THIS is the HOTV


Holiday Edition
December, 1998

PRESIDENT: Lys Buck (541) 928-3531

EDITOR: Herky Gottfried (541) 757-8009

HOTV home page:

Last Month

The last official meeting of the year was held last month between Corvallis and Albany at Chris Zelazek's house. We had one of the largest meeting turnouts of any HOTV meeting since I joined the club. I wonder if people were really interested in the elections, wanted to participate in the Scotch Ale tasting, or just wanted to get the scoop on this month's Winter Solstice Party. Whatever your reasons, thanks for coming, and we'll see you next week at the party!


One of our first items of business was the annual election of officers for the upcoming year. The following people will take office at the January meeting. Say congratulations to them when you see them, and thank them for volunteering their time to help improve the club.

President: Michael Villiardos
Vice President: Eric Wager
Newsletter Editor: Herky Gottfried
Treasurer: Lee Smith

Also a big thank you is in order for our outgoing president, Lys Buck. Lys stepped in as president when Bill Baxter moved to Fort Collins and has done a great job. Lys will be the organizer of the club's Oregon Homebrew Festival in May.

Winter Solstice Party

See the article later in this newsletter for the complete scoop on this year's party, which is scheduled for 6:30 pm on Wednesday, December 16, at Sam Holmes' house. Dave Wolf and crew are organizing what should be another great party.

Lost & Found

A denim jacket was left at John Sterner's house after the October meeting. If it is yours, please see John to claim it.

HOTV Grain Mill

As most of you know, the club won a state-of-the-art RIMS brewing system from the AHA a few months ago. Although we still haven't received the system yet, we should be receiving it early next year. To make the system a bit more usable, the club decided to purchase a grain mill that will travel with the system once it arrives. On personal recommendations from several HOTV members, we decided to purchase the Valley Mill for approximately $130. See the article further in the newsletter for more details on the mill.

Pub crawl

At the meeting we talked a bit about the pub crawl that has been proposed for sometime fairly early next year. The general feeling was that we should head north this year after going south to Eugene last year. The Capitol Brewers of Salem are also rumored to be talking about a pub crawl, and Kendall Staggs volunteered to check with them about the possibility of sharing the trip to reduce expenses for both clubs.

If you'd like to help out, talk to Gary Ferguson.

BJCP exam

Our new vice president Eric Wager is trying to organize a BJCP exam to be held in the Corvallis area in mid February. This would make the exam much more convenient for local beer afficionados—the only BJCP exam in the Pacific Northwest last year was in Tacoma on a Thursday! See Eric if you are at all interested in taking the exam or helping out with organizing it.


It's time for the annual call for dues. Dues for 1999 are $12, which works out to a buck a meeting if you attend all meetings. Please give your check to Lee Smith at the address below and he'll give you your own personalized 1999 HOTV membership card.

Heart of the Valley Homebrewers
2190 Maier Lane, NW
Albany, OR 97321

This Month

In lieu of our regular meeting, December is reserved for the annual winter solstice party! This will be held at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, December 16, at Sam Holmes' house at 1875 NE Noble in Corvallis. Part of the party is a potluck dinner, so in addition to beer, bring a dish of food for sharing. Please also bring your own glass if possible. This is a family event, so bring your family!

Events at the party include the Name the Beer contest, Ring Toss for beer, and a Beer & Chocolate tasting that promises to be delicious. Please bring beer to donate to the ring toss. Directions to Sam's house follow:

From Albany:

From Corvallis:

If you get lost, Sam's phone number is 758-3563. Parking is expected to be limited. PLEASE CAR POOL!

Sad News

Editor's Note: Mark Taratoot sent me the following note, containing sad news about the recent passing of a fellow brewer and friend.

"I was speaking with Mark Daeschel, OSU Fermentation Science Professor and Nor'Wester Endowed Chair, today.

Mark shared some less than happy news. Bob McCracken, recent president of the Oregon Brew Crew (OBC) has died of a heart attack at the age of 36. Bob had set up a cooperator scholarship at OSU where cooperators (brewers, distributors) donate $2 per keg that they sell to help Fermentation Science students with academic excellence and/or financial need. With Bob's passing, Mark suggested they are going to change the name of the scholarship to the Bob McCracken Memorial Scholarship. This may be another appropriate place for our club to donate some funds. In the few years I have been associated with the club, Bob has always participated in our Festival and, if I remember, picnic. We should consider toasting Bob's memory at the December celebration."

Bob McCracken Memorial/Celebration

Editor's Note: This is a condensation of a few emails from Michael Rasmussen ( of the Oregon Brew Crew regarding a memorial gathering to be held this weekend. Also, for those of you who knew Bob, the McCracken family would appreciate if you could write down a story, or what you liked or admired about him. Michael will be collecting the writings and presenting them at the memorial gathering. Any photographs of Bob would be welcomed as well.

The McCracken family is planning a wake/party/celebration of Bob's life. They will bring his homebrew, his CDs and other things to make this event one of fond rememberance.

Dark suits are not appropriate, casual clothing is. You are not expected to arrive at 3:00 or stay until 8:00. Come as you are, when you can, and celebrate Bob McCracken.

Saturday December 12
3:00 to 8:00pm
Widmer Brothers Brewing

The event will be in the south building - the one that houses the brew house. There will be signs and helpful Widmer employees to direct you to the right spot.

Club-only Competition NEWS

We had 5 entries for the Scottish ale taste-off at the November meeting. This is by far the largest number of entries we've had to decide the HOTV entry in any of the AHA Club-Only Competitions, and the quality of entries seems to be increasing as well.

Congratulations to our winner Gary Ferguson. Gary will be representing HOTV in the 1998 If It's Not Scottish… AHA Club-Only Competition. Thanks also to Paul Bacon, Scott Leonard, Rob Nicol, Lee Smith, and Eric Wager for entering their tasty Scottish ales.

The 1999 AHA Club-Only Competition Schedule has just been announced. I'll have more information on these competitions in the January newsletter, but here is the tentative schedule, just to whet your appetites.

1999 AHA Club-Only Competition Schedule


Entries Due

You're Special To Me

February 1999

Why Don't We Do It In The Robe

March 1999


May 1999

It's a Mead, Mead, Mead, Mead World

August 1999

Porter! (sponsored by the Capitol Brewers of Salem!)

October 1999

Winter Warmer

December 1999

Oregon Trail Brewery Donation

By Lee Smith

In the latter part of November our membership was canvassed, by e-mail and telephone, as to whether or not the club should make a $100 donation to help the Oregon Trail Brewery in their effort to continue in business. The rationale was that OTB had always supported Heart of the Valley and that we, in turn, should now support it. Only four of our 57 members were not contacted, due to no known phone number or no answer.

Of the 21 members who responded with their opinion there were 20 ayes and one nay. In view of this approval by those commenting, a check has been issued, in the amount stated and forwarded to the brewery. Thanks to all who participated.

Grain Mill

In addition to our CO2 kit and counter-pressure bottle filler, the club now owns a VALLEY MILL grain mill. The mill is of the roller type, adjustable to the brewer's specification and can be hand cranked or driven by a 3/8" or larger variable speed drill. It is also equipped with a platform to which it is attached, allowing the assembly to be positioned directly over a mash bucket.

The unit can be checked out to any member in good standing, the same as the CO2 system and bottle filler, by contacting Lee Smith at 926-2286 or We are still awaiting delivery of our hard-earned RIM system and, once again, we have received assurances that it will be in our hands shortly after the first of the year. We'll see!

Style of the Month

The Scottish style of the month tasting seemed to be the hit of the meeting in November. In January, Rob Nicol will be hosting a "winter ales & barleywines" tasting that should be equally enjoyable.

If you are interested in hosting a style of the month tasting at a future meeting, please see one of the 1999 officers. The host gets to choose the beer style of the month (corresponding to the AHA club-only competition style if possible) and buy the beer for the tasting. The club will reimburse you for the beer (which is paid for through member donations).

Upcoming styles include:




January '99

Winter ales & barleywines

Rob Nicol

February '99


Volunteers needed!


By Dave Wolf

The 1998 HOTV Winter Solstice Party Blast is about to happen at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, 12/16/1998. The location will be at Sam Holmes' spacious house, near HP, in Corvallis. (see directions above).

6:30 - Buffoonery Buffet starts. Eat, drink, and be Mary (or any other of your favorite Holiday characters!)
7:00 - NAME THAT BEER CONTEST - Hosted by Rob Nicol and Frank Bretl. Rumors of a tough year are circulating.
8:00 - BEER and CHOCOLATE TASTING - Hosted by Dave Wolf and a sticky cast of hundreds.
9:00 - RING TOSS FOR BEERS (and general mayhem) commences. You're on your own now!
6:00 - (AM) Revelry.

This is a potluck, so bring along something to eat. Even chips for the culinary challenged! Stuffing starts at 6:30 PM. Please bring a glass to use. Really nice folks will bring a plate and silverware. If you play an instrument, bring it along. Jamming is encouraged.

BRING BEER! We have some Oregon Trail, Mike Day has a corny keg, Sam will have either Pumpkin Pie Ale or an IPA, and someone else has volunteered.

Show us all how good your beer REALLY is! We need both immediate consumption and donations for ring toss. Also, if you have anything else the correct shape (unique snap cap bottles, etc.), feel free to donate them to the ring toss cause. Sam has space for three corny kegs at the bar.

The only bad news is that the hot tub is still broken.

Sam is considering trying to get his daughter to provide childcare. Anyone interested should give him a call ASAP (H-758-3563, W-715-7635)

Sam has generously offered his stately digs for rustic overnight visitors (i.e. floor space!). There is plenty of room. This leads us to the subject of drinking and driving. Please don't plan on driving after this party.

Arrange a ride or spend the night. Bring a sleeping bag and pad to do it right. We want you back next year!

Questions? Ideas? Extra beer to get rid of?

Dave Wolf H - 752-8402 W - 715-5333

Upcoming HOTV events


16 @ 6:30 pm - HOTV Winter solstice Party (Sam Holmes)

19 - Highway Cleanup (meet at Hyak Park)


20 - HOTV Meeting (Julie Barlow)

Heart of the Valley Homebrewers

c/o Herky Gottfried
3920 NW Jameson Drive
Corvallis, OR 97330