This is the HOTV Brewsletter
September 2001

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


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 19, 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, with a 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.

by Kendall Staggs

The picnic was, as promised, lots of fun, even though there was no dunk tank this year. Lee deep-fried Cajun-style turkeys, Helen cooked up some fried green tomatoes, Scott Caul grilled corn, Jerry provided sausages and sauerkraut; and there was lots of good beer provided by John, Eugene, Michael, and others. The pot luck food was all great, but we had enough pies and cobblers to fatten up the entire population of Rwanda.

There were games for children of all ages, including water balloon slingshots and a rough terrain bacci ball tournament.

One highlight of the gathering was a raffle of donated microbrews and imports. The event had some interesting twists: there were "steal" and "Robin Hood" tickets that allowed for some heated moments. Thanks to Jerry and all the folks who contributed beers for the raffle. (By the way, if anyone wants a Samichlaus 2000 really badly, I will pick it up for them at cost next time I am at Burlingame Grocery buying beers for my classes.)

Finally, I conducted a demonstration horizontal tasting of some Belgian Witbiers. The consensus was that the best one was an American version, Zon, from the Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City. It was even better than the famous Hoegaarden, the first modern reincarnation of the style.

A splendid time was had by all.

from Lee Smith

Four of our members got together with the RIM System in July and created the brew for our annual holiday party. The recipe is a knock-off of Snow Cap Ale and, from appearances so far, will closely hit the target. Primary fermentation occurred in 14 days, in glass, at 68F; the brew was then transferred to stainless steel for secondary fermentation at 40F. At that time, two ounces of sterile oak chips were added.

On September 10, the beer will be racked to the tertiary fermenter, at which time the oak chips (contained in two stainless commercial tea balls) will be removed. Then it will be placed in storage at 36F until party time in December. The original gravity was 1.072 and the final gravity was 1.020. The complete recipe will be on display at the party.

I honestly believe we have produced one of the best brews yet. Naturally, I tasted the sample from the gravity check and I can't detect a single flaw. It's smooth as silk, has a trace of chocolate, and a pleasant alcohol warmth. Thanks for leaving me in charge of maturation.

Finally, we would like to commemorate this brew with a really good name, one that has some significance with our hobby, our club, our redoubtable (!) leaders, past or present, or anything else that comes to mind. So, members, start thinking about this, A nice prize awaits the person whose entry is selected by the members at the party.

by Kendall Staggs
This is the season to brew beer, whether you have in mind a special Winter Ale, a Lager that needs a few months to mature, or an ordinary Pale Ale. If you are looking for some ideas on what to brew, check out recent issues of Zymurgy, or a book of recipes, or better yet, consult with your local homebrew supply shop owner. My next brew will be a Maibock. You may fancy a Porter, a Stout, a Belgian Ale, or a Barleywine. Now's the time to make some great brews to get us all through the dark and dreary months ahead.

from Mark Wilson, Oregon Brew Crew Education & Competition Chair

The first annual OBC fall competition will be held Saturday, October 20, 2001, at the Laurelwood Public House & Brewery in the Hollywood district of Portland, Oregon.

All BJCP recognized beer style categories, as well as mead and cider, will be judged. Judge registration will start at 8:30 a.m. and the first round of judging will commence at 9:30 a.m. After lunch (catered by Laurelwood, yum!) there will be a second judging session in the afternoon and best of show round.

The Portland drop-off point will be at the Laurelwood Pub; entries will be accepted from October 5 through 13. Dropping off in person is preferred (Wednesday night feature $2 pints) but you may also ship UPS to the Laurelwood. Your package must arrive during the entry period.

Laurelwood Pub
1728 NE 40th Avenue
Portland, OR 97212

This competition will replace the Rose Festival Competition which has been held in the spring. It will be AHA and BJCP sanctioned. I should have entry forms and judge sign-ups on the webpage within two weeks.

from Beto Zuniga

Skagit River Brewery
If you are traveling north of Seattle on I-5, there is one nice spot worth visiting. The town of Mount Vernon has a nice brewpub, the Skagit River Brewery. The brews are quite good and they have an excellent selection. The brews available on my recent visit were Golden Lager, Washington Wheat, Yellow Jacket Pale, Skagit River Brown, Highwater Porter and the seasonal brew, Evergreen ESB. We ordered the taster tray and found that we would have been happy ordering any one of their brews. But we were still driving and stopped in for lunch on the way back to Seattle so the sampler was all we had. I have been here once before about five years ago and they had a very limited menu with items like a Plowman's Lunch. Today, they have a fuller menu with quite tasty pub grub. We went in looking for a burger but ended up ordering the Brewer's Melt, a toasted BBQ sandwich with melted cheese. Mmmmm. It turned out burgers are not regular part of their menu but available on Wednesday as a special. We will just have to go back for a burger and a few pints.

Gordon Biersch
I finally was able to get around to visiting Gordon Biersch in downtown Seattle recently. I had been to one of the first ones in San Francisco about ten years ago and wanted to check them out again. From what I remember, it was a very up-scale establishment. The one here in Seattle didn't seem as ritzy as I remember the one in SF. It is kind of hard to find, there are no large signs on the street at 600 Pine. It's tucked in a shopping mall-ish type of place, you know, with a Nike Town on the corner and stores like William Sonoma and Restoration Hardware and such. They are on the fourth floor shared with the movie multiplex. Their specialty is Bavarian-style beers. The house lagers are Pilsner, Blonde Bock, Mrzen, and Dunkles. Their seasonal summer brew is Hefeweizen. We had the Pilsner, Blonde Bock, and the Dunkles. Their beers are better than what I remember them as. I don't know if my palate has improved or their beers got better, maybe both. The best was actually the Pilsner. I was quite flavorful and crisp and not what I remembered as thin and too close to macrobrews. If you like good lagers, this is a place to check out.

by Kendall Staggs

Here are some brief reviews of beers which I recently obtained from fearless beer hunters. The first two, imported from Colorado, were courtesy of Ingeborg Reed. The second two, from California and Massachusetts, respectively, were donated by Scott Leonard. Thanks beer hunters!

Scarab Red Ale (Oasis Brewing Company, Boulder, CO)
This is a solid beer from one of Colorado's best microbreweries. It won a gold medal in the Red Ale category in the 1999 Great American Beer Festival. It is bright copper-colored, and makes a nice crackling sound in the glass (Fred Eckhardt tells us to listen to our beer). The nose was reminiscent of freshly baked bread. The flavor is rich, with lots of toasted malt notes. There is very moderate hop flavor and significant hop bitterness on the finish. Yes, there is such a thing as Red Ale; it is the native beer style of Ireland. I also recommend from Oasis the Capstone ESB, Tut Brown Ale, and Zoser Oatmeal Stout. In addition, Oasis brews a Scotch Ale, an Imperial Stout, Nileator Doppelbock, and Snoasis, a spicy winter brew. If you are ever in Boulder, check out the brewpub. It features a cool Egyptian motif, a 50-foot green marble bar, great food, and views of the Rockies.

Blackjack Porter (Left Hand Brewing Company, Longmont, CO) [6.4 abv]
This, simply put, is one of Colorado's best beers (sorry Coors). It won the gold medal in the Brown Porter category at the 2000 GABF. It is a beautiful, deep brown with reddish hues, and has a tan head. Wonderfully complex, it features caramel, fruity, chocolaty, and smoky aromas and a rich, roasted but not harsh malt flavor. This Brown Porter is not as hoppy as our Black Butte Porter, but that suits me just fine. I love the chocolate malt. The brewery is named for the Southern Arapaho Indian chief Niwot, or Left Hand. Its other beers of note include Sawtooth Pale Ale, Deep Cover Brown Ale, Imperial Stout, and the fascinating Juju Ginger Ale.

Sudwerk Pilsner (Sudwerk Privatbrauerei Hübsch, Davis, CA)
Here's a good American version of the German Pils style, with plenty of Hallertauer hops in the aroma and a dry, crisp finish. Smooth and very refreshing, it smells and tastes very authentic (the brewery uses yeasts from Weihenstephan, Germany.) This beer won the gold medal in the European Pilsner category in the 1995 GABF. I sure wish we could buy the Sudwerk beers in Oregon. Sudwerk makes excellent versions of Hefeweizen, Helles, Mrzen, Maibock, and Doppelbock. And the brewpub is also worth visiting: it has seating for 250 people inside and another 250 in the Biergarten, with copper brewing equipment inside the circular bar.

Ipswich Original Ale (Ipswich, MA)
This beer is a cloudy gold with orange tints, and there was lots of sediment from the pour. Fresh, fruity hop aromas dominate the nose. It features a fruity, citrusy, malty flavor, with a fruity hop background. It finishes rather tart with an assertive English (Kent Goldings) hop bitterness. This has recently been released in 12-ounce bottles; formerly it was available in half gallon "growler" jugs. Ipswich is an old New England town just north of Boston.


The Pabst Brewing Company will soon be a "virtual brewer," marketing beer made by Miller Brewing Company. The San Antonio-based company, once part of the thriving brewing community based in Milwaukee, has notified 400 employees at its brewery near Allentown, PA, that the facility will be closed by mid-September. Production will be moved to various Miller breweries, which already make 80 percent of Pabst beers. Pabst announced earlier this year that it would close its 115-year-old San Antonio plant, the historic Pearl Brewery, putting the last 80 employees out of work. More than 400 Pabst employees in Pennsylvania will lose their jobs. As a result, Miller expects to brew an additional 2.4 million barrels of beer yearly for Pabst and a total of more than 10 million.

BridgePort Brewing Company of Portland, Oregon, has begun an expansion that will double the brewery's capacity from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels per year. It is the second major expansion for BridgePort since The Gambrinus Company acquired the brewery in 1995. "The strong sales growth of BridgePort IPA and the overall BridgePort brand in the market demands doubling the capacity of the brewery," said brewmaster Karl Ockert.

Beer may provide the same "good for your heart" ingredients as fortified grains and green leafy vegetables. "Folate from beer" may "contribute to the protective effect of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular disease in population(s) with generally low folate intake from other nutrients," according to a study by Dr. O. Mayer Jr. and colleagues from Charles University in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Their conclusions were study published in the July issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study measured blood levels of folate, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B12 in 543 residents of Pilsen, an area with one of the highest rates of beer consumption in the world. The B vitamins they measured are linked to lower levels of homocysteine, a compound in the blood associated with increased heart disease risk.

from Dianna Fisher
Dung-Flavored Beer Brewed Anew on Scottish Island - September 2, 2001

LONDON (Reuters) Even the keenest beer drinker may hesitate before sampling the latest beverage on sale in the Orkney Islands off northern Scotland-a stone age beer flavored with animal dung. Historians have recreated the recipe after uncovering what they claim is a 5000-year-old pub and brewery on the remote archipelago.

Merryn Dineley, a Manchester University historian and the chief brewer of the ancient liquor, told the weekly paper The Observer Sunday that the ale was brewed in clay pots with traces of baked animal droppings. Dineley examined stone-lined drains running under houses in the Neolithic village of Skara Brae in the Orkneys and found evidence of a kiln for malting grain and traces of a cereal-based fermented alcohol.

Dineley insists that the brew is "quite delicious, actually." She hopes that visitors to this weekend's Orkney Science Fair will agree. There's no escaping the dung, but she has at least removed the deadly nightshade, henbane, and hemlock found in the original recipe.

Orkney Islander Andrew Appleby is one of the few to have sampled the beer. "It's definitely potent-no mistake about that-not to be served in pint mugs," he commented. "Not unless you want a free colonic irrigation afterwards. So long as you don't expect it to resemble modern ales, it is drinkable."

Editor's Note: Does this mean that the American Homebrewing Association will be introducing a new category for beer judging next year?

© 1995-2009 HOTV

HomeBrew ToolsBrewsletter Archive