This is the HOTV Brewsletter
August 2001

Derek Whiteside
(541) 791-5083
Scott Leonard
Kendall Staggs
(541) 753-6538

from Derek Whiteside

The Heart of the Valley Homebrew Club meets on the third Wednesday of each month, alternating between Corvallis and Albany. Instead of our regular meeting, we will be holding out annual club picnic on Saturday, August 18th, from 12:00 to 6:00 at the Maple Grove Shelter in Avery Park in Corvallis.

Directions to Avery Park: Avery Park is in the southern part of Corvallis, between Highway 99 and 20/34. From 20/34, turn south(ish) on 15th street; take the 1st right, and look for the signs for the shelter. From 99, you can turn right on Avery Avenue, turn right on Allen Street, and follow the road around the edge of the park until you see the signs for Maple Grove Shelter.

The picnic should be lots of fun. Lee will be deep frying some of his Cajun-style turkeys; Scott Caul and Jerry will be grilling corn and sausages; and there will no doubt be plenty of beer on hand. There will be lots of other food, too, including vegetarian options. Mare Goeger has graciously volunteered to coordinate the pot-luck aspect of the picnic, so be prepared to comply with her requests for participation.

Kids are welcome and encouraged, as are guests. If you know someone who is interested in beermaking, this would be a great opportunity to bring them along! (Note: your guests need not be aspiring brewers.)

If you have any portable chairs, please bring them. If you'd like to help out in some way, send me and email ( and I'm sure we can find something for you to do.

Jerry Malloy is going to donate some special beers from Stone Brewery near San Diego for a raffle. Perhaps we could raffle off some other cool beers or beer stuff as well. If you have ideas (or would like to donate homebrew, commercial brew, or something else, please let me know. Bring Frisbees, balls, squirtguns, or any other favored park-type devices. We hope to see you there.

[Editor's Note: At the picnic I plan to conduct a horizontal taste test of six commercial examples of Belgian Witbiers. I need about seven participants to contribute $6 apiece to cover my costs. It should be fun.]

by Kendall Staggs

Last month we had a great time at the home of Ron Hall and Jenny Miller, north of Corvallis. The turnout was a little sparse¸lots of things are going on during the summer. We talked about the upcoming picnic, the summer beer festivals in Portland, and how many Doppelbocks the Fox and Firkin should have on tap. Thanks again, Ron and Jenny.

by Lee Smith

For the third consecutive year, Heart of the Valley Homebrewers has contributed $100 to this worthy fund. It was established by the Oregon Brew Crew to honor the memory of long-time member Bob McCracken. Bob was

deeply involved in club activities and was a skilled and innovative brewer. He was always a strong supporter of our annual competition and often would drive down from Portland to deliver his club entries.

Bob Farrell, the current OBC president, has acknowledged our latest contribution: "On behalf of the Oregon Brew Crew, thanks to members of the Heart of the Valley Homebrew Club for your generous donation. Last year we were able to award two $500 scholarships."

from Beto Zuniga

Forecasters, located in Redhook's new brewery facility in Woodinville, is more like a ski lodge than a hospitality house. It has on tap all of Redhook's product line (Red Hook ESB, Ballard Bitter, Redhook IPA, Wheathook, Red Hook Rye, Blackhook Porter, and Coffee Stout) with typical pub grub. When we were there, there was a Microsoft function so a lot of the tables were taken over by young professional types. The beer I had was actually quite tasty: Redhook Chinook is much better than the commercial ESB. Woodinville is in on the east side of Lake Washington, north of most of the burb towns. The new brewery is large and spacious.

The Pyramid Alehouse is across the street from Safeco Field. So on game days it is best to avoid it because the Mariners are hot this season. The Pyramid Alehouse has about 14 beers on tap, featuring the Pyramid Ales and Thomas Kemper Lagers product lines. Pyramid Wheaten Ale, Hefeweizen, IPA, ESB, Draught Pale Ale, Amber, Best Brown, and Porter, are there, along with some golden lagers, and fruit-flavored beers (Thomas Kemper's Weizenberry and Pyramid Apricot Ale.) There are also a couple of hoppy summer beers: Pyramid Sunfest and Thomas Kemper Viking Fest Summer Lager. This Pyramid Alehouse is much smaller than the one in Berkeley. The food is typical pub grub fare.

I had a special visit from the Vice President of HOTV Monday, July 2. Scott Leonard was in town so we met at Elysian Brewpub in Capital Hill. We all had the featured brew "BÉte Blanche," (white beast) Elysian's Belgian Tripel. The brewers use 100 percent Pils malt, Northern Brewer, Saaz, and Styrian Goldings hops, Turbanado sugar, and two kinds of yeast, a domestic strain and a Belgian strain. The starting gravity is 1.075 and the alcohol strength is 7.4 by volume. A few rounds of other brews were had by all, and we had a fun visit. It's always good with good friends and good beer!

from Joel Rea

Enterprise is a long ways away just to go visit a brewery. That is why I considered the Terminal Gravity Brewery to be a bonus when Liz and I took a recent road trip over to the NE corner of our great state to take a gander at the Wallowa mountains. The trip itself is worth every mile because the scenery up through the Colombia River Gorge is fantastic! And then there are all of those little towns, such as "Imbler," "Elgin," "Echo," "Huntington," "Granite," and "Sumpter" that never cease to amaze me. How and why they exist today is a mystery--the populations of those towns in the late 19th century were considerably larger. Enough rambling. My point is the drive is worth it just for the sheer beauty of Wallowa county.

If you do head over with the intention of visiting the Terminal Gravity Brewery, just remember that it is closed Monday and Tuesday, which is precisely the days when we were there. OK, so just what kind of a report is this? Well, in Corvallis we have been privy to just the TG IPA and TG Stout. I did have a couple of other TG beers in a nice little bar in Joseph. After a long day of climbing around the foothills of the Wallowas a cold Terminal Gravity Blond sure went down easily. In TG fashion the Blond is a bit hoppier than maybe what we think a Blond ought to be, but it was crisp and refreshing with a pleasant, but very slight, malt character nicely packaged in the middle of the initial and lingering hop character.

They also had a beer which I could not resist trying: a Tripel. In typical TG fashion it was also too hoppy. I did not care a lot for the beer because is was too murky and yeasty for my taste. Although it had a fairly high alcohol content, it was not a sharp and it had a noticeable bite. The malt character was just a little bit too forward for my notion of a Tripel and it could have used the assistance of more adjunct sugars. The brewery also has a Rye Ale, but it was not on line at this particular bar. I might drive back just to give it try!

Even though the brewery was closed, I just couldn't resist taking a peek, so on our way out of town early Tuesday morning we drove on down to the brewery. The brewpub looks like a heap of a lot of fun. It is an old farmhouse, with the brewery in an adjacent building, and the compound is secluded with surrounding apple trees. There is a nice covered porch for eating and drinking, with volleyball courts and horseshoe pits. I am sure the locals have a wonderful gatherings for watching the tourists drive on home.

If you are looking for breweries to visit in Eastern Oregon, there is Full Sail and Big Horse in Hood River, Terminal Gravity in Enterprise, a brewery in Baker City and the great High Lakes Brewpub in Redmond - not bad little loop. Just call before you go to see if they will be open!

by Kendall Staggs

Beer Appreciation Classes are underway. The next class, featuring British Ales (Bluebird Bitter, Old Peculier, and other award-winning brews), will be Friday, August 3, at 7:00 p.m., at the Bagel Sphere, 2027 NW Monroe Avenue, Corvallis. The cost is $25 per person. We will serve eight delicious beers, plus fresh-baked bagels and cheeses. It should be lots of fun.

Upcoming classes will feature Belgian Exotic Ales (Rodenbach, Liefmans, Kwak, The Mad Bitch, and others) on August 17, and European Pilseners on

August 31. For more information, please call me at 753-6538 or email

from Scott Leonard

July 16 (HealthScoutNews) Why do Germans sing when they drink beer? It could be they are celebrating their good health. German scientists say Teutons who drink only or mostly beer get even more heart and vessel protection than those who prefer wine. The researchers note, however, that it is the amount--not the kind--of alcohol consumed that protects the heart, apparently by improving the blood's balance of blood fats and by reducing its tendency to clot.

The study was done by Dr. Wolfgang Koenig, a cardiologist at the University of Ulm, and appears in this month's issue of the journal Epidemiology. Koenig and his colleagues compared alcohol consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in nearly 800 men and women, about a third of whom had established heart and vessel problems. Fifty-four percent of drinkers said they mixed their liquids, consuming in the process an average of 166 grams of alcohol per week, or about the equivalent of two beers, or two five-ounce glasses of wine or 2Ş ounces of hard liquor, per day. Beer-only drinkers were mostly men, and they consumed an average of 125 grams of alcohol a week, or roughly a pint a day--about 2.5 times more alcohol than wine drinkers, who tended to be women.

Koenig's group also took blood samples from the subjects and found that alcohol drinkers had higher levels of HDL cholesterol, a protective form of blood fat, as well as lower levels of fibrinogen, a protein that promotes blood clots. Regular drinkers also had elevated levels of other molecules that prevent clotting and stickiness of blood cells called platelets, all of which could help explain why their risk of heart disease was lower than non-drinkers. "We speculate that fibrinogen and other markers of clotting and inflammation are the mediators of the effect," says Koenig. "It seems that it is not related to any specific type of alcohol, but rather the amount that is consumed."

Dr. Harvey Finkel, a clinical professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine who studies the salubrious effects of alcohol on the heart, says other research suggests that half of drinking's cardiac benefits come from the alcohol itself. The rest may depend on constituents in drinks, such as the antioxidants that are found in red wine, for example. Beer, too, appears to have powerful oxygen-mopping molecules, though at much lower levels than wine.

In an editorial accompanying the journal article, Harvard nutrition researcher Dr. Eric Rimm writes that "at least half" of alcohol's protective effects on cardiovascular health are attributable to its ability to boost HDL, while another 20 percent to 30 percent can be ascribed to its anti-clotting properties. The rest is a mystery. "We have found that diet and related lifestyle factors [such as smoking] may confound the association between beverage choice and coronary heart disease and, in some cases, strongly modify the benefits attributed to moderate alcohol consumption," Rimm writes.

by Kendall Staggs

In its August issue Consumer Reports magazine had the following cover story: "Best Beers: Ratings of 54 brews." The purpose of the article was to help consumers make more informed beer purchases. For many of us beer snobs, the article is useful only for demonstrating how limited most people's knowledge of beer is. One can only wonder who the "panel of experts" were.

The article begins accurately enough, noting that four out of every five beers sold in the United States are brewed by Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Coors. It then says that "the only serious challengers to the Big Three are imports, whose market share has more than doubled since 1993." Then it then says that "Imports are luring a well-educated, well-to-do crowd that a few years ago was quaffing beer from microbreweries, many of which have closed." The implication is that microbrews were a fad, and that they can be dismissed as unworthy of discussion. The article concludes that imports are generally overrated and overpriced, and that most American beer drinkers would be better off sticking to inexpensive macrobrews.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the article: "Lagers and ales are often distinguished by the type of yeast. Ales are usually brewed with a yeast that floats on the surface of the fermentation tanks." "Beer aficionados wax eloquent about ╬hoppiness' and ╬wortiness,' but you may not wish to venture that far into matters of taste." "Bock beer can be sweet or dry, with toasted, chocolate, or nutty flavors. Doppelbock is generally stronger, with a bit more alcohol." "The last time we rated beers [1996] we tasted microbrewed beer, but because microbreweries are on the wane, this time we tasted none." "Nearly half the beers tasted [including such beers as Michelob and Red Wolf] rated Very Good or Excellent."

The best overall buy, according to Consumer Reports, is Stroh's, because it costs only $2.90 per six pack. It was described as having "complex flavors, including light floral, fruity, and dry hop." It was also described as "lighter in body than most," and was "tested only in cans." The best tasting beer overall was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, the only beer to rate 100 points in the reviewers' scoring system. It beat out Samuel Adams Boston Ale, Pete's Wicked Ale, Anchor Steam, and Redhook ESB in the Ales category. The top three imported lagers, each earning "Very Good" ratings, were Heineken, Kirin Lager, and Foster's Lager.

from Chris Crawford, former member of the Capitol Brewers, now a resident of the Miami area.

Due to increasing product liability litigation, American beer brewers have been trying to figure out how to comply with the FDA's suggestion that they immediately place more extensive warning labels on all beer containers. The problem has been that in order to fit on current label sizes, the print would have to be too small to read. Since the new Florida bottle bill will now allow the sale of larger size containers, we can look forward to one or more of the following warnings to appear on beer labels for our safety:

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to believe you are whispering when you really are not.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your bra.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with other members of the opposite sex without spitting. WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you have mystical Kung Fu powers, resulting in you getting your ass kicked.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster, and better-looking than most people.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause a disturbance in the time-space continuum, whereby gaps of time may seem to literally disappear.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy.

from the Real Beer Page

Beginning this September, schoolchildren in the Limburg province of Belgium will have the choice of low alcohol beer for their lunch. The beer, a 2 to 2.5 percent brew known in Belgium as Tafelbier or "table beer," was made available to students this spring in a pilot project instigated by the local beer appreciation group, De Limburgse Biervrienden. More than 80 percent of the children who took part in the scheme preferred the beer to soda pop and the project is expected to be expanded to other schools this fall.

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