July 2013 Meeting Notes

On July 27, about 15 members and 15 guests plus children gathered at Doug and Kel M.’s house for our monthly meeting. Mike U. reported a current total of 72 paid members, with a balance of over $1616.82.

Next month’s meeting will be August 17 at John and Diana S.’s place at the lake, details to come in the next couple weeks. Chris and Christy D. will host the September meeting and Belgian Specialty Ale on September 21.

Kevin C. reported that he, Doug M., and Paul M. were judges, and Kathy M. was a steward at the previous Saturday’s inaugural Hopsanity in Hill City Homebrew Competion in Lynchburg. This was Paul, Doug and I’s first opportunity to earn BJCP judging points since becoming Recognized judges earlier this year. In spite of some challenges, like having to vacate their first round judging location 2 hours earlier than anticipated, and out of town judges (ahem) showing up late, the judging went pretty smoothly. Doug noted that he was the most experienced judge at his judging tables, while Kevin did have the opportunity to judge with two National ranked judges. Kevin wound up winning Best of Show with an Imperial IPA, while Bryan took home the Hopwhisper award for getting the most total points in the competition, placing with 4 of his 7 entries. Both Bryan and Kevin were very impressed and excited by the prize packages they received, containing brewing ingredients, clothing, equipment, etc.

Blacksburg Brew Do is September 14 and the drop off for the competition is (was) July 29-31.

Harry gave a report on Microfestivus. There are 50 volunteers for Microfestivus associated with the Guild. Volunteers should be well taken care of by the Square Society in terms of free tastings as indicated by previous years. If people are still interested in volunteering but have not registered yet, spots are still available online. The greatest need is probably for cleanup at the end of the festival. The layout is similar to last year, but not exact – it is being held at the corner of Jefferson and Elm. There will be 5 (possibly 6) categories for judging this year. Judging will take place at the beginning of the festivalzA from about 12-2, and will consist of dividing sections up amongst groups, in which each group will pick their favorite one or two beers from each category. These beers will then be revisited in a second round at which time overall category winners will be selected. Judges should arrive at 11:30 if possible and find Harry. Mike U. has volunteered to brew at the Guild tent, which will be near Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrewing Co.’s tent. If anyone else wants to brew let Harry know.

We had a discussion about potential future votes on changes to Guild Bylaws. Kevin C. would like to make it quicker and easier to vote on Bylaws changes. The current rule stipulates that members must be given 1 month advance notice on any Bylaws votes. Considering the size of the club and the ease of communication with email, it seems that we could shorten this to one or two weeks. Bylaws changes also require a majority of membership to form a quorum. This could be eliminated all together provided advance notice is given, or lowered to 1/3 of members, for example. There seemed to be some support for something like this from the members in attendance, so I will work on drafting something more specific.

This led into a discussion about a incorporation. The main concerns with incorporation at this point are making sure the responsibility of annual filing and other paperwork is delegated to a specific officer or newly created position so that there are no questions in future years as to who needs to take care of it. Dan T. also suggested looking into hiring an accountant for the minimal number of hours it would take to take care of filing each year. Harry M. suggested he might be willing to do it as well.

Bryan S., Paul M. and John M. attended the National Homebrew Conference in Philadelphia in June. Bryan said it was fabulous and there was a lot to take in and experience each day and night. John described it as a typical conference, with 2.5 days of sessions, and more to do than time to do it. The sessions were taped and are available online for AHA members. Next year’s conference is in Michigan.

Bryan had a good experience at Harrika’s Brew Haus on the beach in Swansboro, NC. He also raved about the beers at the Beer Army Brewery in Trenton, NC.

Kevin C. visited Outer Banks Brewing Station and Weeping Radish on his beach trip. Outer Banks had great food and beer and a nice atmosphere, and Weeping Radish had some killer house made sausages and some nice beers.

Doug M. talked to Chris at Blue 5 – they have half of their equipment in for the 1/2 barrel brew system they’re planning on putting in above the restaurant. The other half should be in in a couple weeks. They want homebrewers to come in and brew beers on the system to have for sale at the bar. They may also allow some bombers to be bottled and taken home by the brewers.

Lastly, Bryan is hosting an IPA Day celebration tomorrow at his house, let him know if you’re interested in joining.

Also, thanks again to Doug and Kel for hosting, and for Doug’s most excellent Belgian Specialty Ale tasting! We tasted Orval, The Bruery Saison Rue, Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Wild, St. Bernardus Abt. 12, and Allagash Black, and they were all listed as favorites by different participants in the tasting. Also thanks to Martin K. for helping to hook us up with the beers from Vintage Cellar at a good price.