EDITOR: Mark Taratoot
club home page: http://www.peak.org/~taratoot/hotv.html
The club bid a farewell to our vice president (or is that "vice" president?), Dave Howell. Thanks, Dave, for the tireless effort you have contributed in fulfilling this important role! Dave will be moving back down south to help out with the family business, and the monthly commute to our meetings is just too much to handle. This brought us to the ugly business of appointing a new vice president. Bill Baxter was nominated to fill this position, and we all voted. It was a unanimous decision, with the exception of Bill himself. Yes, we have done a fine job of railroading yet another unsuspecting soul into our service.
We also got the ball rolling toward a successful 15th annual competition! Thanks Jennifer for taking on the responsibility of organizing this monster. We can all help out in some way, so make sure to get in touch with Jen and volunteer your time and energy!
After the business was taken care of, Matt introduced us to the Beer Style of the Month, Porter. Mmmmm. Porter. ‘Nuff said!
The next meeting will be March 19 at Ted Manahan's luxuries mountain top retreat, located in beautiful N. Albany, OR. The official address is 1440 N. Albany Rd. There should be a plywood sign at the bottom of the driveway, as it is a rather tricky entrance.
Take Hwy 20 towards Albany. Turn left on N. Albany Rd. N. Albany Rd. is the first traffic light coming from Corvallis, into Albany. Go 0.9 miles. You go past the railroad tracks, past Thorton Lake, past the North Albany Middle School, and past Quarry road. Just as you start to go up a little hill, you will see the driveway on the left. Take the long and winding communal drive way up about 200 yards. The house is at the very end of the driveway, on top of the hill.
From Albany (and other I-5 places):
Take the Albany exit (Highway 20) and follow the signs to Corvallis. After going through Albany, you will cross the bridge over the Willamette and head out of town. Turn right at the second traffic light onto N. Albany Rd. Go 0.9 miles. You go past the railroad tracks, past Thorton Lake, past the North Albany Middle School, and past Quarry road. Just as you start to go up a little hill, you will see the driveway on the left. Take the long and winding communal drive way up about 200 yards. The house is at the very end of the driveway, on top of the hill.
Have you noticed how much literature there is out there about beer? Lack of resources is never a problem when I write about beer. Writing about bocks was difficult for me. I always have a hard time finding a bock that I truly enjoy. Most are too sweet for me. I guess I yearn for more hops. That malty sweetness should be present, especially in doppelbocks, however, never cloying. Hop bitterness should be low; best described as increasing proportionally with the starting gravity.
Bocks can be either dark or light (helles). Never should there be any presence of roasted or burnt flavors in the darker styles. Doppelbocks are always dark in color, from a deep amber to a dark brown. Maibock is similar to helles bock in appearance and flavor and is brewed to celebrate spring. The Hofbrauhaus in Munich regards bock beer as its specialty and highlights its maibock each spring.
Einbeck, pronounced "Einbock", is a small town in northern Germany. This historic center of beer first brewed bocks in the 14th and 15th centuries. Hence the name "bock". These beers were brewed very strong because they were to be sent long distances. There is evidence that this northern European brewing center was exporting beer as long ago as 1378.
The word bock in German means "goat". This is why the animal often appears on labels; it is a mark of the style. Have you seen the white plastic goat draped around the neck of Ayinger's Celebrator?
Doppelbocks are a stronger version of bock beers. Though it does mean "double goat", it does not actually possess twice the kick of a goat. German law requires that the original gravity be not less than 1072. Monks from the order of St. Francis of Paula would fast each year during lent during which only liquids were allowed. The Paulaner monks endeavored to brew the most fortified beer possible. This beer, known as Salvator ("savior"), began selling commercially in 1780. From that time other brewers in Bavaria and in the rest of the world introduced doppelbocks and payed hommage to the original by naming their beers with -ator on the end. Some of these are Spaten's Optimator, Augustiner's Maximator, and locally Mercator from Full Sail. Eisbock is the strongest of all the current beer styles. Supposedly this style was developed by accident. An irresponsible apprentice left casks of doppelbock outdoors where it was apparently frozen. The resulting unfrozen portions were exceptionally strong, smooth, and deliciously malty. The most well known brewery to produce this concentrate is Reichelbrau of Kulmbach in Bavaria. In the U.S., Niagara Falls Brewing Company has been producing an eisbock since 1989 and has sold out every year since!
So many bocks, so little time. Which one will you choose? I have a local favorite. Oregon Trader's Wheat Bock (weizenbock). It is well balanced between malt sweetness and the aromas and flavors of a weizen. This is a very drinkable beer, but look out for the goat's kick!
If you would like to read more about bocks, see Zymurgy, Winter 1995, Darryl Richman's Classic Beer Style Series Bock and Michael Jackson's The Beer Companion.
We still need volunteers for the following committee chairs: Judge Coordinator (Ron... are you there?); Awards (Lee, perhaps?); Registration (I bet Jeff doesn't want to do this again, no?), Hardware (this means making sure we have enough coolers, bottle openers, pencils, cups, etc), Steward Coordinator/Head Steward, and Facilities Coordinator (does everything!). We do need YOUR help to make this years event a successful one. Contact Jennifer Crum (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 757-8714 to offer your time. We must get going on this NOW if we want to put the festival on cruise control later. Invest your energy and you will see a sizeable return of fun and friendship. We can make this happen, but we need YOU! If you have not already made a firm commitment, plan on signing up for one of the many that are available at our next meeting.
Eric Munger is looking for volunteers. At this years State Fair, Eric will be putting on a homebrewing demonstration for anyone who is interested in this fun hobby. What he needs is people to help staff the booth and create a concoction for consequent conveyance to a carboy, completion, carbonation, and consumption. Contact Eric at the Oregon Trader Brewery if you are interested in seeing how "Our State Fair is a Great State Fair...."
The Mill Creek Classic has been scheduled for June 29th. Details in future issues of this brewsletter.