The Dog Days of Summer Edition
PRESIDENT: Lys Buck (541) 928-3531
EDITOR: Herky Gottfried (541) 757-8009
HOTV home page:http://www.peak.org/~taratoot/hotv.html
For our July meeting, we ventured outdoors for a second month in a row, this time meeting in a beautifully wooded setting at Frank Bretl's house. It was the final meeting for several members both old and new who will be leaving the Willamette Valley, so we reminisced a bit, ate some cake, and gave Ted Manahan several appropriate going-away gifts for his upcoming 2-year adventure in Singapore. Also leaving the club are Kelly Ivors, off to get her Ph.D. studying what makes mushrooms sick, and Grant Core, who got a job transfer to Boise.
We were also joined at the meeting by several guests and longtime HOTVers, including former HOTV president Shannon O'Boyle of Oregon City ('81-'91, right before Ted took over), and Lys's mom, visiting from Alaska.
It being the middle of summer, there wasn't much business to attend to, other than the sendoff mentioned above and a healthy amount of informal beer tasting. We also did a semi-formal judging of three German style wheat beers to decide the HOTV entry into the August AHA Weiss is Nice club-only competition. Congratulations and good luck to winner Mark Kowalski, one of our newest members.
HOTV meetings are held at 7 pm on the third Wednesday of each month, usually at a member's house, and when possible, alternating between Corvallis and Albany each month. Please contact VP Cliff Rhodes if you are interested in hosting a meeting in October or later. This month we’ll be meeting on August 19 at Lys Buck's new house in Albany. The address is 1208 NE Lafayette; the phone # is 928-3531.
My phone number is 928-3531, if you get lost and need it.
Heart of the Valley Homebrewers: 100% AHA Club of the Year!
Heart of the Valley Homebrewers Club has won the 100% AHA CLUB OF THE YEAR AWARD and, in September, will receive a "COMPU-BREW" RECIRCULATING INFUSION MASH BREWING SYSTEM. See Lys's conference report (below) for more details. Thanks to each and every one whose support of the membership drive made this a reality.
National Homebrewers Conference Report
by Lys Buck
Well, I do believe it would be very safe to say that a good time was had by all who attended the National Homebrewers Conference in Portland last month. We also all managed to drink a heck of a lot of beer over the three day span, not even counting the Oregon Brewer's Festival that weekend. I guess before the conference I never realized what an appropriate breakfast drink beer could be. And boy were there some great choices…Collaborator Milk Stout, Widmer's Bourbon Bock, Ted's Grand Cru, Hair of the Dog's Ed, and many, many homebrewed beers and meads, to name just a few.
Conference topics included talks on off-flavors, altbiers, yeasts, hops, saké, water, homebrew shop service, high gravity beers, cartoon history of beer, malt, beer evaluation, holding successful competitions, sparging, going pro, beers of West Africa, etc., etc. There was plenty to choose from and plenty to do, see, and drink…so much so that it was tempting to skip lunch (and sleep) each day so as not to miss a thing. But with several talks running at once that wasn't always possible. We each made many tough choices.
Oregon in general and our club in particular earned many awards and accolades during the awards ceremony on Friday afternoon. Thanks to all of our club members' efforts, our club won the Member Get-A-Member campaign and contest sponsored by AHA for the homebrew club that had the most members who were AHA members and who had the most new AHA members. CONGRATULATIONS! Our prize, which will arrive sometime in September, is a VERY NICE Advanced Brewing Technology "COMPU-BREW" RIM System. We all drooled over this system at the conference and will be very happy to cooperatively own it! Look forward to notice in future newsletters about classes on its operation and for the chance to borrow the system for your brewing. Also, I've got some descriptive paperwork on the system that you can ask me for at the next meeting. I'd be happy to show it off!
As you know, all of the credit for our winning this award goes to our treasurer and former president, Lee Smith, who did all the footwork within the club and with the AHA office. In recognition of his work, the AHA named him their New Member Recruiter of the Year. He sure deserves this honor! This award also comes with numerous prizes including a trip to the Great American Beer Festival. He will be a wonderful representative of our club at that event. Please congratulate him when you get the chance!
Big congratulations also go out to Ted Manahan, our recently relocated former president, who won a national Silver Medal for his Grand Cru in the Belgian and French Ale category. He spent Friday with the medal around his neck for all to admire. Let's send him lots of congratulatory email to greet him on his arrival in Singapore! Yum, what a beer.
Other Oregon winners included Lester Lewis of Capital Brewers who won a gold medal in the English and Scottish Strong Ale category. This was the same beer that won Best of Show in our competition in May. This proves the caliber of our competition and our judges. Capital Brewers were also stunned and pleased to be named Homebrew Club of the Year by the AHA, yet another huge honor for our state.
For more detailed information and stories from the conference please talk with any of our members who attended all or part of the conference. These members included Lee Smith, Ted Manahan, Joel Rea, Kendall Staggs, Ron Hall, and myself. We all have some big tales to tell. Check with me and I'll tell you if they can be confirmed! Also, because of all of our awards we should be featured prominently in the next few issues of Zymurgy. I also have it on good information that a picture of the HOTV poster, designed and produced by Frank Bretl, may soon be on the AHA web page. [Editor's note: I haven't seen it there yet. But let me know when it shows up if you see it.]
Thanks to all who brewed beer for our booths at the AHA conference. It was readily consumed by most who passed by and I heard many positive comments about the beers and the talents of their brewers! I haven't heard where the National Conference will be next year, but let's try to again be as big of a presence! It was a terrific experience that I'd love to repeat again and again and again…
If we have any hope of recapturing the picnic trophy [September 19], we need a six-person team of volunteers to practice two or three times on the BREW SKIS and, believe it or not, we are going to introduce LIMBO this year! Now, are there any among our young, lithe, supple, agile, muscular and devil-may-care members willing to practice for this event? We'll discuss it at the August meeting. Home brew will also be needed so hopefully our members are brewing right through the summer.
The South of Portland Beer tour
by Lee Smith
Delivering the second round AHA entries to Saxer in Lake Oswego gave me an opportunity to check out a couple of places I had read about in Northwest Beer Notes. The first was Belmont Station, open about a year now, at 4520 SE Belmont, next door to the Horse Brass Pub. It's a retail beer outlet but also specializes in memorabilia, T-shirts, glasses and accessories.
What's different about Belmont Station is that just one bottle each of their inventory is shelved along the back wall. These are not for sale but to help the customer make his selections. Having done that, the list is then handed to the clerk who retires to a darkened cooler in the rear of the store. Here your choices are bagged and delivered to you, never having once seen the light of day or felt the withering emanations of fluorescent tubes.
My priorities this day were Samichlaus (one of Rob Nicol's favorites); Celebrator; two abbey ales - Witkap Pater and Het Kapittel; 1996 Thomas Hardy; Sierra Nevada Summerfest; Saxer Pils and, finally, a Maudité. This last is a Canadian product that, according to the clerk, resembles a Chimay Red. At this writing, I haven't tried any of my beauties. Anyone care to help me get started?
Next stop was the Alameda Brewhouse at 4765 NE Fremont. A memorable first impression is the giant copper hop cone suspended over the entry. Once inside, the hop motif is continued with authentic hop baskets, burlap wall hangings with hop decorations and so on. The rest of the decor is different, to say the least. Exposed trusses overhead, concrete floor, galvanized corrugated wainscoting, and perhaps the most unique booth seating anywhere. The backs are made up of vertical 2" x 2" x 8' strips of white maple slightly set apart from each other. The rest of the furnishings, including the bar, are of the same attractive wood.
Heck, let's get to the beer. My first choice was a glass (everything in moderation!) of Turk's Head English Bitter. This is a copper-colored, rather highly hopped version of the style. Mt. Hood is the variety, beloved by northwest hop heads. Next came the Wasco Indian Summer Ale. There's no mistaking the influence of Magnum hops in this ale. Alas, a bit too hoppy for me. I decided to call it quits after the next, a Scottish-style ale, which happens to be one of my favorite styles. Alameda's version is called, "Croft-An-Righ Wee Heavy", Gaelic for "Farm of the King." This proved to be a strong, smooth and delicious product, very true to style.
By now I had met and talked with the assistant brewer, Adam Kercheval. He wanted me to at least sample some of the other beers on the menu. Not wanting to disappoint him (!) I relented and so tried tasters of Siskiyou Golden Ale (light, dry); Black Bear Double Stout (roasty, floral); and Head Brewer Craig Nicols pre-hop era Kölsch. It's top-fermented, of course, with an appropriate yeast, and balanced with lavender, chamomile flower and paradise seed. This is a unique approach to the Kölsch style and one that many would find pleasant and refreshing. I guess my palate is attuned to the more conventional styles, or perhaps it was just overwhelmed by now. But if you find your way there, try it and judge for yourself.
Finally, Alameda Brewhouse met my most demanding criteria—clean kitchen and rest room facilities. I only had an order of fried calamari so I haven't an opinion on the food. But what I saw coming out of the kitchen for others certainly looked appetizing. For me, Alameda was a nice experience and I'll be returning.
HOTV Bottle Filler
The club now has a counter-pressure bottle filler to accompany the CO2 kit. It will be demonstrated at the August meeting and those interested will be encouraged to try it. (Prudence dictates the use of water rather than beer. It can be a little messy until you get the hang of it!). Like your TV Remote, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.
RECENT COMPETITION RESULTS
Results from a few local competitions and the biggest one of all, the AHA National Homebrew Competition...
Nor'wester Rose Festival Competition
A few of our members did quite well in this Lake Oswego competition, now in its second year. Congratulations to Mark Kowalski who took third place in the American Pale Ale category, and to Lee Smith who received first place in the English Pale Ales. Incidentally, there were 325 entries this year (compared with 290 in our own competition in May) and already Nor'wester is talking about sponsoring the event in 1999.
Benton County Fair
In last month's county fair competition in Corvallis, Herky Gottfried snagged third place in the Wheat Beers and first place and Best of Class in Brown Ales.
Big congratulations go to departing past president Ted Manahan, who won a national Silver Medal for his Grand Cru in the Belgian and French Ale category. HOTV has already received 10 free entries into next year's competition, so get brewing and let's see if we can do even better next year!
Upcoming HOTV events
19 - HOTV Meeting (Lys Buck)
12 - HOTV Litter Pickup
16 - HOTV Meeting (Herky Gottfried)
19 - HOTV Picnic
21 - HOTV Meeting (host needed)
STATE FAIR: Volunteers Needed
Curt Hausam of Capitol Brewers is in need of volunteers to staff the homebrew booth during the period 27 August through 7 September. This is not to do a demonstration but to answer questions, etc. Workers will receive free parking and free admission to the Fair in return for their donated time. Curt can be reached at 1-503-378-0774.
Club-only Competition News
The next AHA Club-only competition is in October, the Best of Fest (Oktoberfest, etc.; AHA style 17). Be prepared to bring a bottle of your best fest to the September meeting. We'll have a taste-off to decide the HOTV entrant in the Best of Fest club-only competition.
Remaining 1998 AHA Club-Only Competition Schedule
Competition (AHA Category)
1998 Best of Fest (17 a & b)
1998 If It's Not Scottish…
Heart of the Valley Homebrewers
c/o Herky Gottfried
3920 NW Jameson Drive
Corvallis, OR 97330