This is the HOTV Brewsletter
VOLUME XXII, NUMBER 4
THIS MONTH'S MEETING
from Royal Willard
The Heart of the Valley Homebrew Club meets on the third Wednesday of
every month, alternating between Corvallis and Albany. Our next meeting
will be at 7:00 p.m. on April 17 at the home of Royal Willard, 3710 SW
Western Avenue, in Corvallis.
Directions: If you are coming from Albany on Highway 20 turn right at
Harrison and then turn left on 4th Street. Go down to Western Blvd. and
turn right. Follow Western up to 35th, about 2 to 3 miles. At flashing
red light go straight for about one block and take a left on 37th, a
small gravel road. My house is the first on the right. It has a giant
picture window in front. Proceed down the road and park anywhere in the
field in back. Come in through the back door. It is a French door.
If you are coming on Highway 34 follow the same directions as above.
Highway 34 turns into Harrison after going over the bridge. If you are
in Corvallis and can't find Western, then you should probably move to a
new town or just not make it to the meeting. If you have any questions
call me at 752-8900.
Last month we had a great time at the home of Dave and Stine Benson in
Albany. Thanks again to Dave and Stine. I'm sorry I didn't get to
sample any Scotch this year.
Joel Rea has asked members of the Festival Committee to arrive at
Royal's home at 6:30 p.m. on April 17 for a short meeting.
by Royal Willard
As your President, I would like to start by saying, "I am not a crook."
The Homebrew Festival is fast approaching. Jamie Floyd of Steelhead
Brewery will be our guest speaker. I am getting the donation letter
together and it will be sent out soon. Joel will announce a Festival
planning meeting at the next club meeting or by email. T-shirts will be
made again on a pay-per-order basis. Joel has recently reminded us to
place our orders soon!
The Pub Crawl (Saturday, March 23) was awesome. Thanks to everyone who
attended for contributing to a great time. Things went well, but it was
a little chaotic with the two group and multiple splittings. This,
however, did not stop the fun. The large attendance allowed to cost per
person to come down. Hopefully, his will happen again next year. I
will try to get some feedback from the various establishments on how it
went for them. I have ideas for next year's Pub Crawl. These include
the Coast or the Mid-Valley / Salem area. I welcome ideas from our
In closing, I would like to quote the leader of our country, "Rarely is
the question asked, Is our children learning?"
Royal, El Jefe
KLCC SPRING MICROBREW FESTIVAL
by Kendall Staggs
On Friday, March 29, Joel Rea and I attended KLCC's Spring Microbrew
Festival at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene. We participated in
the judging of about 35 homebrews. I tasted an interesting but
overhopped Kšlsch, and a pretty good Hemp Ale. I overheard one of the
judges at another table, when sampling a Barleywine, exclaim, "Don't
drink this if you plan on becoming pregnant!"
My personal favorite, and the highest scoring beverage at the table
where I judged, was a New England Cider, which reminded one taster of a
fine Pinot Gris. It ended up placing fourth in the Best of Show
competition. I learned later that our own Joel Rea was the cidermaker
extraordinaire. The Best of Show winner was a Pilsner, a Barleywine
took second, and a Mead took third. I was never informed who the
brewers of the winning beers were.
Thanks to an invitation from Mike Bennett, I was able to join the
commercial brewers who met in a secluded room to sample some outstanding
commercial beers, such as Orval, Celebrator Doppelbock, and New Belgium
Abbey Grand Cru. I also drank some outstanding cask-conditioned Scotch
Ales from the Pelican Brewery of Pacific City.
On the main floor were many delicious commercial brews; unfortunately
there were only a few that I had not tasted. Pyramid has a new product,
Coastline Pilsner, that was delicious. In all, I had a good time-I
usually do whenever a lot of beer is being served. Special thanks to
Liz and Joel for the ride home from Eugene.
OREGON HOMEBREWER IN THE NEWS
from All About Beer Magazine
Oregon Brew Crew member Noel Blake, with whom many HOTVers have had the
pleasure of judging homebrews over the last few years, was last year's
winner of the national "Create a Great Beer" contest. Noel's
award-winning recipe was for a Belgian-style ale, and the Ommegang
Brewery of Cooperstown, NY brewed it in December. It should be ready
for limited release this spring. Michael Jackson has signed on to
provide tasting notes. If the beer sells well locally, the brewery
plans to release small, cask-conditioned batches around the country.
COMMERCIAL BEER REVIEWS
by Kendall Staggs
DOGFISH HEAD CRAFT BREWERY
Here are some brief reviews of five beers from the Dogfish Head Craft
Brewery of Lewes, Delaware. They are new to Oregon and currently
available at the Shop Ôn' Go grocery store on Van Buren in Corvallis.
They are definitely worth seeking.
[12 oz., 5.2 percent abv, 22 IBU]
Chicory Stout is a rich, dark beer brewed with pale malt, wheat, roasted
barley, oatmeal, plus whole Cascade and Fuggles hops. In addition, the
brewers add a touch of roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St.
John's Wort, and licorice root. This beer is very smooth, slightly
sweet, and has a restrained roasted quality that makes it an
easy-to-drink Stout. The aromas are especially appealing. The winner
of two gold medals at the 1998 Real Ale Festival in Chicago, Chicory
Stout has been praised by a number of beer writers.
Indian Brown Ale
[12 oz., 7.2 percent abv, 50 IBU]
The brewers call Indian Brown Ale a cross between a Scotch Ale, an IPA,
and an American Pale Ale. I call it an extra strong American Brown
Ale. This beer is well-hopped and has plenty of malt character. It is
brewed with aromatic barley malt, caramelized brown sugar, plus whole
Liberty and Goldings hops. It is rich, full-bodied, and satisfying.
[12 oz., 8.0 percent abv, 36 IBU]
The description on the label calls this "A deep, mahogany ale brewed
with Belgian sugars, green raisins, and a sense of purpose." It does
have a beautiful color-dark brown with ruby hues, with a thin creamy
head on top. There is a definite Belgian character. The aromas are
rich, sweet, and malty. The first taste impression is chocolate, and it
is followed by an intense fruity middle that likely comes from the
raisins. The hop bitterness and flavors are rather assertive but nice
for balance. There is a hint of fusel alcohol in the finish. Voted
"American Beer of the Year" in January 2000 by Malt Advocate magazine,
Raison D'Être is a great beer-one that gives all beer lovers a reason
[12 oz, 11 percent abv, 40 IBU]
The description on the label says, "Vast in character, luscious and
complex, this smooth, full-bodied ale reveals interwoven notes of maple,
vanilla, and oak." The aromatics are great, the flavors are even
better. It is extremely rich, rather sweet, and very satisfying, with a
crisp hop bite at the end. Brewed with peat-smoked barley malt, it
undergoes two fermentations: the first on ale yeast and the second on
champagne yeast. It is brewed with organic juniper berry, vanilla, and
maple syrup, and then aged on oak for two months. Named "Beer of the
Year" in 1997 by The Philadelphia Daily News, Immort Ale provides an
intense beer drinking experience. Lovers of Fred should be pleased with
this one. I think it is better balanced.
90 Minute IPA
[750 ml, 9.0 percent abv, 90 IBU?]
The first thing that strikes one about this beer is its package: it
comes in a corked and caged wine bottle with a rather crude-looking
paper label that features a black and white photo of an old carnival
performer getting ready to hammer a large nail into one of his
nostrils. The side panel reads, "What you have here is a
bottle-conditioned India Pale Ale featuring a single, constant,
90-minute hop addition of Cascade, Columbus, and Chinook hops. It is
balanced by a ridiculous amount of English two-row barley malt. Then we
dry hop." I shared this beer with some of the more accomplished beer
judges at the last HOTV club meeting and the consensus was that although
it was definitely a potent beer-drinking experience, the hop bitterness
was not overpowering. I liked the Immort Ale much better.