EDITOR: Mark Taratoot (541) 754-7570
336 NW 12th St.
Corvallis OR 97330-5929
club home page:
festival home page: http://www.peak.org/~taratoot/fest.html
Many years ago, I sat at the feet of a wise old Tibetan monk at a remote monastery high in the Himalayan mountains. He was in charge of the potato chips and was known as the "chip monk." Among the many profundities he imparted to me was the long-lost secret homebrewers handshake. This mystical grip was used by early Mesopotamians to conceal their hobby from the tax collector as well as the temperance league, which was active even then. To test my mettle, the old monk swore me to a forty year vow of silence, forbidding me to repeat this arcane ritual until the year 1996. NOW IT CAN BE TOLD!! I plan to reveal this age-old symbol at the next meeting. If you want to be properly initiated, you must be there!
We will also be talking about the upcoming festival and listening to committee reports from the various chairs. (editor's note: I always thought there were far too many letters in committee... must have been decided as a compromise at a lengthy meeting!) I think we are going to have a bigger and better competition than ever before. It is going to take a lot of effort by a lot of people. Can we count on YOU?
I know I harp about dues in every issue at this time of year, but there are expenses involved that can only be offset if everyone pays their "fare" share. There are fifteen members who, according to my records, have not paid for 1996. If a red dot appears next to your name on the printed newsletter, it indicates that you are not current. We don't want to lose you as a member of the best homebrew group anywhere. I'm sure it is just an oversight, so please remit as soon as possible. If you receive your newsletter electronically and are not sure of your status, call me and I will tell you.
SEE YOU AT THE MEETING.
P.S. Our nifty new T-shirts are in and will be available to the members for ten dollars.
Coming Soon to Salem: The second annual MILL CREEK CLASSIC! A BJCP/AHA sanctioned homebrew competition. Sunday June 30 from 10 am to 2 pm. This event will be held at Cascade Micro Brewery, 3259 Fairview Industrial Drive, Salem, Oregon. For information, please call (503)362-1728. This event is put on by the Capitol Brewers of Salem. They have always been supporters of our group, so let's all get out and help them make this a successful event.
And, a commercial beer festival:
The second annual Spring Beer Fest will be held on Friday, April 19 from 4-9 pm, and resume on Saturday, April 20 from noon until 9 pm. Where, you ask... I will tell you.... Multnomah Greyhound Park, Portland, Oregon. The organizers are promising good food, a chance to meet the brewers, "beer gear," and great blues featuring Paul DeLay, Robbie Laws, and Lloyd Jones. Participants will have the opportunity to sample over 65 craft beers including McMenamin's White Rabbit and Portland's Haystack black (plus many more exciting special brews). If you are interested in being put on a mailing list for special pre-admission prices, call (503) 246-4503. Organizers also want to make you aware that canned goods will be accepted for the Oregon Food Bank. They even have a web site! Imagine that! A beer festival with a web site! If you are interested, the URL is http://www.jhw.com/~springfest/index.htm.
The AHA National Homebrewers Conference will be held in New Orleans this year. It is slated for June 5-8 1996 at the Downtown Radisson Hotel. More than 700 homebrewers and beer enthusiasts will be in attendance. Conference information is published in the Spring 1996 issue of Zymurgy.
Picnic and Trinkerfestspiele:
A German graduate student contacted me today and told me that the European Student Association and the Students Activities Center (OSU) are preparing a big "Deutsche Trinkerfestspiele" They are planning some nice old German drink competitions (Mass-stemmen, Staffelsaufen, etc). This is still in the planning stages, but will likely be held in a shelter at Avery Park in Corvallis. For more information, contact Roger Klein at 754-5876 or 737-5583, or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rumor of another competition:
I also hear rumors there will be some sort of shindig in early May.
Supposedly, there will be a homebrew festival and competition the day
before Mothers' Day. I don't have any other information about the
specifics at this time, but feel free to track me down for updates.
One of our more distant members, Mike Basinger, is now living in
Alexandria, Louisiana. Of course he has kept up his interest in brewing.
He has even acquired a personalized license plate that says "HOMEBRU" to
publicly declare his passion. A photograph will be available for all to
admire at this month's meeting. Mike was Best-of-Show winner at the 1995
Oregon Homebrew Competition and Festival (that's our festival, by the way)
and may have one or more entries for this years competition. Good luck to
you, Mike. (Ed. note: It looks like Pete Angwin has been displaced as the
most distant member! And I will have to change the web page again!)
This article is being left out of the WWW version of the newsletter.
If you are interested in our bylaws, please become a member. Since only members vote on issues, there is no reason to publish bylaw changes here.
We will talk about this, and vote on it, at the next meeting.
Last month the meeting was held in Albany at the Lee and Helen Smith Pico Brewery. The beer style of the month was resurrected from a premature burial (thanks Michael!) and we sampled brown ales from all over the world and up our street. Even with all the fine commercial examples available, I think many of us were most impressed with Barley Davidson Biker Brown from the ever popular Smith House. We also had a rather lengthy business meeting. Committee (there's all those damn letters again) chairs gave brief reports on the progress of the festival planning. The biggest shock, however, was There were no Cajun alligator toes!
This month the meeting will be held at Michael Viliardos' house. His address is 513 NW Kings in Corvallis. This is the funky little corner where Kings, Tyler, and 19th streets intersect near just north of Harrison Blvd. Michael hosted the January meeting if that helps you remember where his house is. Michael promises more space this month, so don't worry if you were a bit claustrophobic last time.
The May meeting will likely be at Jeff Tobin's house. He promised to host it if we could guarantee no rain. After the last trash pickup, I feel Lee should be the one to make this guarantee; he seems to have a supernatural control of the weather. He must have picked up some of that voodoo stuff back down on the Bayou! Maybe we better check with Lloyds of London instead!
Any takers for the June meeting? OK, it will be at YOUR house!
Well, your humble editor finally bought a computer. We had previously been running an apple II e, so the 486 is a serious upgrade. Since I can't fit the 5.25 inch low density single sided floppies into the 3.5 inch drive, I have found I needed to buy new software. Being the beer geek I am, my first software purchase was, of course, Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter CD-ROM from Discovery Multimedia.
Once I got the correct video driver running (it only supports 640x480 resolution and 256 colors) I was able to navigate through the program. It is kind of a fun little cd. It has video clips of Mr. Jackson describing different aspects of beer. It is laid out like a field guide, and the first chapters are on the history of brewing and the "Art" of brewing. These are mostly non-interactive video segments. At each point, you are given the text as well as video. You can click on related items and go find out information about, for example, yeast, hops, or reiheitsgebot. There is even a section on homebrewing.
After you view these sections (or before, if you like), you can go to the "Field Guide." This is separated into styles, regions, characteristics, and "MJ's Top 24." The style section is hierarchical. From the main menu, you go, for example, to bottom fermenting, then to the specific style of lager you are interested in. The characteristics section is basically a multi part video guide to beer tasting/appreciation. The region section lets you focus on a region of the US to find commercially available beers. Corvallis is even included with OT's White! For MJ's top 24, there is an option to listen to Mr. Jackson's tasting notes (as you also sample the beer, I assume). The top 24 are listed at the end of this review. There is also a "Resources" section. This lists beer schools, beer associations, beer publications, etc.
There is a search utility that lets you search for a particular topic, or for a specific beer by style or region, or you can search through all the beers. These are, of course, only beers made in the US. There is a cute feature that turns on "Ambient noise." This is background noise that you might hear in a pub (glass clanking, beer pouring, etc). I guess it makes you feel better about sitting alone at your computer drinking beer and generally being a beer geek. The help utility is somewhat limited, but it describes what you can do while you are running the program. There is even a note-taking utility. You click on a pencil icon and a notepad pops up so you can type in your own personal tasting notes. Jeez, give me a break. Give me a beer while you are at it!
There are some problems and limitations of this software. It only covers American beers. That is too bad, since there may be some non-American beers that are worthy of at least a taste. Also, the software is not set up to run on any higher resolution than 640x480, and in no more than 256 colors. It does not take advantage of modern video chip technology, and that is too bad. If you run your monitor at a higher resolution or number of colors, you must reset the driver each time you want to use the program. It also offers no control keys; It is mouse only driven. This makes it a drag (no pun intended) trying to exit the program when the mouse crashes.
Even with its minor drawbacks, it is a fun little cd to play with. I wouldn't recommend that anyone run out and purchase it, however, because the information is somewhat limited for hardened beer geeks like many HOTV members. I think you'd be better off spending your pesos on one of MJ's glossy books (Ludite alert). However, if you think you might want to buy it, let me know and I'll let you play around with my copy. Then you can decide for yourself.
MJ's top 24 include the following (in the order they appear on the CD):
Catamount Gold, Anchor Liberty Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Bridgeport
Orininal Ale, Geary's Hampshire Special Ale, Sherlock's Winter Warmer, Old
Foghorn (Anchor's barleywine), Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine, Summit
Great Northern Porter, Steelhead Oatmeal Stout, Old #38 Stout (North
Coast's Oyster stout), Grant's Imperial Stout, Celis White, Sprecher
Heffweis, Rubicon Winter Wheat, Baderbrau Pilsner, Gordon Biersch Export,
Sprecher Black Bavarian, Penn Brewing's Maerzen Fest, Sam Adams Double
Bock, Alaskan Smoked Porter, Anchor Steam, Brooklyn Brown, and Goose
The Old Rose and Crown
Good friends, gather 'round and I'll tell you a tale;
It's a story well-known to all lovers of ale;
For the old English pub, once a man's second home,
Has been decked out, by brewers, in plastic and chrome.
Oh, what has become of the old Rose and Crown,
The Ship, the King's Arms, and the World Upside-Down?
For oak, brass and leather and a pint of the best
Fade away like the sun as it sinks in the west.
The old oaken bar where the pumps filled your glass
Gives way to formica and tanks full of gas;
And the landlord behind, once a man of good cheer,
Will just mumble the price as he hands you your beer.
And where are the friends who would meet for a jar
And a good game of darts in the old public bar?
For the dartboard is gone; in its place is a thing
Where you pull on a handle and lose all your tin.
But the worst of it all's what they've done to the beer,
For their shandies and lager will make you feel queer.
For an arm and a leg they will fill up your glass
With a half-and-half mixture of ullage and gas.
So, come all you good fellows that likes to sup ale;
Let's hope for a happier end to my tale,
For there's nothing can fill a man's heart with more cheer
Than to sit in a pub with a pint of good beer.
Written and performed by Canadian artist Ian Robb.
Taken from The Secret Life of Beer.