignity by participating in
the dunk tank competition. More humiliating perhaps than going into the
water was the poor marksmanship shown by the softball throwers
(especially me). But it turned out to be good natured fun, and I found
that although getting dunked was rather shocking, being wet afterwards
was a nice way to stay cool on a hot summer afternoon.
It was great to see so many new faces and old faces, and to meet more of
our club members' families. Thanks to Scott Caul, Lee Smith, Sarah
Whiteside, and all the folks who worked to make the picnic a great
OKTOBERFEST BRAISED BEEF (OR LAMB) by Helen Smith
Chuck, thin-sliced steaks, browned, then oven cooked (WINTER DISH)
Serves 6 to 8
bacon fat or olive oil
3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch slices (s&p)
2 large onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, coarsely sliced
2 TBS flour after browning onions
3 cups of a good Oktoberfest beer
4 sprigs thyme or SAVORY ( l/2 tsp dry)
3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
3 bay leaves
Adjust rack to bottom third of oven, and heat to 325 degrees.
In a medium-large Dutch oven, add bacon fat
Season beef with salt and pepper and raise heat to medium high. Working
in batches, brown meat, 1 to 2 minutes per side. As each batch is
browned, transfer to a medium bowl; set aside. DO NOT CROWD OR IT WILL
Add onion and cook about 8 minutes till brown, add flour, stir, add the
rest, put meat back in with herbs and beer.
Bring to boil on stove, cover.
Transfer to 325 degrees oven and cook 2 hours. Adjust seasonings and thickness
I thicken mine with a beurre maniere--2 TBS butter and l TBS or so flour
mixed into a paste with a fork and whisked into the sauce.
OREGON BREWERS' FESTIVAL by Kendall Staggs
The 13th annual Oregon Brewers' Festival was held at Portland's Tom
McCall Waterfront Park from Friday, July 28, through Sunday, July 30.
Bravely, or foolishly, whichever way you look at it, I attended all
three sessions, and I had a super time. The total attendance for all
three days exceeded 80,000.
There were 72 featured craft brews available for sampling. As you might
expect, Oregon was well represented, along with breweries from
Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas,
Missouri, and Illinois. Among the highlights of this year's festival
were nine beers from Hawaii. My overall impression was there were some
really fun and tasty beers; some overhyped, not-so-great beers; some
very mediocre beers; and some surprisingly awful beers that would fail
to receive praise if offered as a beginner's homebrew at one of our
I personally did not sample any of the beers that we can get locally all
the time, so don't expect any Oregon beers on my Top Ten list. Here are
my picks for the best beers of the festival:
1 Millennium Madness, Belgian Tripel, Snoqualmie Falls Brewery,
This beer hit all the right notes for a Belgian Tripel, a tricky style
for an American microbrewery to get right. It was golden in color and
deceptively light in body. The spicy notes of an authentic Belgian
monastic ale were there, along with the alcohol punch. I talked to a
lot of people at the festival, and this beer was acclaimed by experts
and novices alike.
2 Wixa Weiss, German Weizenbier, Wynkoop Brewing, Denver
Light gold in color, big white head, cloudy to style. Tons of banana
notes and plenty of clove on the nose-the sign of real German Weizenbier
yeast. Smooth, wheat beer flavors; fruity; substantial body. This was
right on the mark for style, a good beer to accompany lunch, and one of
the best beers in the entire festival.
3 Honolulu Helles, Münchener Helles, Fish & Game Brewery, Honolulu
This was one of the pleasant surprises of the festival: an authentic
German lager from Hawaii. Bright gold color; very clear; thick white
head. German malt dominates the aroma, along with noble hops. A
slightly sulfury but not offensive aroma is present, characteristic of a
real German lager yeast strain. A smooth, biscuity malt flavor is
evident, and there was plenty of hops for balance. It finished clean
and crisp, and was very drinkable on a hot summer day. Very well
4 El Hefe, Weizenbock, Pinnacle Peak Brewing, Scottsdale, Arizona
A good Weizenbock, that hybrid of a style between a Hefeweizen and a
Bock. There were tons of fruity esters plus lots of clove in the nose,
and a solid, malty body. This was an extremely well-made beer. Its
only flaw was that it was a little too fruity.
5 Macadamia Nut Brown Ale, Brown Ale, Ali'i Brewing, Honolulu
Dark brown color with a cream-colored head. Surprisingly fruity (peach)
aroma, with some slightly roasty, chocolate malt notes. Chocolate malt
dominated the palate. There was also a hint of nutty flavors and slight
note of diacetyl. This was a good, solid Brown Ale. It was very
drinkable and refreshing, and one of my favorite beers at the festival.
It could have been featured more macadamia nuts and been even more
6 Gandy Dancer Honey Ale, Specialty Ale, Flossmoor Station, Flossmoor,
This was a delicious, substantial beer made with orange blossom honey
from the award-winning brewery in the train station in the Chicago
suburb where I went to high school. (There were certainly no brewpubs,
good or bad, there in the 1970s.) This sparkling, golden brew had
obvious honey notes, a pleasant hoppy nose, and a higher than average
alcohol level, but was still very drinkable on a hot day.
7 Lüvin, Belgian Dubbel, Bert Grant's Brewery, Yakima, Washington
This was another real surprise, especially given the sagging reputation
of the Bert Grant beers. This was an authentic Belgian Dubbel, from its
murky brown color to its extremely fruity nose and palate.
8 Longboard Lager, Bohemian Pilsner, Kona Brewing, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
A very drinkable Pilsner on a day that demanded a Pils. It had no
serious flaws, a good malt character, and crisp hop notes.
9 Fourth Anniversary IPA, India Pale Ale, Stone Brewing, San Marcos,
This beer was HUGE! A remarkably well balanced IPA considering how much
malt and hops were present. The aroma was very fruity, with telltale
hops. The flavor was dominated by sweet malt and hops, with a definite
alcohol punch in the mouthfeel. It would qualify as a Barleywine in
many circles, and I would have enjoyed it better by a fireplace on a
rainy winter night. From the folks who make Arrogant Bastard, another
big, hoppy beer.
10 Windigo Wild Rice Ale, Specialty Ale, Elysian, Seattle
Don't let the rice in the name turn you off. This was an extremely well
crafted, well balanced beer. Its relatively light body and soft malt
character were welcome on a hot day, especially given that many of the
beers seemed to me to be too big, too dark, or too hoppy for the season.
The overrated, but not terrible, beers included Widmer's Cherry Bomb, a
sweet and sour cherry-flavored Eisbock with a high level of fusal
alcohols; and Incinerator, a smoked Doppelbock from Rogue Ales that was
too much smoke and not enough Doppelbock for my tastes.
Some beers that were good but would have been better on a cooler day
included Procrastinator, a Doppelbock from the Bell Tower Brewhouse in
Vancouver; Moose Drool, a Brown Ale from Missoula, Montana; Decade IPA
from Seattle's Big Time Brewing Company; and Bully! Porter from the
Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City.
The beers I judged "undrinkable at any speed," were Buk Nakkid, an
alleged Weizenbock from Casey's Restaurant, Post Falls, Idaho; Celtic
Copper, an a so-called Scottish Ale from the Raccoon Lodge Brewpub in
Portland; Riverwest Stein Beer, an "Amber Lager" from the Lakefront
Brewery in Milwaukee, WI; Fairbanks Lager, an so-called Vienna from the
Silver Gulch Brewery in Fairbanks, Alaska; and Oud Bruin, an alleged
Belgian Red Ale from Rivermarket Brewing in Kansas City that simply
tasted like a spoiled homebrew.
There were many good beers, and despite what my top ten list seems to
indicate, most of the patrons were raving about the Oregon beers. I
have concluded that Oregon beers may not always be the very best, but as
a group, they are generally consistent and well-made. "Hipahipa"
("cheers" in Hawaiian) to all the HOTVers who were able to attend the
festival. Mark your calendars; next year's festival is only ten months
Finally, special thanks to Scott Leonard for accompanying me to the
festival and offering his input on many of the beer reviews.
MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK ROLLERS? (Reuters) August 19, 2001, Munich
[from Dianna Fisher]
A Bavarian court has imposed a three-month driving ban on a man who was
arrested drunk while using his motorized wheelchair. The court in
Munich said that the ban applied to both his wheelchair and any other
vehicle. It also gave the defendant a two-month suspended jail
The man was caught using his electric wheelchair while three times over
the legal blood-alcohol limit. The court rejected the defense's plea
that the motorized wheelchair did not qualify as a vehicle in a legal
CLUB-ONLY COMPETITIONS by Kendall Staggs (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.
Mid-October Category 9:
German Amber Lager ("Best of Fest")
Early December Category 24:
[example: pre-Prohibition lager]
READING ABOUT BEER by Kendall Staggs
I have a recommendation for those of you who like to read about beer (or
just look at pictures of good beer). Stephen Beaumont's "Premium Beer
Drinker's Guide: The World's Strongest, Boldest, and Most Unusual
Beers" is a handsome, 224-page softbound book ($25) that contains a
wealth of information and is very attractively packaged. Beaumont, who
is the author of several beer books, numerous articles in Malt Advocate
and other magazines, and the on-line source, Stephen Beaumont's World of
Beer (www.worldofbeer.com), profiles more than 60 brands representing
over 30 styles including Doppelbocks, Abbey style beers, Barleywines,
Scotch Ales, and exotic brews in his latest work. No matter what your
beer expertise level is, this book will inform and intrigue you.
HAS THE GOOD BEER REVOLUTION COME TO AN END? adopted from an editorial
by Tom Dalldorf, Celebrator Beer News, August / September, 2001
Recently the Associated Press ran an article entitled, "Specialty Beer
Market Fizzles." A caption under the photo of David Geary, owner of the
D.L. Geary Brewing Company of Maine, read "A few years ago connoisseurs
thought small breweries and their tasty ales, pilsners, and stouts were
going to turn the beer industry on its ear. But the demand for those
specialty beers has never fulfilled expectations."
Tom Dalldorf, the editor of Celebrator Beer News, asked, "Whose
expectations?" The most optimistic promoters of craft beers never
expected the small breweries who turn out these products to make a
serious dent in the market shares of the megabrewers: Anheuser-Busch,
Miller, and Coors. It would also have been very naÏve to have believed
that none of the craft breweries and brewpubs that were started in the
last 20 years would fail. In Oregon we have recently seen the closings
of Nor'Wester, Saxer, and the once mighty megabrewer, Blitz-Weinhard.
Amid all the stories of the demise of the craft brewers, some hard
numbers emerge from the May / June, 2001 issue of The New Brewer. Eight
of the top 20 craft brewers experienced double digit sales growth in
1999, including New Belgium (+41%), Mendicino (+31%), and Gordon Biersch
(+30%). Among the other top 20 craft brewers which experienced
significant sales growth in 1999 were Sierra Nevada, Widmer, Pyramid,
Deschutes, Alaskan, Portland Brewing, and Goose Island of Chicago. D.L.
Geary, incidentally, increased its sales in 1999 by 5%.
"The specialty beer industry is here to stay," Dalldorf says. "The
tremendous growth in the late 1980s and early 1990s plateaued in the
late 1990s." He went on to predict "continued prosperity for companies
with great products, consistent and focused marketing, and solid
distribution." "Our job," Dalldorf says, "should we chose to accept it,
is to support these fine producers with our purchases and by
evangelizing the good beer movement to everyone we know. Friends don't
let friends drink boring beer."
BEER IN A PILL? by Adam Marcus, HealthSCOUT on-line magazine [from Scott
It's news that would make Homer Simpson say "Doe!" One of the chief
ingredients in beer apparently helps guard against heart problems,
cancer, and even Alzheimer's disease. But there's a catch (of course).
The molecule is so rare that a person would have to drink about 120
gallons of beer-or roughly 1300 12-ounce bottles-every day to reap the
A more likely option (and, obviously, a more survivable one) would be to
distill the compound-a high-test anti-oxidant-into a pill that people
could take as a supplement, the researchers say. A report on their
findings appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Agricultural and
Food Chemistry, a publication of the American Chemical Society.
Scientists recently learned that beer, particularly lagers, have
anti-oxidant molecules. Hops, the herb that gives beer its main flavor,
has a number of these chemicals. One of them, xanthohumol (pronounced
zan-tho-HUGH-mol), had been shown in previous studies to possess
cancer-fighting properties, at least in the lab.
That work suggested that the molecule was a strong anti-oxidant, too,
says Donald Buhler, an Oregon State University biochemist who helped
discover xanthohumol's anti-cancer effects. So, in the latest study,
Buhler and his colleagues isolated a number of anti-oxidants in hops and
tested how well they prevented the oxidation of human low-density
lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol.
The researchers found that xanthohumol is six times more powerful an
anti-oxidant than those found in citrus fruits, and four times stronger
than those in soy foods. And when paired with vitamin E, another
anti-oxidant, xanthohumol becomes even more potent, they say, preventing
the oxidation of LDL, which is known as "bad" cholesterol.
Xanthohumol, which belongs to a family of compounds called flavonoids,
proved to be even better at protecting LDL against oxygen damage than
the anti-oxidants in green tea and red wine, each of which has been
touted for its protective powers.
"It's certainly one of the most active" anti-oxidants, at least for LDL
cholesterol, Buhler says. Other molecules might fare better in different
tests, he says. Anti-oxidants have a knack for doing great work in the
lab and in animals, but failing in studies of people.
But Cristobal Miranda, who's also an Oregon State biochemist and
co-author of the study, says additional work by his group has shown that
xanthohumol appears to be absorbed well by the body-suggesting, he says,
that it will have clinical benefit. It also breaks down into two more
anti-oxidants, multiplying its protective potential, Miranda says.
The problem, Buhler says, is that xanthohumol is such a small component
of hops that it doesn't make sense to rely on beer to get it. It would
be better, he says, to increase the xanthohumol content of hops,
presumably through selective breeding or genetic engineering, or to make
a non-alcoholic brew that's rich in the compound. But the best method
in Buhler's mind would be to synthesize the molecule into a pill. "And
if you want to drink a little beer with it, that's fine," he says.
DOWNING A BEER IN A PUBLIC TOILET by Jess Smee (Reuters) July 24, 2001,
Halifax, England [from Dianna Fisher]
Downing a pint of beer in a public toilet is not everyone's idea of a
night out, but in Halifax, Britain's pub capital, an ex-lavatory is
pulling in the drinkers. The northern town overflows with more pubs per
house than anywhere else in the country. Among its drinking houses is a
converted bank, a cinema, and an underground public lavatory.
"It's a great haunt," one Halifax drinker said standing by the dark
steps people used to descend for relief rather than refreshment. "It
gets a bit packed, but apart from the entrance you'd never think of it
as a public toilet." The bar, called W.C.s when it opened, became
Number 15 after a management change. Around the corner, Coiners, a
former bank, is another local favorite.
PubSpeak and The Real Ale Paper, are two pub newspapers, designed to
keep drinkers up to date. The local paper, The Evening Courier, even
boasts its own pub correspondent. "It's a classic pub town," said
Steven Fletcher, who covers news from the bars. With one pub for every
331 houses, twice the national average, Halifax tops the national list.
At the dry end of the spectrum, Sutton in southern England has one pub
for 17,000 dwellings.
Over in a more traditional public house, The Brass Cat, amid lingering
smoke, the landlord said business is booming despite stiff competition.
"It's not just locals," the stocky patron said, pulling a pint of
Tetley's, a bitter brewed in nearby Leeds. "People come in from all
around. The bars are in a tiny area and people like to stagger from one
But the city, formerly awash with breweries, has seen taste for real ale
decline with the industry. Now Halifax's party-seeking drinkers prefer
to sip lager, according to Nick Laub, manager of the colorful Bar
Centro. "Real ales are my worst seller," he said, adding that
Friday-night revelers wash down an average 3500 pints of lager in his
Even during a mid-week lunchtime, drinkers of all ages chatted in the
well-lit building which formerly sold electrical appliances. "I aim for
a nice airy feel that doesn't offend anyone," Laub said, speaking over
the gentle pop music.
Along with a dozen bars Bar Centro skirts Bull Green roundabout,
otherwise known as the Booze Ring. One reveler, bedecked in a shirt
with the Red Stripe lager logo, said Halifax was the epicenter of
drinking. "I'd never go any where else," he said.
But letters to the local paper call for town councilors to put an end to
the alcoholic haze. The move to turn the ornate old co-operative store
into another bar was the last straw for Sarah Bates. "We don't want any
more pubs," she said in a letter to the Evening Courier. "It's
embarrassing to say this is your home town." But pub correspondent
Steven Fletcher said the trend was here to stay. "Pubs and bars get jam
packed. There's too much demand to dampen the party."
MASSACHUSETTS BOWLING BAN from Zymurgy, July / August 2001
While most of us consider beer drinking as compatible with bowling as it
is with golf, darts, or horseshoes, Massachusetts bowlers have long been
denied this seemingly God-given right-in 1962, a ban went into effect
making it illegal to drink beer in bowling alleys. The idea was to keep
the institution of the bowling alley family oriented (so that kids
couldn't quaff your brew while you pondered that seven-ten split). You
could still enjoy a cold one in the lounge area, but apparently any
alcohol leaving those designation drinking locations was forbidden.
Soon, however, beer may find its way back to the lanes. Both houses of
the Massachusetts State Legislature have passed a bill legalizing the
consumption of alcohol in bowling alleys. The governor is expected to
sign the bill. [Editor's note: I cannot imagine bowling without
drinking beer. I did not think it was possible.]
© 1995-2009 HOTV