VOLUME XVI NUMBER 6
Summer Solstice Edition
EDITOR: Mark Taratoot (541) 754-7570
336 NW 12th St.
Corvallis OR 97330-5929
club home page: http://www.peak.org/~taratoot/hotv.html
festival home page: http://www.peak.org/~taratoot/fest.html>p>
My sincere thanks to each of you.
Our meetings are held on the third wednesday of each month at seven o'clock post meridian sharp.
Last month our meeting was held at Jeff Tobin's house. We did a good job of finishing up business from the festival.
The June meeting will be held at Dave Wolf's home in Corvallis. The address is 3005 NW Grant Place and the phone number is 752-8402. Grant Place is where you would expect the intersection of Grant Avenue and 30th Street to be located. It is near Sam's Crossing (Sam's Station Coffee Shop). Look for the yellow house on the corner. NOTE: Parkin is EXTREMELY LIMITED so please carpool for safety and parking availablity. Dave assures me that there will be a sampling of the beers of Hawaii, so bring your grass skirts and hula-hoops.
Nobody has volunteered a location for either the July meeting or the August meeting. Any takers? Somebody please let me know so I can print it up in the next newsletter!
As many of you know, the Heart of the Valley Homebrewers has adopted a stretch of State Highway and we clean it up every three months. Well, golly gee whiz, another three months have passed, and it is time again to take a leisurely walk down Highway 20 and enjoy the cool breeze (from fast trucks), pick up trash, and identify plant species (poison oak, to be sure). We will meet on Saturday, June 15 at Noon at Hyak Park near Albany. Please make a point to come join us in this community service. Bring long pants, good shoes, a pair of gloves, and a keen eye for roadside rubbish. Refreshments provided!
Well, the resutls are in. Consumer Reports has done a comparison of beers, and the ratings have been published. As I am sure you will all want to go out and pick up some samples, I felt it was my duty to let you know that the winner of the "Regualr Beer" category is... (drumroll please)... are you ready for this... are you sitting down.... OK. Here it is... The winner is... Oh, I can hardly stand the suspense! Should I hold out? No. The winner is... Are you sure you are ready? OK. The winner is none other than Old Milwaukee from the Stroh Brewery. I KNOW you will want to go out and get a sample for you cellar immediately. If you are still reading this paragraph, here are more results: (Reglar beer) 2. Stroh's; 3. Red Dog. Category Light Beer: 1. Michelob; 2. Bud Light; 3. Natural Light. Category Nonalcoholic Beer: 1. Sharps; 2. Coor's Cutter; 3. Kingsbury. Category Imported Lager: 1. Molson Golden; 2. Labatt Blue; 3. Foster's. Category "Craft Ale": 1. Samual Adams Boston Ale; 2. Sierra Nevada Pale (editor's note... this could have been the number one "regular beer" in my opinion); 3. Full Sail Amber (editor's note... see above). Category "Craft Lagers": 1. Brooklyn Brand; 2. Leinenkugel's Red; 3. Samual Adams Boston Lager. Hey... Who the hell comes up with these anyway!
Well, the festival is over again for another year. All I can say is that it was a raving success. Everything ran smoothly and on schedule. Thanks to Jerry for letting us use the facilities for our annual event. Thanks also to all entrants without whom there would have been no competition. Thanks to all the judges and stewards without whom all the entries would have sat idly by and not been evaluated. Thanks to all those Lee mentioned above. Many thanks to Lee (Lee, you left your name off the list) for taking on the responsibility of organizing a successful event. Also, thanks to all who donated prizes and services to the event: Advanced Brewing Scientific, Aycock Cutlery, Avatar Brewing, Brewing Techniques Magazine, Chintimini (the Band!), F.H. Steinbart, Fresh Hops, Full Sail Brewing, Grain Millers, Hair of the Dog Brewing, Hart Brewing, Homebrew Heaven, The Homebrew Shop, Home Fermenter Center, Nicols Garden Nursery, Old World Deli, Oregon State University, Oregon Trader Brewery, Oregon Trail Brewery, Portland Brewing, Red Hook, Rogue Brewing, Shop and Go, Steelhead Brewery, Willamette Street Homebrew, Wyeast.
This year we had a record breaking 207 entries. Best of Show was awarded to a Honey Basil Ale that was reported to be delicious.
Your humble editor is about to be very busy. In fact, you will not be able to get in touch with me until at least after the fourth of July. My schedule after that is also somewhat unsure. This means that the newsletter may be out later than usual for the summer season. I apologise for any inconvienince, but I do have to earn a living, and I will be away in the field for much of the summer. You should expect a shorter, more streamlined version of the newsletter for a few months. Fortunately, this streamlining does not entail any layoffs, and I am pleased to report that all newsletter staff should anticipate a 20% raise in the next few months! Please mail or email me any articles or submissions you would like to see in the July newsletter.
Also, because I am going to be very busy, expect to see a VERY short edition next month, if you see one at all.
Cascade Golden Ale. OG 1042. Alcolol by weight 3.3%. Golden, crisp, light and refreshing. Generous Cascade hop finish. This is a ture "transition beer" for those making the transition from American industrial brews to "Real Ales."
Bachelor Bitter. OG 1048. Alcohol by weight 4.0%. Coppery colered, Brittish-style "Best Bitter." Full malt body. Robust, with classic bitter hop finish. This ale is dry-hopped with Kent Goldings hops in the traditional manner.
Black Butte Porter. OG 1054. Alcohol by weight 4.5%. Dark, rich, and chewy. A staple in Old England with the baggage handlers for which it was named. A drink you can sink your teeth into. This beer has been Deschutes' "flagship" for distribution. A beer which truly dispels the myths about dark beer. (Editors note: What myths?)
Obsidian Stout. og 1065. Alcohol by weight 5.2% This beer is smooth as glass and as bblack as the volcanic rock for which it was named. Rich roasted and chewy in character, Obsidian Stout is not the bitter, astingent stout man people are familiar with. It is big, rich, round, and chewy. This makes Obsidian Stout vary approachable for the stout novice while a clear favorite of the seasoned veteran.
Mirror Pond Pale Ale. OG 1050. Alcohol by weight 4.2% Coppery colered, full bodied Pale Ale. This ale has a distinctive, lingering hop finish attained by adding Cascade hops in the aging tanks (dry-hopping). This ale's solid malt profile and crisp hop character make it the perfect ale for most foods or all by itself. A bronze medal winner at the 1990 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, Mirror Pond showed itself to be one of the world's finest.
Jubelale. OG 1065. Alcohol by weight 5.2%. Holiday season availability. English "Strong Ale" style. This ale has a very large malt body with a pronounced hop finish. As wiht the Pale Ale, this beer has been dry-hopped. Gold medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival. Jubelale is also available in a very limited edition bottling at Christmas time.
Deschutes Brewery's products are currently distributed throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, western Wyoming, Alaska, and Colorado.
For more information, contact Deschutes Brewery and Public House, 1044 N.W. Bond Street, Bend, Oregon, 97701 (541)382-9242 or Deschutes Brewery Production Facility, 901 SW. Simpson Ave., Bend, Oregon, 97702 (541)385-8606.
The Noble Experiment
by Suds Brewer
Brewpubs and microbreweries are really not a new phenomenon. Prior to 1920 there were literally thousands of small breweries scattered all over the 46 states. Each major metropolitan area, and many small cities, had their own local brands, brewed nearby. But prohibition put an end to almost all of these local breweries and permanently changed the way alcohol beverages are produced, distributed and consumed.
In order to gain a better understanding of the attitude, intent and effect of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, I recently read an interesting account of the horrible years of prohibition. "The Long Thirst," published in 1975 and authored by Thomas M. Coffey (and available at your local library) follows the trails of several concerned individuals through this lengthy ordeal.
On the evening of January 16, 1920, liquor store shelves throughout the land had been picked clean. "Wets," as persistent imbibers of alcohol came to be known, had filled their cupboards in dry anticipation. Saloons- there were over 100,000, one for every four men, women and children -were to be padlocked at midnight. Forever. To show the seriousness of the issue, Congress passed the Volstead Act, which provided means and money for prohibition enforcement.
But to many people, prohibition was a joke. Tammany Hall insured that liquor kept flowing in New York City. The Mafioso, eventually controlled by Al Capone, kept the speakeasies operating in Chicago. San Francisco and other major non-Southern cities also became dens of iniquity. Graft prevailed as the rum runners and bootleggers bribed officials at every level of government. Liquor was smuggled over the Canadian border and by sea from the Bahamas.
The motive behind the "Drys'" push for abstinence from alcohol was well-intended and well rganized. The evils of alcohol and the proliferation of the neighborhood saloon were blamed for, among other things, the rising rates of crime, poverty and violence. When the 18th Amendment was enacted, it truly was supported by a majority of the populace, including Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller and other industrialists who felt that alcohol prevented the American worker from attaining his best productivity.
Spearheaded by most Protestant religions, the original temperance movement dates back to the mid-19th Century, but it was the Anti-Saloon League (ASL), headed by the insistent Wayne B. Wheeler, who made the issue a political matter. The presidential election of 1928 was almost entirely choreographed by Wheeler. The Wets and the Catholics, usually one and the same, teamed to nominate New York Governor Al Smith as the Democratic Presidential hopeful. Although he was a Democrat, ASL's Wheeler schemed to place a Dry candidate on the Republican ticket. Herbert Clark Hoover of California fit the bill and was duly elected to serve. Increased enforcement of prohibition was a major plank in the party's platform.
But as time wore on, many who had believed, including Rockefeller, became disillusioned with the actual results of prohibition. Many felt that alcohol, illegal but now untaxed, was more readily available and that consumption had actually increased. The illicit use of alcohol by ordinary honest people encouraged lawlessness in general. As Pauline Sabine, founder of the pro-liquor Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform, said: "Prohibition has led to more violations and contempt for law, both by private individuals and public officials, and to more hypocrisy than anything else in our natural life.... To tell citizens what they must or must not do in their strictly personal conduct, as long as public safety is not affected, is a function which government should not attempt." But attempt they did.
From President Hoover's acceptance speech came the misquoted phrase that summed up the new majority feeling, by 1928, toward this "noble experiment." Later re-worded by thirsty Democrats, what Hoover actually said was: "Our country has deliberately undertaken a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far reaching in purpose." Experiment indeed; but by then the course was already set. With more important tasks, like dealing with the Great Depression, at hand, prohibition was almost a non-issue by the 1932 campaign. Hoover, renominated by the Republicans, had switched sides in the liquor debate. The Democratic nominee was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was, by party affiliation, an avowed Wet.
On April 7, 1933, the State of Utah ratified the 21st Amendment, providing the required two-thirds majority. The 21st abolished the 18th. Prohibition was over! Taverns- Roosevelt dispensed with the term "saloon" -opened in celebration, although many had never closed. Alcohol was to be regulated by the states and taxed by the federal government. About 700 breweries survived prohibition. Many had converted to dairy products, near-beer or non-alcoholic malt beverages during the drought. Within ten more years, several hundred of these survivors would perish due to antiquated equipment, bad management and lack of capital. Schlitz was America's largest brewer until Anheuser-Busch took the title in 1956. Thanks to better distribution routes and improved refrigeration, among other things, large breweries with regional plant locations would take over, acquiring many of the remaining local brewers or simply chasing them out of business.
George Washington had a brewery on his estate at Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson drafted much of the Declaration of Independence while sucking down a draft ale at the Indian Queen Tavern in Philadelphia. William Penn built the first brewery in the state named after him. Patrick Henry, James Madison, Ben Franklin and Samuel Adams brewed beer. All of these famous brewers worked hard to put this country together. But by 1920 the issue of alcohol consumption was tearing this country apart.
The effect of thirteen years of prohibition was devastating. A war of words, of dirty politics and imposed morals pitted Protestant against Catholic, Republican versus Democrat, Rum Runners and the Mafia against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drys versus Wets. In 1929-30 alone, 68,173 people were arrested for liquor law violations; 8,633 vehicles and 61 rum running boats were confiscated. During the reign of the 18th Amendment, $129 million was spent on enforcement. 92 federal agents and 178 civilians died in acts of violence, including seven at the infamous Valentine's Day Massacre.
With many lessons learned and yet to be learned, the noble experiment was over.
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline -- it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a good beer.