PRESIDENT: Lee Smith (541) 926-2286
EDITOR: Mark Taratoot (541) 754-7570
336 NW 12th St.
Corvallis OR 97330-5929
There is a lot to mention this month, so in the interest of space I'm going to do this an "bullet-point" fashion.
The January meeting was held at Michael Viliardos' house and was well attended. Michael also volunteered to host the April 17 meeting, so thanks to Michael on both counts. The March 20 meeting will be at my house.
By the authority vested in me, I appointed myself as Festival Organizer. In short order, the following team emerged: Ron Hall, Judge Coordinator; Jeff Tobin, Registration; Jennifer Crum, Chief Steward; Dave Wolf, "Kitchen Kaiser"; Bill Bolen, Food Preparation; Mark Taratoot, Electronic Publicity; Lee Smith, Printed Materials. In the Most Wanted category are volunteers for raffle prize solicitation and keg beer donations. If you're good at this, please let me know at the next meeting.
The festival will be registered with and sanctioned by both the AHA and the new free-standing BJCP, thus assuring that judging and stewarding points will be recorded with both.
Mark your calendar. Saturday, September 21 is the date for the Second Annual Willamette Valley Homebrewers Family Picnic!
Over 50% of our members have paid their 1996 dues. Our goal is 100% by April 1. Can we do it?
March 9 is our next litter pick-up day. If you enjoy being out on a glorious spring day (guaranteed), breathing Oregon's pristine roadside air, and sidestepping friendly speeders, this is for you. As always, refreshments will follow the work.
See you at Art's house on the 21st. -Lee
The following is a letter from our most distant member, Pete Anguin. Some of you may be curious what he is up to. Well, here it is:
(editor's note: YES, Pete thinks it is 1997. Some of us get a little behind when the new year hits and get tied up in writing the wrong year on everything. Seems ol' Petie has found a new way to take care of this problem!)
Howdy Lee --
Enclosed is my HOTV dues for 96. Your plea to us "swill-sucking deadbeats" neglected to mention how much $ dues are these days, but this ought to cover it. If not, you'll just have to come out here and collect it!
What's this about membership cards? My, we're getting formal in our 2nd decade! In any case, do send mine out here so it can take an honored place in my wallet.
Winter here is going well. I spent most of the Federal Furlough (you'll recall that I work for the Forest Service) brewing up my yearly lagers (30 gallons in all). The temperature in my basement/wine/brewing cellar is just perfect for the long ferment! I've also been working on some meads (raspberry, blackberry, and ginger), which ferment in a warmer spot near the water heater. At least in my case, the taxpayers' money was not completely wasted!
Maria and I plan to get back to Corvallis early this summer (June 29- July 7) -- with any luck, I may be able to get together with you brewers.
P.S. Your Cajun Turkey at the picnic in Albany was a delight! If the picnic is in September again this year, there's a good chance that I'll be there--
The following is excerpted from a press release and other literature that was distributed at the recent dedication of the new pilot brewery at Oregon State University. A short review of the event follows:
Nor'Wester Brewing Company and Oregon State University (OSU)'s Food Science and Technology Department (FST) dedicated the installation of a two-barrel brewhouse at the University and celebrate the establishment of the Nor'Wester Endowed Professorship in Fermentation Sciences on Friday, February 2.
The Pilot Brewery was purchased by Nor'Wester and loaned to OSU FST. The state-of-the-art, two-barrel, temperature-controlled brewing system includes a steam-fired brewhouse, unitank fermenter and bright beer tank. This system is designed to give faculty and students maximum hands-on learning experience in the brewing sciences. The brewhouse will allow students to participate in the brewing process from malt milling to lagering. The system will also serve as a teaching tool for extension workshops (does this include home brewing, I wonder?) and for current and new research projects. The facility is available to industry on a fee basis. The pilot brewery will share the results of its research and development efforts in new brewing techniques. The brewery is on loan to the OSU FST for a period of 15 years, at which time the Department will assume ownership.
The Nor'Wester Endowed Professorship in Fermentation Sciences is a donation from Jim Bernau, President of Nor'Wester Brewing Company. Bernau pledged shared of his common stock with a total value of $500,000 to the E.R. Jackman Foundation of OSU.
"The establishment of a professorship is to further the support of the pilot brewery program," explained Bernau. "We have worked closely with the department in order to create a program in the State of Oregon that will provide support, research, and training for the craft beer industry."
The Professorship will provide assistance in the development of a brewing science curriculum within the FST department; Assistance in the development of a brewing certification program to provide training in brewing technology for employees in the brewing industry; and development of short courses and workshops dealing with technical, product marketing, ingredient, and quality aspects of brewing.
For more information about the Nor'Wester Pilot Brewery or the Nor'Wester Endowed Professorship in Fermentation Science, please call Jack Norman at (503)232-9771
Mary's Peak Lagers, with the guidance of President Dean Bautz recently held the second annual Lager Jam at the Oregon Trader Brewery in Albany. Twenty one brewers entered 35 beers, some from as far away as Washington and California. HOTV's John Sterner took both a First Place and Best of Show ribbon with his Bock entry. Congratulations to both Dean and John for a first-rate performance!
With some celebration, the new brewery was dedicated. There was no separation between suits and students. The bigwigs blended in with the brewers. The guests got gustatory gratification gulping great grog. Sparged wort steamed, sending sensory satisfaction to soulful sniffers. Hops boiled, blending beautifully with the blond, bubbling brew.
The ceremony opened with a general mingling amongst the guests. The event was attended by university administrators, faculty, students, Nor'Wester employees, local (and not so local) beer enthusiasts (That WAS Fred Eckhart I saw), and other interested parties. Soon after three o'clock, the room was filling with people; the room had been full of the wonderful wafting of wort for a while. Just as it is a good idea to have a homebrew while you go through the mashing, sparging, boiling, cooling...., it must also be a good idea to have slice of liquid bread when you dedicate a new brewery. Thus, the beer flowed.
Shortly after 3:30, the ceremony began. Roy Arnold (OSU Provost) welcomed all to the event. Jim Bernau gave an uplifting speech about the merits of the new pilot brewery and the need for new brewers. We lifted up our beer glasses. He talked about the need for people with brewing experience. We experienced the fine ale. Mark Daeschel and Dan Faraks (Professor and Department Head of FST, respectively) discussed the Fermentation Science Program at OSU. The Dean of Ag Sciences, Thayne Duston, gave a gift of appreciation to Jim Bernau.
Then the REAL ceremony got underway. A ribbon of hops had been fashioned between the mash tun and the kettle. The hops were cut with a HUGE pair of scissors, the kind that King Kong used to trim his beard. Jim Bernau then christened the brewery with a bottle of Nor'Wester Weizen. He spoke of this beer as the beer of moderation, and of how people were beginning to appreciate a fine beer, but drink a smaller quantity at one sitting. He smashed the bottle against the mash tun; glass flew. He poured the golden nectar into the vessel, then tried to find a place to stash the empty, broken bottle. He eventually settled on just tossing it in with the rest of the broken glass shards. Afterwards, the photographers went nuts, shooting rolls of film of people standing around the vessel, people did more mingling, and refreshments were served. No bangers or scotch eggs, but a fine assortment of yummy goodies.
I did get the chance to talk to Jim and ask him if the rumor I heard about
the invention of Blacksmith Porter was true. He started telling the
story. After the first sentence, I knew the rumor was true. I will
repeat the story here. Before the accident, Nor'Wester did not make a
porter. Apparently, a brewer named "Smith" was setting up to brew a
Nor'Wester Best Bitter. Smith worked nights, and may have been doing just
a bit too much quality control. He apparently misread the recipe. While
the recipe called for six pounds of dark grains (Jim did not specify what
"dark grains" meant), Smith read the recipe as six
Jim also expressed astonishment at how much Americans (in general) will give up quality for consistency. I expressed that not everyone feels that way, and that some of us would much rather give up consistency for a quality product. Jim wants both. I hope he succeeds. It will be good for beer and beer lovers.
January's meeting was at Michael Viliardos' home. We all squeezed into the basement and began discussion of the upcoming competition. There were some new faces, as we are always glad to see. The video of the solstice party was entertaining, to say the least. Michael has tentatively offered his home for the April meeting.
Our meeting for February will be held on February 21st at Art Smoot's home. His address is 3492 SW Hill-Wood Place, and his phone number is 754-8358. Hill-Wood is a cul-de-sac located about halfway between Western Blvd and Philomath Highway on 35th street in Corvallis. As usual, the meeting starts at seven o'clock post meridian.
The March meeting will be on March 20th (the first day of spring!) and will be at Lee Smith's Retirement Villa in Albany. Lee's house is a bit hard to find. Directions will be published next month.
The April meeting will, once again, be at Michael Viliardos house. He has promised more room for this event.
The May meeting will be at Jeff Tobin's house, IF we can guarantee that it won't rain. Any shamans out there want to offer an insurance policy?
A great idea surfaced recently over a couple of pints. Amazing how that always seems to happen. And, seeing as we have adopted new by-laws, I thought I should write a little blurb here before the meeting.
Wouldn't it be nice if we had our own shirts? I don't mean to imply that we all rent our clothes, but that it would be great if we could proudly state our affiliation with the best homebrew club around? Imagine walking into your nearest pub wearing your HOTV t-shirt. "Wow, man, that's a cool shirt," exclaims the barkeep. "Here, have some free beer!" Okay, so maybe that won't happen all the time, but that's besides the point. I will bring up the idea at our next meeting that HOTV spends some of our extensive bankroll on purchasing some simple shirts. Anyone who wants one can buy one (or more) and the rest can be sold at functions, such as homebrew competitions. It's too bad I can't think of any upcoming homebrew competitions in the next few months. Maybe we should have one of those, too!
Kind of makes you feel warm all over, doesn't it?