THIS is the HOTV
BREWSLETTER

VOLUME XVII NUMBER 12

Winter Solstice Edition
December, 1997


PRESIDENT: Jerry Marshall (541) 757-3551
jmjr@cv.hp.com

EDITOR: Mark Taratoot
taratoot@peak.org

club home page: http://www.peak.org/~taratoot/hotv.html


Local Homebrew Club Makes Sunday Paper...Again!

I was enjoying that second cup of Sunday's beans and filling up my mind with the news when I saw it. Section "C," the section with Dave Barry, the national earthquake report, wedding announcements, and travel information, shuffled its way to the top. "Gee, who is that guy with the short hair wearing a Squatters Pub shirt?" I knew I had been saying this to myself a couple of months ago when he cut his long locks, but now that it is back to its natural color, it is easy to see that this is Ted's hair. And, that's Ted's barrel of lambic. Hey, put the airlock back on that thing; you wouldn't want it to get contaminated (or don't want it to contaminate everything else). And there's our President, Jerry. He is on his knees, bowing his head to the beer goddesses and admiring the dishwasher. There's even Joe! Hey, long time no see!

In addition to all these lovely color photos was a fluff piece about homebrewing and our club. The article briefly profiled three of our members. We were first introduced to Jerry, our President. Then we learned of Herky Gottfried's introduction to brewing, competitions, and label design. We were finally introduced to the old sage, Ted, who "just brews enough to keep beer in stock." Yeah. Right.... Information follows the article. Our club and Marys Peak Lagers are listed with contact addresses and phone numbers. Information about Corvallis' newest homebrew supply store, Corvallis Brewing Supply, 115 NW Jackson is also presented. Check your local library or ask other club members if you haven't seen this article yet.


Last Month

Our last official business meeting of the year was hosted by our very humble and lovable Jerry Marshall. Jerry has ignored past experience and invited us, once again, into his home. There were hand made pretzels, and we got to try the beer we saw Jerry bottling on the dishwasher door in the paper!

Of course, we also got down to business. Jerry introduced Joel Rea, the proprietor of Corvallis' newest homebrewing store. Corvallis Brewing Supply has just opened, and is located downtown by the Avalon Theater at 115 Jackson Ave. Stop by and say hi to Joel and Sheba. Sheba is the furrier of the two.

Cliff and Diana announced the relocation of The Homebrew Shop in Albany. Due to unforseen circumstances, The Homebrew Shop has moved to a better location. Stop by the new shop at 234 Ellsworth Street SW. This is downtown near the camera store at 3rd and Ellsworth.

Elections were conducted. A motion to elect the ticket as written was seconded, and carried. The vote was not unanimous, however no dissenting opinions were submitted. The surprising thing is that the officers all agreed to all of this, and all elected officers were, in fact, present at the elections! Whadayaknow. So, your new officers for 1998 are: Fearless Leader Bill Baxter didn't see the train coming and has been railroaded into the office of President. This leaves Lys Buck free to take up Bill's slack as Vice President in charge of everything. Herky Gottfried somehow got himself wrangled into taking over the newsletter, and Lee Smith graciously agreed to continue to manage the books for our gang. Congratulations!

Initial planning for the solstice party was next on the agenda. Long timer Dave Wolf will be heading up the team as Logistics Officer. Ron Hall, Kelly Ivors, and Mark Taratoot will try to stump everyone else with name the beer, and Bill will provide rings for ring-toss and will coordinate the beer-and-chocolate thing.

Lee reminded all that dues are, in fact, due. Ron Hall agreed to serve as competition registrar for our little 16th annual shindig in May. Dave Wolf and Herky Gottfried agreed to select a location for the competition (see related article).


The Solstice is Upon Us All

December is the month that brings us the shortest days. There is just less of that lovely light out and about, so it seems to be the month that people are out after dark more often. After the darker celebrations of late October and gluttonous feasts of late November, late December celebrates the returning of the sun, longer days, and the promise of a green spring in short order. Heart of the Valley has a tradition of celebrating this season by having a party in lieu of an ordinary, dull, routine business meeting.

Last year our incoming president Jerry hosted this gala event. This year, we will move back the Manahan residence in scenic North Albany. The festival will be at our normal meeting date and time, the third Wednesday of the month. That's the 17th for those of you who like it by the numbers. Some other important numbers are 1440 N. Albany Rd. This is the address where the alleged party may or may not occur. You need directions?

From Corvallis:

Take Hwy.. 20 towards Albany. Turn left on N. Albany Rd. N. Albany Rd. Is the fist traffic light coming from Corvallis into Albany. Go 0.9 miles. You will have gone past the railroad tracks, Thorton Lake, North Albany Middle School, and Quarry Rd. Just as you start to go up a little hill, you will see the driveway on the left. Take the long and winding communal driveway up about 200 yards. The house is at the very end of the driveway, on top of the hill. We will have some balloons or flagging to mark the rather tricky entrance.

From Albany (and other I-5 places):

Take the Albany exit and follow the signs to Corvallis. After going through Albany, you will cross the bridge over the mighty Willamette River, life blood of the valley, and head out of town. Whew. Sure is good to get out of town at last. Turn right at the second traffic light onto N. Albany Rd. Go 0.9 miles. You will have passed the railroad tracks, Thorton Lake, North Albany Middle School, and Quarry Rd. Just as you start to go up a little hill, you will see the driveway on the left. Take the long and winding communal driveway up about 200 yards. The house is at the very end of the driveway, on top of the hill. We will have some balloons or flagging to mark the rather tricky entrance.

It looks like this year's party will have some old favorite activities, including a "Name The Beer" contest (clearly, my choice is something simple, like Bob), ring-toss, and a beer and desert tasting that is sure to please. Remember, bring some beer to donate to the ring toss, bring smiles and good cheer, and bring a pot-luck dish to share. If you feel up to it, bring some beer trivia questions and/or prize donations. And please make sure you have a car pool or designated driver!


It's a Gas

Heart of the Valley maintains a carbon dioxide beer delivery system for use both at club functions and by the general membership. If you are a member in good standing (i.e., you have paid your current dues), feel free to take this system home with you to help you dispense some fine homebrew or something from down the Trail. Our kit includes a gas cylinder and all connections necessary to hook up to and deliver from just about any currently manufactured keg system. If you are not a current dues paying member, then please keep reading....


'Tis The Season

Ah, the frost is heaving from the ground, the Douglas-fir is crackling away in the wood stove, a glass of Hair of the Dog Adambier or Sierra Nevada Celebration rests quietly next to you as you engross yourself in some fine literature (or your most recent beer magazine). Things seem right in the Universe. But wait. What's this? You haven't paid your 1998 dues to Heart of the Valley yet? How could you possibly have let that slip your mind? Well, never mind that. Just make sure to cut a check TODAY and get it to your trusty HOTV treasurer (Lee Smith) by the beginning of the year. After that, you will again be among the ranks of the swill-sucking deadbeats. And none of us wants that. So pay up now before Lee has to come looking for you! It's only twelve bucks for heaven's sake! That's only a dollar a month! That's not even half of the cost of an OPB membership! And, we only need 30 more members before we return this newsletter to it's originally scheduled articles. We need your pledge of support RIGHT NOW. So get up. Operators are not on duty now, so put your check in the mail!


Kendall Staggs Lecture

As part of a Fermentation Science class, OSU history professor Kendall Staggs was invited to give a guest lecture on "The History of Beer Styles." Mark Daeschel, recipient of the Nor' Wester Endowed Chair, graciously invited HOTV to attend this lecture. Several of us were able to accept.

Dr. Staggs is currently performing academic research on the effect of prohibition on the brewing industry in Oregon. He also knows beer, and teaches a beer appreciation class in his spare time. Dr. Staggs talked about the cultural conflict in Belgium between the French and Flemish regions and how this may have kept the ancient brewing tradition alive in modern day lambics. Since there is the cultural dichotomy, and everyone seems to think it's fine to do what you want, speak French or Flemish if you desire, the urge to follow the crowd and drop traditions for "modern" lager brewing wasn't that strong. Conversely, the Germans had the Purity Law(s). Not as easy going, you couldn't put fruit or candi sugar in your beer if you wanted. Beer was this and not that. Dr. Staggs also discussed the origins of hops in beer in the 9th century, and how pale ale came about when wood, which darkens malt in kilns, was replaced with coal.

After the lecture, we were invited to tour the brew house and sample some of the Czech lager that the class had made. We also toured the vinegar plant and got to see the stainless vinegar reactor. Jeff Clawson, in charge of the OSU pilot brewery, apologized that most of the beer he makes mostly resembles Bud Light or Coors. But, he said that they are mostly testing hops, so they need a fairly bland "carrier" to determine subtle differences. Also, since almost every ounce of beer brewed at OSU must go down the sewer, maybe it isn't such a loss that this fine brewery is making Bud knock-offs. I also had the opportunity to ask Dr. Daeschel about the future of the endowed chair, and indeed the OSU pilot brewery itself, since Nor' Wester has folded and the name has been sold. He assured me that OSU had the foresight to sell the Nor Wester stock and invest it elsewhere, that the steel belonged to OSU, and that more support has come in from hop researchers. So, rest assured. OSU is still equipped to continue the important task of researching hops and beer, two very important scientific pursuits!


Homebrew Competition update

At our last meeting, we agreed to empower a committee to make final decisions on where to hold our competition in May. Dave Wolf and Bill Baxter have been putting time and energy into this work. After a few committee meetings and a site visit, the decision was made to commit to holding our event at the Benton County Fairgrounds, 110 SW 53rd Street, Corvallis. This site has a great kitchen that will make Dave a proud kitchen maniac! A deposit has already been put down for May 9 from 10:00 till 8:00. To limit our public liability, this will be a private event, closed to the public. There will be a suggested five dollar donation for guests (judges, stewards, volunteers, and competition entrants will be admitted without question). Food will not be sold this year, however, we will provide lunch for judges, stewards, and organizers/workers.

We still need volunteers to make this competition work. Ron Hall has already agreed to head the registration committee and serve as chief registrar. Dave Wolf and Bill Baxter may or may not have volunteered to co-chair the Organizing Committee. We're still kind of fuzzy on that one. We will still need people to be in charge of the raffle the day of the show. We will need two people to chair the Prize Committee. This committee will solicit donations for raffle prizes, for competition awards, and for beer to serve during pre-registration and with lunch. It would be really nice if someone would look into booking some entertainment. We may have already lined up a speaker from OSU. Surely it wouldn't be that much to ask someone to chair the Catering Committee (organize lunch for judges and volunteers). So, can some of you take on any part of any of these tasks? Sure you can! And you local homebrew club thanks you!


HOTV Really Cleans Up!

Four times each year, volunteers from our group don protective clothing and head out to the wild rambling of the winding road. As part of our civic duty to better our home, we walk the highway and pick up litter. Okay, there are nicer ways to say it, but that's what we do, and we need your help! Meet us on Saturday, December 20 at 11 am at Hyak Park. This is the little park on highway 20 near North Albany on the West side of the Willamette. Call Lee Smith to confirm (926-2286) or just stop by!

"But, WAIT!" you say, "Why not wait until better weather to get in on this most fun filled event? I mean, what are the advantages of participating in the December cleanup?" Well, for one, the Poison Oak is in its dormant stage and is much less likely to "getsomeonyou." Second, there's less traffic since fewer folks are heading to the lake or the river for "wet" type recreation. This means less trash, and fewer people throwing stuff out their windows at you. Third, the beer tastes better in December. And, let's not forget that it aint so dang hot, so you won't sweat so much.


Farewell

Over the past 26 months, I have had the pleasure of putting this monthly newsletter together. I would like to thank everyone for putting up with my dry wit over this time. I'd like to also thank everyone who contributed articles or other material, and I would especially like to thank Lee Smith for graciously offering to fold, address, stamp, and mail the newsletters each month. As a representative of this group, I have also put up and continue to maintain our club's home page on the web, and have experimented with using the web for competition entries and information dissemination. As Herky takes over as the editor, please show him the same courtesies that you have shown me over the last two plus years. Look forward, also, to a fresh writing style, and perhaps some changes to the layout as well. And, I should also thank Herky for agreeing to take on this task! See you all at the party.

your humble newsletter editor
Mark Taratoot




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