About 30 people gathered at the home of James and Joan Brown on Saturday, January 19 for the Guild’s first meeting of the year. New Treasurer Mike Usberghi reported a balance of $1368.86 and 28 paid members at the beginning of the meeting. Welcome to new members Jeff and Debbie Drinkert who joined in December as well as Joe and Wendy Hallock who joined this month.
Chris M. announced that the next meeting will be held at his house on February 16. Thom and Jeannie B. will hose the following meeting on March 9, which will include the Kolsch competition. You still have time to brew your Kolsch for this competition if you start relatively soon.
New officers Mike U. (Treasurer), Carrie C. (Vice Pres.) and Kevin C. (Pres.) were introduced. Carrie suggested holding intermittent “technical” meetings that would be less social and more focused on educating the members about things like off flavors, judging practices, etc, when fresh palates are necessary for tasting. This was well-received and is something we’ll be working in soon.
Paul M. talked about the BJCP exam that he, Doug M. and I completed the previous weekend, which includes an online portion that can be taken at any time for $10, and must be passed before taking the tasting portion of the exam. There are sample questions available for those interested in seeing what the online portion is like. There was a lot of interest in the next BJCP exam that will be offered in May 2014 in Lynchburg, and the current class volunteered to meet with next year’s class to guide some study sessions. Several motions were suggested regarding reimbursement for those who completed the online and tasting portions of the exam, from reimbursing the $10 for the online portion, to reimbursing the entire $50 for both, to splitting the difference. Formal motions should be submitted via email before the next meeting, when we will have a vote between 2 or 3 of the options.
Carrie C. talked about a trip that she, Justin C., and Dan and Terri T. took to Bull and Bones in Blacksburg, where the winning Brew-Do beer from last year, a Peppermint Brown, was on tap. The beer was brewed by a New River Valley Brewers Guild member this year. The general consensus was that the beer did not translate well to the full brewpub system and was lacking in peppermint flavor.
The yeast experiment, proposed by Mike U., was discussed briefly and it was decided that we’d still like to see if a local brewery would supply the wort for the experiment so that we could control variables of malt, hops, mash temp, etc, while varying the yeast on an individual basis. UPDATE: Doug M. has confirmed that Growlers brewpub is willing to supply the wort. Contact Doug with the type of yeast you’d like to try on a 5.5 gallon batch (or two). Terri suggested in exchange for the brewery’s assistance with supplying wort, we create an event around getting the wort, like a flashmob. Any takers?
Paul M. and Bryan S. indicated they were planning on attending the National Homebrew Conference in Philadelphia this year on June 27-29. Paul talked about how great an experience he had at two previous conferences. Registration opens Feb. 5 and will probably sell out in hours if not minutes. http://www.ahaconference.org/
Kathy suggested we hold a raffle for judges and stewards as a reward for volunteering for each competition. A motion was raised that 2 – $15 gift certificates to a local beer store be supplied for each competition as raffle prizes. The motion passed overwhelmingly.
BYO magazine is offering clubs a fundraiser in which half the cost of a subscription will be donated to the club if 10 or more people sign up for either a new subscription OR a renewal. The cost is $33 for a year, so the club would raise at least $165 if 10 or more people signed up. There seemed to be enough interest to make this happen – look for a separate email about that soon.
After a break we tasted 3 Kolsch style beers to gear up for our March competition. These included Reissdorf Kolsch, which was more carbonated and attenuated than the American versions but a bit skunky; Blue Mountain Kolsch 151, which had a maltier, bready note presumably from the addition of Vienna malt, and New Holland Full Circle, brewed with only Pilsner malt and Saaz hops, which was just a bit more bitter than the other versions. I didn’t notice any clear cut favorite.
Finally, thanks to James and Joan for their hospitality again and wonderful chili! Hope to see you all in February.