2012 Meeting Notes

January 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Vice President Kevin conducted our meeting on Saturday January 21st.  Here is his summary…

By my estimation (I’m new to this – sorry!) about 25-30 members and about 10 new members/guests met at Harry’s house Saturday for our January meeting. The meeting kicked off with the typical abundance of beers for sampling, but included at least 7 single hopped pale ales available for informal tasting.

We finished last year with 84 paid members. Welcome to new members John, Kecia, Kimberly and Rob, and guests Dan, Brad, Charles, Kevin and Jeff. Hope I didn’t miss anyone.

Future meetings include:

Feb. 18 at Thom and Jeannie’s (Baltic Porter presentation)

March at Bryan and Jeannie’s

April – it was mentioned that Paul M. had volunteered to host this meeting on either the 14th or 21st

May 5 – Big Brew – James and Joan are willing to hose again if we want. We do want!

2012 Competition Styles were discussed and changes noted:

March – 11B Southern English Brown Ale

June – 23 Specialty (Black IPA)

September – 12C Baltic Porter

December – 21B Christmas/Winter Specialty

Carrie introduced members of the Roanoke Jaycees Kevin and Jeff to talk about Brewtopia, to be held June 9 from 12-6 at the Salem Red Sox ballpark. There is mutual interest in holding a homebrew competition, which will likely be similar to Brew-Do in the number of categories, and in the likelihood that a local brewery will allow the Best of Show winner to brew their recipe at their facility. Kevin and Will noted that Roanoke Railhouse expressed interest in taking this on when they spoke to them at their growler hours on Friday. More details to come as we discuss logistics with the Jaycees.

Harry talked to the Square Society at Blue 5 about Guild members holding beer education classes for their members. Doug M. has volunteered to head this up. They expect 10-20 people in each class. See Doug if interested in helping out.

Microfestivus has been moved to Rivers Edge Park, where Down By The River is held, to create more space for the oft cramped festival. The Square Society is considering creating a shuttle service to and from downtown to accommodate those who didn’t get enough to drink at Microfestivus. 😉

The organizers of Festival In The Park on Memorial Day weekend have expressed interest in having Guild members conduct homebrew demonstrations if anyone is interested. Harry pointed out that with Big Brew (May 5), National Craft Beer Week Demonstrations (May 19), and the possibility of demonstrations at Brewtopia (June 9), people may be too burnt out on demos to accommodate Festival In The Park, but if anyone’s interested it’s there for the taking.

Jeff led us in thanks to Chuck for his efforts in keeping the email list running smoothly and for working on our new website (and putting up with our $*&#!). Thanks Chuck!

Fifteen members attended the first Devil’s Backbone Release Party at Blue 5 last Thursday. Several more are planned for the region over the next few weeks and those of us who attended this one can attest to the quality of the beers.

John S. talked about the potential for a beer festival at the lake for the end of April, similar to the wine festival held there annually. He will touch base with the organizer for more details.

Dan T.’s Sierra Nevada Beer Camp beer (Alternate Ending, and Altbier late hopped with experimental American hops) is making its way to Virginia as we speak. 3 – 1/2 barrels were shipped last week and depending on when they arrive, should be on tap at Carrabba’s either this Saturday or two weeks from Saturday I believe. Dan will give notice when he can.

Kevin spoke to Jim Strickland of Bull and Bones this past week about brewing his Brew-Do winning Rye Barleywine, Yukon Cornelius, at the brewpub sometime in the next couple of weeks. The beer will probably be on tap by the end of February or beginning of March. I’ll keep everyone posted.

Then, on a personal note, Kevin dropped the news that he and his wife Bailie are expecting their first child around August 11 (coincidentally the same day as Microfestivus). The membership showered Kevin in grief and condolences for the inevitability of his impending dwindling brewing time.

Kevin then left the meeting before the style guideline presentation on Southern English Brown Ale, and the tasting of beers that were not exactly Southern English Browns. Bryan or Harry, feel free to fill us in…

Harry adds the following…

I think you covered it quite well. There was another guest named Brad who was a friend of Matt and Patrick… and after you left Alex and Sarah came by who are friends of Chris McD. and who I believe are soon to be members. The total count for the day was 51 including four children.



February 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Monday, 27 February 2012

On a warm and sunny Saturday February 18th, over 40 members of the Star City Brewers Guild and guests gathered at the home of Thom and Jeannie in the Bonsack area of Roanoke County. With the great weather we were able to enjoy the front yard and back patio as well as the house. Thanks to our hosts Thom and Jeannie.

After introductions, Will provided our Treasurer’s report and indicated that we are accepting membership dues for the 2012 calendar year; $15 individual or $20 family/couple for the entire year. Only members may enter or judge competitions.

Future Meetings:

March 24 – Bryan and Jenny

April 14 – Paul and Judie

May 5 – James and Joan

June 16 – Rob and Kimberly

July – TBA Possibly Al and Beth

Upcoming events

A possible Smith Mountain Lake Beer Festival has been discussed for April

Beer education classes for the Square Society – Doug will lead this effort to provide an overview, discussion, and tasting of light, medium, and dark beers of various styles, possibly at Blue 5.

Big Brew – May 5 hosted by James and Joan

Craft Beer Week – May 14-20 – possible brewing demonstration on Saturday May 19

Festival in the Park – May 25-28 – possible brewing demonstration

Beertopia (formerly Brewtopia) – Salem’s beer festival in June – possible homebrew competition – Carrie and Justin are taking the lead on this event that may include a home brew competition and Guild judging. Bryan mentioned contacting David Houseman. (Members see e-mail from Carrie 2/21 for a detailed update.)

VP Kevin shared with us an update on his brewing at Bull and Bones and the expected release date of his winning Barley Wine, “Yukon Cornelius”.

In early March, Roanoke Railhouse is set to release their new Stout during the open house.

A few people mentioned visits to the Jefferson Street Brewery in Lynchburg as a worthwhile trip.

After a short break Kevin presented the Baltic Porter style and lead us in tasting four commercial examples. We sampled Sinebrychoff Porter (Finland), Carnegie Stark Porter (Sweden), Aldaris Porteris (Latvia) and Smuttynose Porter (USA).

To round out the evening, many brewers shared their single hop Pale Ales which provided a wide variety of aromas and flavors.

Our next meeting will be at Bryan and Jenny’s on March 24.


March 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Monday, 02 April 2012

On a cloudy and somewhat rainy Saturday March 24th, over 50 members and guests of the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Bryan and Jenny in Southwest Roanoke. We had a break in the weather just long enough for most everyone to arrive. We extended a special welcome to our guests from the Roanoke Jaycees. Bryan commented that he wasn’t sure his house had ever been that full with the main floor and basement filled with people. Thanks to Bryan and Jenny for hosting.

After introductions, Chris gave a treasurers report indicating that we already had 61 paid members current for this year. By the end of the night we had 67 paid members including two new members Matthew Jones and Michael Moon. Welcome to the Guild!

Future Meetings:

April 14 – Paul and Judie

May 5 – James and Joan

June 16 – Rob and Kimberly

July – Doug and Kel

Beer education classes for the Square Society begin on April 5th. The original Doug is representing our group for three planned classes at Blue 5. He will cover 3 categories (light, medium, and dark) with 10-11 different styles in each.

John shared an advertisement for Rockin’ Brews and BBQs at Smith Mountain Lake on April 28th.

Big Brew – May 5th at James and Joan’s. The recipes are available on the website although brewers may brew their preference. Joan is planning to have her awesome gumbo and everyone is welcome to spend the day and watch the Kentucky Derby which has become a tradition.

Craft Beer Week Brewing Demonstration – Chris and Fran at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing will host a brewing demonstration on May 19th at the store. Alex B. has indicated that he may be interested in brewing that day.

Festival in the Park – Held Memorial Day weekend at Elmwood Park in Roanoke, there may be an opportunity for a brewing demonstration.

Big Lick Beertopia – Several members of the Roanoke Jaycees joined us and shared details about the upcoming event to be held at the Salem baseball stadium on June 9th. They are looking for volunteers to work three hour shifts. There will be a homebrew competition and the winner will have his/her beer brewed at Roanoke Railhouse. There will be four divisions; light, amber, dark, and specialty. They may be interested in a brewing demonstration as well.

For the Southern English Brown Ale competition we had 16 entries divided among four first round tables. Six beers were chosen to go to the final round where the new set of judges declared the three brews that most closely fit the style description. Beth had a third place showing behind Kevin who took second. Dan T. took first place honors and also won the drawing for the gift certificate from Chris and Fran. Congratulations to all and many thanks to our stewards including Judie, Jenny, Joan, and our competition chief Kathy!



April 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Sunday, 22 April 2012

On Saturday April 14th the Star City Brewers Guild met at the home of Paul and Judie in southwest Roanoke County. With about 30 in attendance on this beautiful spring day we all enjoyed the sunroom, deck, and back yard. It had been a while since the Guild had visited there so it was nice to return again. Thanks to Paul and Judie for hosting.

After everyone sampled some great food and beers, Will provided a treasurers report and indicated that that we have 67 paid members.

Future Meetings:

May 5 – James and Joan

June 16 – Rob and Kimberly

July – Doug and Kel

August – Al and Beth

Rockin’ Brews and BBQs at Smith Mountain Lake – April 28th

National Homebrew Day – Saturday, May 5, 2012http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ Bucksnort Brown Ale / Ardley Brown Ale

James and Joan will host again this year and Kathy will coordinate the event. Brewers may arrive as early as 9:00. Everyone is welcome to stay for the Kentucky Derby and Joan’s awesome chicken and sausage gumbo. Please let Kathy know if you will be brewing. Thanks James, Joan, and Kathy!

Spring demonstration event – American Craft Beer Week May 14-20 (Mon-Sun) demo event 5/19 at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing. Thanks to Kathy for also helping our coordination of this event.

Festival in the Park – Memorial Day weekend – due to our busy spring we will not try to do anything official for this event.

Big Lick Beertopia – Saturday, June 9th – Carrie is serving as our coordinator and she provided details on the event and judging opportunities. Judging will take place May 22, 24, and 29. Judges and stewards are still needed.

Microfestivus – Saturday, August 11th – Harry indicated that the Square Society would again like to have our help as in the past couple years. We also discussed the possibility of a brewing demonstration.

Beth gave a report on the Beer 101 classes conducted by Doug at Blue 5. About 35 people attended the session on April 5th. Beer 102 will be on May 24th at Blue 5. There were many positive comments on the job done by Doug. Way to go Doug!

Doug shared that Blue 5 is looking at a 3 ½ barrel brewing system and may provide some opportunities for home brewers to use it. SoRo Chill and Grille may also be looking into brewing options.

A few local merchants are offering discounts to club members. We have club cards but there was also discussion of sending membership lists to a few of our popular establishments. All agreed this would work and would remove any concerns with issuing cards and expiration dates.

Kathy brought some rosemary to share with everyone. This was grown at her house and several of us took advantage of her kindness.

Bryan presented the Black IPA (Cascadian dark Ale, American Style Black Ale, etc.) style and shared several samples. Everyone agreed that this style is still somewhat wide open and the samples we shared reflected that. We sampled Snow Day Winter Ale by New Belgium, Black Cannon from Heavy Seas, New World Porter by Avery, Black Perle from RJ Rockers, Butchertown Black Ale by Speakeasy, Diesel from Sixpoint, and Back in Black by 21st Ammendment. Thanks to Bryan for a great presentation and the samples.



May 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Wednesday, 16 May 2012

VP Kevin conducted our meeting. Here are his notes…

About 20-25 people gathered at James and Joan Brown’s house on Saturday May 5 to celebrate National Homebrew Day with our annual Big Brew.? Kevin C., Dan T. and John M.?brewed 5 gallons a piece (correct me if I’m wrong) on an unusually cool, rainy Big Brew day.? We toasted to Jimmy Carter and the joy homebrewing brings us, enjoyed a wonderful spread of food, and most of us stayed for the Derby in the evening.? Thanks to James and Joan for their gracious hospitality once again!

American Craft Beer Week is this week, and our annual?demonstration to be held this Saturday, May 19 was discussed, with Bryan S., Mike U. and Dan T. volunteering to brew.? All are invited to brew and ingredients will be provided to those who do.? The demonstration will be held 11-4, though brewers are allowed to set up earlier.? If you go, please consider bringing bottles or kegs of homebrew to share with visitors.

Big Lick Beertopia is being held June 9 at Salem Red Sox Stadium.? The Guild is helping sanction the competition by providing judges and stewards.? Visithttp://www.biglickbeertopia.com/home-brew-competition/ for more details, and if you’re not judging or stewarding, entry for competition?beers is May 19-21.? Volunteers may be needed to brew.? I’m considering it.

Microfestivus?is Sat, Aug. 11 at a new location in front of the Roanoke Public Library downtown.? Volunteers for brew demonstrations are needed, and BRHH usually provides ingredients.

From the floor – Mike U. generously gave Big Willy a facelift last week, replacing his picnic faucet taps with?mounted, chrome-plated taps.? Big Willy’s 2.5 gallon lung was also replaced with a 5 gallon tank.? He should be available for brewers to use at the demo this Saturday.? Beth D. recommended people check out Valhalla Vineyards on?Friday nights from 4-8 for fun with music and wine.? She also suggested we check out the tasting night at Tinnell’s, which had some good IPAs the previous Thursday.? Doug M. will be hosting Beer 102 at Blue 5 on May 24, covering Amber beers.? By all accounts the first night was a big success…join them this time?for $30.? Kevin C. shared how thrilled he was at the discovery of a new brewing accessory, Fermcap-S foam control.? It’s a small blue vial of white liquid that knocks down foam at 2-3 drops per gallon to prevent boilovers in the kettle, yeast starters, and blowoff in the fermentor.? It’s actually even supposed to help head retention and increase IBUs.? Kevin also has several pounds of 2007 Palisade and Glacier hop plugs he is willing to part with.? They were given to me by Jim at Bull and Bones and have been kept frozen and freeze dried, so may have lost some alpha acids but should still smell good and be worth using.? Let me know if you’re interested.



June 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Thursday, 21 June 2012

On Saturday June 16, 2012 about 22 members of the Star City Brewers Guild met at the Roanoke County home of Rob and Kimberly for our monthly gathering. Several families brought their children and we welcomed Martin’s friend Ryan to the meeting. It was a perfect day to gather outside at the shelter and under the trees where we had lots of room to spread out. The children definitely enjoyed all the cats, horses, chickens, and goats on the farm. It was our first visit to Rob and Kimberly’s and I think everyone will agree that we have found another great place for a gathering. Thanks to Rob and Kimberly for hosting!

After Kimberly showed everyone around the farm and everyone had a chance to sample some beers and food your President shared an updated Treasurer’s report. At the time of the meeting we had 69 paid members. We still owe James for materials to repair the club tent.

Future meetings:

July 14th – Doug and Kel

August 18th – John and Diana

September – Chris and Christy

We had a brief discussion about our spring demonstration event and tasting at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing on May 19th. Most everyone agreed that we had a good turnout and we made some new contacts. Having the home made wine in addition to the home brews added an extra dimension to the event. Thanks to Chris and Fran for hosting and to all the brewers and those who worked the event.

Big Lick Beertopia was held in Salem at the baseball stadium on Saturday June 9th. It was estimated that well over 1000 people attended the event which was well organized with plenty of space. Our VP Kevin did a brewing demonstration and probably talked to 100 interested individuals about home brewing. Entries in the home brew competition came from Salem and Roanoke and as far away as Christiansburg and Richmond. Five SCBG members entered the competition which was completed over two nights at the Red Sox stadium using 26 judges. Doug N. placed 2nd in the light category; Bryan placed 2nd in the Dark category and 3rd in Amber; Kevin placed 3rd in Dark, 1st in Amber and the amber beer got him Best of Show honors. I believe Roanoke Railhouse will be brewing his Barleywine (The Babymaker) as a result. The Jaycees were very pleased with the competition and send many thanks to all the folks who judged and stewarded. Plans are to do it again next year.  Thanks to everyone for this great representation for our group.

Microfestivus is planned for August 11th this year on Jefferson in front of the public library. Harry is once again coordinating this event for our group. Volunteers are needed for set-up, clean-up, judging, and pouring. We already have about 23 signed up but it would be good to get participation from 40. Please contact Harry if you are able to participate. Thanks Harry!

Kevin shared with the group some details about his recent trip up the east coast in search of breweries. He was able to visit six different locations and was very pleased with his trip.

Jenny suggested that we look into getting a sitter or two at some future meetings. We have done this in the past and our treasury can support this expense. We agreed to bring it up for further discussion at a future meeting.

Chris D. will have some local honey, made by his own bees, after July 1st. Later in the evening Chris shared a bottle of sack mead made with some of his honey. It was quite potent and good. With the elevated alcohol level, we only needed a small sample and he had plenty to share.

After a short break we began our Black IPA competition. We had a total of 13 entries. Kathy and her stewards organized us into four judging tables for the first round where five beers were chosen to move to the next level. At the final table, the judges declared 3rd place for Martin, 2nd place for Kevin, and 1st place went to Bryan. The other two beers at the final table were brewed by Beth and Matt. Paul won the drawing for the Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing gift certificate. Congratulations to all.



July 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Thursday, 09 August 2012

On Saturday July 14, 2012 the Star City Brewers guild met at the home of Doug and Kel near Troutville.? We got to see the newly remodeled kitchen which is nearing completion, and it looks great.? It is really set-up well for this type of gathering.? The weather turned out great and several members and kids enjoyed the pool.? Thanks Doug and Kel for hosting.

After everyone had a chance to sample some wonderful food and brews, we gathered out by the pool for the business meeting.? Our Treasurer Will reported that we have 69 paid members.

Future meetings:

August 25th John and Diana

September – Chris and Christy

October 21st or 28th – Jeff and Cindy

Harry brought us up to date on the latest Microfestivus news.? We have 31 people signed up to volunteer in some fashion for the event on August 11th.? If we can get more volunteers that would be great.? Options are for set-up, clean up, pouring, judging, and brewing.? The website is live for volunteers, but members should also contact Harry if you want to volunteer.? We will not be able to distribute samples.? Mike U. and Chris D. are planning to do brewing demonstrations.? Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing will provide the ingredients and have a table set-up.? See the e-mail from Harry on July 18th for more details.

Learn to Homebrew Day is Saturday November 3rd.? We are planning another demonstration event at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing.? We will again distribute flyers at Microfestivus.? We will again need volunteer brewers and those willing to donate beer for sampling.

September competition will be Baltic Porter.? We held the commercial tasting for this style in February.

The next beer education class will be at Blue 5 on Wednesday.? This is the third, “Beer 103”, in the series hosted by the original Doug.

Doug shared with us all a new keg of Hop Dog India Pale Ale from Big Daddy’s Brewing at Towers.? This was the new version of the brew and those that had the previous version agreed that it has been greatly improved.? For those with keg systems, we heard that Big Daddy’s will fill them for a reasonable price.

Next meeting will be at John and Diana’s at the lake.



August 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Friday, 12 October 2012

On Saturday August 25, 2012 the Star City Brewers guild met at the home of John and Diana on Smith Mountain Lake. Questionable weather gave way to some nice sunshine before turning mostly cloudy. Thanks John and Diana.

About 30 people gathered to sample some great food and brews and we held our business meeting on the lower deck. Chris reported that we have 69 paid members and updated our bank balance. New member Steve joined bringing us to 70 members.

Future meetings:

September – Chris and Christy – Baltic Porter competition

October 21st or 28th – Jeff and Cindy – 2013 beer competition styles open

November – Justin and Carrie – 2013 nominations for president, competition style voting

December – Christmas/Winter Specialty competition, BOTY, gift exchange, election of President and VP

Harry brought us up to date on the latest Microfestivus news. Attendance was good and we had 33 members volunteer in one way or another. That was a great showing for the event which most say was better than ever. Chris D. and Mike U. performed brewing demonstrations. Thanks to all for helping make this event a success once again.

The Top of the Hops beer festival will be held in Charlottesville on September 22nd.


Blacksburg BrewDo is October 6 – homebrew entries accepted September 10-12 – several members plan to enter the competition and we expect a good showing like past years

Bramwell is on October 13 – many say this is one of the better beer festivals and some members are considering making the trip to WVa.

Learn to Homebrew Day is Saturday November 3rd. We are planning another demonstration event at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing. We will again need volunteer brewers and those willing to donate beer for sampling.

September competition will be Baltic Porter. We held the commercial tasting for this style in February.

Chris shared info on his family trip to Florida where they visited the Engine 15 Brewing Company. This small brew pub had three beers of their own and offered brew your own packages to those wanting to try brewing. The Rye IPA was very good.


Alex shared an old newspaper ad for Storz Beer from May 26, 1944. The ad boasted of not cutting back on the malt used in their beer. Evidently there was also a shortage of malt in the WWII era.

New member Steve has a blog centered around brewing that is worth checking out.


Chris D. and John provided boat rides to all that were interested. After a little adventure on the high seas with a breakdown several of us were rescued by some friendly boaters and our host. One good thing is the non-driving passengers had plenty of beer to get us back safely to shore.

Next meeting is at Chris and Christy’s on September 22nd.

Chris M.


Star City Brewers Guild




September 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Friday, 12 October 2012

On Saturday September 22 over 40 members and guests of the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Chris and Christy for our September meeting. It was a nice warm fall day Although we were challenged with a little wind, we all enjoyed the great food, beer, and fellowship. Thanks again to Chris and Christy for hosting this one.

Chris provided an update on our bank account and we now have 70 members.

Future Meetings –

October 27th – Jeff and Cindy – 2013 competition beer nominations open, Christmas/Winter Specialty tasting (Bryan)

November 17th 4:00 – Justin and Carrie – 2013 nominations for President, competition style voting

December – ? – Christmas/Winter Specialty competition, BOTY, gift exchange, election of President and VP

Blacksburg BrewDo – October 6th

Bramwell Oktoberfest – October 6th

Learn to Homebrew Day – Saturday November 3rd – To celebrate (Homebrewers Association | Learn to Homebrew Day – About ), The Guild will host a demonstration event sponsored by Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing at their store at the Williamson Road Plaza. We need volunteers to coordinate, bring food, bring home brew, and to brew. Bryan will bring a cask ale and John Z., Doug N., Alex B., Mike U., Harry, and Chris M. are possible brewers.

Doug N. shared with us the Foothills Sexual Chocolate has been released.

John S. reminded us that the SML wine festival was September 29-30 and he also brought some beer bottles for anyone that wanted them.

Harry shared that Microfestivus raised $40K for the Square Society. A big part of their success was due to the volunteer efforts of the Guild.

12C Baltic Porter Competition

John M. – gift certificate

Beth – 3rd place

James – 2nd place

Martin – 1st place

Thanks to all who entered and judged the competition and particularly to Kathy and those that organized and conducted the judging.

Chris M.


Star City Brewers Guild




October 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Saturday, 01 December 2012

On Saturday October 27, 2012 members of the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Jeff and Cindy in Roanoke.? On this warm day a small crowd of about 21 shared some wonderful food and home brew while catching up on the latest news.? Thanks to our hosts for a wonderful meeting that has become an October tradition.

Chris provided an update on our bank account before some reimbursements to Bryan for the style presentation and tasting.? Our membership now stands at 71 for the year.? Dues paid now will carry membership through 2013.? Individual $15/Couple $20.

Future meetings:

November 17th @ 4:00 – Justin and Carrie – 2013 nominations for President, competition style voting

December 22nd – Harry – Christmas/Winter Specialty competition, BOTY, gift exchange, election of President and VP

January – James and Joan

Blacksburg BrewDo – October 6th – Several SCBG members placed in the competition, those that attended indicated that there was the usual selection of breweries there and not many had any specialty seasonal beers to offer, our neighbors from the New River Brewers Guild performed a brewing demonstration and offered tastings

Bramwell Oktoberfest – October 6th – nobody at the meeting attended the event

Learn to Homebrew Day – Saturday November 3rd – To celebrate the American Homebrewers Association Learn to Homebrew Day, The Guild will host a demonstration event sponsored by Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing at their store at the Williamson Road Plaza.? Potential brewers are Mike, John Z., Alex, and Chris M.? We need food and home brew for the tastings.

Beer Blitz – December 1st – Hampton, Va. – there was much discussion about this event but more about the possibility of renting a van so members could carpool and enjoy this event or others together. Alex and Dan agreed to look into some options and provide a report at the November meeting and we will bring it up for discussion among the members at that time.

2013 Competition Styles Open for Nominations – Chris provided some guidance on the nomination process and how we will handle the voting.? More direction will follow including the process for absentee voting for members that will not be attending the November meeting.

Chris shared some details about his Columbus Day trip with Pam to Blue Mountain Brewery and Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nelson County.? It was a quick day trip but well worthwhile.

Paul provided details about the AHA conference to be held in Philadelphia next year.? He and Judie have attended a few and they highly recommend looking into it. ?Paul also spoke highly of his trip to Beamers 25 restaurant which had about 25 beers on tap.

Alex provided a good review of the 1906 Ale House in Roanoke with 19 beers on tap.

Bryan suggested checking out the www.dudadiesel.com website for brewing equipment needs.? He bought a new plate chiller from them and they were very reasonable including shipping costs.

Christmas/Winter Specialty Style Presentation and Tasting – Bryan shared with everyone the particulars of the style giving us a good idea that this style can be all over the place in flavor.? We tried nine different beers and they had great variation.? Bryan shared the following:? Sam Adams Winter Lager, Shiner Cheer, Sam Adams White Christmas, Harpoon Winter Warmer, Sam Adams Old Fezziwig, Sam Adams Holiday Porter, Sam Adams Chocolate Bock, Troeg’s Mad Elf, Magic hat Heart of Darkness.? While some may not be what is specifically described within the style guidelines, many of these were actually listed as BJCP commercial examples of the style.

Thanks to everyone for attending and for contributing to the gathering.



Learn to Homebrew Event
Written by Chris McDonald
Saturday, 01 December 2012

On a beautiful sunny Saturday, November 3rd, things quickly heated up with four brewers heating water for our Learn to Homebrew event hosted by Chris and Fran at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing. It was a beautiful day to brew and the outside temperature warmed up nicely. We had four brewers brewing to demonsrate the craft of making your own beer.  We also had tastings and food for the public.  Thanks to all for attending and providing support.



November 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Saturday, 01 December 2012

Treasurer Will led our meeting this month and here is a recap from his notes…

On Saturday November 17th 2012 members of the Star City Brewers Guild met at the home of Justin and Carrie in Salem. The meeting was attended by over 20 members with great food and a plentiful amount of beers. Our special guest Frank Moeller, brewmaster of Flying Mouse, was in attendance and spoke to many of us about the brewery to come. Thanks as always to our hosts for opening there home to us.

For our treasurer’s report we have 71 paid members and a decent bank balance. I believe we still owe Bryan for the winter beers,?and we will also accept dues for 2013 anytime now. Individual $15/Family $20.

Future Meetings:
December 22nd at Harry’s – 21B Christmas/Winter Specialty Beer competition, BOTY, gift exchange and election of President and VP

January 2103 – James and Joan

We started with a recap of Learn to Homebrew Day. On the upside we had estimates of 50 or so people show up with many buying products from the store. Apparently, the ABC has “reinterpreted” their last ruling about samples and not needing a license and we will have to keep that in mind for May’s event. Also there were reports of two “nosey” men asking very specific questions to the brewers about when they planned to pitch their yeast. As that is when wort legally becomes beer we believe they may have been ABC agents.

We then got into discussions about the December meeting starting with the competition. I reminded folks this is the 21B category, as there was some confusion about that before. The question arose about special ingredients and the decision was made that if you wish to declare a special ingredient you should have two attachments on each bottle. One, the normal one with your name, and the second a separate piece of paper with your ingredient typed, not handwritten, so as not to have any risk of judges recognizing handwriting, or worse not being able to read someone’s handwriting.

We will again do the “dirty santa” gift exchange this year. Chris Davis volunteered to coordinate that. For those of you?who are new if you want to participate, please bring a wrapped beer (bomber or 6 pack is fine) with a cap of about $10.

We then took nominations for President for 2013. Again Doug declined in an earlier email, but Mike Usberghi, Dan Tatarka and Carrie Cox accepted nominations. Good luck folks.

We had a recap from Carrie and Justin about their trip to Florida. Look for them on the tv show “Bar rescue” I believe it was.

From there we took a short break and voted for the competition styles for 2013. Here are the results:

March – 6C Kolsch
June – 14C Imperial IPA
September – 16E Belgian Specialty Ale
December – 21A Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer

Cheers and Happy Holidays!!!



December 2012 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Saturday, 29 December 2012

On Saturday December 22nd members of the Star City Brewers Guild met at the home of Harry along with his friend Lynn in Roanoke County.? In addition to Guild members, Harry’s son’s family and friends also joined us for a record crowd of around 90 people.? As always a great selection of food and drink was shared with everyone.? Thanks Harry and Lynn for hosting a great meeting.

New members Jeff and Debbie Drinkert joined the Guild.? Welcome to our group!? We also had a few existing members pay dues for 2013.

Future meetings – thanks to everyone for volunteering to share your home with us

January 19 – James and Joan

February – Chris and Pam

March – Thom and Jeannie

April – ?

May – James and Joan

June – Rob and Kimberly

July – Doug and Kel

Review of 2013 competition styles –

March – 6C Kolsch

June – 14C Imperial IPA

September – 16E Belgian Specialty Ale

December – 21A Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer

From the floor – John Z. shared some info about his trip to Durham and the Bull City Burgers and Brewery.? Chris D. shared some info about a new conical fermenter available at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing Company.? Kevin shared with us that Bull and Bones in Blacksburg has some new beers available on tap.? Carrie suggested a Guild trip to Bull and Bones to sample the BrewDo winner Santa’s Peppermint Brown.? She also offered to take items for logo embroidery.? Mike and Kevin led the discussion on another guild experiment where we brew the same basic beer and alter the yeast for comparison.? Thom will discuss this possibility with Roanoke Railhouse to see if we could use their equipment for a run.? A low hopped amber was suggested as a possible style.? Chris M. thanked everyone for their participation and support of both him and the Guild during the past two years while he was President.

Kevin took the first place honors in the Christmas/Winter Specialty competition.? Dan was awarded second place and Beth’s brew came in third.? We had 14 entries and Martin wan the gift certificate drawing.? (Thanks Chris and Fran.)? Congratulations to Kevin who also won Brewer of the Year!

We had a three-way tie in the election for President so we will need to vote again among the top three candidates to determine who our winner will be.? Our top three candidates were Kevin, Carrie, and Dan, with Mike a not too distant second place. ?We will conduct the vote via e-mail to make sure everyone has the ability to vote again.? Election closes January 5th.

Once again we had the Bad Santa beer exchange and with over 20 participants it was a real hit.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who has helped make our group a huge success.? We had record membership last year and continue to be more involved in the community spreading the word about great craft beers and brewing at home.? This group is always willing to share information and techniques to help improve all our brewing.? Our members are what makes this group so great.? It couldn’t be done without the support of everyone including our VP, treasurer, stewards, judges, hosts, brewers, demonstration brewers, people providing samples, etc. and all other members and friends.? It has been an honor to be your President for the past two years and I am sure we will be successful as we move forward with our new President who will be determined soon.? Thank you!

Chris M.