2008 Meeting Notes

JANUARY 2008 MEETING President’s Notes
Written by Bryan Summerson
Sunday, 27 January 2008

Brief accounting of the January 2008 SCBG meeting held at Paul and Judy M.’s. Hello Brewers. Here is a brief (or not so brief…) description of the January guild meeting held at the lovely home of Paul and Judy M. Approximately 17 members were present and 2 guests, Justin and Carrie Cox. Justin and Carrie had visited with us at Teach A Friend To Homebrew Day. Welcome to them.

After thank you’s and intoductions Will gave us the state of the new club checking account. Some discussion was brought up as to whether the club would want to go Tax Exempt. Paul also inquired about us being incorporated. Will informed us that we didn’t have to become incorporated so long as our treaury remained under $5000, and we had no property. I think the consensus was that it would be easier to just keep our treasury as a personal account with the Treasurer(Will), and President’s(yours truly) signatures on the account. He is checking/finishing up this process with Suntrust. We had no balance or number of paid members as the Pats still have this info and were performing at Showtimer’s. Will will be transferring and collecting all of that information this month.Our next topic of discussion was future meeting sites. Chris and Pam M. have volunteered to hold the Febrewary meeting at their house which is out past the Pepsi bottling plant in Hollins. Date is February 23 at either 3:00 or 4:00. Chris will check with Pam and let us know the exact time. The March meeting is our Dunkelweizen competition meeting. No one stepped up to volunteer for sure, but Will said that it could be a possibility to hold it at his house. We were hoping for later in the month, because some members still hadn’t brewed their Dunkels. If anyone is interested in hosting the March competition for sure please let me know ASAP. The April meeting will tentatively be at Doug and Kelleigh’s home in Troutville. He is going to check his travelling schedule to make sure. Lastly, the May meeting is Big Brew and Ross/Nancy have volunteered to host this event again. It is traditionally the first Saturday of May, if I recall correctly. More info to come on meeting dates and times as I receive it.We then went on to discuss that there will be no more discount at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew until further notice. Business is slow and they will reevaluate the club discount in the spring/summer. We also discussed the hop shortage and stressed that everyone shouldn’t freak out and “hoard” hops. Things will get better.

After that, we asked for a show of hands as to who would be interested in pursuing a BJCP certification. 4-5 members present expressed interest, so I volunteered to check into it more. I had already checked on exam dates and locations. This is what is coming up in our general area: March 22 in Richmond, VA (probably not enough time to prepare for this one) and April 19 in Fredericksburg, VA (a definite possibility). Someone wondered if Patrick could contact David Houseman to see what our best options would be. More to come on this.

Next on the agenda, past members Kelly and Esther had sent out an invitation to a beer competition in the Wilmington, NC area on Feb. 23. We discussed if anyone would be wanting to attend. A minimum of 2 gallons kegged or bottled is a requirement. Highest score wins a new grain mill. Other prizes were TBA. No one present could attend and it was noticed that the date was the same as our Febrewary club meeting. Here is the link if anyone not present at the meeting is interested: www.capefearbiofuels.com

Lastly, all “other” topics were brought up for discussion. Kathy M. has some very potent dried pepper flakes from her brother to give away. If anyone is interested, drop her a line as she has lots of it. We then discussed members Dave and Trish’s current misfortune. If you are unaware, please read David’s blog here: http://members.cox.net/cyberdave2you/Trishie/Trishie.html . It would be great if the guild could step up and help out wherever needed. Contact Dave and Trish first please. Get well soon Trish!

We then had a brief break while Ross set up for his most informative presentation on the Dunkelweizen style. Ross was the perfect person to present on this style as he lived in Germany for many years. He was very prepared and even started out with a lesson for us on the German language! Ross had the appropriate glassware and showed us the correct way to pour any weizen. We tried not only Dunkelweizens, but started out before that with a brief history and example of the other hefeweizens. We started with Krystal-weizen(a filter wheat beer), then went on to a true hefeweizen, then lastly onto a rauch (smoked) hefeweizen, which all agreed was an “aquired” taste. We then tried approx. 6-7 dunkelweizens: Ayinger, Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg, Weihenstephaner, Tucher, Franziskaner, Erdinger and one other which escapes me at the moment. I think it was agreed that they all varied widely in aroma, taste and mouthfeel. There was no consensus for a favorite…

After Ross’ wonderful presentation, we then spent the rest of the evening eating and sampling some fine homebrews. Before allowing us to leave, Paul mentioned that he “had a device that he wanted us to blow into”… You can take that to mean what you wish, but many of our minds immediately went into the gutter. Turned out to only be a breathalyzer, whew! After the results from that, several of us had to drink a bottle of water before leaving. Thanks again Paul and Judy for allowing us to invade your home for the evening.

Respectfully submitted,
Bryan S.


Febrewary SCBG Meeting President’s Notes
Written by Bryan Summerson
Sunday, 24 February 2008

A narrative summary of the Febrewary Guild meeting at the home of Chris and Pam M.

     A lively group of around 30 gathered at the lovely home of Chris and Pam M.’s  in Hollins for the Febrewary meeting of the Star City Brewer’s Guild.  Thanks for being such wonderful hosts Chris and Pam!  Also, we got to help Pam celebrate her “29th” birthday!  Happy Birthday Pam!  We had many new members and guests visiting with us again:  New(er) members Jim and Joan Brown, new members Justin and Carrie Cox, Jeff and Kathy Leary with their friend John.  Welcome all.We then had a treasurer’s report from new treasurer Will.  He said the new account is up and running and if anyone needs reimbursing (Ross), please let him know at the March meeting.  Also, make sure he gets your receipts.  I will include a snippet from his email sent out today about number of members and account balance. OK. So we are at 35 paid members and 2 partials. The balance, after I make a deposit Monday will be $648.95. Anyone with reimbursements (Ross I know you are one) please get me receipts and we can square that up at March’s meeting.  Once again, 2008 dues are now being collected, $15 single/$20 family.Next, we discussed future meeting sites.  The March club meeting and Dunkelweizen competition will be held at the home of Chris and Fran A. on Bent Mountain.  The date is March 29th and the time will be 3:00.  Please bring competition beers by 3:30 so that the stewards can have everthing straight for the start of the competition.  Chris and Fran have alson graciously donated a door prize for a drawing for all who enter a beer in the competition.  The April meeting will “tentatively” be held at the home of Doug and Kelleigh in Troutville.  Date and time TBA.  In May, we will again be celebrating Big Brew ( the 30th anniversary of when Jimmy Carter legalized homebrewing) at the home of Ross and Nancy in Blacksburg.  There will be a 1:00 CST toast and a couple of homebrew recipes to brew.  Last year we brewed 15 gallons of beer!  More to come on the recipes when they are posted at the AHA website www.beertown.org .  The June meeting, our ESB club competition, will also be “tentatively” held at the home of Bryan and Sue P.  We will know more about April and June after Doug and Bryan speak to their significant others.

Then, Bryan S. mentioned that he had seen in the Nelson County newspaper that they are getting yet another micro. called Devil’s Backbone Brewing.  This brings Nelson County’s total up to 3 breweries, with Roanoke lucky to have one in August.  Perhaps another road trip will be in order?

Patrick K. then informed us that Mike at  Wine Gourmet is interested in doing another homebrew beer tasting at their store.  We had done one previously when they were located in Troutville.  A discussion will be ensuing on the club email for anyone who is interested in donating their beer to be tasted.  This is a great way to educate the public on craft beer and the merits of homebrewing!

Doug and Bryan P. then presented their ideas on style/recipe parameters for our August competition, which is Specialty Beer.  They have suggested a certain grain bill, hops(Galena, Vanguard, and ?) and amounts that can be used.  Judging will be strictly on which beer is liked the best and not on any particular style parameters, sort of a “free-style” comp.  They have some more tweaking to do and will post their suggestions/findings on the club email soon.  Should be interesting!

Paul M. also brought up that if we are truly trying to do our competitions correctly (i.e. AHA), that all entries in our club-only competitions should be bottled in 12 ounce brown bottles with no markings, instead of kegs, green bottles, 2 liter bottles etc.  The only way that the AHA and virtually every other compeition outside of our own will accept entries is in 12 ounce brown bottles.   If we have a competition and only one person brings their beer in a keg, then everyone judging will know whose beer it is.  That could lead to a problem with anonymity and the person’s score could be skewed.  We will need to bring this up for vote at a future meeting or perhaps by club email?

Lastly, we again discussed the possibility of some members becoming BJCP judges.  Patrick suggested we contact member Ed Wolfe who was one of the author’s of the BJCP guidelines, and get his input.  However, because he has a Virgina Tech email address, he has not been receiving club emails.  We need to change their email over to Carol’s so that they can receive guild mail.  Also, Bryan S. gave out a web address for practicing style parameters (O.G.’s/F.G.’s, IBU’s, Color, ABV, etc.).  It is located at http://www.tastybrew.com/bjcp/ .  Happy studying!

Club business was then wrapped up and everyone enjoyed all of the delicious food and homebrew/craft brew.  Thanks again Chris and Pam for being such gracious hosts.  Get those Dunkelweizens bottled and we’ll see everyone on the 29th of March.

Respectfully submitted,
Bryan Summerson, SCBG Pres


March 2008 SCBG Meeting/Competition President’s Notes
Written by Bryan Summerson
Sunday, 30 March 2008

Brief summary of the March SCBG meeting and competition.

    A large group of SCBG members and 3 guests assembled at the mountain-top home of Chris and Fran A.  Despite it being a cool and blustery day, the views were gorgeous.  Thank you Chris and Fran for opening up your home to us and also for providing a shuttle up your precarious driveway.The business part of the meeting began at approximately 4:00.  Will gave us a report on the club funds, which I believe stand at around $638 if I remember correctly.  Also, we currently have 37 paid members and one more was added that day, for a grand total of 38.  Please remember that if you haven’t paid your dues for 2008 yet that they are due immediately, $15/single and $20/couple.The April club meeting will be held at the home of Doug and Kelleigh M. in Troutville on April 19, beginning at 4:00.  This will be the meeting where we discuss the ESB style and also taste commercial examples.  If anyone would like to volunteer to give the club a brief description/history on ESB, please let me know ASAP.  Also, if you come across any commercial examples of that style, pick up a few bottles for the tasting and Will will reimburse you.  John M. has stated that he already purchased Fuller’s ESB so we don’t need any more Fuller’s.

The May meeting is Big Brew, which happens to be the 30th anniversary of the legalization of homebrewing.  This meeting will again be held at the home of Ross and Nancy A. in Blacksburg.  The date is May 3rd and the the time to show up is around 12:00 so you can join in the toast that occurs world-wide at noon central time.  We also gather to brew the same recipe as others all over the world.  The particulars and recipes for this year may be found at this website: http://www.beertown.org/events/bigbrew/index.html  Ross and Nancy have plenty of room for those who wish to spend the night.  Also, there are several hook-ups for water and electricity for brewing.  This is one of our most enjoyable annual events, so come on out and celebrate with us.  Bring your non-brewing friends also!

The June meeting will be held at the home of Bryan and Sue P.  The date and time is still to be determined.  We will let everyone know as soon we find something out.  This meeting will also be our ESB competition, so plan your brewing accordingly.

The July meeting will be held at the home of Bryan and Jenny S. (my home) on July 26th.  Starting time will probably be 4:00.  There will be no commercial tastings at this meeting, but we hope to have all of our info ready for the Sept. competition style which is a “Brewer’s Choice”.  Everyone will have a list of ingredients to use to brew whatever kind of beer they want.  Beers will be judged strictly on which one tastes the best.  No particular style parameters.

Next on the agenda was a discussion on the World Beer Festival held in Raleigh on April 26th.  We found out that  all the on-line tickets have been sold-out.  Today (3/30), we heard from Joe W. down in Raleigh that pretty much all of the local outlets are also sold out.  Looks like we will have to attend in October in Durham instead?

We also briefly discussed the National Homebrew Conference in Cincinnatti that is to be held 6/19-6/21.  It seems as if no one has any plans to attend.  Discussion was brief.

We then took a brief break while our head-stewardess Kathy got the tables set up for our Dunkelweizen competition.  Thank you Kathy, Cindy and helpers for doing such a great job!  There were 11 beers entered and judged at 3 initial tables.  Four beers were sent on to the final round where the judges picked the following winners:  third place went to Chris M., second place went to Paul M., and the first place trophy went to…John M.!  Looks like it was a good day to have a last name that begins with “M”!  Congratulations to all on some great beers.  We also added something new and wonderful to the competition, thanks to Chris and Fran of Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrewing.  They donated a very nice bench capper and bottle caps to be given as a door prize.  All of the 11 people who entered a beer in the competition had their names put in a hat and a winner was drawn.  Will, our treasurer, had his name pulled out.  Congrats Will!  Everyone’s first round scores will go toward the Brewer of the Year award, so keep brewing and entering the competitions.

Everyone then enjoyed some more homebrews and food, until it was time to take the shuttle back down to our cars.  Thanks again Chris and Fran!  Look forward to seeing everyone on April 19th.

Respectfully submitted,
–Bryan Summerson
SCBG President



April 2008 SCBG Meeting President’s Notes
Written by Bryan Summerson
Sunday, 20 April 2008

A summary of the April SCBG meeting at Doug and Kelleigh M.’s.

    A lively bunch of SCBG members and guests gathered at the home of Doug and Kelleigh M’s on April 19th.  Special thanks to Doug and Kelleigh for opening up their home to us and being such great hosts.  There were approximately 20 members and 3 guests with us.  Guests were Will’s dad Pete and his significant other Donna.  Ginger and Pat had their friend Tony along with them also.  In addition, Joe and Marsha, who were in Roanoke/Salem finishing up their packing, were able to join us.First on the agenda, Will gave us a treasurer’s report.  The club account stands at $683.95 (before reimbursements for ESB’s) with 40 paid members.  Thanks Will.Next, we discussed the May 3rd meeting, which also happens to be Big Brew.  It will be held at the home of Ross and Nancy A.  They live in Blacksburg and I’m sure that directions from Ross will be posted ASAP.  John and Kathy M. have volunteered to head up the food situation again this year, thanks to them.  So, please post to the list what food-fixin’s you plan to bring so they can make sure we don’t get a lot of one thing.  For those who don’t know, Big Brew is an all day event.  Ross says that anyone wanting to brew may show up as early as they like, just let them know you’re coming. There are at least 2 water supply and electrical outlet areas outside of his house.   Ross has been so kind as to allow some new extract brewer (if needed) to borrow his brewing set-up.  Ross suggests that all bring lawn chairs to sit on and also, Big Willee will be there for those who have beer in kegs.  A poll was taken to see who might be brewing that day and 4 members raised their hands as possibilities.  If anyone who was not in attendance at this meeting wants to brew, it would be advisable to post to the list so Ross can make sure times/facilities are coordinated.  There will be a world-wide toast at 1:00 eastern to celebrate Jimmy Carter’s signing of the bill allowing homebrewing again (30th anniversary).  I have already registered our site with the AHA, so you may check out the details/recipes there http://www.beertown.org/events/bigbrew/index.html .

The June meeting, which is also our competition meeting for the ESB style, is tentatively scheduled to be at the home of Bryan P.  He was not in attendance, so we are not sure on a date or time yet.  That information is very important and will be posted ASAP.

The July meeting will be at the home of Bryan and Jenny S. on July 26th, beginning at 4:00.  We will be having a discussion on our September competition style which is “Brewer’s Choice” using a uniform list of ingredients, with a couple of variables remaining open to the brewer (i.e. yeast).

Joe and I then gave a brief report on our recent road trip to Hickory Hops beer festival in Hickory, NC.  We both agreed that it was one of the most well-run events that we’ve been to in recent memory.  Almost reminded us of how Microfestivus used to be.  There were approximately 30 or so breweries there, with a total of over 150 beers to try.  Most also had beer on cask.  A local brewpub and homebrew club run it with perfection, cost was $25.  There was more than enough beer to taste and never any chance of it running out.  Lines(when there were any) moved very quickly.  We also got to see and hang out with displaced SCBG members Kelly and Esther.  Kelly had his tasty IPA on tap with Azalea Coast Brewing.  Every homebrewer’s dream!   This is highly recommended as a club event for next year!

Next,  due to the hop shortage and high prices of them, we discussed the possibility of a “hops exchange” between brewers.  In other words, if Ross needed an English bittering hop and I happened to have some on hand, we could trade/exchange for something that I needed or for a draft-pick to be determined later.  Ross also mentioned that a small homebrew shop in Blacksburg called “Eats” has a small but fresh selection of hops($2.65/oz.) and yeast on hand.  They are located across the street from the Vintage Cellar.

Bryan S. has planted hops this year and has a couple of rhizomes left over (one of which was claimed by Doug).  So, if anyone would like on let me know via email.  Doug also offered up the use of his vacuum sealer for anyone who needs to break up large amounts of hops or what-not.  I will be taking him up on it when my harvest comes in.

After a brief break, John M. gave us an informative presentation on the ESB style with several commercial examples to try.  I think it was agreed that the Fuller’s ESB and Otter Creek’s ESB were the two best examples (out of 7 or 8).  We did agree that we needed to be careful when judging not to hold all beers to the standards of Fuller’s, as that is only one of a broad range of flavors in the ESB BJCP style guidelines.

Thanks to all for coming and see you all in 2 weeks for Big Brew!

–Bryan Summerson
SCBG Pres.


June 2008 Club Meeting/ESB Competition
Written by Bryan S.
Sunday, 29 June 2008

A brief summary of the June club meeting and ESB competition held at the home of John and Kathy M.   Despite the menacing thunderstorms, a group of around 20+ members and friends made it to our June meeting and ESB competition held at the home of John and Kathy M.  We had 3 guests with us this day, including Dave’s friends Larry and Ros from Boone’s Mill and newest member Kevin C.  Welcome to you all.  Special thanks to John and Kathy for hosting again and to Kathy for being our very organized head stewardess.

We didn’t have a treasurer’s report this month due to the fact that our treasurer is on vacation.  We did however gain another new member, Kevin C.  I believe this takes our total number of paid members up to 51?  With this many members, hopefully we will begin to have more than 9 entries in our competitions?  Just Brew It!

The locations of the next few meetings was discussed next.  The July meeting will be held at Bryan and Jenny S.’s home in Roanke City on July 26th beginning at 4:00.  There will be further discussion about our “Specialty Beer” competition which will be held in September.   It was then suggested that since we don’t have any commercial tastings that meeting (which we normally would do), perhaps we could have a “Tech-talk” type presentation on some brewing-related topic.  Perhaps how to build a kegerator, or how to keg homebrew, or a brewing technique.  Any suggestions for our first presentation can be posted to the list for further discussion?  So, all you DIYer’s put on your thinking caps!  Chris M. has tentatively volunteered his home for the August meeting.  He will get back to us on possible dates and times.  The September meeting and Specialty Beer competition has yet to be volunteered for.  Anyone interested in hosting this meeting please contact me ASAP and we will discuss the details.  Jeff F. has already volunteered his home in the Crystal Spring area for the October meeting.

Next on the agenda was a discussion about the Montgomery County (Maryland) Fair Homebrew Competition.  Patrick told us about the time he entered (5 years ago) and placed 1st for his Oatmeal Stout.  You get a State Fair ribbon for this, not some small homebrew ribbon!  I will be entering and if anyone else would like to also, they can contact me and we will see about shipping.  Entries and fees ($5 per entry, 2 bottles required) are due by July 26.  Details can be found here at http://g_a_b_s.tripod.com/ .

I then shared a correspondence I had with Shooting Creek Farm Brewery in Floyd, Va.  I had bascially emailed them welcoming them to the area and told them how glad we were that there would be such a brewery in the area.  I also expressed interest in the club coming for a tour/tasting or helping out the brewery in some capacity.  The response I got said that they were having trouble getting their ABC license and had to go to a public hearing in the near future.  But they would still love for us to come visit even before they officially open for business.  They would also love/appreciate any “volunteer” help we would be willing to give them.  So, I smell a road trip in the very near future?

Our past Prez. Pat K. then filled us in on his newest gig at Showtimers, “Guys and Dolls”.  Should be a great show, so go out and support the Pats.  Showtimers is just off of 419/Electric across from AllState.

After a very brief break for some food, Kathy had two tables set up with 3 judges per table.  There were 9 entries for the ESB style.  After the initial round of judging, 4 beers were sent on to the final table of judges.  After much deliberation, 3rd place went to Paul M., 2nd place to Chris M., and 1st place went to our very own ESB, Ross A.!  Congrats to all!  They are some quality beers.  Once again this month, Chris and Fran at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrewing donated a door prize for a drawing.  This month the prize was a case of 1 liter fliptop bottles.  In order to qualify for the drawing, you had to have entered a beer in the competition.  The winner of this month’s prize went to Pat K.  Congrats Pat!

Hope to see you all next month at our house!

-Bryan S.
Primary Fermenter, SCBG



The July SCBG Meeting
Written by Bryan S.
Sunday, 27 July 2008

Summary of the July 26th SCBG meeting held at the home of Bryan and Jenny S.

   An unexpectedly large, enthusiastic crowd of 30 members and guests gathered at the home of yours truly yesterday for what is traditionally a lower-turnout monthly meeting.  We had many members present as well as new members Beth & Al Durham.  Welcome Beth and Al.  We all got to taste her yummy Nut Brown ale, batches #2 and #3.  Also, new member Kevin Campbell brought a visitor along with him, Chris Davies.  Welcome Chris.First on the agenda was the treasurer’s report given by our treasurer Will.  The club stood at 41 paid members (not including Beth and Al), with a balance of $570 (also not including Beth and Al’s dues).  It is nice to see the club growing at a pretty rapid rate!  Now we need to get you new brewers entering the competitions!We then discussed the future meeting sites for the club.  The August meeting will be at Chris McD’s on the 16th beginning at 4:00.  We will have a demonstration on how to can starter wort.  Chris lives out in Hollins near the Pepsi bottling plant and will send out directions at a later date.  The September meeting, which is our Specialty Beer competition meeting, will tentatively be held at Doug and Kelleigh M.’s in Troutville.  They will let us know date and time ASAP.  The October meeting is spoken-for also.  It will be held at Jeff and Cindy F.’s house in Crystal Springs.  They will also give us a date and time ASAP.  The Brown’s have offered to host the November meeting and Will is once again hosting the December meeting (Robust Porter Comp., Brewer of the Year Awarded).  So, we are set up to the New Year for our meeting sites.  Thanks to all for stepping up and volunteering your homes.

Next, we discussed the status of several local breweries/brew-pubs.  Roanoke Railyard is still awaiting approval from the ABC on their liquor license.  John M. and Kevin gave us a report on the “focus groups” that they were a part of to try to guage what Roanokers want RR to brew.  Didn’t sound all that promising…  I then informed all of the problems that Shooting Creek Farm Brewery in Floyd were having.  They also are having trouble securing their ABC license, but theirs is due to objectors on their road and others from farther away.  They have to attend a public hearing on Aug. 4th @ 2PM at the Virginia ABC regional offices on Peter’s Creek Rd. in Roanoke.  They would love if we could attend the meeting to show our support.  Or, let anyone you know that appreciates craft beer to come out and show support.  They also stated that letters of support will be presented to the court, so if you’d rather write than speak, go for it.  I would really love for the guild to show our support in some way.  Perhaps a well-written letter to the court from the guild?  Any volunteers?  Then we discussed Awful Arthur’s brewpub at Tower’s mall.  All is moving along well from what we can tell.  Will stated that they have $300,000 to spend and that they have already hired a head brewer and assistant brewer.

Last on the agenda was a heated discussion about our Specialty Beer style for the competition in September.  The ingredients were stated again for all.  Someone asked the question “Is this gonna count toward Brewer of the Year?”  Most said “yes”, but the scoring seemed to be a bit fuzzy.  We will still use the 50 point scale for Aroma, Appearance, Mouthfeel, Taste, Overall Impression.  It was suggested that we should probably use the BJCP style #23(Specialty Beer) as our “guide”.  This was met with what could best be described as “mutiny” by the authors of our ingredient list.  They state that these beers should not be to any style, just pick the ones that taste the best!  Let the brewers use their creativity to make whatever crazy concoction they want!  I would agree, but also state that that’s what BJCP style #23 is all about.  It would give judges some kind of path to follow as they were scoring all these different (I would assume) beers.  Someone also stated that the brewers who enter should include a sentence or two describing their intended concoctions to the judges and drinkers (i.e.- “This is loosely based on a Hefeweizen, but I hopped it up quite a bit with Glacier and Palisade hops and added some chocolate malt to give it a hint of chocolate/roastiness”).  That would give the judges some kind of idea how to score their beer, rather than just saying “this one tastes better than that one, to me”.  I would like to generate some discussion about how we want to score this competition before it gets to be September.  So, send an email to the list stating your opinion on the matter and all you older guys may know something about what the by-laws say.  If so, feel free to chime in and set us all straight.  Here is the link to the BJCP style #23 Specialty Beer http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style23.php in case you want to peruse it and see what it has to say about it.

Once the hubub died down on that topic, we all commenced to eating and drinking and the playing of Cornhole, otherwise known as “Beanbag Toss”.  John was quite the ace at that game and will probably not be asked to play again… ;^)  Special thanks to Chris for trying his darndest to allow Ethan to win.  You have the patience of Jobe there brother.

–Bryan S.
“Primary Fermentor”, SCBG



August 2008 SCBG Meeting
Written by Bryan S.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Summary of the August club meeting at Chris and Pam’s.

Hello Brewers.  We had a very nice gathering of homebrewers and friends (25+) at the home of Chris and Pam M. on Saturday.  Thanks to them for opening up their home to us!  The club tent was erected in Chris’ back yard and most enjoyed the beautiful weather.  We did get two new members, Ros and Larry Bartell, who many have met already through Dave F.  Welcome to the club Ros and Larry.   I believe this brings us up to around 45 paid members!

    When a sufficient number of folks showed up, many of us ascended to Pam’s kitchen to begin the demonstration on canning starter wort.  Due to the extreme amount of time it seemed to take and the inability to use one of the pressure cookers, we were only able to make 5 quarts of starter.  For those who missed out, here is the link to the recipe and procedures:
http://maltosefalcons.com/tech/startermadeeasy.php .  Chris, Carrie & Justin, Kevin, and Jeff (?) all went home with a quart of starter to use the next time they brew.  Due to the time it took to get the pressure cooker up to temp., the business part of the meeting didn’t get started until 6:00.

The club meeting sites for this year are all spoken for, with Doug and Kelleigh hosting the September competition meeting.  Date and time to be announced ASAP.  The October meeting will be at the home of Jeff and Cindy F.   They said that the last Saturday(25th) would be best.  The November meeting is scheduled to be held at Jim and Joan B.’s house.  They are in the middle of travelling and were not present at the meeting this month.  So, their date and time will be announced at a later date.  The final meeting of the year, in which we have our last competition, voting for president, and awarding of Brewer of the Year will occur again at the home of Will and Jen L.  Date and time TBD.  Thanks again to all for stepping up to host our meetings.
Next, John, Kathy and Bryan gave a brief report on this year’s Microfestivus.  Consensus was that it was very well run, with lots of beer, lots of porta-johns, and very reasonable wait-time in lines.  There were 100+ beers on tap this year!  We also got to speak with the owner of Roanoke Railhouse Brewing, Steve Davidson, and he says they should have beer in restaurants within 45 days.  I had suggested that the guild hold a club meeting at the brewery and he was very excited about the possibility.
We were then reminded of Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day which is coming up on Nov. 1.  We are hoping that Chris and Fran are able to host it again this year?  What say you Chris and Fran?  Last year was a whopping success and many new brewers were added to our ranks (Jim and Joan, Brian M., and more).  We are looking for volunteers to lug their gear out and homebrew for the community.  Bring out any of your friends that may have an interest in brewing for a very informative and fun day.
Some other topics discussed were a beer festival in Greensboro, NC which is to be held this weekend.  The Pats have attended previously and speak highly of it.  It is to be held on Saturday at the Coliseum.  AFAIK it is a one price pays for all event ($30-35).  Also, a reminder was given about the Bramwell Oktoberfest which is well-attended by guild members each year.  Many members are planning on attending this year.  Visit here for details about this wonderful event  http://www.bramwelloktoberfest.com .  They also have a nice sized homebrew competition which the club has historically done quite well in.  Chris then showed us all pictures of his visit to the Anheuser Busch plant in Jacksonville.  Thanks for sharing Chris.
Lastly, we once again discussed the format for the September Specialty Beer competition.  It was agreed upon that we would have to use BJCP 23A in order for the points to count towards Brewer of the Year.  So, basically, brewer’s need to let the stewards know what basic type of beer are you entering (light or dark, hoppy or malty).  The one or two sentence description idea seems to be a good way to do that.  For expample, “This is a hoppy,  belgian-inspired IPA, brewed with American hops and belgian abbey yeast.”  This way, the stewards know to have your beer judged after all the milder, less bitter/hoppy beers.  We are trying to save the judges palates by presenting the beers in the correct order for tasting.  A bitter hop-bomb, if judged first, would ruin the palates of the judges, if then followed by a wheat beer or blonde ale.  Does this make sense to everyone?  I hope so…
Then the business part of the meeting was adjourned and we commenced to merry-making.  Lots of good food and beer was brought by all.  Until September,
–Bryan S.
Primary Fermentor, SCBG


3rd Quarter Competition and Guild Meeting
Written by Bryan S.
Monday, 29 September 2008

Report on the meeting/competition held at Doug and Kelleigh’s on Sept. 27th.

     A very large and lively group of 30+ SCBG members gathered at the home of Doug and Kelleigh M. on a cool, rainy Saturday evening for the club’s 3rd quarter competition.  Thanks to Doug and Kelleigh for hosting us on this messy day.  Also, we welcomed one visitor, Bailey, who is Kevin’s girlfriend.
Will gave us the treasurer’s report and the club funds stand at $603 and 45 paid members.  These are both club highs I believe?  Looks like we need to be spending some money…  Can someone say “roadtrip”?  Thanks Will.
Next on the agenda we discussed future meeting sites.  Due to unforseen home repairs, the Fries had to give up hosting the October club meeting.  The Merkwans stepped up and offered to be our hosts for that meeting,  The meeting will take place on Oct. 18th beginning at 4:00.  This meeting is the commercial tasting of our final quarter competition style, Robust Porter.  Patrick will be giving us a presentation on the style.   Also, we will be discussing beer styles for 2009.  The November meeting is tentatively set to be held at the home of Jim and Joan B.  They weren’t in attendance this month, so we’ll have to hear from them about whether they are still planning on hosting.  This is an important meeting, as we will be voting on beer styles for next year’s competitions as well as nominating folks for president.  Will and Jen have once again volunteered to host our last competition and meeting of the year in December.  We will be voting for our new Pres. as well as awarding our new Brewer of the Year.  Date and time to be announced.  Jeff and Cindy did offer to host the first meeting of 2009, date and time also to be announced later.
We then talked about Teach a  Friend to Homebrew Day; which is November 1st this year.  Chris and Fran A. have offered to host it again at the shop.  Those who have offered to brew that day so far are Jeff and Bryan S.  Many have offered to bring samples of homebrew to pour.  Chris and Paul are working on the ABC license for this event.  We will discuss more via the email and meeting at the Merkwan’s.
Bramwell Oktoberfest was the next event discussed.  Several of us are planning on attending (Merkwan’s, Pats, Bryan S., Eric).  This is a really fun event, so if you think you  can make it you should really try.  It is October 11th in Bramwell. WV which is about 12 miles from Bluefield, WV.  If you cannot attend and would like to enter the homebrew comp. please get your entries to one of the above folks prior to the 10th.  The SCBG always does quite well in this event.
We then tried to update the guild on the couple of brewpubs/micros set to open in the Roanoke area.  Not much was known, except that Awful Arthurs was brewing last Saturday.  They will definitely be serving a Pale Ale and an ESB.  They are excited to hear from us and possibly to have our help.  Carrie and Justin told us about a Green Drinks club that they are members of.  They will be meeting on Tues. Oct. 14th at 7PM at Allsports Cafe in Salem.  The guys from Shooting Creek are supposed to be in attendance.
We then had a brief break while our hostesses with the mostestes got us set up for the competition.  We had 10 beers entered this month.  Two tables of judges each judged 5 beers.  The top 5 were sent to the final table and 3rd place went to Chris M.  This is his third trophy this year and makes him the front-runner for BOY.  2nd place went to Patrick for his very nice American Brown Ale.  Drumroll please….and 1st place went to Will for his Belgian Pale Ale.  Congrats Will on your first winner!!  I must say that all of the beers were definitely unique.  Winner of the doorprize for brewers was John Merkwan.  BRHP donated a case of bottles and a bag of oxygen absorbing caps.  Thanks to them.
See you all next month at the Merkwan’s.
–Bryan S.
Prez., SCBG



October SCBG Meeting
Written by Bryan S.
Thursday, 23 October 2008

A summary of the events/discussions held at the October SCBG meeting at Kathy and John’s.

     A small but lively group gathered at the home of Kathy and John Merkwan for our October SCBG meeting.  We had many things to discuss and a beer style to learn about!  Thanks to Kathy and John for opening up their lovely home to us again.  There were approximately 16 members present and no visitors this month.
Will filled us in on our membership, which stands at approximately $610 and 45 paid members.  He did have to reimburse John for our robust porter samples, so that amount will change.  Soon it will be time to pay up again for 2009, so keep that in mind.
Future meeting sites:  The November meeting will be held at the home of Jim and Joan Brown.  It is scheduled for Nov. 15th beginning at 4:00.  This will be a busy meeting, so plan on attending if at all possible.  We will be nominating people for president for next year, voting on beer styles for next year, etc.
The December meeting and final quarterly competition will be held at the home of Will and Jen Landry.   They are thinking about Decemeber 13th as the date.  The start time is usually a bit earlier because of all that has to be done.  This meeting will include our final beer competition (robust porter) and the awarding of Brewer of the Year for 2008.  Also, we will be voting on our new President for 2009.  This is typically one of our most attended guild meetings.
Next, we discussed Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day which is Nov. 1 at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrewing.  We have received our ABC license, which states we are only allowed to serve 4 beers at a time.  We need to have beer donated for tasting, so please post to the list what, if anything you are going to bring/donate.  We also like to bring food to this event, just like a regular guild meeting.  The people brewing that I know of are Jeff Fries, possibly Chris and Eric, and myself.  Please let us know if you plan to brew that day so Chris and Fran can plan for water hookups and etc.  We had discussed a start time of 11:00 and finishing up at 4:00. I know that I will need to start earlier than that to get my all grain beer brewed and cleaned up, possibly 10:00 or earlier.  Will this be OK with you Chris and Fran?  We will also need the club tent and Big Willee(Tad?).  I am going to check downstairs to see what I have in a box left over from last year.  Possibly cups and for sure table cloths.  I guess we need someone to volunteer to take care of the food stuff again this year.  Any takers?
We also talked about Awful Arthur’s three beers on tap.  They have a Wit, Pale Ale, and now an ESB.  All are good and so is the price, $2.50 all the time.  My wife and I were eating there a week ago and he was just finishing up his IPA, so it may be ready now also.  Go by and check them out if you haven’t already.  Support Local Beer!
Patrick gave a very informative style presentation on Robust Porter.  Thanks Patrick!  After discussing the style, we then tasted several examples of Robust Porter and some we weren’t sure about.  We tasted Smuttynose Robust Porter (one of the fav’s.), Rogue’s Mocha Porter, Bell’s Porter (also one of the fav.’s), Coal Porter, Anchor Porter and Sierra Nevada Porter.  They were all very different, but I think we all agreed that Bell’s and Smuttynose were closest to our interpretation of the style.  Here is a link to a style discussion if you missed Patrick’s link from the Brewing Network .
Lastly,  we discussed the fact that we need a quorum to be able to change our bylaws so that we can vote on beer styles for the next year.  It was thought that we were supposed to vote on styles in November when in fact the bylaws state December.  So, a motion was brought up and seconded to move the voting to November.  I inquired by the list for the necessary votes ( a majority, 23) required to change it and I have received 25 votes in favor and none opposed.  So, if we have followed the rules correctly, I’d say we have our quorum and can change the bylaws to read that voting on beer styles will take place in November of each year.  If anyone is more familiar with the rules, feel free to let me know.
Hope to see as many of you as possible at Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day!
–Bryan S.
Primary Fermentor, SCBG


Novembeer SCBG Meeting
Written by Bryan S.
Sunday, 16 November 2008

Report on the November club meeting.

     A group of 20 SCBG members gathered at the beautifully done home of Jim and Joan Brown yesterday.  Jim began by taking us all on a tour of their immaculately restored home, all of which was done by Jim.  All the ladies were jealous of the bathrooms and all the men were jealous of the workshop and brewing area.  Well done Jim and Joan!
Next month’s robust porter competition meeting is to be held at Will and Jen’s on the 13th beginning at 3:00.  This is an earlier start time because of all the many things that have to be accomplished at this last meeting of the year 2008.  We will have our last competition, award Brewer of the Year, and vote for our new president for 2009.  This is always one of the best, if not the best meeting of the year.  So, plan on being there if you can.  Jeff and Cindy have volunteered their home for the January 2009 club meeting, and the Summerson’s can host the February meeting.
Will gave us a treasurer’s report and we currently stand at 48 members with a balance of $579.67 in our club account.  It is also time to be paying your dues for 2009.  Single memberships are $15 and family memberships are only $20.  Please pay Will ASAP.  Will also gathered clothing from members to send to Spartan Silkscreening to have embroidered with our club logo.  Cost is roughly $6-$6.50 per item with a turn-around time of about a week.  Many items were brought by members.  Carrie and Justin will be taking them to the store sometime in the next week.  So, if you would like to add your items to the order, get in touch with them ASAP.
We also discussed the way we spend/don’t spend our club funds.  It was suggested by our treasurer that we come up with a budget for next year so we can account for how we want to spend our money.  There were several things talked about, such as a club brewing event, reimbursal for beer-style samples, the upcoming liability insurance through the AHA, advertising, etc.   It was brought, up and then voted on favorably to reimburse Chris and Fran for the cost of the sandwiches from Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day.  We didn’t feel it should be their responsibility to pay for these items, it should be the club’s.
Patrick then reminded us that the new change to the bylaws went into effect on the 15th.  It basically says that voting on beer styles for the next year will take place in November instead of December.  Chuck, would you please make that change on the website?  James inquired about a new, up-to-date member spreadsheet with addresses and phone numbers.  Will said he would work on that.
Nominations were taken for president 2009 and the following 5 members were nominated:  Chris McDonald, Will Landry, John Merkwan, Doug Moyer and Bryan Summerson.  We will vote at the December meeting and the top vote-getter will be President and the runner-up will be Vice President.  Treasurer will be appointed by the new President.
Following these discussions, ballots were passed out for voting on the beer styles for 2009.  There were 11 styles on the list and four ended up standing out above the others.  The beer styles for competition next year are as follows:  March-American Brown Ale, June-Saison, September- Oatmeal Stout, December-Imperial Anything.  So, start planning your recipes and brewing for next year!
Lastly, Beth Durham informed us of a wine club that she is a member of.  They have two open-houses each year and one is in December (coming up).  The get-together is held at the home of the owners of Valhalla vineyards and the requirements to attend are as follows:  Each person must bring a bottle of red wine, each couple should bring a food item to share, and there is a $25 charge to each person which is donated to charity, attire is dressy, but not black tie.  Any questions please inquire with Beth.
The rest of the evening was spent enjoying the many bottles of homebrew and excellent food brought by the members.  Joan’s gumbo was a huge hit and rightly so, because it was “out-of-this-world” good!!  Thanks Joan for taking the time to make it.
–Bryan S.
SCBG, Pres.


December SCBG Meeting and Competition
Written by Bryan S.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Click to see full size

2009 SCBG President Elect John Merkwan

The minutes for the December 2008 club meeting.

     A rowdy crowd of 35 SCBG members and guests assembled at the home of Will and Jen for our final meeting of 2008.  Special welcomes to Chris, Pete, Mike and Tim, who were all visiting us for the first time.  Big thanks to the Landry’s for hosting us for the second year in a row.  You are most excellent hosts!  This is always one of our best-attended meetings of the year and this year was no exception.  We had much to accomplish this day!
Will gave us a brief Treasurer’s update.  We stand at 48 members and our club balance is in the $600 range.  Remember to pay your dues for 2009 if you haven’t already.  The dues are $15/single and $20/family.  If you aren’t a paid member you can’t enter beers in the competitions, vote, or voice your concerns/suggestions, so please take care of that ASAP.  Patrick made a motion that the club pay for the babysitter(s) for this particular meeting.  It was seconded, and then voted on and passed.
Carrie and Justin passed out the clothing that we had embroidered and it all came out really nice.  Thanks to Will, Carrie and Justin for taking this on.  Remember that you can take clothing to them at any time and they can take care of it for you.  Cost might be higher, but you can have it done anytime if you missed out on this order.
Future Meeting Sites:
January 31 at Jeff and Cindy F.’s  Start time is 4:00. Presentation on the American Brown Ale style and tastings.
February ? at Chris McD.’s.
March ? at Chris and Fran’s.  This will be our first quarterly competition (American Brown Ale).
    We then elected our new president  and V.P. for 2009.   Will Landry, Chris McDonald, and John Merkwan were all on the ballot.  The candidate with the most votes is our President and the runner-up is our V.P.  The results were Chris as V.P. and John is our new President for 2009.  Congrats to both!  We look forward to the new year under your leadership.
After the election, we had a brief break while Kathy got us set up for judging of the competition beers.  There were 12 beers entered in the Robust Porter style.  Judging was done at 3 different tables, each with 3 judges.  We tasted some very fine beers!  After all was said and done, 3rd place went to John M., 2nd place to Ross A., and 1st place to Ginger.  Congrats to all for their most excellent examples of the style.  Chuck took the first round scores and added them into everyone’s scores from the other competitions to come up with our Brewer of the Year for 2008.  After tallying the scores, Ross Angel is our Brewer of the Year for 2008.  Congrats Ross!  This is his second BOY award.  Thanks to all for entering beers into competitions all year.  This is what it’s all about in my book; learning how to make better beer.
Lastly, we had our door-prize drawing of items given by Chris and Fran at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrewing.  This drawing is open to all members who entered a beer into the competition.  This time they donated a book, “Extreme Brewing” by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and a carboy brush and long plastic spoon.  The book was won by yours truly, and the brush/spoon was won by Beth D.  Thanks Chris and Fran for donating these items to the guild!
We then ate, drank (many fine beers!) and made merry into the night.  On a personal note, I would like to say that I enjoyed being your President this year and hope that I did the club the justice that it deserves.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, and watch out next year… ;^)
–Bryan S.
Prez., SCBG