April 2013 Meeting Notes

At least 35 members gathered at the home of Bryan and Jenny S. for our April 6th meeting.  Thanks again to Bryan and Jenny for their hospitality! Continue reading

Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole Continue reading

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.



2011 Meeting Notes

January 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Thursday, 27 January 2011

Once again we had great fortune with the weather for the January 2011 meeting of the Star City Brewers Guild.  On this sunny Saturday afternoon, members and guests met at the home of Harry M. in northern Roanoke County.  With a turnout of approximately 28 members and 17 guests, no one could remember having such a great turnout in the guest category for a regular meeting.  Since there were so many new acquaintenances we asked everyone to go around and introduce themselves and provide a little background.  In addition to the craft brews shared by our members, several of our guests brought samples of their creations.  I must say many of us were very impressed by the work of some very new brewers.

Kevin C. continues as our treasurer for 2011 and he provided a financial report and membership of 60 paid members.  Several dues payments were received at the meeting.  As a reminder, member dues must be current before entering any competitions.  The English IPA competition will be held in March.
Carrie reminded us that we still have our connection for logo embroidery and the location is close by her home.  Once again she offered the standing invitation to have clothing items we provide embroidered with the Guild logo.  The approximate cost is still only $7 each.  Several members were wearing different types of clothing in various color combinations which gave new folks an idea of what can be done.
The next meeting will be held at the home of Chris & Pam M. on February 19th beginning at 4:00 P.M.  We will be right around the corner from our last meeting at Harry’s.  All you have to do is go past Harry’s street and make the next right.  We are the second house on the left.  Official directions will be sent with the agenda.  The March meeting will be held at the home of Thom B. with the date to be announced.
The New River Valley road trip to River Company, Sharkey’s etc. was again discussed.  Tentative plans are for January 30th and there was much discussion about renting a van and finding a designated driver.  Kevin C. is coordinating this and Doug will do some follow-up on finding a van.
Will and Kevin told the group about a trip to Asheville with significant others Jen and Bailie planned for February 24th.  The American Homebrewers Association gathering will include Highland Brewing and special guest Charlie Papazian.  Our four members are looking forward to the trip where they also plan to visit several breweries in the area.  We all look forward to hearing of their experiences at an upcoming meeting.
Bryan S. shared with the group a possible local homebrew contest with two or three clubs participating.  Everyone seemed to like the idea.  The New River Brewers Guild will be having their own competition centered on Dogfish Head clones but the one Bryan shared with us may mirror the Blacksburg BrewDo with only light, amber, dark, and specialty categories.
Carrie and Justin assembled a group of 21 at Bull and Bones in Blacksburg to sample their Izvinite Babushka Russian Imperial Stout on Friday night.  They brought back samples of their brew session at Bull and Bones and the crowd enjoyed comparing the commercial version of their beer to the home brewed version.  The commercial version was scaled back somewhat and the differences were noticeable in the side by side comparison.  Both versions were outstanding.

Members shared several online sources of beer related entertainment as follows:
Greg shared his beer review site with detailed reviews of 180 beers
YouTube – Gregsbeerreviews’s Channel
Doug’s beer photos with over 1200 photos and brewer information
Beers wot I drunk… – a set on Flickr
Beth suggested a facebook page and confirmed that we have one
Homebrewers on Facebook Discussions | Facebook
Be sure to check these out.
For the March competition Bryan S. gave us a presentation on the English IPA (14A) style.  The description can be found at BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines – Category 14.  We all shared samples of Samuel Smith’s India Ale, Ridgeway Bad Elf, and Meantime IPA.
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend.  We look forward to seeing everyone soon.
Chris M.



Febrewary 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Wednesday, 23 February 2011

On another gorgeous winter Saturday afternoon the Star City Brewers Guild met at the home of Chris and Pam M. in north Roanoke County on February 19, 2011.  Pam and I were glad so many were able to join us and I am very thankful for the awesome selection of host beers.  As always, the food was outstanding as well.  This was the second meeting in as many months in the same neighborhood and we had approximately 49 in attendance including Guild members, family, and guests.  It appears that we may be on track for a record year.  Once again we asked everyone to introduce themselves due to the number of new faces and we even had name tags. Treasurer Kevin provided a financial report with 54 paid memberships.  The total of 60 paid members reported in the notes from last month was a total number of members closing out last year.  With several guests joining at the meeting, the number will be higher than our record of 60 members from last year.  Trophies for the 2011 competitions are already paid for.  Dues must be current before entering any competitions.  Only $15 individual and $20 family for the whole year!  Time is running short with our first club competition scheduled for March 12th.
Carrie once again offered to coordinate embroidery for clothing we provide at an approximate cost of $7 each.  The fee must be paid in advance.
The next meeting will be held in the Bonsack area at the home of Thom B. on March 12th at 3:00 P.M. with open house beginning at 2:00.  We still need a volunteer for the April meeting, but Harry and Jeff offered to serve as backups if necessary.
Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing (http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/265-2483) will be receiving a shipment of brewing supplies this week.  Current SCBG members receive a 10% discount.  You must be on the list and your dues must be paid for this year.  They are now offering 50 lb. sacks of base malt grains for about $62.  You may bring the appropriate amount back to the store for milling as needed.  Once again, owners Chris and Fran have provided support to our competitions by donating $40 (increase from last year!) gift certificates to be awarded through a random drawing among those entering the competitions.  There was some discussion of doing a demonstration event for American Craft Beer Week, May 16-22.  Business Hours: Monday – Saturday 11A.M. – 6 P.M.  New hours beginning March 6, 2011: open every day from 11A.M. – 6 P.M.
National Homebrew Day is on Saturday, May 7, 2011.  James and Joan B. have offered to host the event again as they have the past few years.  This is an all-day event where several of us will brew together on-site and we hold our regular meeting there the same day.  We usually close out the day with a viewing of the Kentucky Derby.  This is a great opportunity to watch different methods of brewing and learn a few tips, tricks, and techniques.  Each time I brew with someone else, I learn something new.http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/events/national-homebrew-day
Now is the time to consider obtaining and planting rhizomes if you want to grow hops this year.  There is still plenty of time but if you are ordering them you may want to make your plans soon.  Several members shared their experience, updated us on their crops,  and advised of potential availability of rhizomes.
Will and Jen along with Kevin and Bailie plan their trip to Asheville and the AHA event on February 24th.  We all look forward to hearing about their trip.http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/events/rallies
Thom brought his portable pump project to show us.  He is building a pump enclosure from a tool box to completely separate the dry and wet sides, including the wiring.  There is a huge safety benefit from using this approach, not to mention the portability.  We look forward to seeing the complete project and watching it in action on brew day.
Thom also shared some really cool tap handles he built at almost no cost.  He brought a sample for all of us to see and he showed us how it was put together.  The handle is a White Labs yeast vial that has been filled with whole grains.  The clear plastic really shows off the grains so one could use different colors/grains, or whatever, to mix it up a bit.  He drilled a hole through the lid and placed it on the faucet threads and secured it with a washer and nut.  The lid was then screwed on the vial and there you have an instant awesome looking tap handle.  I can see my garage with these in the future.
Chris D. shared some cool homemade bottle tags with us that are reusable.  He made small signs out of dry erase board material and hanging handles out of speaker wire.  The signs hang around the necks of bottles to identify the brew and brewer.  For those of us that don’t always label our bottles this is a much better solution than markers, tape, etc.  It also avoids the problem of the cap getting separated from its original bottle.
Chris M. shared his plans to visit Natty Greene’s brewpub in Greensboro on Presidents Day.  Without Chris’ knowledge, Pam set up a meeting with the head brewer and a short tour.  Isn’t she awesome?!  New members Patrick and Lindsey (Lindsay?) highly recommended that we visit Bestway grocery while in town for the best beer selection there.  Watch for more on the trip to follow.
Kevin provided us with an outstanding and very detailed presentation on American Barleywine BJCP 19C http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style19.php .  Since this brew takes quite a while to age we decided to cover this one early so everyone can get started.  As a matter of fact, several members have already brewed their competition to let it mature before the December competition.  Kevin brought samples of Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot 2011, Victory’s Old Horizontal, Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale, and Avery’s Hog Heaven.  These were four distinctly different beers with a fairly common color and of course higher alcohol content.  The Hog Heaven and Third Coast Old Ale seemed to be the crowd favorites.
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend.  Pam and I truly enjoyed everyone’s company.  We look forward to seeing everyone again soon.


March 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Sunday, 20 March 2011

On Saturday March 12, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild met at the family home of Thom B. in the Bonsack area.  We had about 43 total attendees and we were very fortunate to have wonderful weather allowing for activities to expand to the garage and outside.

In preparation for the English IPA competition, we began the meeting with a brief judges gathering to discuss recent suggestions for changing our quarterly competitions.  The topic of a calibration tasting generated much e-mail traffic and discussions in the days leading up to the event so we decided to give it a try.  Kathy provided us with an unknown sample and we were asked to judge the beer independently according to BJCP English IPA (Style 14A) guidelines before discussing it at our table.  Then the scores were announced and there was some discussion.  This allowed each judge to get an idea where he or she stood in relation to other judges.  The mystery beer was unveiled and it turned out to be an English IPA brewed by the Yards Brewing Company from Philadelphia.  Additionally, in order to provide better feedback to the brewers we discussed a different format where each judge would fill out an individual score sheet with comments and numerical scores.  The table then formed a consensus score and decided which beers should go to the final table.  The consensus scores will be used for the brewer of the year calculations.  We also asked that judges put their names on their score sheets so the brewers could ask follow-up questions.
For the English IPA competition we had 13 entries and we used the new scoring format.  This took a little longer than usual, but the extra feedback should be worth it.  Although, we will have to re-think the timing of the competitions within the meetings, maybe doing them later.  Due to the lengthy competition, unfortunately many of the members and guests had to leave before the meeting ever got started.  Congratulations to our winners, 1. Bryan Summerson, 2. Chris Barth, and 3. John Merkwan.  Bryan, Chris, and John were presented with trophies recognizing their efforts.
After a short break, once again we began the meeting proper with introductions.  With a crowd of 47 there were some unfamiliar faces.
Treasurer Kevin provided a financial report and shared with us that we have reached our all-time high record membership of 63 members.  This slightly edges our membership of 60 last year.
Thanks to many volunteers we have identified locations for the remainder of the meetings the rest of the year as follows: 4/16 – Harry M., 5/7 James and Joan, 6/18? – Bryan S., July – Doug, August – John and Diana, September – Chris D., October – Jeff and Cindy, November – Justin and Carrie, December – Will and Jen.
National Homebrew Day – Saturday, May 7, 2011http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ (Recipes now available)
Must Be the Season of the Wit / East India Pale Ale / Rocket Rod’s Positively Porter
The event will be hosted by James and Joan at their home in the Oak Grove Area.  This is an all-day event with a toast at 1:00 p.m.  Among those that may be interested in brewing are: John M., CyberDave, Bryan S., New Doug, Doug, and Chris M.  We will firm up plans a little closer to the date and determine how many brewers they can handle on-site.
Spring Demonstration Event – American Craft Beer Week is May 16-22 (Monday-Sunday). Chris and Fran from Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing will host a demonstration event on Saturday or Sunday (21st or 22nd).  After much discussion, the group felt Saturday would generate more participation.  A recommendation was sent to Chris and Fran and they will go with our suggested day of Saturday.  We will also coordinate the brewers once we get closer to the date. http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/
From the floor:
·         Kevin Shared his experience of his recent trip to the AHA rally in Asheville.  The event was hosted by Highland Brewing Company and Kevin got his picture taken with Charlie Papazian.
·         Chris shared a little about his trip to Natty Greene’s Brewing Company in Greensboro.  Head Brewer Mike Rollinson gave a wonderful tour and answered many questions.
·         Thom shared the details of his thermowell/keg conversion project that is taking shape nicely.
A drawing of all competition entrant names was held and James B. won the $40 gift certificate from Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing.
Our next meeting will be hosted by Harry M. on April 16th.
Chris M.
Star City Brewers Guild President



April 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Wednesday, 20 April 2011

On April 16, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild (www.starcitybrewers.org) met at the home of Harry M. in the Hollins area.A total of about 41 people were in attendance. Thanks to Harry and friend Lynne for hosting on Saturday where there was some serious severe weather until just a couple hours before our gathering. I don’t recall when we have had such good luck with the weather as we have had so far this year.

As we have done for the last several meetings everyone went around and gave a brief introduction since we have had so many new folks join our group. Name tags were again available to make sure we didn’t stress our memories too much.

Treasurer Kevin was unable to attend this meeting so Chris M. announced a total membership of 63 and provided a financial report. This was before some payouts for commercial samples, the addition of some new members, and some previous members bringing their dues up to date. We had six new members join this time. Welcome to Chris & Guissella Sola, Jim & Lisa Armstrong, and Alex & Cindy Broughton. Thanks to those who brought their dues current as well.

Weather permitting James and Joan Brown will again host our National Homebrew Day Event on May 7th. This will serve as our meeting for the month of May and we will send out directions later with the agenda. So far we have possible brewers including: Bryan, CyberDave, Kevin, and John M. The club tent is on location and ready to go. In the event of severe weather, like we seem to be having lately, we will look to reschedule this event. James and Joan will make the call as we get closer and see the forecast. Let’s hope we will be as lucky as we have been this year and for past events. Recipes are available for Must Be the Season of the Wit, East India Pale Ale, and Rocket Rod’s Positively Porter. http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/

Chris and Fran from Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing will host a demonstration event Saturday, May 21, 2011 to recognize American Craft Beer Week, which is May 16-22 (Monday-Sunday). Possible brewers are Thom, Harry, and CyberDave. Chris and Fran have applied for license and the ABC issues the license with the condition that we only are serving four different beers. We will need to keep this in mind when we are serving. Fran suggests that if there are only four set up a time and they can be changed out as they are tasted with other styles then we should be OK. They have asked us to remember this as we are serving so this doesn’t become an issue with the ABC. http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/

Host locations for all our meetings for the remainder of the year have been spoken for. Thanks to all who have volunteered to host our gatherings. Harry provided a brief update on Microfestivus and our planned support. For those that are interested, we will be primarily providing judging support with about half a dozen members committed at this time and we could use more. The possibility of a brewing demonstration is still on the table but we will likely not be offering samples of homebrew. Any interested members can go online or contact Harry for opportunities to participate. http://microfestivus.squaresociety.org/

From the floor we had a variety of opportunities you may want to check out including: Blue Angels at the Lynchburg Air Show in May, New River Brewfest in June, Dam Lager is now available at many Smith Mountain Lake locations and will be pursuing a brewing operation in the area as well, Pints O’Plenty of Forest is planning a move in the near future, Big Lick Brewtopia at the Salem ball park in June, Floyd Fandango in July, FloydFest, http://www.staythirstyblog.com, spare bottles were offered, and the best places to obtain the latest brews were discussed.

To prepare for our June competition Bryan walked us through the style guidelines and commercial tasting of BJCP Style #18A – Belgian Blond Ale – http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style18.php . In an effort to share the judging experience with everyone, we walked through a brief judging exercise using the first of our four commercial samples after hearing Bryan’s discussion of the style. We handed out the style guidelines and sample score sheets. Everyone that wanted to participate was asked to take five minutes to score the beer (Val-Dieu Blond) using the score sheets and style guidelines with no discussion.

After the five minute period, several members shared their scores and descriptive comments with everyone else. This gave everyone an idea of common things that were identified by different members and how the beer was rated by several different judges. The intent was to give everyone an idea if we were in range of most of those tasting the beer and it provided a good indication if a particular score was either too hi or too low. After this brief exercise we continued the commercial tasting with Leffe Blond, Saxo Blond, and probably most everyone’s favorite the brand-new Ommegang Gnomegang a collaboration with Brasserie d ‘Achouffe. The first two were BJCP listed and the last two were not.

Chris M. Star City Brewers Guild President



May 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Sunday, 15 May 2011

To commemorate National Homebrew Day, on May 7, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild met at the home of James and Joan B. in the Oak Grove area of Roanoke County.A total of about 34 adults and four children were in attendance. Thanks to James and Joan for hosting on Saturday. Again, the weather turned out great for our gathering and brewing.

At this event each year, our group recognizes National Homebrew Day by participating in Big Brew. James had the club tent set-up to provide some shade and Joan made her outstanding chicken and sausage gumbo. The mild temperatures and sunshine made for a very pleasant day and some members stayed around for the Kentucky Derby as has become our tradition.  For Big Brew we had five brew sessions occurring at the same time. Kevin brewed a Belgian amber, John M. was brewing a pale ale using the brew in a bag method, Bryan was brewing a rye beer, CyberDave was demonstrating his triple decoction Oktoberfest, and Matt/Patrick were brewing a stout. Every brew was all-grain this year. We ended up with about 26.5 gallons. http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/

Treasurer Kevin provided a report and announced a total membership of 70.

A Spring demonstration event for American Craft Beer Week will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2001 at Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing. The event hosted by Chris and Fran A. will take place in the store parking lot at 5524 Williamson Road in Roanoke. Those planning to brew are Kevin and CyberDave. Thom, Harry, Jeff, and Chris M. may also brew on-location. In addition to the brewing demonstration, we will offer tastings. Several folks offered to provide samples. Chris and Fran have applied for license and the ABC issues the license with the condition that we only are serving four different beers. We will need to keep this in mind when we are serving. They have asked us to remember this as we are serving so this doesn’t become an issue with the ABC. James has the club tent and tables and will make sure they get to the store for the event on the 21st. We normally start setting up around 9:00 and begin brewing around 10:00 http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/

Host locations for all our meetings for the remainder of the year have been spoken for. Thanks to all who have volunteered to host our gatherings. Our next regular meeting will be on June 18 at the home of Bryan and Jenny S.

From the floor, CyberDave suggested we coordinate a posting of links on e-mail about a week before meetings once a quarter to ask questions and share information. We do this now throughout the year, but the quarterly approach may help focus our postings and make the quarterly meetings more productive.

Bryan S. suggested that we all get together to brew more often. Indicating that his system is more efficient when running full, he even offered the use of his system and the option of splitting batches.

At 1:00 P.M. we all gathered for a toast and group photo to recognize National Homebrew Day. Cheers to Jimmy Carter…(and Billy!). Carrie once again took the photos and did an outstanding job.

Next meetings … 5/21 – Demonstration event, 6/18 – Belgian Blond competition

Chris M. President Star City Brewers Guild



June 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Wednesday, 22 June 2011

On Saturday June 18, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Bryan and Jenny Summerson in SW Roanoke.  About 26 members gathered on this nice sunny afternoon…at least until we attempted to conduct the business portion of our meeting…  Thanks to Bryan and Jenny for having us at their home for a wonderful meeting.  They had the club tent set-up and Bryan smoked some awesome ribs.Treasurer Kevin provided a report and indicated that we are now up to 74 members with the addition of Dan T. on Saturday. Welcome to the club Dan!

Tentative plans are for the July meeting to be held at Doug and Kel’s in Troutville on July 23rd. The remaining months in 2011 are already spoken for as follows: August – John and Diana September – Chris and Christy October – Jeff and Cindy November – Justin and Carrie December – Will and Jen Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to host our meetings. I know it is a lot of work and this is one of the things that makes our group work so well.

To follow up on our spring demonstration event for American Craft Beer Week, we had some discussion of promotion efforts for future events. Our next demonstration event will be on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 for Learn to Homebrew Day (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/events/learn-to-homebrew-day) . Chris and Fran of Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing ( http://www.blueridgehydroponics.com/) will likely be able to host the event at their new location on Williamson Road across from the old location. CyberDave, Dan T., and possibly Jeff are planning to brew for this event. …about this time is when our nice sunny afternoon gave way to a cloudburst chasing us inside to continue the meeting…

Harry has been working with Lynn and Patrick on some flyer designs for distribution at Microfestivus. Patrick B. suggested coasters as a promotional item for the club. Coasters are great items as many of us have demonstrated with our collections. They may be a little more expensive than our postcards and brochures, but worth looking into. (Carrie, does your contact have coasters?) Some members discussed a simple handout on the brewing process that guests could follow as the process is demonstrated.

Harry is, again this year, coordinating our volunteer efforts for Microfestivus (http://microfestivus.squaresociety.org/). The event will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2011. There is still more room for participation. Members may contact Harry for available opportunities and times.

Today was also Big Lick Brewtopia (http://www.biglickbrewtopia.com/) at Salem Red Sox Stadium. Many members were able to attend before joining us for our Guild meeting and they shared their experiences with us. Overall everyone seemed pleased with the event.

Kevin shared details of his trip to Keegan Ales of the Hudson Valley (http://www.keeganales.com/) where he got to spend some time with the brewer.

With the recent reports of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company looking for an East Coast brewing location, there was much discussion of our area being on the short list for consideration. We believe we have so much more to offer than the site they are considering in Tennessee and we would like for them to know of our support for their brewery in our area. In order to share our support with them, and some information about our beer culture and lifestyle, we will write a letter from the Guild. Thanks to Patrick B. and Chris B. for working on the draft for us.

After a short break, Kathy, our chief competition organizer, had us ready for judging our Belgian Blond entries. A detailed description of the style can be found at the BJCP website under Category 18A (http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style18.php). A total of 13 entries were judged among three tables, with four being sent to the final table.
Congratulations to our winners:
3rd place – Will, 2nd place – Kevin, 1st place – Chris D.

Harry won the drawing for the $40 gift certificate from Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing.

Next meeting 7/23 at Doug and Kel’s. Watch for the announcement and directions as we get closer to the date.

Chris M.
President Star City Brewers Guild


July 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Will Landry
Sunday, 31 July 2011

It was another hot July day, so thank you to Doug and Kel for allowing us to enjoy their pool and hospitality all day, including tours of Doug’s hop farm. Many thanks to our hosts for a great meeting. A head count yielded about 20 members and one guest Matt from Staunton.The meeting began with a treasurer’s report by Kevin C. We stand at 74 members at the start of the meeting.

Our first topic was of course Microfestivus coming up in about 2 weeks on Saturday August 13th from noon to 6. A big thank you to Harry for his work in coordinating things. A couple points of note, judges should arrive at 11:30 to check in with Harry near the entrance I believe. As of now there will be 3-4 brewers demonstrating the process. Brewers may begin setting up between 7:30-8am. Anyone interested in helping with set-up should contact Harry. And finally, anyone who has not signed up that wants to help, Harry believes they will need a lot of adhoc help as the day progresses, so please get with Harry on that as well.

Related to Microfestivus, a special thanks to Lynn for her work on making posters advertising Learn to Homebrew Day. These posters, along with some postcards, will be at Microfestivus which will hopefully help draw a crowd to the event this year.

Our guest Matt had suggested a North Country Malt order for bulk grain. We would need to order 42 bags of grain to make it worth while cost wise. Give some thought to your upcoming brews and what base malts in particular you might need. Hopefully we’ll hear more from Matt or possibly Doug on this soon.

Last but not least, Blacksburg Brew Do is early this year, Saturday September 24. Entries for the homebrew contest will be dropped off between Mon Aug 29 and Wed Aug 31. As always Will L. and anyone who wants to join me, will be doing a drop off one of those nights. If you wish to enter beers, you can drop them off with me anytime up till we go. We usually drop off beers and hit Bull N Bones for dinner. I believe multiple e-mails have gone out with the bottle tags and registration forms. If anyone needs them let me know and I’ll forward the e-mail.

After the meeting, Doug presented us a fantastic powerpoint presentation on the American Stout which will be our September competition. Doug has already sent out an e-mail with the links to the references he used, and I believe the actual slideshow will be up on the SCBG website shortly. Thank you Doug.

Kevin presented the style samples to us. Two of the BJCP example, the Rogue Shakespeare Stout and the Sierra Nevada Stout, as well as three others. I unfortunately couldn’t stay for the end so I’m not sure which was the club preferred example, but the Rogue was excellent and it is first on the BJCP list.

Future Meeting Dates: September 17th – Chris and Christy October – Jeff and Cindy November – Justin and Carrie December – Will and Jen Thanks again to our hosts and to those who presented.

See you at Microfestivus.

Will Landry
SCBG Vice President


August 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011

On Saturday August 27, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of John and Diana Shoudel at Smith Mountain Lake.  About 26 members gathered on this mild afternoon while Hurricane Irene was making her way up the East Coast.  Many thanks to John and Diana for having us at their home for a wonderful meeting.  We got started with food and some very nice samples of home brew before moving down to the dock for the business portion of our gathering.  The weather really cooperated well and we enjoyed the waterside bar.Treasurer Kevin reported that we still have 74 members and provided our bank account balance. This summer we have had several inquiries about our group and many have indicated plans to join us at a future meeting as their schedules allow.

The September meeting will be held on September 17 at Chris and Christy’s at their home in North Roanoke County beginning at 4:00. This is our quarterly competition and we will be judging American Stouts (BJCP Style 13E). I will make sure the club tables get there for the competition. The club tent may also be useful and we can coordinate that with Bryan separately if needed. The meeting and competition will closely follow the format of the June competition at Bryan’s house.

Future meetings: October – Jeff and Cindy

November – Justin and Carrie December – Will and Jen

January – Harry (with Bryan and Chris B. as backups)

Harry attended a Microfestivus meeting on August 22 to go over the event with the organizers and it appears that this year has been the most successful Microfestivus yet. Many thanks to all members and friends who volunteered for this event and made it successful. The attendance filled the available capacity of the Downtown Elmwood Park venue and some folks had to be turned away. There were some minor suggestions to share with the Square Society but overall everyone was very pleased with the event. Our group suggested a brewers meeting where home brewers could get together with the commercial brewers in advance where we would have an opportunity to share some of our beers with them. http://microfestivus.squaresociety.org

Blacksburg BrewDo is September 24. Competition home brews are due by August 31. Hopefully we will have a good showing like we did last year. Best of luck to all! http://www.blacksburgpartnership.org/brewdo

Top of the Hops Beer Festival will be September 10 in Charlottesville. http://topofthehopsbeerfest.com/

Bramwell Oktoberfest is on October 8 at Bramwell West Virginia. http://www.bramwelloktoberfest.com/

High Country Beer Fest in Boone, NC (tickets are $30 for unlimited samples): http://www.hcbeerfest.com/

Asheville Oktoberfest in Asheville, NC (tickets are $25 for unlimited samples): http://www.ashevilledowntown.org/Asheville-Oktoberfest.html

John S. shared with us a potential for a new Smith Mountain Lake Beer Festival next year. The chairman of the SML Wine Festival and his wife, an event planner for the SML visitors center, were invited to the meeting to discuss some possibilities, but they were unable to attend. John will see if at least one of them can attend our next meeting. This may be an opportunity for us to help develop the festival if it moves forward. The upcoming SML Wine Festival is highly recommended.

Learn to Homebrew Day is Saturday November 5. 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 new location at the Williamson Road Plaza. This event was marketed quite heavily at Microfestivus. Possible brewers are Kevin, Harry, Alex, and Chris M. There was a suggestion for a bulk malt order but in some cases there may be some delivery issues with the ability to unload a pallet. If someone wants to organize an order and find out the particulars, we can discuss it at a future meeting.

Kevin and Will plan to evaluate Big Willie for possible maintenance needs. The group voted to make minor repairs not to exceed $50 but there is a good chance no repairs will be needed. There was also some discussion of possible upgrades with faucets but this is a more expensive proposal. We will address this at a future meeting where we can have more detailed cost information to consider.

Carrie will make some contacts to see what it will take to repair the club logo on our tent and update our banners with the correct e-mail address.

Chris B. suggested we consider the possibility of going to a discussion forum for some of our communications, particularly for technical discussion on any particular topic. That may present a significant administrative burden. I will get some input for Chuck.

Thanks to everyone for attending. Watch for the announcement and directions for our next meeting as we get closer to September 17.

Chris M.
President Star City Brewers Guild


September 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Monday, 19 September 2011

On Saturday September 17, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Chris and Christy D. in North Roanoke County.  About 35 members and guests gathered on this cool afternoon.  Several neighbors and some other new folks joined us for the meeting and many were interested in joining our group.  Many thanks to Chris and Christy for having us at their home for a great meeting.  This was our first meeting at their house and the weather cooperated well for a nice outside meeting.  As always, we got started with some great food and some very nice samples of home brew before the business portion of our gathering.Before the meeting started we had 76 members. Welcome to new members Terri and John Hudson, John and Judith Zeimer, David Shelton and Meredith Bowman, and Frank Moeller. This will bring our membership to an all-time high of 83 and there may be another couple potential new members.

The October meeting will be held at Jeff and Cindy’s in South Roanoke on October 29th beginning at 4:00. At this meeting we will begin discussing the 2012 competition styles and open the nominations to be voted on at the November meeting. Check the website to see what styles we have done over the past few years. Halloween costumes are not required!

Upcoming meetings:

• November – Justin and Carrie – 2012 nominations for President, competition style voting
• December – Will and Jen – American Barleywine competition, BOTY, election of President and VP
• January – Harry (Bryan or Chris B. as backups)
• February – Thom and Jeannie Blacksburg BrewDo is September 24th.

Once again our Guild members had an awesome with five awards. Congratulations to Kevin, Will, Bryan, and Dan for their efforts.

Awful Arthur’s may be interested in sponsoring a similar competition where the winner’s beer would be brewed at their brewery. We will need to follow-up with them on this possibility.

The winners are as follows:
Specialty: (Please note there is a tie for 1st place)
1st- Stout-coffee #35 “Juan’s Brother” Gregory Copen
1st- Barleywine #44 “98.6” Jose Piriz
3rd- Ale #56 “It’s the Pits” Michael Vanidestine

Dark: (Please note there is a tie for 2nd place)
1st- Russian Imperial #63 “Operation Barbosa” John Baute
2nd-India Black Ale #23 “Noonan’s Black Gold” David Hrdlicka
2nd-Irish Stout #71 “Anna Keelies” Ben Mayo

Amber: 1st- Rye Barleywine #10 “Yukon Cornelius” Kevin Campbell
2nd- Am.Brown Ale #16 “Dad’s American Brown” William Landry
3rd- Am. Barleywine #12 “American Gnallywine” Bryan Summerson

Light: 1st- English Ale #5 “Dan’s e Ale” Daniel Tatarka
2nd- Belgian Blonde #15 “Abby’s Belgian Blonde” William Landry
3rd- Lt. Am. Lager #43 “IP Darker” Toeya Piriz

Bramwell Oktoberfest is October 8th. There was some interest in attending from a few members. If anyone is interested in traveling together please share your plans through the e-mail list.

Learn to Homebrew Day – Saturday November 5th – 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 new location at the Williamson Road Plaza. Possible brewers are Jeff, Harry, Bryan, Chris M., and new member David S. The club tent is now at Chris D.’s, but we did not need it on Saturday. Chris will check the dimensions for a possible new logo and pass it along. Hopefully we can get the new logo squared away before our demonstration event.

Bargainfittings.com is a good resource for high temperature tubing and other brewing needs. There is a possible new source for painted glassware that some of may be interested in. Joan will pass along the information to Chris M.

Chris D. suggested we consider a mead competition (with his hives in the background … hahah!) as an extra event. Given that it can be expensive and everyone may not have an interest it may be a good idea to do it as a separate event. There seemed to be significant interest in doing this possibly a year or more away to allow for aging.

After a short break we had the American Stout competition. With 16 entries, it kept Kathy and Joan quite busy. I don’t recall having that many entries before and fortunately we were able to have four judges tables in the first round. With an excellent selection, we had six entries at the final table. Many thanks to Kathy, Joan, and all our judges. Third place went to Dan Tartarka, second went to Patrick Beeson, and first went to Chris McDonald. A gift certificate to Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing was also awarded to your President Chris McDonald after a name drawing from a pool of those that entered the competition. Thanks to everyone who attended and/or entered the competition. Our next meeting will be on October 29th.

Chris M.

President Star City Brewers Guild


October 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Monday, 07 November 2011

On Saturday October 29, 2011, the Star City Brewers Guild gathered at the home of Jeff and Cindy F. in Roanoke.? Over 40 members and guests gathered on this chilly evening. Many thanks to Jeff and Cindy for having us at their home for what has been an October tradition and a great meeting.

We now have a record total of 82 paid members in our group. It is great to see such interest in craft brewing.?Kevin shared with us some issues with our bank. They are beginning to charge a fee any time a balance falls below $1000. We can’t support that and we are actively looking at our options.

Future meetings

•?November 19th, 4:00 – Justin and Carrie – 2012 nominations for President, competition style voting

•?December (tentatively the 10th) – Will and Jen – American Barleywine competition (we need judges!), BOTY, election of President and VP

•?January – Harry (Bryan or Chris B. as backups)

•?February – Thom and Jeannie

Kevin has been in contact with Bull and Bones concerning his plans to brew his BrewDo award winning Barley Wine “Yukon Cornelius” at their brewery.?Right now it looks like he will be brewing in December with plans to have it available in late January or February.

Plans were finalized for our Learn to Homebrew event at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing on November 5th.?We will have up to six brewers demonstrating home brewing and many more will bring samples for the public to taste.

Chris D. found a source to get a new logo for our club tent for $50. The old one had to be replaced due to wear and tear. The group voted to give Chris the go ahead and he hopes to have it ready for our event this Saturday.

Barry, the owner at Awful Arthur’s may be interested in doing a competition similar to BrewDo. Winners would have a chance to send their beers to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver for the October event next year.? Although it is unclear if the brewery is affiliated with the brewers association or not.

After a discussion on Guild communications it was decided that we would update the web page and use it as our primary method of communications, particularly with the public and for our events. E-mail will continue as the preferred informal method of communication.

Please send in your nominations for 2012 competition styles no later than November 12th so they can be summarized for voting on November 19th.?This will also give members that can’t attend the meeting a chance to vote by e-mail.?The top nominations will be on the ballot.

Jeff gave us a great tour of his basement brewery, train set, and newly added brewing wagon. This is a must see. It is quite a hi-tech brewery that is totally portable.

Our next meeting will be at Justin and Carrie’s in Salem on November 19th.?We look forward to seeing everyone there for this important meeting where we will be voting on 2012 competition styles and nominating candidates for President.


November 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Saturday, 19 November 2011

On Saturday November 19th, the Star City Brewers Guild and guests gathered at the home of Justin and Carrie in Salem. A total of about 30 members and guests gathered to enjoy some great beers and great food on this mild fall afternoon. Thanks to Justin and Carrie for their hospitality and for hosting our gathering on Carries birthday.

In Kevin’s absence, Chris gave a Treasurer’s report and we are at an all-time high with 84 members.

The December meeting will be held at Will and Jen’s on December 17th. This is a busy meeting so we will likely begin gathering around 3:00. At this meeting we will have our American Barleywine competition and we will need judges. We will also announce the Brewer of the Year, elect our President and VP, and conduct a gift (beer of course) exchange for those that want to participate.

Future meetings will be hosted as follows:

January 21st – Harry

February – Thom and Jeannie

March – Bryan and Jenny

After covering the upcoming meeting schedule and locations we had a short review of our Learn to Homebrew event at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing on November 5th. We had six brewers and Chris and Fran were pleased with the traffic at the store. Additional details on that event can be found on the website www.starcitybrewers.org .Nominations for 2012 President were Will L., Kevin C., and Chris M. and each one has agreed to be in the running. The person receiving the most votes will be President and the one receiving the second most votes will be Vice President. The President and Vice President will then choose a Treasurer. If you have other ideas for nominations, please check with your nominee and make sure they are willing to be in the running. The next meeting will be here before we know it so let everyone know of any additional nominations as soon as possible.

Dan T. shared some information about his trip to Sierra Nevada Beer Camp. He really enjoyed this two and a half day trip where he toured the brewery and they brewed an Altbier of two 10 barrel batches in the pilot brew house. Dan was able to make arrangements at Carrabba’s in Roanoke to have some of it available here for purchase. Dan will be sure to let us know when so we can be sure and give it a try.

Chris Molseed with the Hill City Homebrewers joined us to talk about the BJCP exam. Sites within a reasonable driving distance fill up very quickly and it is difficult to get a seat for the exam. As a result our Lynchburg neighbors are considering hosting a site in Lynchburg and they would like to give us an opportunity to participate before opening it up to others. A total of at least six people are needed to get a test date and they will host a study course in Lynchburg. The goal is to be ready for the exam in January of 2013. It costs $50 for the exam and $30 for re-takes. It was good to spend some time with one of our neighboring brewers and we appreciate the invitation. Brewers should contact Chris Molseed directly (cmolseed@comcast.net) if you are interested in participating in the study course and/or taking the exam.

As is customary each year, at our November meeting, guild members voted on competition styles and for 2012 the results are as follows:

March – BJCP Style12C.Baltic Porter

June – BJCP Style 23. Specialty (Black IPA, India Black Ale, Cascadian Dark Ale)

September – BJCP Style 11B. Southern English Brown Ale

December – BJCP Style 21B. Christmas/Winter Specialty

Next meeting – December 17th


December 2011 Meeting Notes
Written by Chris McDonald
Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A festive crowd of over 40 members and guests gathered at the home of Will and Jen in Roanoke County on Saturday December 17th for the Star City Brewers Guild December meeting. Thanks to Will and Jen for hosting on this nice fall evening.

Kevin provided our Treasurer’s report and we had 84 paid members to close out 2011.

Harry will host the January meeting on the 21st at his home in the Hollins area of North Roanoke County. Kevin volunteered to give our style presentation and walk us through a commercial sample tasting. Thom and Jeannie will take February and Bryan and Jenny will host in March for our first quarterly members only competition of 2012.

Competition styles for 2012 were voted on in November and are as follows:

*March – BJCP Style 11B. Southern English rown Ale

June – BJCP Style 23. Specialty (Black IPA, India Black Ale, Cascadian Dark Ale)

*September – BJCP Style 12C. Baltic Porter

December – BJCP Style 21B. Christmas/Winter Specialty

*Note: March and September were switched to allow more time for the Baltic Porter.

We discussed our single hop pale ale experiment where everyone used the same recipe, yeast, and various hops. Everyone adjusted to get about 35 IBU’s and so far we have about eight different varieties with possibly more to come. We plan on tasting these in February since some won’t be ready in January and we have more room on the agenda. Be sure to bring them in January anyway as well if you have them ready.

Chris D. shared with us some Star City Brewers Guild stickers that he obtained when he had our tent logo replaced. They are very nice and he can get them for $5-6 each. He also showed us a cigar made with Centennial hops that he highly recommends to any cigar enthusiasts. John M. has a connection through a former member to a few SCBG logo glasses if anyone is interested. Doug brought several cases of cleaned and de-labeled bottles for those that needed them.

John M. officiated over our election for 2012 President and Vice President. Chris M. was once again chosen as President and Kevin received the honor of our Vice President. Will has agreed to serve as our Treasurer for 2012. Congratulations to all and thanks to everyone for their support.

After a short break Kathy organized our group for the American Barleywine competition. We had 13 entries this time and there were enough judges for four first round tables. Five beers were worthy of moving on to the second round where we had a fresh group of judges. The competition went quite well and Paul placed third, Bryan placed second, and Doug N. was our first place winner. Kevin rounded out the year as the 2011 Brewer of the Year. All those with entries were entered into a drawing for a $40 gift certificate provided by Chris and Fran from Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing. Thanks to everyone who helped out with this event by planning, organizing, stewarding, judging, and of course brewing! Also thanks to Chris and Fran for the gift certificate.

After all the formalities many of our members exchanged gifts of beer in the Bad Santa game. Bryan and Harry walked us through this fun exchange which was quite entertaining.

Our next meeting will be on January 21st at Harry’s.

2010 Meeting Notes

January 2010 Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 24 January 2010

Our second meeting this month (technically) brought together a lively bunch of 23 members and 4 guests, Greg & Charlotte P., Daniel W., and John K. The meeting was held at the home of Harry M. Many thanks to Harry and Lynn for their hospitality. The accommodating set-up in a heated garage worked great.Our newly appointed Treasurer Kevin C. gave us a financial report of $497.51, after paying for his samples, and before any dues paid at the meeting. A final tally of 33 paid members including those paid up till the time of the meeting gives us a great start to the year. A further reminder that dues should be paid at a rate of $20 for a family, or $15 for an individual was stated. As well as a reminder that anyone competing in club competitions must be paid in order to enter.

Meeting dates for the year are all spoken for. As follows:
February 27th at Chris M. (Tech Talk on off flavors)
March at John M. (Cream Ale Competition)
April at Chuck G. (APA Presentation and Tasting)
May 1  at James B. (Big Brew 2010)
June Beth D. (at the lake, APA Competition)
July and Aug will be decided by John S. and Doug M.
September Bryan S.
October Jeff F.
November Carrie and Justin C.
December Will L.

After a break, CyberDave lead us in the Cream Ale Presentation. Known for doing this style, Dave gave us a great lesson on preparing adjuncts. What to do and what not. Unfortunately the style is not available locally, except for Genesee Cream Ale. I think we all agreed it was a pretty bland “lawnmower” beer, at which point, Dave reminded us of the fact it used to be “Goat” beer, before the invention of the lawnmower. All in all I think we enjoyed Dave’s homebrewed example much more, even if a touch out of style.

After another short break, Kevin C. gave us a presentation on the Russian Imperial Stout style. Unlike our normal process, we stepped up the timing of this presentation due to its need to age 6 to 12 months. So don’t forget to start brewing yours soon for the December competition. To our surprise, Kevin had found a plethora of examples for our tastings. While it is safe to say the examples were all quite unique, the Old Rasputin seemed to get the best feedback overall.



February Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 28 February 2010

For our February meeting with all gathered at the house of Chris and Pam M. We had a good number of old and new members and one guest, John N. As always many thanks to Chris and Pam for their hospitality. Our treasurer, Kevin C., gave us a treasury report of 46 members and a balance of $477.72 before expenses for the 2010 trophies and the “off-flavor” base beer (which will remain nameless as to not shame this fine group). A final reminder that anyone entering next months competition must be a paid 2010 member.


Meeting dates for the year are all spoken for. As follows:
March 20 at John M. (Cream Ale Competition)
April at Chuck G. (Irish Red Presentation and Tasting)
May 1  at James B. (Big Brew 2010)
June Doug M. ( Irish Red Competition)
July Beth D. (APA Presentation)
Aug John S.
September Bryan S. (APA Competition)
October Jeff F.
November Carrie and Justin C.
December Will L.

Many up coming events were discussed at the February meeting including the possibility of doing a “Teach a Friend” type even in the spring. As American Craft Beer Week is May 17-23 a Saturday May 22 date was suggested. More to come on this in the months to come, but I will be looking for volunteers to advertise, set-up, bring beer and/or food and take-down. CHRIS AND FRAN, if you are interested in this, please look into an ABC license.

Joan B. mentioned the possibility of working with the Taubman Museum during their Folk Art program coming soon. As there was some interest in participating, Joan will be our liaison to find out exactly what type of presentation we will need be it live demonstration, slide show, power point, etc.

As always, a lively discussion on the upcoming Microfestivus ensued. Microfestivus has been scheduled for August 14, 2010. After a bit of talk, Harry M., with his connections to the Square Society, volunteered to be our liaison. We agreed our participation would be as a pool of educated servers with the hope we will be offered the early sign up for serving slots like last year, and hopefully get some recognition as a club. However, that would be our only level of participation this year in regards to the Square Society. I will be looking for volunteers to hang around the Blue Ridge Hydroponics tent to meet with interested folks.

A number of other festivals were mentioned:

Hickory Hops Brew Festival, April 17th Hickory, NC http://www.hickoryhops.com/
The World Beer Festival Raleigh, NC April 24  http://allaboutbeer.com/gather-for-beer/world-beer-festival/raleigh-nc/
The World Beer Festival Richmond, VA June 12 http://allaboutbeer.com/gather-for-beer/world-beer-festival/richmond-va/

Harry M. mentioned visiting a new homebrew equipment shop and beer store in Forest, VA. Pints O’ Plenty. I was unable to find a website for them. Harry’s discussion with them was in regards to the Lynchburg brew club (Hill City Homebrewers?, no active website). Apparently they have quarterly competitions as well where the winner gets his/her beer brewed at a local brewery. There is also the possibility of join meetings. If anyone has a contact within the club, I’d like to pursue a possible meeting with them.

After a break, our own Doug M. presented us with the first 6 “off-flavors”. They were Acetaldehyde (green apple), Acetic (vinegar), Almond, Butyric (rancid butter), Diacetyl (Buttery, non-rancid), and DMS (cooked corn). All in all I think the first two people agreed were flavors they had experienced before. The almond was new to me anyway. The butyric was overwhelmingly terrible, putrid if you will. And the last two while “off” for this purpose are required in some instances. There was some discussion of doing a special meeting to finish off the “off flavors”. I’m willing to open a discussion on when that could be done.

See you all next month.


March 2010 Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 21 March 2010

A group of 16 members and two new members met at John and Kathy M.’s house for the Cream Ale competition. Many thanks to John and Kathy for their hospitality and Kathy for her stewardship.Our treasurer, Kevin C., gave us a report of 53 paid members (by meetings end) and a balance of $680.78.

A few competitions were mentioned as coming up. The National Homebrewers Conference entries are due in this next week. This is an open competition of all BJCP styles. The AHA is also hosting a club only competition for American Ales. Entries are due Saturday, April 3, 2010. A Bluegrass Cup in Lexington, KY are due May 1.

At our next meeting in April we’ll be having two presentations. Bryan S. has agreed to present our next competition style Irish Red Ale. Doug M. agreed to present another 6 “off-flavors” from our Seibel sensory kit. Thank you to both for volunteering.

We got a brief update from Joan B. on the Taubman Museum’s interest in a presentation by the Guild. While we’ve missed the “folk art” time at the museum, other opportunities may present themselves. Stay tuned.

We’re still talking about a spring “teach a friend” type day on Sat. May 22 at Blue Ridge Hydroponics. I have not had a chance to talk to Chris and Fran about an ABC license for the day, but I’m hopeful we’ll get everything pulled together in time.

Harry M. was not at the meeting but had relayed the Square Society’s interest in meeting with some of us to discuss the Guild’s participation in Microfestivus. I had said we’d be meeting March 30th at 6pm downtown. PLEASE NOTE: Harry has since informed me that time will not be best and a new time will be announced shortly.

After a recent e-mail from Chuck, he will be around for Arpil 10th, so we will be having the meeting at his place.

FUTURE MEETING DATES:  April 24 at Chuck G. (Irish Red Presentation and Tasting, “off-flavors”)
May 1  at James B. (Big Brew 2010)
June Doug M. ( Irish Red Competition)
July Beth D. (APA Presentation)
Aug John S.
September Bryan S. (APA Competition)
October Jeff F.
November Carrie and Justin C.
December Will L.

After a short break 11 beers were judged in the 6A BJCP style category of Cream Ale. The results were 3rd place, your truly, Will L. 2nd place Chris M., and in 1st, Bryan S. Blue Ridge Hydroponics has graciously offered $35 gift cards as door prizes to those that enter and I was lucky enough to draw my own name for that prize.
Congratulations to all.


April 2010 Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 11 April 2010

I wish to thank Chuck and Kim one more time for their hospitality at what was easily one of the most attended meetings in a long time. A total of 32 members and 3 guests, John H. from Tech, along with Jim (the graphics guy) and his friend attended on a pristine day. Kevin C. gave us his treasury report which had us at 53 paid members before out meeting. Our balance was $665.78. Expenses for this meeting consisted of Irish Red samples and some beers Doug likes to drink that we used for “off-flavors”.

The Sam Adams Long Shot competition was reviewed in brief. They are limiting entries to BJCP style #23 Specialty Beer but also including fruit/vegetable and spice beers in there as well. Entries are due between May 17 and 28th.

Meeting dates for the year are all spoken for. As follows:
May 1 James B (Big Brew)
June Doug M.  (Irish Red Competition)
July Beth D. (APA Presentation)
Aug John S.
Sept  Bryan S. (APACompetition)
Oct Jeff F.
Nov Carrie and Justin C.
Dec Will L. (RIS Competition)

Harry and Kevin attended a meeting with the Square Society to discuss the clubs involvement in Microfestivus which will be held August 14th from 12-6pm. As we did last year we’ll have an opportunity to sign up as pourers a week or two earlier than the public, and in addition some folks can sign up to stand at the tables and talk about the beers provided we aren’t stepping on the brewer’s toes. In addition we have been asked to taste the beers and choose a “Brewers Choice” best of show. There are still some issues to iron out on logistics, but we thought a 10-12 man team with 20 tastings each should be able to canvas the selections and come to agreement on a beer. Hopefully. And finally, we have been asked to steward the public’s best of show competition in which everyone who enters will be given a token of some sort to put in a container for their favorite beer which we will then count (more likely weigh) the tokens in each container to see who wins.


We also discussed further us having a Craft Beer Week demonstration at Blue Ridge Hydroponics on May 22. The date has been confirmed with Chris & Fran, and it is my understanding they are working on an ABC license for samples for the day. It will be an 11-4pm event. I will be looking for people to be there at 10 to set-up and stay late to clean up. We’ll need brewers for demonstrations. The tents and tables will be needed wherever they end up after Big Brew. We’ll need volunteers for food. And of course beers to sample. So please give all that some thought and I’ll be sending out a formal request for volunteers in the near future.

A couple of notes from the floor:

Floyd Fandango is July 3rd and 4th (Sat. and Sun.). Blue Ridge will not be setting up a table. So you are all on your own if you want to participate.

Doug has volunteered to buy tasting glasses for the club (being reimbursed of course). He’s buying an extra case for anyone who is interested in purchasing a nice smaller glass. I’m sure he’ll have a price at some point but it won’t be more than a few dollars I’d guess.

Carrie C. is taking shirts for embroidery if anyone is interested. You can either drop them off with her or I’m betting she’ll take them at Big Brew in a few weeks. The cost is $7 a piece. You buy the article of clothing first.

We had a short break followed by a presentation from Bryan S. on the Irish Red style. The interesting point was that it is a style that never really existed until Michael Jackson mentioned it and the macro brands decided to make it one of Irleand’s own if I remember correctly. We then sampled 4 examples from Michelob, Saranac, Moylan’s and O’Hara’s. Even though it was a little outside the style guidelines for ABV (at 6.5%) the consensus was the Moylan’s was the best tasting.

After another short break, Doug M. brought out the big guns, the 40s of High Life, and presented 6 more “off-flavors”. “Earthy” was the first and we all agreed it was very evident that you were drinking dirt from packaging or water contamination. “Mercaptan” was next. This is everyone’s favorite skunkiness most often associated with light struck beers, but also a poor yeast or autolysis issue. Next up was Ethyl Acetate, a solvent like ester. This is most often caused by high fermentation temps and sometimes wild yeast. Our fourth off-flavor was Ethyl Hexanoate which is your fruity, apple like ester. This again is a fermentation issue from low aeration or too high a pitching rate. While this is present in all beers it’s the concentration that varies. Next up was “spicy”. That clove taste which arises from microbial contamination, wild yeast or aging. In the case of hefeweizens the 4-vinyl guaicaol is typical. Finally we had “Metallic”. This comes from water sources, but also non-passivated vessels. A lengthy discussion arose about when to clean your pots and it was concluded that cleaning right before brewing and getting a shiny polished surface was bad, especially in Aluminum pots. If you find yourself with a shiny pot, the sheet suggested 250 degrees in the over for 6 hours, or as Doug said, a few days in normal room temps.

That concludes the minutes. We’ll see everyone at BIG BREW!!!!


Big Brew/May Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 02 May 2010

A modest group of about 30 homebrewers and two new members gathered at the home of James and Joan B. yesterday. After a week of hearing about rain, it turned out to be a very warm and sunny day. Many thanks to James and Joan for their amazing hospitality and wonderful back yard for this event.We had a very short meeting where Kevin informed us we have 55 paid members so far this year and I’m very happy with that number. Thanks to all our new members and old.


Our future meeting dates are as follows:

June 19 Doug M.  (Irish Red Competition)

July Beth D. (APA Presentation)
Aug John S.
Sept  Bryan S. (APACompetition)
Oct Jeff F.
Nov Carrie and Justin C.
Dec Will L. (RIS Competition)

Note that next months meeting has been set on Saturday June 19th.

Thanks again to all who attended Big Brew. Stay tuned for an e-mail on our May 22nd Craft Beer Week Demonstrations at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew Supply shop in Roanoke. Give some thought on if you’d like to brew, donate homebrew for tastings, set-up, clean-up, or just be there to talk shop. Spread the word too.


Will Landry

SCBG President



Written by William Landry
Monday, 21 June 2010

Many thanks to all who attended the June meeting at our house this past Saturday. We had about 26 members and 2 guest Charlie and Jaime.Kevin C. gave us a treasury report. We are at our highest member total for at least the past 3-4 years since I’ve been a member. That number being 57. We have a balance of $695.44.


A brief review of upcoming events took place. Floyd Fandango is July 3rd-4th. We do not have any official participation in this. Microfestivus is August 14th. Harry M. is coordinating with the the event organizers. It looks like we’ll have a team of SCBG judges to go around and judge the beers for a best of show. I believe it is Starr Hill that will supply bottle caps to guests for a people’s choice, which will need volunteers to help tally those. And of course anyone interested in pouring will more than likely get first shot at a slot. Finally, Blacksburg Brew Do is October 30th. They offer one of the few homebrew competitions in the immediate area. The winner gets to work with Jim Strickland at Bull N Bones to brew their winning beer.


Future Meeting Dates:

July Beth D. (APA Presentation)
Aug John S.

Sept  Bryan S. (APA Competition)
Oct 23 Jeff F.
Nov Carrie and Justin C.
Dec Will L. (RIS Competition)


Items from the floor started with Dogstown Pizza opening in downtown Floyd which the owner promised would serve nothing but craft beer. Check it out.

John M. will be demonstrating the recent trend of “brewing in a bag” this coming Saturday if anyone is interested.

Bryan S. mentioned a possible joint meeting with/at the Elks and Awful Arthur’s possible in Feb 2011. Stay tuned.

And if anyone is attending Floyd Fest, John S. has hotel reservations nearby he’s looking to get rid of. My notes are a little shacky on this one.

After a short break, we began the Irish Red Competition. We had a good turnout of entries. The scoring once again was a little scattered. But when the dust cleared 3rd place went to James B. 2nd Place to John M. And the winner, Harry M. Congratulations to the winners. Scores have been updated on the website. Also a congrats to Chris McD. for winning the door prize, a gift certificate to Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew Supply store. (Chris I will bring it to the next meeting).

That concludes the minutes for the June 2010 meeting. We’ll see everyone in July for an APA style presentation (Bryan S.) and another off-flavor presentation (Doug M.)


JULY Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 11 July 2010

Many thanks to all who attended the July meeting at Beth and Al D. this past Saturday. We had about 15 members and 1 guest Eric S. Eric is returning to Roanoke after many years and has been part of both the Richmond and James River homebrew clubs if I remember correctly. Bottom line is he’s been brewing for 7-8 years and it sounds like he’ll be a regular.Kevin C. gave us a treasury report. We are still at 57, and Eric said he’d be 58. We have a balance of $695.44, less the APA samples and the 40s of that yellow stuff they call beer.

A brief recap from Kevin on Floyd Fandango sounded like it was another hit and a great opportunity to get some time with the brewers from the local brewpubs and breweries. Blacksburg Brew Do came up. The wesite is updated and it appears the format of the homebrew competition is the same. $5 per entry of 3 bottles. Up to three entries total. Only one per category, light, amber, dark, and specialty.


A discussion about Microfestivus took place. About 17 Guild members have volunteered. Please e-mail Harry if you are interested in volunteering for judging, pouring, or working the Blue Ridge Hydroponics tent. The biggest task we have will be the competition of brewer’s choice. I believe by the time we were done we agreed it’d be best to divide the volunteers into groups of 3-4 and each group take one section of the Microfestivus layout. Once each group has narrowed the field to the top 2-3 in the categories of light, amber and dark (the categories may change), the groups will merge and retaste the top choices to determine the best in each category. Something like that.


After a short break, John M. presented us with the APA styles. If nothing else it was made very clear the style had a broad range of acceptable characters. Our first was the standard by which the BJCP judges everything else, Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale. This was a very balanced beer with minimal malt and hop character. From there the beers seemed to develop more hop character ending in the groups overall favorite the Firestone-Walker Pale Ale which had the most nose and hop flavor. A discussion insued about which beer would be used as a calabration beer for the APA competition. Due to the range of acceptable characteristics it was decided we probably wouldn’t do a calabrating beer. However, we may put out the remaining bottles at the start of the meeting so people/judges could try them again to refresh their memories. Just a reminder we will be starting the judging at 4:30 and all beers should be at the September meetin by 4:15.


After another short break, Kevin presented 6 more off flavors. As always we had some “good” off flavors and some bad. I think we all agreed that the High Life with the Gerinol (hop flavor) made for a wonderful beer actually. While the cheesy (stale hops) was tought to swallow, so to speak. We’ll have the final 6 off flavors at the August meeting.


We’ll that’s all for this meeting. We’ll see some of you at Microfestivus. I believe John S. said August 28th for the meeting but I’ll send another e-mail out to confirm that.



Future Meeting Dates:
Aug 28 John S.
Sept  Bryan S. (APA Competition)

Oct 23 Jeff F.
Nov Carrie and Justin C.
Dec Will L. (RIS Competition)



Written by William Landry
Sunday, 29 August 2010

On a beautiful Saturday in August a group of 19 members and 2 guest (that became members) met at the lake house of John and Diana S. Many thanks to them for hosting. It was really a nice treat to have the meeting on the doc.Our treasurer, Kevin C., gave us his report. I believe with the two new members, James S. and Kendall P., we are now at 59 members. Very impressive. Our balance stands at $695.44 before the new members and the cost of the 40s for the off-flavors.


A recap of Microfestivus was first on the list. Those that attended agreed Harry M. did a fine job of organizing the club’s judging. The weather was great, the beers were cold, and a good time was had by all.


Blacksburg Brew Do was next on the agenda. It will be held Saturday, October 30th, from Noon till 5pm. Brew Do has a homebrew competition with 4 categories of Light, Amber, Dark and Specialty. Entries are due between Monday October 11th and Wednesday October 13th between 3-7pm. A max of three entries per person at $5 a piece are allowed. Good luck to all those that enter. NOTE: I will be going down one of those nights to drop of my entries. I’m more than happy to bring down club members entries. If you want to drop off entries the weekend before that will be fine. I’ll send out a reminder e-mail closer to the date.


In addition Bramwell is coming up. We heard from John M. on this. It’s October 9th (Sat.). John and Kathy are going and said they’d bring homebrew entries as this is a homebrew competition event as well.

Sept 25 Bryan S. (APA Competition)
Oct 23 Jeff F.
Nov 20 Carrie and Justin C.
Dec 18 Will L. (RIS Competition)

After a short break, Kevin C. presented the final 6 off-flavors. Caprylic was a goaty aroma and taste fromt he breakdown of fatty acids in trub over long periods of conditioning. Papery was the cardboard, oxidized flavor resulting from the oxidation of long-chain fatty acids during long term storage. Vanilla was an interesting one. It produced a cream soda tast to the beer apparently formed during aging of some beers. Some of us were trying to figure out how to get this to happen as the taste could work well with a stout. Bitter was next. A harsh, acrid, or asprin flavor from early hop additions at the beginning of the boil, or from roasted malts or residual yeast. Infection was clearly a bad taste as many people couldn’t get past the smell much less the taste. The best description was as if you took malt vinegar and added it to the beer. This is obviously a sanitation issue. Finally a somewhat familiar flavor, Hefeweizen, the clove phenolic part of it which is produced from specialty yeasts, was a nice relief after the infection. Kevin and Doug will be working on getting out a complete list of the off-flavors and their reasons and remedies for the club in the near future.

Well that’s about it. A reminder to all that next month is a competition month. American Pale Ale is the style. All entries must be at Bryan S.’s house by 4:15. Judging will begin at 4:30 in an attempt to not fry taste buds from sampling before judging. John M. will have a few of the style examples from May’s meeting to “calibrate” judges taste buds, but we will not have one particular beer for this style due to the wide range of the guidelines. Doug please let me know if you will be there with the tasting glasses. I will put out an e-mail ahead of time to recruit judges and get a headcount of entries.

Cheers everyone. Brew On!!!!




Written by William Landry
Sunday, 26 September 2010

On a breezy, or was it? It was at Bryan’s. Anyway, on a nice day in September the Guild met at the home of Bryan and Jenny S. Whether in the kitchen, outside under the tent, or in the basement, a good time was had by all. Many thanks for a great competition meeting.Treasurer, Kevin C. (Newly engaged), gave us a report of 60 paid members for this year. A new record we believe. A bank balance of $641.96 keeps us happy. Thank you Kevin.


A discussion of the Blacksburg Brew Do started us off. The event is Saturday October 30th. Kevin and I will be dropping off entries for the homebrew competition between Oct 11 and Oct 13. Feel free to drop off entries at either house the weekend before with the entry form and check written and we’ll bring ’em down. There’s a 3 entry max. 4 categories light, amber, dark and specialty. Entries are $5 a piece. If you place (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) in a category you will received a free glass and 20 tastings. It’s fun.


TAFTH, now Learn to Homebrew Day is Sat. Nov 6. We’ll be looking for volunteers to set-up, take down, brew, bring beers for sampling, etc. That’s assuming we’re a go with Chris & Fran.


Future meeting dates are as follows:


Oct 23 Jeff F.
Nov 20 Carrie and Justin C.
Dec 18 Will L. (RIS Competition)

Please start thinking about competition beers for 2011. We’ll have a discussion on styles at the October meeting.

James B. and John M. will be attending Bramwell on Oct. 9th. I believe. Get with them if you want to submit an entry to their competition.

By this point in the meeting we had already finished the APA competition and the results were announced. In third place, Mr. James B. In second Mr. Kevin C., and in first, your truly Mr. Will L. James also won the door prize, a gift certificate to Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew Supplies. Congratulations to all and MANY thank to Kathy and her stewards for their work.

I think that wraps it up. I know I left a couple things Bryan, and I’ll grab the tent back this week if possible.
Cheers everyone!!!!
SCBG President



OCTOBER Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 24 October 2010

On a festive fall evening, our October meeting was held at the home of Jeff and Cindy F. 20 members and several guests attended. We even had a few members in costume. A great time was had by all.
Treasurer, Kevin C. gave us a report of 60 paid members for this year. A new record we believe. A bank balance of $641.96 keeps us happy. Thank you Kevin.


We began with a reminder that next weekend is Blacksburg Brew Do. As of these notes, no results of the homebrew competition have been announced. The even is Saturday October 30th from 12 to 5pm. $20 for 10 tastings and $30 for 20 tastings. A handful of members raised their hand they were attending.


Next up was Learn to Homebrew Day. This will be held on Saturday November 6th from 11-4pm at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew Supply at Lamplighter Mall on Williamson Road in Roanoke. Chris M., Harry M., Kevin C. and Bryan S. have volunteered to brew. We’ll need some more folks to set-up, take-down, and bring ffod and beer samples. More to come on that.


At this time we will take suggestions for 2011 competition styles. If you will send me an e-mail with 4-5 styles I will compile a list of the top 10 or so to be brought to the November meeting and voted on. All e-mails must be received by Friday November 19th.


A reminder that November’s meeting is also the time to nominate members for Presidency. If there is someone you’d like to nominate, I suggest you check with them between now and the November meeting to make sure they will accept.


FUTURE MEETING DATES          NOV 20 Carrie & Justin C.

Dec 18 Will & Jen L. (RIS Competition)

2011      JAN Harry M.

FEB Chris M.

MAR Thom B.


Thanks again for Jeff and Cindy for hosting. Hopefully we’ll see some of you at Brew Do this weekend. And many more of you at Learn To Homebrew Day.






November Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 21 November 2010

On a beautiful fall afternoon about 16 Guild members, along with 4 guests, met at the home of Carrie and Justin C. for the November meeting. Along with great food, great beer and of course a HOKIE win, a good time was had by all, even the kids. We welcome Jason, Jaime, Cynthia and Frank, our guests for the evening.Treasurer, Kevin C. gave us a report of 60 paid members for this year. A balance of 641.96, plus 60 for dues for 2011, less some supplies (including brochures, postcards, business cards and the 2010 BOTY shirt) should leave us back around $650 for a balance. I believe we also picked up a few members at the meeting.


A recap of recent events started the items to be covered. Blacksburg Brew Do was a successful event for the SCBG with 3 first places in Light, Amber and Dark and a 2nd in Specialty, along with a Best of Show by our hosts for their Russian Imperial Stout. Congrats to all and keep up the good work.


Learn to Homebrew Day was next. Another successful day of brewing, and interest in the club. We had about a dozen interested parties, 4 of which attended this meeting and I believe joined the club. Thank you to all that participated. One other note, the Korean restaurant supplied the egg rolls free of charge. They were fantastic. Please help support them next time you are interested in eating out somewhere different.


FUTURE MEETING DATES          Dec 18 Will & Jen L. (RIS Competition) 3pm start
2011      JAN Harry M.
FEB Chris M.
MAR Thom B.
A side note to the December meeting. There was discussion of doing a Beer Exchange where anyone who wants to participate will bring a 4 or 6 pack or a bomber of a nice beer to be exchanged through a “yankee swap” format. I don’t what y’all call it down here.


PLEASE NOTE ALL ENTRIES IN THE RIS COMPETITION MUST BE AT THE HOUSE BY 3:30pm. COMPETITION WILL START AT 3:45. We’ll need volunteers to judge. I’ll ask for them in the meeting agenda e-mail the week before.



FROM THE FLOOR  Kevin C. mentioned a possible road trip to River Company and Sharky’s, both in Radford, on a Sunday afternoon soon. He’ll send out more info with a date here soon I’m sure.


Also a reminder that River Company is doing a 5 course beer dinner on Sat. Dec. 11th. It’s $50/person.


There was also talk of a road trip to Bull N Bones in February for the tapping of Carrie & Justin’s RIS. More to come on that as we know dates.


When then took nominations for President for the 2011 year. YOUR NOMINEES ARE CHRIS McD., WILL L., and KEVIN C. Good luck to all.


Finally there was a vote for the styles to be brewed for the 2011 quarterly competitions in the club. The schedule will be as follows:


March – English IPA

June – Belgian Blond

Sept. – American Stout

Dec. – American Barleywine


We’ll have the English IPA tasting/style presentation at the January meeting, and the American Barleywine at February’s meeting, similar to how we did it this year with the RIS.


Thanks again to Carrie & Justin. We’ll see you all in December.






December Meeting Notes
Written by William Landry
Sunday, 19 December 2010

Despite the outlook for bad weather earlier in the week, the meeting was held on a cold yet sunny Saturday afternoon/evening at the house of Will and Jen L. A festive group of 27 members and 1 guest, Will’s dad Pete, enjoyed a wealth of food and beer.Kevin C. gave us a treasurer’s report of 60 members for the year and a balance of $736.96 before 2011 dues were tallied for the day.

For the January meeting, Bryan S. volunteered to present the first quarter competition style, English IPA. Thank you Bryan.

From their a discussion on a January trip to Radford, starting at Sharky’s and ending at River Company for dinner took place. After some discussion a motion was made by Joan B. for the Guild to pay $50 towards either a van, or if Doug can use his points to get the van for “free”, the $50 will go towards the first round of drinks. A vote was held and the motion passed.

Future meeting dates are as follows: Jan 22 at Harry M. (English IPA style Presentation)
Feb at Chris McD. (American Barleywine Presentation)
Mar at Thom B. (English IPA Competition)

Next up was the vote for the 2011 President. The nominees were Will L., Chris McD., and Kevin C. The top vote getter is President and the runner up VP. The result of the voting is Chris McDonald will be the new President and Will Landry will be the Vice President. The President will announce his choice for Treasurer at the January meeting.

By the time we had started the meeting we had already completed the quarterly competition, Russian Imperial Stout. The winners were, in 3rd place, Harry. In 2nd place Beth. And the winner is Kevin. Congrats to all the winners and also to Chris McD. who won the door prize, a $35 gift certificate to Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrewing supplies.

And now for the big one. The winner of the Brewer Of The Year by a margin of only 5 points (it was a close one) Bryan S. Very well done. Congrats to Bryan.

Thank you all for a wonderful meeting, and another good year. Happy Holidays!!!


2009 Meeting Notes

January 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Monday, 02 February 2009
Twenty-five members (including new paid members: Moses D., Roz and Larry B. and Michael P.) and one guest (John S.) attended the January meeting hosted by Jeff and Cindy in South Roanoke. Jeff and Cindy admitted to being a bit anxious when the contractor that was to provide the granite counter tops for their kitchen remodel did not arrive until 10:00 Saturday morning and did not finish until 2:30. Thanks again to Jeff and Cindy for hosting and to all who brought the great food and beers that were shared.

Treasurer’s Report  At the start of the meeting we had 33 paid members for 2009 and a balance of $684. Dues coming in and expenses for this year’s competition trophies and the commercial samples for last night’s tasting going out left a balance of $589. Some discussion of the overall budget ensued. The gist of the discussion was that our current recurring annual expenses (as currently defined) nearly match what is collected in dues so we really don’t have much of an annual surplus.

Funding of raffle prize for entrants in quarterly competitions.  After some discussion it was agreed that the presence of a raffle prize was not going to be the reason why someone did or did not submit a beer for competition so SCBG will not provide funding for a raffle prize.

Do you want to enhance the “educational” aspect of the monthly meetings? The answer to this question seemed to be a unanimous “Yes” but execution here will be the hard part.

a. The initial “Provide a tip/ask a question” segment was on Labels: getting them off, designing, producing, putting them on and etc. I would not grade this a resounding success (yours truly starting it out with a gusher) but with a bit more practice it could catch on. If you have a topic that fits this format let me know within the next two weeks so I can announce it prior to the next meeting.

b. It was agreed that during the second meeting of the quarter a technical aspect of brewing (ingredients, equipment, or process) would be discussed. This discussion would occur after the business portion of the meeting and be restricted to those members having an interest in the topic.   A single member would present or lead this discussion of about 5 to 20 minutes.  Over time, I hope the majority of the club membership would rotate through this assignment. You do not have to be an expert on the topic but should sleep at a Holiday Inn Express the night before the meeting. I need a volunteer for February. Let me know within the next two weeks so I can announce the topic prior to the next meeting.

Press release for Brewer of the Year.  This would promote quality brewed beer, SCBG, and of course our BOTY, Ross A. Kathy M. and Carrie graciously volunteered for this assignment.

Update of our SCBG promotional brochure.  Kevin grabbed this one. Although not present, the Pats were nominated in abstentia to assist since the brochure format may reside on their computer.

Other Events: Any interest in the Roanoke St Patrick’s Day Parade? The parade is on March 14th and entry paperwork is due by March 6th. There was some interest in this but the final yea or nay was delayed until the next meeting. The key will be to identify a project lead and a half dozen volunteers to assist prior to or during the next meeting. If we decide to do this, the club may need to spring for a couple of new, inexpensive SCBG signs. http://www.roanokesaintpats.org/html/parade.html#route

World Beer Fest at Raleigh is April 25th.  Tickets last year were scarce.  Be thinking if you want to go so we can arrange for an advance group buy after the February meeting.

The 2009 National Homebrewers Conference is June 18-20 in Oakland. 1st Round AHA National Homebrew Competition Entries must be received at the correct shipping or drop-off location before 5 p.m. Wednesday, 8 April 2009. The cost is $9 for 1 entry or $14 for non-members.  I think there will be a drop-off point in Charlotte, NC.  For those interested I can consolidate and transport. Brian remarked that feedback from this competition was among the best he has received.

Future Meeting Sites:

February 28th at Chris & Pam’s

March 21st at John and Kathy’s

April (Saison presentation & commercial tasting) Date TBD. Eric volunteered to coordinate with Roanoke Railhouse Brewery to possibly tour and hold our meeting there.

May 2nd (Big Brew) at Jim and Joan’s

June (date TBD) at Chris and Fran’s

From the Floor. Kevin suggested the possibility of a beer trip to the new Devil’s Backbone Brewery in Nelson County. Great Idea. Next step is to figure out a date that the brewer (to show us his operation) and majority of club members interested in going are available. Ross’ initial report that the warehouse feel and poor service make the new Bull & Bones Brewhaus and Grill in Blacksburg a poor choice until they improve.

Style presentation and commercial sampling of American Brown Ales.  Bryan S. mesmerized the audience with his red, white and blue themed Power Point presentation. Brian revealed that the BJCP style guidelines may not be keeping up with this beer style especially in IBUs. The style guidelines top out at 40 IBUs but many brewers are cranking up the hops to reach levels nearer to 60. With that said, the examples Bryan were able to locate were under 20 IBUs. The Brooklyn Brown Ale seemed to be the crowd pleaser.


February 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Thursday, 05 March 2009
Twenty-two members plus kids, parents and neighbors made for exciting evening last Saturday night. Chris had invited his neighbor, Harry, over who enjoyed the group so much that he joined and immediately offered to host a meeting – Wow! Food selections for this meeting were bountiful. Many thanks to all who brought these delicious treats and to Chris and Pam for hosting. Members had braved the elements to attend but reminiscent of someone shouting “fire” in a theatre, the announcement of “ice” seemed to hasten departures.
Treasurer’s Report. Will reported we have 40 members paid for 2009 and $664.73 in the bank. No bills were paid last month.Press release for Brewer of the Year. Thanks to Kathy who prepared and Carrie who sent the article and photo to WDBJ 7, WSLS 10, and the Roanoke Times. As of yet, Ross has not been asked to appear on the “Today” show.

Provide a Tip/Ask a Question. This month’s topic was “Reusing Yeast”. We had pretty of good discussion with numerous tips. James is thinking about cloning a Chimay Blue by culturing the yeast from a bottle of beer. No one in attendance had attempted such a feat but all wished him success. I forgot to get ideas for next month at the meeting so if you want to suggest a topic please do so.

SCBG promotional brochure. Kevin reported that he has marked up the old copy and had sent an email to the Pats to see if they had the old brochure tucked away in an electronic file somewhere.

St Patrick’s Day Parade. We decided not to participate this year but to observe the event. It was suggested that we all meet at the same point on the parade route and perhaps share a couple of beers afterward. SCBG old-timers mentioned a spot that they use to meet and if someone can help me nail down the exact meeting point so we can communicate it to the newbies, it would be appreciated.http://www.roanokesaintpats.org/html/parade.html#route

World Beer Fest at Raleigh is April 25th. Received an email that the Subscriber’s pre-sale starts on March 24th and any remaining tickets would go on sale March 30th; however, the fest has moved one week (this year only) to May 2nd because of conflict with the Craft Brewers Convention. Because May 2nd is Big Brew, the World Beer Fest now conflicts with our meeting/event.

Hickory Hops Brew Festival. Hickory, NC is hosting this event on April 18th. Last year, Brian S. and Joe attended and had a great time. I didn’t ask for a show of hands at the meeting but Kathy and I are planning to attend this year. http://www.hickoryhops.com/

2009 National Homebrewers Competition. It was suggested and agreed at the meeting that the club would sponsor the award winning beers from our American Brown Ale competition in March. The 2009 National Homebrew Competition (NHC) Rules & Regulations are at (http://www.beertown.org/events/nhc/pdf/NHC09_Rules_Regs.pdf) andhttp://www.beertown.org/events/nhc/entry.html The entry window is Wednesday, March 25 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, 2009.

Googlegroups and Terms of Use. This topic generated some discussion. I am not knowledgeable to declare what will or will not run us afoul of Googlegroups Terms of Use or other spam/content filters used by your email provider (Cox comes to mind) but it is my sense that the majority of the membership is more comfortable reading emails sent to the group that do not contain profanity.

Big Brew Update: The Big Brew 2009 recipes have can be found athttp://www.beertown.org:80/events/bigbrew/recipes.html however, you can brew anything you want. James says those brewers seeking an early start can arrive as early as 8 AM. Anything earlier will require a sack of donuts for the host. The remainder of those attending should make sure to arrive in time for the “Worldwide toast to Homebrew” and photo which will be at 1 PM Eastern. Our meeting will follow the toast.

Floyd Fandango Beer and Wine Fest. Bryan S. mentioned he has not had any further contact with the organizer. This is a 2-day event on July 4th and 5th. http://atwproductions.com/index.php The current volunteer opportunities sheet calls for Volunteer shifts that will be approximately 5.5 hours each. The festival

runs from 11am – 9pm both days and volunteer shifts will be roughly 10:00-3:30 and 3:30-9:00.

Microfestivus. August 8th from 12-6. My thoughts are that we could approach Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew and promote SCBG, Homebrew and do tasting out of half of their allotted space. Some members who had participated with Microfestivus in the past did not want anything to do with the event while newer members were more receptive to the idea. I’ll talk to Chris and Fran about SCBG teaming with them and provide more information at a later meeting. Before moving much beyond that point I’ll comeback to the membership for guidance on how to proceed.

Bluegrass Brewing Company/Blues BBQ Beer Dinner. The date for this event has been set for Monday, April 6th but as of now, no other details have been planned. (i.e. menu, cost).

Shirt Run: Will intends to get some summer shirts embroidered with the SCBG logo so it you want to have Will take your shirt to the vendor you need to link up with him ASAP.

Future Meeting Sites:

March 21st at 4 PM at John and Kathy’s (you may drop your competition beers off early – just call to make sure we are home)

April (Saison presentation by Doug and commercial tasting) Eric has talked with Roanoke Railhouse Brewery and they are willing to give us a tour and allow us to hold our meeting there (including bringing in beer and food). Two dates in consideration are April 11th or the 18th.

May 2nd (Big Brew) at Jim and Joan’s

June (date TBD) at Chris and Fran’s


August: Doug will host and also do a Tech Talk on “Specific Gravity and Instruments to Measure It”

Changes to Competitions. Current by By-Laws do not set a limit on the number of beers an individual may submit for competitions although past practice the last few years has been to limit each brewer to one beer. A vigorous discussion ensued followed by a proposal and second to accept the proposed By-Law changes which would limit beers submitted to two entries which can not be the same beer and allow for the use of a final table of judging when sub-tables are used. Since this is a change to the club constitution it must be approved by a majority of the membership at the next meeting. If you do not plan to attend the meeting next month please email your vote in prior to the meeting. The text of the proposed change is attached. http://www.starcitybrewers.org/documents/ByLaw_Changes_on_Competitions.pdf

Having exhausted the membership there were no further items from the floor and the meeting was completed. After a break John M. did a presentation on “Beer Color”. Notes attached FYI. http://www.starcitybrewers.org/documents/Beer_Color.pdf


March 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Monday, 23 March 2009

Thirty-two members and two guests (Ginger’s brother Wayne and Pat’s grandson Andrew) made for exciting evening last Saturday night.  The house was full, the meeting long and the judging was intense but the beer did not run out! And I want to especially mention the great and abundant food; it was an International buffet with Irish, Greek, Italian, Mexican and Southern cuisines – Mmmmm Good!

Treasurer’s Report.  Will reported we have 49 members and about $700. No bills were paid last month.  We gained one new member, Andrew who was suitably impressed and signed up before night’s end.

Provide a Tip/Ask a Question.  This month’s topic was on using finings and a couple of great tips were revealed – at least they were revelations to me. We did have one topic suggested for next month which I thought may be a bit to narrow and since my secretary and chief note taker missed it and I forgot what it was, I am in search of a topic. I was thinking about burners and have plenty of questions on that topic but am not sure about whether we have any resident expertise for the answers.

SCBG promotional brochure.  Kevin has given me the revised version of the pamphlet. I’ll get feedback from a few people before we submit it for printing.

Changes to Competitions.  A proposal was made to separate the issues for the vote. The first issue which dealt with the use of the judging tables passed with 26 votes in agreement to the following change.

The highest of the accepted scores will receive a 1st place trophy; the next will receive a 2nd place trophy, and the third will receive a 3rd place trophy. The highest composite scores for each entrant will be awarded to that individual, and the cumulative scores will be tallied and tracked throughout the year. At the end of the year, the member with the highest cumulative score will be named Brewer of the Year, and his/her name will be added to the guild plaque.When the number of entries submitted makes a single table of judges impractical, multiple sub tables will be used and a final table will decide which beers will be awarded the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies. Any beer forwarded to the final table will retain its numerical score from the initial round of judging for use in Brewer of the Year scores.

The second issue which dealt with limiting the number of beers a member may submit for judging at one competition to two failed with only 15 “yes” votes and no potential to attain a majority.

A motion was then made and seconded to change the competition by-laws to limit the number of beer a member may submit for judging at one competition to one entry. The current wording is that “participants may submit multiple entries.” Discussion on this can happen online if desired. This type of change requires one month’s notice so we will have the vote at the April meeting.Imperial Anything. Questions have come up as to what can be “Imperialized” and still qualify for this competition. Bryan S. will get guidelines from someone who has conducted a like competition to help clarify this category for us. My summary of the discussion and current path we are on is that all beers we be judged using #23 Specialty Beer category and the brewer may provide a comment on what makes his/her beer imperial.

Hickory Hops Brew Festival.  Hickory, NC is hosting this event on April 18th. Kathy and I are planning to attend this year.  http://www.hickoryhops.com/Sensory Training Kit.  An idea to purchase a sensory training kit for the club has surfaced. Basically this is a troubleshooting kit to help people identify those off flavors in a beer. Thanks to Doug for email sharing the responses he received. The club has decided that this is something to pursue but to wait for an imminent BJCP announcement on this subject.

Big Brew Update:  Big Willie will be present for those wishing to put a keg on tap for the event. The Club Tent and tables are also available if James beckons.

Bluegrass Brewing Company/Blues BBQ Beer Dinner.  Monday, 6 April for a cost of $40 per person. Published food menu is brined pork rib eye, sweet potato casserole, sweet cinnamon green beans and apple boysenberry crisp. They said five beers will be served to include the bourbon barrel stout. Tickets are available at the restaurant in downtown Roanoke or calling 344-LOVE. If anyone decides to go, the restaurant will reserve us a table i.e. when you call, tell them you want to sit at the SCBG table.

Future Meeting Sites:

April 11th 2:00 pm-5:00pm at the Roanoke Railhouse Brewery hosted by Eric P. Directions to the brewery will be sent at a later date. Because this is at the brewery, we will be meeting in what is essentially a garage. In addition to the usual things you bring (food item, beer for the host and a personal drinking vessel) you will need to bring your own chair, serving utensils and a coat if it is chilly. Doug will present the commercial tasting of the Saison style. Tad has agreed to shop for the samples. (Don’t forget to give your receipts to Will for reimbursement.) We will get a brewery tour and I hope some fresh samples of the beers they are brewing – Track One and Blacksburg Pilsner. I promise to try to keep the meeting short.

May 2nd (Big Brew) at Jim and Joan’s

June (date TBD) at Chris and Fran’s

July 11th at Harry’s

August: Doug will host and also do a Tech Talk on “Specific Gravity and Instruments to Measure It”

From the Floor. The idea of meeting on a week night was brought up. Discussion revealed that because of work schedules and job travel, most people preferred weekend meetings.

If you are interested in bulk grain purchase, contact Doug at shyzaboy@yahoo.com.

Not From the Floor. From time to time I feel it would be appropriate for the club to bestow a SCBG “Certificate of Appreciation” or like no-cost but loaded with significance award that is signed by the President. If anyone would like to design something that looks sharp, please let me know.

After a break, the judging of the American Brown Ales commenced. There were 16 beers in the competition. Trophy winners were Bryan S.-3rd place, Will L.-2nd place and Chris McD.-1st place.

Thanks to Chris and Fran SCBG members and owners of Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew Supply Shop who are giving us a $25 dollar gift certificate to the shop for each competition meeting. To be eligible for the certificate drawing you must enter a beer in the competition. This quarter’s winner was Patrick K.

Many thanks to our head steward Judy (Obiwan) Mahoney and her assistants, Paul M, Jenny S. and Cindy F. for the smooth running of the beer competition. Thanks to judges Bryan S, Cyber Dave, Ross A, Pat, Larry B., Tad S., Eric P., Patricia K., Chris M., Will L., Nancy and Kevin C.


April Meeting Notes E-mail
Written by John Merkwan
Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Twenty-four SCBG members gathered at the Roanoke Railhouse Brewery for the month’s meeting on 11 April.  Thanks to Eric P. for arranging the meeting at this location and for getting things set up and cleaned up on Saturday. Treasurer’s Report: Will reported that at the beginning of the meeting the club had $794.73 and 53 members.

Change to Bylaws: A vote was taken to amend the SCBG bylaws to limit each participant to one beer entry for each quarterly competition. The amendment passed with 27 votes in favor of the change. A complete copy of the Bylaws can be found on our website at www.starcitybrewers.org.

“Imperial Anything” Clarification: For the competition in September, the style sheet from the #23 Specialty Beer category of the BJCP Style Guidelines will be used. The brewer may (but does not have to) provide a comment on what makes his/her beer imperial. Additionally, he/she may (but does not have to) declare an underlying beer style.

Big Brew is our next meeting and will be held at James and Joan’s on 2 May. You may arrive as early as 8:00 am. Our official toast with picture will be at 1:00 pm and the meeting will follow. Currently we have 6 members planning to brew. This is a case where “more is better” as we are registered on the official site and will report number of brewers and amount of beer brewed at the end of the event. I plan to have “Big Willie” on site.

Future meeting sites: June: (date TBD) at Chris and Fran’s

July 11th at Harry’s

August: (date TBD) at Doug’s–he will also do a Tech Talk on “Specific Gravity and Instruments to Measure It”

September: Bryan S.

October: Jeff

Bryan S. has not heard back from the organizers of the Floyd Fandango. This event is on July 4th and 5th. Chris and Fran are planning to have a booth at the event and we may see if we can join them to promote home brewing and the SCBG on one of the days.

After the meeting we were treated to a tour of Roanoke Railhouse Brewery conducted by the president, Steve Davidson. Their website www.roanokerailhouse.com gives a history of how they got started, talks about their beer and lists the locations in Roanoke and Salem where Track 1 is available.

After the tour and sampling, Bryan S. gave a presentation on the Saison style which is the competition beer for June. The BJCP Style Guideline that will be used for this competition is 16C–Saison. The presentation was followed by the tasting of 6 commercial beers. (Thanks to Tad S. for doing the shopping for them.)


May 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Friday, 08 May 2009

Twenty-four members and 3 guests enjoyed a warm day and the delightful hospitality of James and Joan to celebrate Big Brew on Saturday, 2 May.  The day began early with Bryan S. being the first to arrive and begin to brew at 8:15.  It was a full day of brewing with 8 members producing 52 gallons of beer.  Our 1:00 assembly to pose for a group picture and to toast Jimmy Carter and fellow brewers was followed by a short meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting we had 53 club members and $794.73.   

Discussion of Floyd Fandango/Wine Event on 4 & 5 July.  Stay tuned for more information on this event.  I’ve made a recent contact with the event organizer but now have a bunch more questions.   

SCBG Brochure.  Kevin is rounding the corner and nearing completion on this project.

There has been a suggestion to do a Brewer’s Round Table.  This would be a way for brewers to get feed-back on non-competition beers and judges to hone their skills.  After a discussion, each judge would evaluate the beers by completing the BJCP sheets individually but no prizes would be awarded.  This would also be a way for novice judges to gain more experience.  If there is interest in this, we could do it at the October or November meeting as no commercial samples will be presented for the Imperial Anything competition category.

Just a reminder – Oatmeal Stout is the 3rd Qtr Competition and Imperial Anything is for the 4th Qtr.

A volunteer is needed to do the presentation of Oatmeal Stout at the July meeting.

Future meeting sites:

June 20th at 3:00 at Chris and Fran’s–Saison Competition

July 11th at Harry’s–Presentation of Oatmeal Stout

August:  (date TBD) at Doug’s–he will also do a Tech Talk on “Specific Gravity and Instruments to Measure It”

September:  Bryan S.–Oatmeal Stout Competition

October:  Jeff


December:  Imperial Anything Competition

Big Willie was in attendance however could not be used for the lack of a regulator.  Ross

suggested that the Club buy a regulator and a CO2 tank for Big Willie.  Patrick has the CO2 tank for Big Willie that Chuck had donated and Will is going to purchase a regulator from Jeff with Club funds.

After the meeting Joan served sliders to go along with the “pitch-in” items brought by other members.  By mid-afternoon, talk turned to the Kentucky Derby and the horses getting to race.  By about 6 o’clock brewing had been completed and we settled into the basement to watch the exciting race.  We each had our own horse to cheer for and we became rather loud as we encouraged “our horse” on as the predicted favorites lagged behind and an unexpected winner crossed the line.   Joan was thrilled when her horse came in first.  Lynn and Eric were also pleased as their horses placed second and third.

Following the race excitement, Joan treated us to her Meatball and Pepperoni Spaghetti which won rave reviews from all.


June 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Twenty-three members of SCBG gathered at the mountain home of Chris and Fran A. on Saturday for the June competition meeting.  Thanks to Chris and Fran for opening their home to the club and giving us temps a few degrees cooler than in the “lowlands.” 

The current membership stands at 53 with $794 in the treasury.

It did not work out for us to demonstrate brewing or to give out samples at the Floyd Fandango.  However, on 4 July we will share Chris & Fran’s booth to promote the craft of home brewing.  Individuals may also sign up to pour beer for the event.   If you volunteer, you get free admission to the event, a free glass and a couple of pogs for samples.  When you are not pouring beer, please help man the booth to hand out the SCBG brochure and answer questions about SCBG.     

Your president was contacted by Cheryl Roberts from the Microfestivus committee to discuss the possibility of SCBG being involved with Microfestivus again this year.  A vote was taken at the meeting with the majority wanting SCBG to be involved.  Currently the thought is to do basically the same thing we are doing at the Fandango (sharing space with Chris & Fran to promote home brewing and SCBG and volunteering to pour beer).  The organizers of Microfestivus are seeking non-profit groups to volunteer in exchange for a monetary contribution to the club.  If we get enough volunteers we can get some money to help off-set some of our unexpected expenses.  Microfestivus is on August 8th.

Kevin showed his most recent copy of the brochure.  Nice job!!  Carrie has agreed to look into getting it printed after the final changes are made. Questions came up about whether there are dedicated email addresses for the club officers through the starcity website.  Also questions about putting current officers’ names on the brochure thus dating the document and about putting the full names of individuals on it.

During a discussion of doing a brewer’s roundtable where individuals could get feedback oninon-competition beers and gain experience judging in a non-competitive atmosphere, the idea of having a BJCP judge instructor came up.  Paul said he will check with Patrick (Pat knows the judge best) with an aim to do something at the November meeting.   

Future meeting sites:

July 11th at Harry’s:  Presentation of Oatmeal Stout by John M.

August:  (date TBD but not Aug 8th) at Doug’s–he will also do a Tech Talk on “Specific Gravity and Instruments to Measure It”

September:  Bryan & Jenny S.–Oatmeal Stout Competition

October:  Jeff & Cindy F. (Need a Tech Talk Presenter)

November:  Justin & Carrie C.  (Voting on Competition Styles for 2010) (Brewers Roundtable or Guest Presentation)

December:  Imperial Anything Competition (Voting for Officers for 2010)

Your president presented Chris & Fran (owners and operators of Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brewing store) a certificate of appreciation for sponsoring quarterly prizes and providing a cooperative spirit in working with the SCBG in its promotion of the craft of creating quality home brewed beer.

After a reminder about the importance of hydrating with H2O and more food sampling, the Saison competition began.  Thanks to judges Bryan, Larry, Eric, Ron, Chris, Kevin, Paul, Justin, John, James, Carrie and Doug.  Thanks also to Joan, Cindy and Ginger for helping Kathy steward the competition.  Results of the competition are….3rd place to Chris M.; 2nd place to Bryan S.; and 1st place to Kevin C.  Congratulations to the trophy winners!!  Congratulations also to James B. who won the competitors raffle prize, a gift certificate to BRHP provided by Chris & Fran A.


July 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Harry, Lynn and Brittany welcomed twenty-eight members of SCBG and a bevy of guests to their home on Saturday, July 11th for the monthly meeting of SCBG.  Thanks to our host and hostesses for great hospitality and the delightful piano serenades from Harry and daughter, Brittany.

Our treasurer Will reported that we still have 53 paid members and a current total of $630 in the bank.

Thanks to Kevin for putting together the brochure and to Carrie for getting it published in time for the Fandango and getting some free extras to go along with it.  In addition to the brochure, we also got business cards and postcards picturing the hop vine which grows in Carrie & Justin’s yard.  They all look great and are a great assist in promoting the club.

Twelve members of SCBG poured beer at the Floyd Fandango on July 4th in cooler than normal weather.  While not pouring beer, members helped Chris & Fran at the Blue Ridge Hydroponics table to promote the craft of home brewing.  Conclusions from the attendees include:  a five hour shift is very long; pouring beer for a brewer who is present at the event is easier than pouring for a distributor who is not; having some beers priced a $4 and some at $5 was confusing; many people stopped by the table to talk about home brewing in the morning but it tapered off later in the afternoon/evening.  

Members of the club were approached by people at the Fandango and elsewhere trying to organize microbrew events in Catawba, Bedford &Danville later this summer.   They were apparently seeking our assistance in contacting brewers and perhaps getting us further involved but the conclusion at this meeting is that they are too far behind the power curve to do anything this year and we will concentrate on the events we are already committed to for this year.

The volunteer sign-up sheet for Microfestivus in Roanoke‘s Elmwood Park on August 8th will be on the web in the near future.  SCBG was offered early access so you can access the automated spreadsheet from the link on the email sent to the SCBG membership.   Be sure to confirm your slot in the follow-up email they send you.  We (SCBG) will try to attach ourselves to BRHP again to promote the club and home brewing.  I’ll be sending out a separate sign-up email to help structure who is able to man our SCBG station during the event.  (Being a Microfestivus volunteer is not a requirement to man the SCBG station.)

Carrie had idea to award a tee shirt to the BOTY winner in December.  This could be done a fairly small cost but would need to be done in advance.  One design idea that came up was of a beer glass with the silhouette of the mountains in the background that had been used at Microfestivus in the past.  Does anyone have that file? Are there any other ideas for a design?  Does anyone want to create one? 

Teach a Friend to Home Brew Day date is November 7th which is the first Saturday in November this year.  This will again be held in the BRHP parking lot.   Will and Harry have volunteered to co-chair with Fran for this event. 

John M. reminded members that the meeting focus is/should be on improving our craft, sampling and being responsible. 

Future Meeting Sites and discussion

August 15th at Doug’s–he will also do a Tech Talk on “Specific Gravity and Instruments to Measure It”

September 19th at Bryan & Jenny S.–Oatmeal Stout Competition

October:  Jeff & Cindy F. to host.  Bryan S. will do “An Imperial Anything” commercial sampling.

November: Carrie & Justin to host.  Chris M. will do the Tech Talk.

December:  Will & Jen to host Imperial Anything Competition

From the Floor:

Shooting Creek Brewery will do private tours with ample notice.   Devil’s Backbone Brewery would also welcome us for a tour.  BlueMountain Brewery is just down the road from them.  Is there interest in doing a group tour?

James stated he is willing to be a “stand-by” host should others encounter unforeseen conflicts.

After a break to stretch and enjoy some more to the fabulous food offered, John M. gave the commercial Oatmeal Stout Presentation.  Tasting samples included Wolaver’s, Samuel Smith’s, St. Ambrose/McAuslan’s and Boonville’s with a special addition of a vintage oatmeal stout donated by Will L. from his private stash of commercial brews.



August 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Thursday, 20 August 2009
About 24 Star City Brewers Guild members gathered at Doug and Kel’s on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon for the August meeting.  We also welcomed two guests to our gathering.  Buren, one of Doug’s neighbors, joined us, as did Thom who has brewed quite a few brews, but it has been a while.  VP Chris lead the meeting in the absence of President John who was unable to attend.
Treasurer Will reported total paid membership at 53 members and we currently have about $650 in the bank. Several people had good reports about Microfestivus.  There was plenty of beer, but some had no relief at the end of the later volunteer shifts.  There was some discussion about a donation to the club for volunteering, but nobody knew anything specific.  Was that something associated with Microfestivus or could it have been another opportunity? Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day is November 7th and will be held at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew Supply on Williamson Road.  We received tentative commitments from 3-4 brewers who would represent extract, partial mash, and all grain batches.  An update on the ABC license from Chris and Fran would be appreciated.  We should get more business cards and make sure we have plenty brochures on hand.  There was some discussion of give away items that we should further discuss with Chris and Fran.  Someone suggested an ingredient kit or starter kit that may generate additional business for them.  Ross reminded us that the club will strive to encourage a healthy interest in the history and culture of craftbrewing through lectures, demonstrations, educational activities, and competitions.  This should be our main focus at the event and not necessarily to increase membership.  Although the two compliment each other.     BOTY T idea was deferred until next month since nobody brought any sample graphics.  Keep looking and bring anything interesting for the group to consider. Blacksburg Brew Do is a first year festival in Blacksburg on October 24th that will include a home brew competition.  The club expressed an interest in some participation particularly the homebrew competition.  Some members have contacted the organizer, but they were not present.  We should have further discussion and hopefully more information will be available at our next meeting. http://nrvnews.com/Blacksburg/10/24-Blacksburg-Brew-Do.html http://www.firstandmainblacksburg.com/events/index.aspx A discussion of road trips was held and there was some interest in Bull & Bones, The River Company, and Shooting Creek.  Although of interest, there was less discussion of a Devil’s Backbone and Blue Mountain trip.  Possibly the most interest was in a trip to Bramwell on October 10th.  If anyone has connections that may get us a reduced rate for a van, it would be helpful and more folks may be interested.  It was suggested that we continue the discussion through e-mail. Future meeting sites and discussion: September:    Bryan & Jenny – 19th – Oatmeal Stout competitionOctober:        Jeff & Cindy agreed to change the date to the 17th to avoid conflicts with Bramwell and Brew Do – Imperial tasting (Bryan S.)November:    Carrie & Justin – 21st – (Chris to present info on Siebel Sensory kit and AHA Flavorist for club decision)December:    Will & Jen – TBA – Imperial anything competition After a break, Doug and Jeff provided an informative presentation on specific gravity and instruments to measure it.  Specific gravity is usually defined as the ratio of the density of a given solid or liquid substance to the density of a reference substance, nearly always water, at specified temperatures and pressure.  http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/density-specific-weight-gravity-d_290.html  Using calibrated samples made from sucrose (table sugar), they demonstrated the use of a hydrometer, a hydrometer with an expanded scale for easy reading, a refractometer, and a digital refractometer.  Although there were slight variations, the instruments were very close.  What became very clear was that, despite claims of ATC (automatic temperature compensation), samples should be brought to the calibration temperature for the best accuracy. Many of us toured Doug’s hop yard and found one plant in particular that had some very nice size cones.  The Cascade variety rhizomes were transplanted within the last year from a well established plant.  Most members would agree that a big highlight of the evening was earlier when Doug popped the top off of his “Beers wot I drunk” #1000, Westvleteren 12 and shared it with us.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/shyzaboy/3826715020/ http://www.sintsixtus.be/eng/brouwerij.htm  What an explosion of flavors!  This beer had flavors that ranged from chocolate, plum, raisin, toffee, etc.  With each sip many of us discovered more complex flavors.  What a treat!  Thanks for sharing, Doug! 



September Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Sunday, 20 September 2009

A small but spirited group of seventeen members and one guest (Chris D.) assembled at the home of Bryan and Jenny S. for the September meeting and Oatmeal Stout competition. Welcome to new member Thomas B. and thanks to our host and hostess for welcoming the group to their home.

Will reported that we have 54 members and a bank balance of $558.73.

If you want to have the SCBG logo embroidered on an item of clothing, Will has offered to collect items at the October meeting. Each item will cost around $6.

Teach a Friend to Home Brew is Saturday, November 7th. Ads have been placed with The Roanoke Times and City Magazine. The ABC license has been filled out and mailed in. Jeff F., Chris M. and Bryan S. have volunteered to demonstrate the brewing process. Even if you are unable to attend we would still like you to provide some homebrew for sampling. Fran is thinking about doing some food/beer pairings so in the near future Will will be sending an email asking you what beer you are planning to bring.Two ideas for designing a T-shirt for the BOTY winner were put brought to the floor. Chuck G. offered to contact a friend who is a graphic artist. He will see if his friend is willing to put something together for the cost of a bit of beer but no dollars. Harry suggested the idea of the SCBG logo with “BOTY 2009” embroidered under it.

Blacksburg Brew Do is Saturday, 24 October from noon to 6:00 pm. Guidelines and forms for the homebrew competition have been posted at www.blacksburgbrewdo.com. Will is getting a convoy together to go down on Sunday the 11th for dinner at Bull n Bones and to drop off bottles for the competition. Preliminary plan is to arrive in Blacksburg around 5 pm. If you want to enter beers into the competition he will take them down for you. He will be sending out an email with details later.

Bramwell Oktoberfest is 10 October from 2-8pm. Visit their website at www.bramwelloktoberfest.com/ for more information. They also have a homebrew contest. A laid back relaxing event that has captured a handful of SCBG members who regularly attend.

October’s meeting will include a general discussion on possible 2010 competition styles. Between October’s meeting and the November meeting each member will submit their 4 choices. All of the written choices will be summarized and the members will then vote from the total list at the November meeting. The top 4 choices will be the competition styles, and the members will then vote to determine which quarter to feature each choice.

Future Meeting Sites:

October Meeting Date is the 17th at 4:00 at Jeff and Cindy F. (Imperial Tasting – Bryan)

November: Date is the 21st. Carrie & Justin (Chris to present info on Siebel Sensory Kitversus AHA Flavorist for club decision)

December: Will. Imperial Anything Competition

January. Open

After a short break, judging for the Oatmeal Stout competition began. Nine beers were entered for competition with the following results: 1st place to Beth D., 2nd place to James B. and 3rd place to Will L. Congratulations also to Kevin who won the competitors raffle prize, a gift certificate to BRHP provided by Chris & Fran A.



October Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Sunday, 18 October 2009

It was cold outside but the ample array of delicious food, tasty beer and generous hospitality of our hosts kept 20 SCBG members and three guests warm for the 17 October meeting. Thanks again to Jeff and Cindy F. for hosting and an extra thanks for Jeff for roasting coffee beans and treating us to the delicious results.

Treasurer Will L. reported current paid membership at 53 with a bank balance of $494.92.

Teach a Friend to Home Brew Day is November 7th.? Fran reports they have approval on the ABC license. Will and Harry report that ads are in City Magazine and The Roanoke Times. For the beer and food pairing, Will is asking for people to donate 12 bottles of the same homebrew. If you are willing, call or email Will so Fran can pick a food item to pair the beer with. Don’t worry if you only have a mish mash of beers in inventory, bring them. And if you are not available to be there, please arrange to have someone else bring them. Bryan S, Chris M., Will L., and possibly Jeff F. will be doing the brewing demonstrations. From those in attendance it seemed we had about 10 volunteers. We still need more of you. The public event is from 11 to 4 so even if you could only help a few hours that would be fine. Reminders: Club tables – James. Bryan will bring the club tent. This needs to be up by 10:30. Big Willie (Doug please arrange to get it to the site) will be present but will still need to have someone make sure it is ready to accept kegs on the event day.) Be ready for more e-mails as this date gets closer.

Chuck G. was able to enlist a graphic artist to do the design for the BOTY tee shirt.? Thanks Chuck. Payment will be one case of homebrew.? If you would like to donate a couple of bottles to the cause please bring them to TAFTHB or the next meeting and I will collect.? It would be nice if you could put the style of beer and your name on a piece of paper secured with a rubber band around the bottle – that way he will have some idea what kind of beer he is about to open.

Chuck rewired the email address on the website so anyone using the ‘General Questions – Guild Mailbox’ form from the website will have his email sent to all of us via the googlegroups email list.?I suggest that only the Vice President respond to questions on membership. Anyone can respond to the other emails like equipment for sale or questions about brewing.

Selecting beers for the 2010 BOTY Competions.? Between now and the November meeting each member may submit their 4 choices for the 2010 competition styles.? Some of you have been out front of me on this one and I have saved all the ones already emailed so no need to email again unless you want to make sure your vote is counted or you have a change. All of the written choices I receive will be summarized and the members will then vote from the total list at the November meeting. The top 4 choices will be the competition styles and members will then vote to determine which quarter to feature each choice.? Below are the competition beers for previous years.

Past Beer in SCBG BOTY Competitions

2009-American brown, saison, oatmeal stout, imperial anything
2008-dunkleweizen, esb, specialty beer, and robust porter
2007-bohemian/czech pils, apa, american IPA, sweet stout
2006-dry stout, american amber, dubbel, scottish 80 shilling
2005-munich helles, IIPA, oktoberfest/marzen, and mead
2004-CAP, fruit beer, brown ale, bock
2003-apa, hefeweizen, IPA, Imperial stout

The report on the Bramwell Octoberfest was that it was a good event with good weather. The homebrew competition went a bit smoother this year as there were two tables of judges working. Our own Bryan S. won 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in the general beer category and took 2nd and 3rd prizes in the specialty category. Way to go, Bryan!!

The Blacksburg Brew Do is Saturday, October 24, 2009, from noon to 6:00 pm.? Online tickets are cheaper than those purchased the day of the event. Will L. reported that they are expecting a BIG crowd and suggested that one would benefit from going earlier rather than later in the day. There are 55 homebrew entries for the competition with entries from 5 SCBG members.

If you want a shirt with a SCBG logo on it, get it to Will L. PDQ.? He plans on making another run to the shirt shop and will turn them in for you.

John M. announced he will be stepping down as SCBG President due to other commitments in 2010. Nominations for 2010 will be held at the November meeting. Prospective officers may nominate him/her self or may be nominated by a member.

After a very short break, Bryan S. led the Everything Imperial tasting of no fewer than 10 beers.

Future Meeting Sites:

November: Date is the 21st. Carrie & Justin (Chris to present info onSiebel Sensory Kit versus AHA Flavorist for club decision)

December 19th:?Will & Jen L.  Imperial Anything Competition


February: (This will likely be the Tech Talk on Off-Flavors)



November 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Monday, 23 November 2009

Thanks to Carrie and Justin C. for hosting the twenty-six members of SCBG assembled for the?November meeting. Thanks also to everyone responsible for the vast array of food and drink. No one should have gone home hungry or thirsty.

Our treasurer Will L. reported that we have $647.77 in the account and had 53 paid members for the year. He has begun taking dues for next year so bring your money to the next meeting. Dues are $15 for an individual and $20 for a family.

We could not have had better weather for Teach a Friend to Home Brew Day.??We had a pretty good turnout and an excellent selection of beers to sample. We gained a couple of new members and have contact information for a few potential ones. Thanks to Will, Harry and Fran for shouldering the co-chair responsibilities and to all who showed up to brew, set-up for the day, drop off and/or serve beer samples and food, clean it all up and haul it away at the end of the day. It was in Will’s words “a great day.”

The BOTY tee shirt has been received and will be presented to the winner in December. Thanks to all who contributed beer for the “payment” to the designer.

The Blacksburg Brew Do was judged by the members who attended to be a “Jolly Good, well-organized” event and something to look forward to next year. There were 13-15 local brewers pouring samples and while there was a good crowd, it was still comfortable and it did not take too long to get a beer.

Special Meeting 27 Dec. 3:00 hosted by John and Kathy M.:  David Houseman (a member of the AHA Governing Committee) plans to visit Roanoke over the holidays and is available to meet with us.? This will not be a “meeting” per se but a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with the hightest rated BJCP judge in the country.

“Imperial Anything” Clarification: The style sheet from the #23 Specialty Beer category of the BJCP Style Guidelines will be used for all the beers. The brewer will need to identify the base beer for his imperial beer submission.Three people were nominated for the SCBG President’s position for 2010. They are Will L, Chris McD and Kevin C.? The election will take place at December’s meeting. The individual with the most votes will be president and the next highest vote getter will be vice-president. The president will select the treasurer. Absentee votes may be sent to the current president anytime prior to the December meeting.

The results of the competition style selection and the month are as follows: Cream Ale (6A)–March; Irish Red (9D)–June; American Pale Ale (10A)–September; and Russian Imperial Stout (13F)–December. FYI, the almost-but-not-quite honors went to Oktoberfest, Schwarzbier, and Weizen.

Chris M. gave good reviews on food and beer from both Bull and Bones in Blacksburg and the River Brewing Company in Radford.

Ross A. mentioned that Mike from The River Brewing Company in Radford indicated a willingness to host us for a tour and tasting. This might pair well with a trip to Shooting Creek in Floyd. Ross will keep this on the radar until after the winter months and when driving conditions are more favorable.

Chris M. presented information on Siebel Sensory Kit versus AHA Flavorist to help in the club’s decision to make a purchase. After his presentation and discussion from the floor, present members voted to purchase the Siebel kit because of its ability to isolate flavors. Will L. will make the purchase.

Future Meeting Sites and discussion:

19 December at 3:00. ?Will L.?? (Imperial Anything Competition)

January:?? We might have hosts for this. (Bryan S or Doug M. or ?)?(Cream ale style presentation and commercial sampling of Cream Ales.)

February: Chris M. (This will likely be the Tech Talk on Off-Flavors)

March: John M. (Cream Ale Competition)



December 2009 Meeting Notes
Written by John Merkwan
Sunday, 03 January 2010
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Although the snow in December kept the SCBG from meeting on the originally designated date, the cold of a January night did not faze the thirty-one members who attended the “December in January” make-up meeting at the home of Will and Jen L. Thanks to our host and hostess for welcoming the group for the last meeting of the year for the third year in a row.

Will L. reported ending membership at 53 members and a bank balance of $454.69. The president reminded everyone that it is time to pay 2010 dues.  Dues are $15 for an individual and $20 for a family.

Road Trips/Fests: John M. mentioned he had been in Baltimore over Thanksgiving and explored a couple of beer bars. Pratt’s Ale House is a brewpub directly across from the Convention Center so it has a touristy feel although they do make some good English style beers. The second place was Max’s Taphouse in the Fells Point area. This is a super beer bar with 80 quality beers on tap. It was also mentioned by Doug that Brewer’s Art is also a good place.

American Homebrewers Conference: June 17-19 at the Sheraton Minneapolis South. You can go to the AHA website for more info.

David Houseman – AHA Board of Governors, Grand Master BJCP Judge, Competition Director, Co-Author of BJCP Study Guide and more attended a Special Meeting of SCBG members on December 27th. He gave a discussion on how to judge a beer followed by a practical exercise on a dozen beers supplied by SCBG Members.

Future Meeting Sites and discussion:

January 23: Harry(CyberDave will present the commercial tasting and brewing tips for Cream Ale. Bryan S. will act as back-up in case the gov’ner has other plans for Dave.)

February: Chris M. (Doug will present the Tech Talk on six Off-Flavors from our brand new Seibel Sensory Kit)

March: John M. (Cream Ale Competition)

April: Chuck G.

May: James B (Big Brew)

June: Beth D. (At the Lake)

July and August: John S. and Doug M. will decide who hosts which month when we get closer to the date.

Will L, Chris McD and Kevin C. were the nominees for the 2010 president position.? Ballots were counted by Pat K. and John M. At the end of the evening, it was announced that Will L. was elected president and Chris M. will act as vice-president.

Bryan S. led interested parties in a beer gift swap. Because one could “steal” another person’s beer, there was some good humored wrangling before all gifts were claimed.

Fourteen beers were presented for the Imperial Anything competition. The beers were judged under the “Specialty Beer” criteria. Each brewer needed to identify the base beer of the submission and could provide a comment on what made the beer “imperial.” At the end of the evening, trophies were awarded to the following: 3rd place to Bryan S., 2nd place to Beth D. and 1st place to Carrie & Justin C. Congratulations to the winners and thanks all the judges and to Beth, James and Joan for helping Kathy with stewarding duties.

With the judging completed, the total scores for each brewer were tallied and Bryan S. was named the Brewer of the Year. He was presented with a tee shirt specially made for the occasion and at a later meeting he will receive the plaque with his name engraved on it for the third time.  Chuck will post the final standings on the SCBG Web site.

All brewers who submitted a beer for competition were eligible for the drawing of a gift certificate to the Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brew Supply Store. Will L. was the winner of the certificate. Many thanks to BRH owners Chris and Fran A. for providing prizes this year.

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

2007 Meeting Notes

Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 21 January 2007

Narrative summary of SCBG monthly meeting held Saturday, January 20, 2007.

There may have been only 19 members at the opening meeting for 2007, but there was certainly no shortage of beer, food or good times.

Hearty thanks to Doug and Kelleigh for hosting this winter gathering.

She-Pat gave us a treasurer’s report and membership summary. At the start of the meeting there was $538.62 in the club checking account.

That figure had changed by the end of the meeting as several folks paid-up their 2007 dues. By the end of the meeting, we had 32 paid-up members, including our lifetimers, Kelly & Esther.

The Febrewary meeting is still set to be hosted by Bryan and Jenny S., probably on the 17th, however, watch your email for further details.

Kathy and John M. are currently out of the country, but we are assuming that they will still host the March meeting. The 17th (St. Paddy’s day) was recommended as the date for the March meeting, but we will need to confirm that with Kathy and John once they are back stateside.

A brief break followed and then Doug treated us to his presentation on the history and characteristics of the Bohemian Pilsner style. And I do mean “treat!” Doug gave us a lively, informative, artistic and professional Power Point presention that lasted over a half-hour and, I dare say, most of us would gladly sit through it again–it was that good. I’m afraid Doug has raised the bar on style presentations so much so that none of us may ever again come close. Thank you Doug; it was worth coming out in the cold and wind just for your excellent presentation.

Afterward, we tasted 3 Bohemian Pilsners from the Czech Republic and one “Czech Style” Pilsner from the U.S. None of us could quite understand why the Czech’s (and many other Europeans) bottle their beers in green glass. Some “skunkiness” was detected to one degree or another in all three of the Czech-brewed beers. Someone may correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the Czechvar was the favorite of the 3 European-brewed pilsners. The American-brewed “Czech-style” pilsner, from Lagunitas in California, was good but not really to style, being more akin to a German pilsner.

As the meeting was concluding, Keira and Dyson checked-in just to make sure we all knew that it was bedtime. Barley did an excellent job in her position as sargent-at-arms the entire evening. Once again, many thanks to Kelleigh and Doug for hosting. I’m sorry more members didn’t make it to this meeting–you missed a really good one!

Patrick Kennerly


Star City Brewers Guild

January 21, 2007


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 18 February 2007

A narrative summary of the SCBG monthly meeting for February held Saturday, Feb. 17 at 4 PM.The blustery chill of a winter afternoon did not deter a sizeable contingent of homebrewers from gathering at the home of Bryan and Jenny S. on Saturday afternoon, Febrewary 17th.

Many thanks to Bryan and Jenny for opening up their home to the club–your home is cozy and inviting and the fireplace made the setting ideal.

The meeting kicked off at 4 PM, but folks were still arriving after 6 PM; a head count at that time revealed a total of 24 members present.

She-Pat presented the treasury report and membership summary.  At the beginning of the meeting, the club account held $598.62 and there were 32 paid members.  By the end of the meeting, 4 additional couples had paid their dues and the membership count was up to 40.

John & Kathy M. confirmed that they will be hosting the March meeting and the Czech Pilsener competition.  The date for that event is Saturday, March 17th–yes, St. Patrick’s Day–beginning at 4:00 PM.  John & Kathy will send directions to their home via this club email forum a little closer to the event.

Your President made a plea for stewards for the Czech Pilsener competition.  Stuart, faithful steward that he is, volunteered to serve once again.  If other members would like to steward with Stuart, please make your intentions known to this forum or to your President privately.  Since this is a lager style and members may wish to bring their competition beer in a keg, Big Willee can be available for service.

Martin has volunteered to host the April meeting.  The date for that will be forthcoming, after Martin consults with wife Sandra.

Your President then broached the subject of Big Brew, the national homebrewers’ event that will be held on Saturday, May 5th this year.  Ross & Nancy hosted Big Brew last May.  An email has been sent to them inquiring about their plans for this May.  Should Ross & Nancy’s mountaintop retreat not be available, we’ll have to explore other possibilities.

This year’s Festival in the Park was also mentioned briefly.  Your President asked all members to ponder that event and help make a good group decision as to whether or not we wish to participate this May 26th.

John M. presented a mouth-watering description of his and Kathy’s participation in the Manchester, England Winter Beer Festival.  By the time John was finished, we were all ready to charter a flight and book rooms for the next Manchester festival.

Business being concluded, the meeting was adjourned and all retired to the kitchen, dining and living rooms of the S’s. home to enjoy excellent food, company and homebrew.

Thanks again, Jenny and Bryan, for a great job of hosting.  Until next month, keep those pilseners lagering!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
Sunday, Febrewary 18, 2007


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 18 March 2007

A narrative summary of the SCBG meeting held Saturday, March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day), 2007.

William Shakespeare put these words into the mouth of his tragic hero,
King Lear:
“Blow winds and crack your cheeks!”The winds did blow on a chilly St. Patrick’s Day and, though cheeks
may not have cracked, plenty of cheeks took on a suitably ruddy
complexion spanked by the gusts that blew through John and Kathy M’s.
screened-in deck.Not to be daunted, however, the Star City Brewers Guild filled their
March gathering and first quarterly competition with good food,
excellent fellowship, and a treasure pot loaded with fine brew.

A very special thank you to John and Kathy M. for opening up their
beautiful home to 24 members and several guests.  John and Kathy made
everyone feel at home and provided for our every need during the

She-Pat reported that the treasury stood at $677.45.  An additional
paid membership during the meeting brought the treasury up to $692.45
and the paid membership count to 42.

Will & Jen L. have (once again) volunteered to host a meeting when
previous location plans did not work out.  After some discussion,
Saturday, April 14th was chosen as the next club meeting date.  The
April meeting would be the appropriate time to have a presentation on
the next competition style  —  American Pale Ale  — as well as taste
commercial examples of APA.  If anyone feels inspired to give the club
a brief presentation, just volunteer by club mail.  Will & Jen will
let the group know what time to converge on their home and, I’m sure,
will post directions for those who don’t remember our meeting at their
home in December.

Will presented an idea to the group that holds a great deal of
promise, especially for those who haven’t been able to come to
meetings for lack of childcare.  Will suggested that the group might
hire a young person (aka, babysitter) to provide childcare at the
meeting site.  The cost of pooling resources to hire one sitter for
several members’ kids should certainly be less than the cost for
several members to pay for childcare separately.  She-Pat suggested
that the club might even vote to pay for the sitter with treasury
funds.  It was agreed that an email conversation regarding these ideas
be commenced in order to gauge club interest.

Ross & Nancy have graciously offered to host Big Brew for the second
time on Saturday, May 5th.  That event is, more or less, an all-day
affair, but Noon is the target arrival time on Brush Mountain in
Blacksburg.  Ross and Nancy will provide directions closer to the
event.  Your president suggested that members who plan to brew on that
Saturday make Ross & Nancy and the rest of the Guild aware of your
intentions by way of club mail.  This year’s Big Brew recipes are
already posted on the American Homebrewers Association pages at

Your president shared with the group a contact made to him by someone
from Tanglewood Mall about setting up a booth at their June Leisure
Living Expo.  When the paperwork arrived in the mail a shocking and
astronomical fee was expected of all participants.  So much for that!

Joe W. then gave us a detailed description of the World Beer Festival,
scheduled for Saturday, April 28 in Raleigh, NC.  Over 150 breweries
will be providing tastings during two 4-hour sessions.  Several club
members have already purchased tickets for the 12 Noon to 4 PM
session.  The Guild looks to make a good showing at this beer-
bountiful event.

Next, Bryan P. led a discussion regarding the Home Brewers’ Digest
(HBD), including a description of what HBD is and what it provides to
the homebrewing community.  The HBD is in desperate need of a new
server and is soliciting large scale sponsors to fund a new server and
defray other expenses.  By email earlier in the week, Doug M. had
suggested the idea of the Guild making a one-time donation to HBD to
help in their cause.  Discussion was positive about helping HBD, but
when Bryan P. made a motion to contribute $100 to HBD from treasury
funds, several members suggested it might be good to contact the folks
at HBD to get a better idea of how a one-time donation might benefit
them.  Bryan’s motion was tabled to allow further investigation into
an SCBG donation  —  Bryan P. will spearhead that effort.

After a brief break, Judie M. and her team of stewards (Stuart, Bryan
P. and Paul M.) coordinated the judging of a dozen members’ renditions
of the Bohemian Pilsener style.  Three first-round tables and one
final round table judiciously evaluated the lagers to arrive at these
results:  3rd Place: Martin C.;  2nd Place: Will L.; 1st Place: Bryan
S.  Congratulations to all three and many thanks to our terrific head
steward, Judie, and her very capable crew, as well as to all who
judged, with a special nod to Cliff, our guest judge.

Again, thanks to John and Kathy for hosting and to all who brought
beer and food.  Until we meet again in April, keep those emails comin’
and brew on!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 15 April 2007

A narrative summary of SCBG Meeting held Saturday, April 14, 2007

Perhaps mother nature is playing an April Fools prank on us with this
crazy weather.  However, the weather did not hinder our April meeting,
which was held at the home of Will and Jen L.  Will and Jen have twice
come to the rescue when meeting plans at other locations did not work
out.  We are very grateful to Will and Jen for their gracious and
timely hospitality.
Will, Jen and others arranged for childcare during the meeting.  The
kids were downstairs content with movies, pizza and teenage
supervison.  This idea worked out very well and holds great promise
for future meetings.  It may enable members with youngsters to attend
meetings they might not otherwise be able to attend because of childcare
issues.The meeting was attended by 21 members and 2 guests, one of which had
joined the club by meetings’ end.  Welcome, Matt, to the Star City
Brewers Guild!  Matt brought some of his homebrew to share at the
meeting–it was quite good.She-Pat informed us that there was $581.91 in the club treasury, after
reimbursements for American Pale Ales purchased for the tasting and
after reimbursing Bryan S. for his club-only competition entry costs.
That figure is also prior to Matt’s dues payment.  There were 43 paid
members at the start of the meeting; 44 at the end of the meeting.

With no other members expressing interest, the Pats agreed to host the
June meeting, which will be the 2nd quarterly competition, the style
being American Pale Ale (BJCP #10A).  The date for that meeting and
competition will be Saturday, June 9th, beginning at 4:00 PM.  Details
will be forthcoming.

There followed a discussion about the May meeting, which, of course,
is Big Brew, Saturday, May 5th.  Ross and Nancy will host this major
homebrewing event for the second year in a row.  Ross and Nancy live
on Brush Mountain, just beyond Blacksburg and just off route 460.
Ross will send out directions soon.

As this is a national (actually, an international) homebrewing event,
the timetable is somewhat determined by the American Homebrewers
Association.  There is nationwide toast to National Homebrew Day at
1:00 PM EDT (12 Noon CDT).  We usually try to snap a few group photos
during the toast.

If you are planning to brew (3 or 4 at the meeting indicated that they
might) at Ross & Nancy’s, either one of the recipes offered by the AHA
or something else, please email Ross and the club so we’ll have an
idea of who will need set-up space and chiller water.  Last year,
brewers arrived so early that Ross was still in his ‘jammies, so it
might be nice to give Ross an idea of your anticipated brew time.

Kathy M. has graciously agreed to coordinate the food for this event.
Ross and I have designated Kathy the Food Czar and have given her
absolute power (over things edible).  Kathy will communicate to the
group via club mail regarding this aspect of the day-long gathering.
Everyone is encouraged to bring beer!  Your own brew in kegs or
bottles or other beer.  Last year we ran dry before the event was
over  —  embarrassing, to say the least, for a brew club!  Big Willee
will be attending, and he can support 6 kegs at a time.

Ross also mentioned that they have ample sleeping space if anyone
should choose to spend the night.  Once again, it would be helpful if
you could make such plans known to Ross and Nancy in advance.  Other
news and information regarding this special meeting will be
communicated by this club mail.

Several members have made plans to attend the World Beer Festival in
Raleigh, NC, in two weeks (April 28th).  Bring cameras!

After a brief break, your Vice President, Bryan S. gave the club an
informative presentation on the American Pale Ale style.  That was
followed by everyone sampling about 13 commercial APAs.  After a wide
range of interpretations of the style were sampled, most agreed that
the Nectar Pale Ale was the best example.  This beer was purchased at
the “Kroger Teeter” at the corner of Brambleton and Colonial (the one
with a “Starbucks” in it).  It was a bit pricey ($9+ a six-pack), but
it was very good.

Be sure to plan for Big Brew on May 5th and watch your email for
updates and information.

Brew on!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
April 15, 2007


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 06 May 2007

Narrative summary of SCBG May monthly meeting and 2007 Big Brew event.

Once again, the first Saturday in May proved to be less than ideal
weather-wise for the annual Big Brew event.  Nonetheless, 21 SCBG
members met near the summit of Brush Mountain for a day of brewing,
eating, fellowship and homebrew sharing.  Oh yeah, and for the May
monthly meeting.
The official business meeting got underway about 2:30 PM. Many thanks
were expressed to Ross and Nancy who, for the second year in a row,
took on the monumental task of hosting the Big Brew meeting.  Your
president would also like to express special thanks to Kathy M. for
coordinating the day’s cuisine and to Stuart B. for hauling Big Willee
and the club tables to and from the meeting site in his van.She-Pat reported that the treasury currently contains $509.64 and paid
membership stands at 46.The June meeting and second quarterly competition will be held at the
Pats on Saturday, June 9th, beginning at 3:00 PM.  The style for this
competition is American Pale Ale, BJCP style guide #10A.  Judie M.
graciously volunteered once again to serve as Chief Steward for the
APA competition.  Directions to the Pats’ home in the Grandin Court
section of Roanoke City will be sent out closer to June 9th.

Doug, who was brewing on the opposite side of the house from the
meeting, sent down a proxy stating that he and Kelleigh would host a
pool party at their Botetourt home for the July meeting (7/14/07).
Carol W. tentatively offered her and Ed’s home for the August meeting
(8/2/07) while John & Kathy M. volunteered to host the September
competition meeting (9/22/07).  Jeff and Cindy offered to host the
October meeting again this year, complete with haunted doorman.

So much had been discussed regarding the previous weekend’s World Beer
Festival in Raleigh during the pre-meeting socializing, your president
decided there wasn’t much else to bring up.

Paul M. then led a lively discussion regarding the “Second Wind” event
scheduled for September15th at Woodmen of the World on Peters Creek
Road.  Paul answered concerns about the $150.00 booth fee with the
news that the fee would be waived for the SCBG.  Points made during
the discussion included the fact that our involvement would include
demonstrating the hobby of home brewing, possibly by brewing three
extract batches beginning at staggered times so that the demonstration
would last throughout the event (10 AM to 6 PM).  Another point made
was that someone would need to coordinate the production of “sampling”
beer to be brewed in advance and brought to the event for public
consumption.  Paul also told us that Wendi Schultz assured him that
the ABC licensing and regulations matters would be taken care of by
her office.  Paul agreed to coordinate the SCBG’s involvement with
this event.

While we were talking about brewing beer for the “Second Wind” event,
someone suggested that it might be fun to have everyone brew to the
same extract/all-grain recipe only each brewer would use a different,
single hop variety.  It was suggested that we could bring the
resulting beers to the October meeting.  All agreed that this would be
fun to do.

Following the conclusion of the business meeting, hamburgers, hotdogs,
smoked sausages and a couple of marinated tuna steaks hit Ross &
Nancy’s gas grill with a flare and the serious eating got underway.

As has become tradition, a Derby drawing preceded the televised
activities from Churchill Downs.  After an exciting race, # 7, Street
Sense, stood in the winner’s circle, as did our Stuart.

For Big Brew accounting purposes, the SCBG brewed 4 batches of beer
totaling 25 gallons.  See you in June!

Patrick Kennerly
May 6, 2007


JUNE 2007 Meeting President’s Notes
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 10 June 2007

Narrative summary of June Meeting & Second Quarterly Style Competition.The late spring weather provided for a splendid outdoor SCBG meeting Saturday, June 9th.  The backyard of the Pats’ home in Grandin Court offered a comfortable setting with lots of grass, trees and plant life.  Special thanks to she-Pat who worked arduously, both indoors and out, in preparation for the meeting.  Her sacrifical thumb offering must have been pleasing to the beer gods.  A steady breeze and ample shade made the 87-degree temperature seem quite comfortable.

At the top of the meeting, we welcomed two newcomers: Alec and Karen.  They moved to Roanoke from Florida about a year ago and Alec, who is a seasoned homebrewer, has been settling into brewing in his new environs.  Before coming to the meeting, they secured a used refrigerator for Alec’s fermentations and loaded it onto their pickup truck.  It was the first time in SCBG history that a homebrewer came to a meeting carrying his own refrigerator.

She-Pat reported that the treasury stands at $529.64, with one Big Brew expense check still outstanding.  Currently, there are 47 paid members.  We hope Alec and Karen soon will make that 49.

A discussion of future meeting dates and locations yielded these results:

July at Doug & Kelleigh’s in Botetourt County (with pool & castle) on Saturday, July 7th, gathering at 1:00 pm.

August at Ed & Carol’s in Blacksburg, Saturday, August 11th, gathering at 2:00 pm.

September (IPA competition) at John & Kathy’s in Roanoke City, Saturday, September 22nd, gathering at 3:00 pm.

Bryan S. volunteered his and Jen’s home for the October meeting and I, your President, forgot that Jeff & Cindy had already offered to host October.  So, Jeff & Cindy graciously offered to host the November meeting instead.

Paul M. then presented a detailed description of the “Second Wind” event being sponsored by Roanoke County and shared with the group his vision of our contribution to that event.  Summarizing, the Guild will brew up to three extract batches of homebrew so that the brewing demonstration will cover the day-long event.  Star City Brewers will also provide attendees with samples of homebrew and information on the homebrewing hobby, with the help of Chris & Fran and Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Homebrew Supply.  Brewers are asked to brew for this event beers that would be suitable “introductory” beers so as not to “scare away” those whose tastes were formed on the likes of Bud Light, Miller Lite, etc.  The “Second Wind” event is scheduled for September 15th at Woodmen of the World on Peters Creek Road.  Paul M.  wil coordinate SCBG participation, primarily through club email.

Following a short break (to partake of some wonderful edibles), the second quarterly club competition got underway, with good and faithful Chief Steward, Judie M. at the helm.  Two tables judged a total of 9 American Pale Ales submitted by members.  A second-round table selected the trophy winners: 3rd Place went to Doug; 2nd Place went to your President; and 1st Place went to Bryan S.  That makes two 1st Place finishes for Bryan S. so far this year; three in a row, counting the December 2006 Scottish 80 competition.  Scores from all entries will be posted on the club website.  Congratulations to the winners AND thank you to all who brewed an APA for the competition.

A huge “Thank You!” to Judie M. and her very capable crew of stewards!

Your President would also like to thank everyone who brought such a wonderful and varied assortment of foods and homebrew to the June meeting.  This group really knows how to score a culinary victory.

Another special thanks to Doug for bringing his “Randalizer” with its two ounces of Cascades and Amarillo whole hops through which were served several of the beers brought to the meeting in kegs.  Nice work, Mr. M!

Until time to splish and splash at Kelleigh & Doug’s in July, keep a lookout for club emails!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
June 10, 2007


July 2007 Meeting President’s Notes
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 08 July 2007

A brief narrative summary of the SCBG meeting held Saturday, 07-07-07.I don’t have a clue as to the whereabouts of most of the rest of the members, but a lively group of 14 gathered at Doug and Kelleigh’s Botetourt farm for a summer afternoon of food, fellowship, and fine brew.

Kelleigh and Doug always provide a warm and gracious welcome to the club and 07-07-07 was no exception. She-Pat reported a current treasury balance of $500.45. Reimbursements to club members who purchased IPAs for the day’s commercial tasting still need to come out of that figure.

Your President reviewed meeting locations for August through November. The next meeting is scheduled for August 11 at Carol & Ed W’s. in Blacksburg, beginning at 2:00 PM. Check the club’s website calendar for other meeting dates and locations.

An announcement of the 2008 American Homebrewers’ National Conference was up next; that will be June 19-21, 2008 in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is about an 8-hour drive from Roanoke, so it is feasible to have an SCBG presence at that AHA 30th Anniversary gathering.

No “Second Wind” update was presented due to Paul’s absence.

Your President then gave a brief presentation on the American IPA style and we proceeded to taste a wide variety of commercial examples. Red Hook’s Longhammer IPA fared surprisingly well.

Moylan’s IPA from Marin County, CA was the hands down favorite, with its distinct spicy hop notes and full malty backbone. Doug provided that 22 oz. bomber and those present were grateful for his offering.

Once again, many thanks to Doug and Kelleigh for hosting and to all who provided the delicious food and brought the wonderful array of malt beverages. Those of you who could not make this one, missed a treat. Hopefully, we’ll see you next month in Blacksburg.


Patrick Kennerly


Sunday, July 8, 2007


August 2007 Meeting President’s Notes
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 12 August 2007

Narrative summary of SCBG monthly meeting held Saturday, Aug. 11, 2007 in Blacksburg.The lazy, hazy days of summer netted a small representation for the August monthly meeting of the Star City Brewers Guild.  Small in numbers  —  not small in spirit or enthusiasm.

A total of 18 members gathered at the lovely home of Ed and Carol W., high on a hill overlooking the Montgomery County country side.  Two of those present represent some of our “distance members.”  Kelly and Esther, who now live in coastal North Carolina, stopped in on their way to the 20th anniversary Mashout event.  Kelly shared with us a corney keg full of his famous “Beachin’ IPA;” the one that was brewed by the brewpub near their home and will be entered in the Pro/Am competition at the Great American Beer Festival this Fall.  It was delicious!

The treasurer’s report noted a club checking account balance of $500.45.  Their are 48 paid members to date, with two other members stating their intention to join.

Upcoming Meetings were discussed:

September 22nd at John & Kathy M’s. (American IPA Competition) 4:00 PM.  V.P. Bryan S. will chair this meeting as Patrick will be otherwise engaged (see below).

October 13th at Bryan & Jen S’s. 3:00 PM (Tasting & Style Presentation Sweet Stout).

November 17th at Jeff & Cindy’s 4:00 PM.

Paul M. updated us on plans for our participation in Roanoke County’s “Second Wind” event.  The event will run from 10 to 6 at the Woodmen of the World site on Peters Creek Road on Saturday, September 15th.  To date, three club members have agreed to brew an extract batch at the event: Jeff, John M. and Will.  Paul is on standby as a backup in case one of the three can’t brew.  Those who have stated their intentions to bring homebrew for tasting: Will, Bryan S., Paul, Jeff and possibly Doug.

Paul informed us that there are a couple of issues that have not been resolved:  the extent to which Fran & Chris will be allowed to represent their shop; and, the matter of an appropriate ABC license to allow for the beer tasting.  The latter is the responsibility of the organizers of the event.

Next, we discussed upcoming events.  Mashout is sold out and has been for a couple of weeks.  Bramwell, West Virginia Oktoberfest and the Durham, N.C. World Beer Festival both occur the same Saturday:  October 6th.  Durham will be huge, like the one in Raleigh.  Bramwell is small and laid back and includes a homebrew competition.  The Pats have reservations for Bramwell and will be glad to tote club members’ competition entries.  Just email to alert.  Bryan S. has reservations in both places.  Either he chooses one or he is a Belgian Dubbel and never told us.

The Pats displayed a poster of the musical they are involved in this September.  It is a fund-raiser for Interfaith Hospitality Network (sheltering homeless families), RAM House (Roanoke Area Ministries providing food, clothing and medicine to the poor) and ACTS II Ministries (helping inner-city youth).  The musical, CHILDREN OF EDEN, by Stephen Schwartz (PIPPIN, GODSPELL, WICKED) will be performed at William Fleming High School’s Dickinson Auditorium, Sept. 21-23 and 28-30.  Email the Pats for ticket info.  Club member Ron C’s. daughter, Emily, is the show’s stage manager.

Very special thanks to our wonderful hosts for this meeting, Carol and Ed W.  Ed & Carol brewed before the meeting got started, so folks got to see Ed’s impressive B-3 brewing sculpture in operation as well as his twin, temperature controlled, stainless conicals.  Ever the competition organizer/MC, Ed posed some challenging beer/brewing questions to the group, offering doorprizes to the first to voice the correct answers.  The prizes were significant and included a March magnetic pump and a draught tower assembly.  Many thanks again to Ed & Carol for hosting and for sharing with all of us some excellent beer and mead.  Thanks, also, to Isaac (their oldest son) for sharing his enormously entertaining collection of mice and classic cars!
Patrick Kennerly
SCBG President
Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Monday, 24 September 2007


Special thanks to John & Kathy who hosted the September club competition/meeting at their beautiful home.  Approximately 25 members were present, along with two visitors, Ginger and Carl, who brought along Carl’s Red Ale which was quite tasty.  Welcome!
We discussed the treasury, which I believed to be around $500 +/- .  After which, future club meeting places/times were talked about, with the October meeting being held at the home of Bryan & Jen S. on October 13th, at or before 4:00.  The November meeting will be held at the Cindy & Jeff’s residence in Crystal Spring on Nov. 17th beginning at 4:00.  Also, Will volunteered their home for the December meeting again this year.  The date and time TBA.  We will also have babysitting service again this year for that meeting!
Yours truly, the V.P., reminded the brewers that November is the month when we nominate new officers for the new year and vote on new styles for our club competitions for 2008.  It was suggested that we start emailing our preferences for styles for next year so that we may tally the ones with the most votes and then bring those styles to the club for voting.  Also, Will suggested that we email out the styles that have been brewed in the last several years so that folks may know what has recently been brewed.  I am not sure, but I believe the Pat’s have been keeping tabs on this for the last couple of years?  Emails should follow.
Next on the agenda, we discussed last weekend’s SCBG presence at Second Wind.  In Paul Mahoney’s absence, Stuart filled us in on most of the particulars.  3 batches of extract beer were brewed and we had a steady flow of folks in the tent tasting beers and being educated on homebrewing.  All in all, it was felt that this was a most positive experience.  Paul M. may fill us in on how the organizers felt about it, upon his return from the Nation’s capitol.
Upcoming events were discussed next.  Bramwell is on October 6th and several club members will be in attendance.  Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day is coming up on November 3rd and Chris/Fran have volunteered BRHP&HB again this year as our site.  Jeff F. queried as to whether we can serve samples of our beer at this event.  Typical ABC rules/regulations would apply.  Jeff said he would be willing to check up on that matter.  More to come on that…  Also, on Oct. 5th, Wine Gourmet will be hosting an Octoberfest celebration, so go on out and show your support(and drink free beer!).
Patrick made a motion via email that the club purchase a new regulator for Big Willee.  It was unanamously approved and either Patrick or I will check into purchasing for the club with club funds.  Also, Patrick motioned that the club purchase a 20# CO2 tank for Big Willee.  I said that I would check my cellar, as I believe I have one available for free.
Other news– The Merkwan’s reported on “Children of Eden”, a muscial that our beloved Pat’s are involved in.  They went opening night and said that it was absolutely fabulous!!  Good for the entire family!  So, go on out and show your support for our Prez and his lovely wife, and be highly entertained at the same time.
We then took a break while Marsha and Kathy set up for our American IPA club contest.  We had, I believe, 10 beers to judge at two tables.  After much contemplation, 3rd place went to Martin, 2nd place to yours truly, the V.P., and 1st place to our Prez, Patrick.  All in all, I must personally say that this entire group of beers was of the highest quality!  Keep up the good work Brewers!  We then finished off the evening sampling numerous commercial and homebrewed beers and eating all of the scrumptuous food provided.  A good time was had by all!
Respectfully submitted,
Bryan Summerson
Vice President
Star City Brewers Guild


OCTOBER 2007 President’s Notes
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Saturday, 13 October 2007

Narrative summary of the SCBG meeting held Saturday, October 13, 2007.A gorgeous Fall afternoon on the recently completed, spacious back deck of the Vice President’s and Mrs. VP’s home was the setting for the October meeting of the Star City Brewers Guild.  15 members gathered for the occasion which was complemented by some excellent food offerings and a wide variety of homebrew.  Many thanks to Jen and Bryan for hosting and allowing us to “play” on their home renovations.
Our lovely Treasurer reported that the club checking account contained $445.45, after a $55.00 reimbursement was made to your President for the application fee he paid to the Virginia ABC Board to obtain a Special Events License for the November 3rd, “Teach a Friend to Homebrew” day.
Our next meeting will be at the South Roanoke home of Jeff and Cindy F. on November 17th starting at 4:00 PM.  Directions will be forthcoming.  Will and Jen L. could not be present for the October meeting, but will still host the big December meeting;  they are still deciding upon a date.
A lively conversation followed regarding the club competition styles to be selected in November for the 2008 brewing year.  VP Bryan S. provided a tally sheet of the styles offered thus far by email.  We should have no trouble providing the membership with a ballot of 6 or 8 styles at the November meeting.  Your President also reminded the group that November is the month we need to make nominations for 2008 club officers.
After a good discussion surrounding the purchase of a regulator and CO2 tank exclusively for Big Willee, it was decided the we should try to purchase a multi-gauge regulator so that the CO2 on each of BW’s six taps may be controlled independently.  Chuck G. volunteered to search for that item as well as a good price on a 20 lb. CO2 tank for BW.
“Teach a Friend to Homebrew” day was then discussed in considerable detail.  Fran & Chris will, once again, host the event in the parking lot of their shop, Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brew Company, which is in Lamplighter Mall at the north end of Williamson Road near Happy’s Flea Market.  The event will be from 11 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, November 3rd.  Fran & Chris will supply any brewing ingredients necessary for the brewing of two batches of homebrew:  one all-grain and one extract.  Bryan S. will be the all-grain brewer and is planning to transport his B-3 system to the site to brew a dark beer–possibly a sweet stout.  Jeff F. will be the extract brewer and will brew an ale of lighter color.  Fran & Chris will work with the sub shop located in Lamplighter Mall to provide the primary food contribution.  Members will sign up to bring accompanying dishes and some non-alcoholic beverages.  Your President has already applied for an ABC license for the day so that we may offer samples of our homebrew to adult attendees.  Several conversations with a Special Agent from the ABC Board have occurred and everything looks positive.  Of course, we will need members to bring homebrew to the event to share with our guests if the ABC license application is approved.  Watch your email for details in the coming weeks.
Following a short break, John M. gave us a very well-prepared and enlightening presentation on the history and characteristics of the Sweet Stout (aka Milk Stout or Cream Stout) style–BJCP #13B.  As John informed us, this style is not terribly popular, at least around Roanoke, so commercial examples were not easily obtained.  Two of the commercial examples listed in the BJCP style guide were available (Mackeson’s XXX Stout and Left Hand Milk Stout) and we sampled them.  I believe most agreed that Mackeson’s XXX was the best example of the style that we tasted.  John also provided us with some examples of the American Stout style to compare and contrast with the two sweet stouts.  An Imperial Stout also made it to the tasting before the day was done.  Thank you, John, for a job well done.
The next two months will be among the most active of the year for the Guild, not to mention the added madness of the Thanksgiving & Christmas holiday seasons, so I ask all members to look out for Guild mass emails, respond as quickly as possible and provide your brewing expertise, physical presence and assistance wherever and whenever possible.  Brew on!
Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
Sat. Oct. 13, 2007 10:00 PM


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Saturday, 17 November 2007

Narrative summary of SCBG meeting held Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007.


Jeff and Cindy F. opened their comfortable and cozy home Saturday,
November 17th to a lively group of homebrewers and their guests.
Thank you Jeff and Cindy for providing us with such a hospitable
environment and for being a great host couple!
This pre-holiday weekend saw a good number of members in attendance
and a wonderful collection of guests who brought a wide variety of
scrumptious foods and a generous sampling of craft and home-brewed
beer.  16 members attended the meeting along with 6 guests, two of
which became members during the course of the meeting.She-Pat reported that there was $393.80 in the club treasury, after
reimbursing Chuck G. for improvements to Big Willee and expenses for
Teach a Friend to Homebrew.  That figure was recorded before our two
newest members paid their dues for 2008; we give a big welcome to
Kathy and Jeff L., our newest members, who came to us via Teach a
Friend to Homebrew day.The December meeting, our last meeting for 2007, will be held at the
home of Will and Jen L., the same place as last December’s meeting.
Childcare will be avaialble at Will and Jen’s; details on that will be
forthcoming in emails.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 3:00 PM
on Saturday, December 15th.  Directions to the meeting will be
forthcoming from Will.  The December meeting will include the final
competition of the year; Sweet Stout is the style.  We will also see
the 2007 Brewer of the Year (BOTY) announced and elect a new President
for the 2008 brewing year.

We did not get a volunteer for the January, 2008, meeting.  If you are
inclined to host this meeting, please write to Patrick at your
earliest convenience.

Next, John M. presented a plan for a club road trip in early December
(Saturday, December 1st to be exact).  John has been in contact with
Mark Thompson at Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet, Va. (near
Charlottesville) and with Taylor Smack, master brewer and co-owner of
Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, Va.  Both brewers will make themselves
available to the club for tours and tastings.  The plan is to start at
Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet at Noon and head to Blue Mountain Brewery
after.  We should be home in Roanoke by 6 or 7 PM.  Watch your email
for more information on the details of this trip, including ride
sharing and gathering points.  While John gave his presentation, the
club enjoyed tasting Blue Mountain Classic Lager, one of Taylor
Smack’s flagship beers.

There followed a brief discussion on the styles that had been
nominated for 2008 competition beers.  After the discussion, paper
ballots were distributed and members voted for 4 out of 9 possible
styles.  The winners and the quarters to which they were matched are
as follows: Dunkelweisen in March, ESB (Extra Special Bitter) in June,
Specialty Beer in September and Robust Porter in December.

She-Pat motioned that a small committee be named to establish the
parameters for the Specialty Beer.  The motion was seconded and, after
discussion, it was decided that Doug, Jeff F. and Bryan P. would serve
as that committee.  They are charged with the task of establishing the
ingredients and parameters (both all-grain and extract) with which
each participating brewer will create his or her specialty beer.  They
have until March to present the club with their results.  The
Specialty Beers will be judged in September.

Next, the floor was opened to nominations for SCBG President for the
year 2008.  Two members were nominated, Bryan S. and John M.  Provided
no one else is nominated by group email between now and December 15th,
we will choose that day between Bryan S. and John M.  The one with the
majority of votes will be our new President while the other will be
the Vice President.

That concluded the business for this meeting.  Jeff and Cindy’s place
continued to buzz with brewing conversation and beer banter as all
present sampled Doug’s selection of beers from his world-wide travels
as well as a generous supply of other brews, watched the Hokies
clobber Miami and feasted on a Cornucopia of edibles.

The next two weeks should be busy with email activity, so check your
mail daily!  Meanwhile,

Brew on!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
Nov. 17, 2007


DECEMBER 2007 MEETING President’s Notes
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Saturday, 22 December 2007

Retiring President, Patrick Kennerly’s, narrative summary of the final SCBG meeting and quarterly competition for the 2007 brewing year.Although the official start of winter is still a few days away, Mother Nature and the weather service conspired to present such an ominous winter storm outlook for the day that many SCBG members who had planned to attend the year’s final club gathering opted out.

Nevertheless, a sizeable crowd of nearly 30 hardy souls made their way to Will and Jen L’s beautiful and spacious home for a terrific meeting and competition. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Will and Jen who hosted this large and busy gathering for the second December in a row. You two are true troopers!

Quite a few newcomers joined us for this meeting and, by the evening’s end, had become members. Welcome aboard Jim and Joan B., Brian M. (Brian with an “i”), and Ginger and Pat who have joined us for several previous meetings. Brian and Ginger both brought some of their homebrew to share and their produce was quite good. It was good to have some members back who we haven’t seen in awhile: Lawrence, Matt and Martin–we will miss Martin, he has taken a job in Greensboro.  Guess we’ll have to get John M. to organize a trip to Natty Greene’s and Foothills so we can toss back a few with Martin next year.

She-Pat, retiring treasurer, gave us a financial report: the club checking account stood at $413.83 before 2008 dues were collected at this meeting.

January’s meeting will be at the home of Paul and Judie M. Date and time will be announced by email. Chris and Pam M. will host the Febrewary meeting, time and date also to be announced.

John M. then shared with the group an interesting re-cap of the club road trip to Starr Hill brewery in Crozet and Blue Mountain brewery in Afton. As one who had planned to go and then couldn’t, I was hop- green with envy listening to John’s travelogue. I hope he’ll plan other Guild road trips for us in the future.

During the “from the floor” segment, John M. presented your retiring President & first beer wench with a retirement gift: a charmingly cute little wooden biermeister–handcrafted by Kathe Wohlfahrt in Germany.  It now occupies a prominent place on our Christmas tree.  She-Pat and I express much gratitude!

Following a short break to organize, seven “sweet stouts” were evaluated by two tables of judges who then passed along several entries to the second-round judges. Third place trophy went to our two brother brewers, Eric P. and Chris M.; second place went to Bryan S. and first place to your retiring President.

Tallying up the year’s BOTY scores proved more than a little challenging as the company that provides the platform for our club’s web-site server had been making changes during the day and no one was able to access the BOTY page on the web site. Fortunately, our very own web meister, Chuck G., was on hand for the meeting (as were his lovely wife and precious daughter). Chuck worked through computer and telephone and was able to complete the compilation shortly after the meeting ended–all should have received an email telling you that Bryan S. is the 2007 Brewer of the Year. Bryan S. was also BOTY last year AND is our newly elected President. John M. is our new VeePee and Bryan has asked Will L. to serve as club Treasurer, which position Will has accepted.

Once again, Judie M. did an outstanding job as Chief Steward for the competition; many thanks to Judie and her crew of excellent stewards.

As always, Guild members rounded out the meeting with a sumptuous and varied array of incredible edibles. Thanks to everyone who brought food and who shared the fruits of their brewing labors.

Under my presidency during the past three years, the Guild has seen lots of ups and downs. In 2005, we reached a pinnacle with our support and labor for Microfestivus; an achievement that proved to be the end of our part in that event. We embarrased our host at AmRhein’s beach bash–not intentionally, but just by being so damn good at what we do–so that chapter in our club history is now closed. Festival in the Park’s original organizers loved us; their successors didn’t know what to do with us.

Still, the membership has blazed new trails in the effort to promote quality beer and the craft of homebrewing. “Teach a Friend to Homebrew” has grown tremendously in only two years. An entirely new opportunity was opened with our participation in the County’s “Second Wind” event. Wine Gourmet’s location move from Botetourt County to Roanoke City has the potential for a number of Guild opportunties and the owners want to work with us.

Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed my three years as your president; I wouldn’t trade them for anything. If I could leave just one lasting impression on you, the members, it would be this: that you realize, down deep, that you are an awesome, incredibly diverse and mightily talented assembly of creative characters. Your humor, your intelligence, your warm and generous spirits are what really draws people to the Guild. Your brewing and your beer are icing on the cake–the whirlpool that collects all that other stuff toward the center. Here comes 2008! Happy Brew Year!

Patrick Kennerly, President

Star City Brewers Guild

Dec. 15, 2007

2006 Meeting Notes

Presidents Notes January 2006
Written by Patrick Kennerly
Sunday, 22 January 2006

January SCBG Meeting President’s Notes 01/22/06

The Star City Brewers Guild officially kicked off the new year with the January 2006 meeting on Saturday, January 21st.  Bryan and Sue P. hosted a lively meeting in their cozy Vinton home—thank you Bryan and Sue for allowing us to overtake your home and lives for the better part of Saturday.

A lively start to the new year indeed:  by my count, there were at least 24 people present for the meeting, counting members, spouses, and guests who became members during the course of the meeting.  A hearty welcome to our newest Guild members: Eric P., Chris McD. and Martin (& Sandra) C. We look forward to sharing many good times and good brews with all of you as well as with Jeff and Cindy who became Guild members in December.

She-Pat opened the business part of the meeting with the Treasurer’s Report:  As of the end of Saturday’s meeting, the Guild has 25 paid members.  Our current treasury balance is $585.88.

After some discussion, the following locations were decided upon for upcoming meetings:  Febrewary will be at the home of Doug and Kelleigh M. in Troutville.  March will be hosted by Paul and Judy M. in the Cave Spring area of Roanoke.  April will be hosted by Joe and Marsha W. in Salem.  Specific dates have not been finalized for any of these meetings, so watch your club email for further details.

After discussing the idea of all brewers brewing a beer from the same list of ingredients, Bryan P., Doug and Ross volunteered to come up with a list of ingredients that could be used to make either an extract recipe or an all-grain recipe.  Their committee of three will also formulate the guidelines that all brewers will follow, with the yeast type/strain being the wild card in the equation.

Your president next shared with the club the invitation we have received from Cary Bednarek, Vice President and part owner of Wine Gourmet wine and beer shop in Daleville.  Cary would like to feature the Guild and our home brewed beer as one of his Friday night tastings.  The Wine Gourmet would provide all the elements necessary to do a tasting (cups, ABC matters) so that the Guild would only be responsible for bringing homebrew.  Doug, who doesn’t live far from the shop, pointed out that this is a very small store and that the numbers of customers who attend these tastings is small.  The discussion ended with a vote that we accept Cary’s invitation and proceed with planning for this event.

A lengthy discussion of the May 6th “Big Brew” event culminated in the decision not to hold this Spring’s “Big Brew” at Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Homebrew Supply, though we are very grateful to Fran and Chris for their offer to host it.  In fact, we discussed the possibility of doing a smaller scale home brewing demonstration with Fran and Chris at their store apart from “Big Brew,” as well as talking with them about the possibility of celebrating the “Teach a Friend to Homebrew” day at their store in the Fall.  Ross and Nancy have volunteered to host “Big Brew” at their mountaintop home in Blacksburg; they will keep us informed as they research the logistics.

Your president then shared with the group some of the emails he has received from brewers, judges and brewing company representatives regarding the Guild’s decision to withdraw from the planning and production of the Microfestivus event.  That was followed by a very intelligent and sensitive discussion with some very excellent thoughts and ideas shared by numerous Guild members.  Ultimately, it was agreed and voted on that, while the Guild will not help plan and produce Microfestivus 2006, we will plan to have a Guild party/gathering of some kind the Friday evening before the Microfestivus event and we will personally and discretely invite the out-of-town brewers and brewery reps to join us at that gathering.

After a short break, your Vice President, Bryan S., gave us a well-researched presentation on the “Dry Stout” style.  His presentation was followed by 2005 Brewer of the Year, Tad S., cracking open and distributing commercial examples of the “Dry Stout” style, including Guinness Draught, Beamish, Murphy’s, Dorothy Goodbody’s (!!) and Orkney Dragonhead.

Before, during and after the business portion of this first Guild meeting of the new year, much homebrew, craft brew and excellent cuisine was shared among all those present.  Thanks once again to our hosts, Bryan and Sue P., and especially to all those who provided the wonderful food and beverage on this lovely Saturday in January.  Brew on!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
Sunday, January 22, 2006

Presidents Notes Febrewary 2006
Written by Patrick Kennerly
Sunday, 19 February 2006

Febrewary Meeting President’s Notes 02/19/06

WOW!  What a great party…er…I mean… what a great MEETING we had at Kelleigh and Doug’s wonderful home in Botetourt County!  On behalf of the more than 25 members, guests and spouses that were present on this blustery Saturday afternoon, I want to thank our hosts for allowing us to really kick back and have a super time—Doug and Kelleigh, thank you so much; it was a GREAT meeting.

She-Pat reported that the Guild has 34 paid members as of this meeting and that the club checking account stands at $507.93.

MARCH:  this will be the first quarterly competition meeting of the year.  Dry Stout (BJCP #13A) is the style.  The meeting will take place at the home of Paul and Judie M. in the Cave Spring area of Roanoke County.  The date is Saturday, March 18th, and we will begin at 3:00 PM with the business meeting. IF YOU HAVE A STOUT for the competition, please email either me or Paul and let us know if it is bottled or kegged, so we can decide if the services of Big Willee are needed.  In order to prevent problems with late beers arriving and being missed, we are asking that ALL STOUTS for the competition be at Paul & Judie’s house no later than 3:30 PM the day of the meeting.  If your stout is kegged and you want to bring it to Paul & Judie’s before the 18th, contact Paul by email.

I have asked that Judie head up the stewarding for this competition.  If you don’t have a stout in the competition and you don’t wish to judge, I would ask that you consider helping Judie as a steward—you can learn a lot and still have fun during the proceedings.  If  you would like to help as a steward PLEASE let me know so we can plan the division of labor.  Also, Bryan P. had suggested inviting Roanoke Times’ feature writer, Gordon Kendall, to one of our meetings.  We decided to invite him to the March meeting as a guest beer judge.  Ross & Nancy know him from their wine club, so Ross will issue Gordon the invitation.

Joe and Marsha W. have settled on the date they will host the April meeting—it will be Saturday, April 8th.  The May meeting, which, of course, is BIG BREW, is still slated to be held at Ross & Nancy’s mountain-top chalet in Blacksburg on Saturday, May 6th.  Watch your email for more information on those meetings.

We briefly discussed (again) our providing beer and commentary (that is, our experienced presence) for a tasting at the Wine Gourmet shop at Botetourt Commons shopping center in Daleville and chose two dates to offer Carey, the co-owner.  The dates are Friday evening May 12th, or Friday evening May 19th.  Patrick will run those dates by Carey this week and see which he’d prefer.

Dan H. led the discussion of a possible ROAD TRIP to Charlottesville and the two brewery operations based there, Starr Hill and South Street.  This would be an overnight stay.  Dan can get us a reduced rate on a van, as he did last April when club members took a trip to Calhoun’s Brewery & Restaurant in Harrisonburg.  Dan will also check out the possibility of getting a reduced room rate for the club at The Omni, which is situated directly between the two brew pubs.  Patrick will contact Mark Thompson at Starr Hill when we think we have a timeframe, to arrange a tour of his new Starr Hill brewery in Crozet.  We are looking at April for this possible excursion.

During a brief discussion of the Floyd Fandango event scheduled for some time in October, and the Floyd producers desiring the Guild’s assistance, Dan pointed out that we need to know their dates to see if they conflict with Bramwell West Virginia’s Oktoberfest, to which many in the Guild often go for a weekend stay.  Patrick will check on those dates and inform the club via email.

Patrick informed the group about some interviews that had taken place between Roanoke Times’ feature writer, Beth Macy, and the two Pats as well as Dan H. and Carey at Wine Gourmet.  Beth Macy is working on an article about beer, with the emphasis on craft beer and home brewing.

During the libation period following the business meeting, Cindy F. and I talked about club apparel and the fact that we have not had an embroidery run made at the Salem printing shop for awhile.  Marsha W. had already volunteered to coordinate such a task, so watch your email for a garment call for SCBG-embroidered apparel.  Most likely we will have several apparel drop-off points such as the Pats’, Jeff and Cindy’s place and Marsha & Joe’s.

On a personal note, I’d like to say a special “thank you” to all who were present at the end of the meeting for my surprise birthday cake, card and the celebration of the fact that I am now a half-century old!  Hopefully, I am aging well like a good mead or barleywine.  I’d hate to think I’m oxidizing!

Once again, thanks to all for excellent edibles, some very fine brews and fantastic fellowship—and to Kelleigh & Doug:  Well Done!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
Febrewary 19, 2006



Presidents Notes March 2006
Written by Patrick Kennerly
Sunday, 19 March 2006

March Meeting President’s Notes 03/19/06A little leftover St. Paddy’s partying, perhaps?  Our own version of March Madness, maybe?

Call it what you will, the March meeting of the Star City Brewers Guild was definitely a memorable event.  First, the numbers: 27 members and 4 guests descended upon Paul and Judie’s southwest county home.  Many, many thanks to our hosts who made the whole crowd feel at home.  A very special thanks to Judie, who not only fulfilled her host duties with excellence, she also presided over the stewarding of the Dry Stout competition, making order out of potential chaos.

Treasurer, She-Pat, reported a club checking account balance of $549.70 after collecting dues and reimbursing Marsha for logo wear expenses.  I am very happy to report that She-Pat’s dues collection included a first-time membership from Fran & Chris A., owners of Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brew Co. With Fran & Chris coming onboard, total SCBG paid membership stands at 40!

I asked Chris to bring us up to speed on their homebrew supply business and he shared with us news of their potential buy-out of all of the inventory of another area homebrew supply shop, as well as their intention to move to a larger retail space, possibly in the Brambleton Avenue area.  Many (though not all) members cheered that possibility.  Sorry, Doug.  Chris concluded by reminding those present that SCBG members get 10% off homebrew supplies at their shop.

Your President welcomed several guests:  Gordon Kendall and Ed Wolfe, whom we invited as guest judges for the first quarterly competition; J.T., a long-time homebrewer and friend of Gordon’s, and Kent’s fiancé, Rosalie.

The April meeting will be at Joe & Marsha’s mountain-top Salem retreat on Saturday, April 7th at 3:00 PM.  Directions will be forthcoming.  Bryan S. volunteered to give us a brief presentation on the American Amber Ale style at the April meeting, that style being the style for the second quarterly competition in June.

BIG BREW (National Homebrew Day)—Saturday, May 7th — will take place at Ross and Nancy’s getaway on Brush Mountain, just past Blacksburg off 460 West.  Since Ross and Nancy are on the road quite a bit the week before we descend upon their home for this major event, Dan H. (as befits the Social Director) will coordinate the day’s dining activities.  Your President will coordinate brewing matters, for those who wish to brew a batch to be counted in the national summary.  This year’s recipes are now posted on the AHA website (http://www.beertown.org/events/bigbrew/recipes.html).  There is a nationwide toast to homebrewing at 1:00 PM Eastern time (12 Noon Central time), for those who’d like to be included in our annual group photo op.!  Ross elaborated to the group what was available at their abode as far as spaces to crash for the evening.  Much discussion will follow on club email regarding this very important event and the preparations for it—–including numbers planning to attend so that we may secure a Port-o-John, if necessary–which we probably will, considering the amount of liquid libation we are dealing with here!  The May meeting would also be the appropriate time to taste commercial examples of American Amber Ale.

Your President then briefly spoke about upcoming activities:  a tasting of our homebrew at The Wine Gourmet in Botetourt County on May 19th at 6:30 PM.  Our commitment to participate in this year’s Festival in the Park with a homebrew tasting and brewing demonstration on Sunday, May 28th.  Floyd Fandango, an Oktoberfest-style event, October 21st and 22nd, at which we will pour beer to some degree or other (theirs, not ours).  And I stated that I will attempt to learn more about “Taste of the Blue Ridge” and possibilities for our involvement.  Help from other members on that topic is welcomed.  I concluded the “events” portion of the meeting by sharing with the group the fact that the Guild will not be invited to participate in the AmRhein’s Summer Beach Bash this July.  To quote, “Russ has decided to focus on just the wine this year.”  Personally, I do not believe this comes as a surprise to anyone who was at this gig last July.  Nuff said.

Since Social Director, Dan, was unable to attend this meeting, She-Pat and I briefly highlighted the good things about a Guild road trip to Charlottesville to visit South Street Brewery (Taylor Smack) and Starr Hill Brewing Co. (Mark Thompson).  The Omni would be the ideal hotel accommodation due to its centrality between the two pubs.  Bryan S. mentioned that his sister Beth’s boyfriend may be able to assist with some accommodations gratis.  More about this possible trip, either in April or some other time) will be discussed via club email.

I then brought the group up to speed about a couple of things that have transpired since Beth Macy’s newspaper article of Feb. 22nd.  The most important being a contact I received from Bob Crawford of Crawford Commercial Real Estate Services.  Mr. Crawford read the article and contacted me to see if I knew of any brewmasters he might talk to since he represents a small group of businessmen possibly interested in opening a brew pub in Roanoke.  I gave him several names, including Paul Schmisek and Chris Surrusco.

BIG NEWS:  It is with great pride that I share with all Guild members and friends some exciting news that almost went unmentioned at this meeting, because of the extreme modesty of the member it is about.  Check this out: http://bhc.wort.org/winners2006.shtml   Our own GEORGE STEIN was selected 1st Runner Up as Novice Brewer of the Year in the Boston Homebrew Competition on Saturday, February 18, 2006!  Not only that, George’s Lambic (Ouiji’s Framboise) took Silver Medal in the Sour Ale category.  Congratulations, George!  Well brewed!

The Dry Stout competition followed a short break in the meeting.  11 member-brewed Dry Stouts were entered into competition.  Judie and her stewarding team coordinated 3 first-round tables with four judges at each table.  Four beers were passed to the single second-round table for judging by another four judges.  The scores for the first-round of judging, which contribute to the annual Brewer of the Year total, will be posted to the web site by our webmaster, Chuck.  The second-round of judging for the Dry Stouts produced these results:  Third Place: Tad S.;  Second Place: Dan H.; First Place: Patrick K.

In closing, I’d like to express great pleasure in the fact that new member, Martin C., entered a Dry Stout in the competition; that brothers Eric and Chris shared with the group the fruits of their first homebrewing labor: a very nice brown ale;  that Marsha is doing a great job stepping up to the plate as logo garment coordinator; and that all of our newest members brought some most excellent eats and drinks to Paul & Judie’s place. This post-St.Paddy’s-Day collection of beer lovers produced one heck of a meeting!  Thanks again to our special guests—we hope you’ll join us again soon. Until next time: Brew on!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
March 19, 2006


Presidents Notes April 2006
Written by Patrick Kennerly
Sunday, 09 April 2006

April Meeting President’s Notes 04/09/06

A small but merry band of brewers and others enjoyed the gracious hospitality of Joe and Marsha W. on Saturday afternoon the 8th of April.  Joe & Marsha’s beautiful home, high above Salem, provided the perfect setting for the sharing of excellent food, homebrew and the tasting of commercial examples of American Amber Ale.  Thank you Marsha and Joe for hosting us so wonderfully!

By my count, there were 15 members present, along with 4 guests of Joe & Marsha’s.  She-Pat gave us the treasury & membership report: the current checkbook balance is $560.70 and we have 42 paid members.

Future meetings:  Big Brew is Saturday, May 6th and will be held at Ross and Nancy’s home on Brush Mountain in Blacksburg.  Three, possibly four, members indicated they plan to brew that day.  The recipes are listed on the AHA area of the www.beertown.org site.  We are already registered with the AHA as an official Big Brew site, which means that our attendance numbers and amounts brewed will be counted in the nationwide total.  The official toast to homebrewing will be at 1:00 PM our time (12 Noon Central Time).  We will try to take pictures of the group with our SCBG banner.  Please coordinate by email what food you will bring and, if applicable, your brewing plans.  Ross will send out directions and other info in the coming weeks.

Several people have expressed interest in hosting the June meeting—Brian S., Brian P., Dave F, ( and the Pats as a back-up).  We are strongly looking at June 10th or 17th for this competition meeting, as May is very full and busy up to the very end of the month (May 28 Festival in the Park).

The tasting of our home brew at Wine Gourmet in the Botetourt Commons shopping center is set for Friday, May 19th from 6-8 PM.  These tastings are small, so I’d suggest limiting it to one or two of your best brews.  We will develop a list on email over the next month or so.  The folks at Wine Gourmet are excited about having us.

As stated above, May 28th (the Sunday before Memorial Day) we will be a live attraction (!) at Festival in the Park.  We will be setting up in the same spot as last year, in front of the hedgerow between the stage and the beginning of the reflecting ponds.  We are shooting for a 10 AM set-up of our tent, tables and brewing equipment.  We are scheduled to offer tastings to the public 21 and over from our tent/tables, which will be surrounded by orange plastic fencing.  Bryan P. is bringing his Gott Cooler for use as a mash tun. The Pats will bring the Phil sparge system, a boil kettle and gas cooker.  Still unspoken for would be ice, big jugs of water (for brewing) and ingredients (last year’s were donated by Lee & Edwards).  I thought we’d do another Festival Pale Ale.

Dan H. gave us a lot to think about by leading a discussion about the beer trip to Charlottesville we’d previously discussed.  Among the possibilities discussed were just an overnight trip (going up on Friday after work, doing South Street that night, doing Starr Hill for lunch the next day, then returning home.  This would require a rented van and designated driver).  Going up early Saturday morning and visiting both breweries in one day, staying over Saturday night and returning on Sunday is another possibility—one that would not necessitate renting a van.  Stopping by Queen City Brewing Co., in Staunton, while in transit to/from Charlottesville was also to be considered.  Whichever option we choose to pursue, we decided that the trip needs to wait until June, at least.

Dan also enlightened us on how we could do a beer/food paring event as a club, just for our own enjoyment.  He and Linda have organized many group dinners where a menu is planned and each participant brings an assigned dish.  This would be similar, but we would coordinate each course with an appropriate beer paired to it.  All we would need besides coordinating the beer & food is a suitable place to hold it.  A motion was passed to plan for this event, with info and discussion to proceed via email.

She-Pat informed the club that the other homebrew group in the Valley is registered for Big Brew and that she now has a contact address for them.  She suggested that it might be a good thing if we attempted to contact them for a combined future effort sometime—like for Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day in the Fall.  She-Pat also explained to the group what has happened with the server that has been hosting our club website—how everything since November 7th has been wiped out because the server owner had not backed-up since then.  Our webmaster, Chuck G., now has a server and has offered to host the club’s site in a much safer and more locally controlled environment.  A motion was made to have Chuck proceed with that offer as well as possibly compensate him if need be.  The motion passed unanimously.

After a short break, the club listened to Vice President, Bryan S., deliver a presentation on the American Amber Ale style.  This was followed by tastings of commercial examples of the style, including Avalanche Amber Ale by Breckenridge Brewery, Rogue’s American Amber Ale, Mendocino Red Tail Ale, Avery Redpoint Ale, and Rogue’s St. Rogue Red Ale.

Once again, many thanks to Joe & Marsha for their great hospitality and thanks to all who provided beer and food for this small but memorable meeting.

REMEMBER  —  BIG BREW,  MAY 6th!  Let’s do it BIG in honor of our distant members, Kelly & Esther!  Brew on!

Patrick Kennerly
Sunday, April 9, 2006


President’s Notes May 2006 & Big Brew 2006
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 07 May 2006

Notes from Big Brew & May Meeting Held Saturday, May 6, 2006

Perhaps we owe a special thanks to St. Gambrinus, patron saint of brewers, for his intercessions regarding the weather on Saturday, May 6th.  As most of you know, the past several Big Brews have been cool and damp if not outright rainy.  Last year turned out nice after a shaky start.  This year the entire day was beautiful.  Cool in the morning, but not wet.  Except for a breeze, perfect outdoor brewing weather.  The afternoon and evening were fantastic.

Many, many thanks go out to Ross and Nancy for allowing us to overtake their beautiful home and land atop Brush Mountain.  Hosting Big Brew is even more demanding than hosting a competition meeting and Ross and Nancy did a stellar job.  In addition to the usual amenities, they made sure that those who were brewing had easy access to power and water, as well as miscellaneous brewing equipment when things didn’t go as planned.  Thank you both for all your effort and hospitality.

A total of 20 participated in the Big Brew event.  Five batches of beer were brewed:  Tad S. brewed a 10-gallon batch of the Big Brew Summer Kolsch, all-grain recipe; Kent (EKG) brewed a 5-gallon batch of the Poor Richard’s Ale extract with grains recipe; Patrick and Chuck each brewed 5-gallon batches of the extract version of the Kolsch recipe; and Doug and Joe W. teamed up to brew a 10-gallon batch of over-the-top-hopped IPA.  A total of 35 gallons of homebrew were brewed on site for Big Brew participation.  At 1 PM, those present assembled on Ross & Nancy’s front porch, under the SCBG banner, for a photo op and for the traditional toast to homebrewing and National Homebrew Day.

Practically all of us stood around Doug & Joe’s set-up to witness the inaugural running of Doug’s Christmas present, a plate chiller from Blichman Enterprises.  This was truly amazing!  Once the hoses were all in place and the heat was turned off the brew kettle, Doug activated his pump (impressive in itself) and a stream of wort flowed out of the kettle at about 215F, through the plate chiller and out the other end at about 60F!  In fact, Doug had to throttle back on the rate of flow because the wort was exiting the plate chiller at too cool a temperature!  Doug definitely received a great Christmas present.  Way to go Kelleigh!

Ross delved into his cellar stash and produced a dust-covered bottle of (what we all supposed to be) a Cyser—probably 5 years old or more.  It was very tasty. Folks brought some wonderful homebrew served in bottles and from Big Willee, and Social Director Dan H. supplied the group with some killer Mint Julep.  Lots of good eats were provided by all present.  Dan & Chuck conspired to produce some delicious marinated chicken on Chuck’s smoker.  Dubbed, “Pollo Negro,” because of it’s deceptively dark appearance, it was devoured about Kentucky Derby time.  Speaking of the Derby, Dave F. won the Kentucky Derby pool, having picked #8, “Barbaro” in the pre-race drawing.

The business portion of the meeting didn’t get started until about 4 PM.  Dave F. confirmed that he and Trish will host the June meeting, which includes the Amber Ale competition.  That meeting is tentatively set for June 10th  —  watch your email for updates.  The Pats will host the July meeting on Saturday, July 15th.

Dan’s Social Director’s report dealt mainly with the group excursion to Charlottesville.  Discussion centered around making the trip two days or one.  Ultimately, it was agreed that we would plan for a two-day trip (Friday/Saturday) and those who only wanted to do a one-day trip, could drive up on Saturday and join us.  We will aim for a Friday evening get-together at South Street Restaurant & Brewing Co. with Taylor Smack, followed by a Saturday tour through Starr Hill’s new brewery in Crozet with Mark Thompson and then heading back to Main Street to the Starr Hill brewpub.  Tentative dates are Friday, June 16th and Saturday, June 17th.  Again, please watch your club email for further details.

Marsha displayed some of the most recent shirt embroidery done by the shop in Salem.  Particularly striking was a bright navy-blue Polo shirt with a red & white SCBG logo and a charcoal grey long-sleeve T with the logo done in that same brilliant red.

Events:  Two more big events are planned for this month.  Friday, May 19th at 6:30 PM, we will provide a homebrew tasting at the Wine Gourmet shop in the Botetourt Commons shopping center.  Patrick will coordinate the homebrew being shared at the event, so watch your club email for an official “call for samples.”  Two or three twelve-ounce bottles should be more than sufficient from each brewer who plans to provide for the tasting.

Festival in the Park  —  our day is Sunday, May 28th.  We will set up the club tent & tables at 10 AM in the same spot as last year.  Fran & Chris have volunteered to donate ingredients for brewing a pale ale from Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brew Co.  Patrick will bring all the necessary equipment except the thermal cooler for the mash, which Bryan P. will bring.  Chuck & she-Pat will prepare a PowerPoint slide show about the SCBG which Chuck will show under the tent throughout the event.  We will need Big Willee for this event and a call will be forthcoming for homebrew donors for this event—kegs and/or bottles.

In a lively discussion that followed the “events” information, everyone agreed that we need to support the efforts being made by Fran & Chris at Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brew Co., even if we have concerns about some of the pricing.  Several people pointed out the fact that, while item prices on internet shops might be less, overall cost rises when shipping expenses and potential fuel surcharges are added in.  Additionally, Chris and Fran are eager to work with us in any way they can; they have already proven that.  Besides all that, they are now SCBG members.  Keep up the good work, Chris & Fran.As mentioned numerous times above, please watch your club mail as the next couple of months are busy ones.

Cheers & Brew on!

Patrick Kennerly


Star City Brewers GuildSunday, May 7, 2006


President’s Notes June 2006 Meeting & Competition
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 11 June 2006

Narrative Summary of June Meeting and Second Quarterly Competition for 2006

     The sun shone.  The breeze blew.  The people came.  The food filled the house with tantalizing aromas. The beer flowed.  And flowed  And flowed.
A more pleasant June afternoon could not have been wished for as the Star City Brewers Guild met at the home of the Pats and the Cats on Saturday June 10th.  Although I failed to get an exact headcount, I’d say there were at least 25 members present, plus two guests.  The group could not be contained in any one part of the house; there were clusters of conversation in the kitchen/dining area, the brew room, the patio behind the brew room, the sun room and the patio behind the sun room.  The first members arrived at 2:30 and the last to leave did so around 9:30.  It was an excellent gathering.
The business meeting was held on the patio and in the yard behind the brew room.  We welcomed Stuart to his first official meeting.  He brought with him several of his creations which were very good, as well as shared with some of us his plans for a mulberry wheat beer (he has a large mulberry tree in his backyard).  We also had the pleasure of welcoming our newest members, Ed and Carol W., from Blacksburg.  Ed and Carol are no strangers to the Guild; both are nationally ranked BJCP judges who served on the judging panel for the inaugural Star City Challenge craft beer competition at the 2005 Microfestivus.  Ed also helped judge the Guild’s Dry Stout competition this past March.  We anticipate some very fine contributions to the club from all three of these new members.
She-Pat gave us the treasurer’s report; the club account stood at $508.70 before reimbursements were made during the meeting.  As of Saturday’s meeting, the Guild has 45 paid members.Dave F. offered to host the July meeting, which will include tasting commercial examples of Belgian Dubbels.  Tad S. volunteered to host the August meeting at his home in Blacksburg.  Watch your club email for dates and times of these upcoming meetings.
A brief wrap-up discussion on the two May events in which the Guild was involved revealed that our tasting at the Wine Gourmet in Botetourt was a definite success and Cary Bednarek (co-owner of the shop) wants to have the Guild back with a twist: our homebrew head-to-head with commercial examples of various styles.  We will definitely plan to do that in the future.  Less successful, in some respects, was our second appearance at Festival in the Park.  It is doubtful we will take part in that event next year—but then again, that event has suffered much in 2006 and it is anyone’s guess what it may look like next Spring.  Some members of the Festival in the Park Board expressed to some Guild members the desire to do some sort of beer festival together in the future.  These folks are distinct from the Event Zone people who actually produced this year’s Festival.
Social Director Dan H. led us in a brief discussion regarding Club beer trips.  Mark Thompson, head brewer/owner of Starr Hill Brewery, emailed us that July has possibilities if we are interested in the trip to Charlottesville.  Your president shared the fact that he had spoken with Scott, head brewer at Natty Greene’s in Greensboro—he is willing to arrange a Saturday tour with a little advanced notice.  Someone mentioned that there is a new brew pub in Winston-Salem.  It could be possible to do Greensboro and Winston-Salem on one Saturday.  Dan also made the group aware of a new brew pub in the works in Lynchburg.
The Old Dominion craft beer festival behind Old Dominion Brewing Company in Ashburn, Virginia is June 23, 24 & 25.  Your Vice President, Bryan S., shared some insights on that festival, which he attended last year.  Bryan and his wife and the two Pats have already made plans to attend—other Guilders are encouraged to join the party.
Vice President Bryan S. also called to our attention the fact that the Star City Brewers Guild is the featured homebrew club in the July-August 2006 issue of Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine.  Look on page 8 for the brief article and two photos from a past Big Brew at Kelly & Esther’s South Fork Brewery.
After a brief adjournment, the second quarterly competition, American Amber Ale, got underway.  14 member entries were judged at 4 tables.  5 of those entries were passed on to the second round of judging.  For first-round scores, which contribute toward Brewer of the Year totals, consult the Guild website after she-Pat and Chuck (our webmeister) have had a chance to consult.  Second-round finalists were as follows: Third Place to Patrick; Second Place to Bryan S.; First Place to Dan H.  Thanks to everyone who submitted an Amber for the competition, and special thanks to head Steward She-Pat and her masterful crew of Marsha W., Linda H., and Bryan P.  Of course, thanks to all who judged.  Personally, my favorite moment in the competition was when Ed W. was about to announce the winners.  Once he had gotten everyone’s attention, he announced, “I’ll say one thing about this group: you really like hops!”
Keep an eye on your club email and… Hop on!
Patrick Kennerly


Star City Brewers Guild

Sunday, June 11, 2006


President’s Notes July 2006 Meeting
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Narrative summary of meeting held July 15, 2006.

   Recent SCBG history would lead one to conclude that the first meeting of a quarter is usually only sparsely attended.  Somewhere between 12 and 16 attendees would be a fair average.  The July 2006 meeting held at Trish and Dave F’s. on Saturday, July 15th shot that average all to helles.  20 SCBG members (out of 46) made their way to Southwest Roanoke County, to be wonderfully hosted by Trish, Dave, 2 Dalmatians and 1 Samoyed.  Thank you Trish and Dave for hosting an excellent meeting!

   She-Pat opened the meeting’s business by giving us the paid membership count noted above and by informing us that the club bank account held $490.70, before Ross was reimbursed for the “porta-loo” he provided for Big Brew in May.

   NOTE THIS CHANGE:  Tad S. confirmed that the August meeting would be held at his and MC’s home in Blacksburg on Saturday, August 12th.  At the meeting, 3 PM was set as the start time. HOWEVER, upon my arrival home the evening of July 15th, I was greeted with a court order to appear for DIP (Driver Improvement Program) class on Saturday, August 12th from 8AM to 5PM.  This educational opportunity is being provided to me by the Commonwealth of Virginia in recognition of the fact that I was doing 77 mph in a 60 mph zone on I-81 while driving to Richmond on business back in May.  Since this is an invitation I can’t refuse, I must accept their offer to spend the day in punitive remediation. Your Vice President would normally step in on such an occasion, but he will be in Pennsylvania that weekend.  SO, I would like to propose (with Tad’s consent) that the start time for the August 12th meeting be moved to 5:00 PM, so that I can get there by 6:15-6:30 to lead the business meeting.  If this change is a terrible hardship on anyone, please let me know.

   Martin has offered his land in Meadows of Dan for a September camp-out meeting, which would be a competition meeting for the Belgian Dubbel style.  Martin explained to us that there are no facilities whatsoever on the property—everything we’d need/want would have to be brought in with us.  Chuck suggested that he might be able to secure an elaborate camping set-up that is equipped with all sorts of amenities.  Chuck also offered to look into some camping property in the Shawsville area held by his family, as a back-up September option.  Discussion via this email forum is encouraged.

Jeff & Cindy are still on the books as hosting the October meeting.

   Paul M. then gave us a detailed and action-packed report on the National Homebrewers Conference which he attended in Orlando June 22-24.  Among Paul’s many excellent points was his discovery that many of the clubs represented at the conference were no bigger than ours and Paul is convinced we could make an outstanding showing the next time the conference is within striking distance of Roanoke.  Paul also noted that he judged several flights in the conference’s National Homebrew Competition, including a flight in which he was teamed-up with Guild friend Dave Houseman.

   Your President then shared the information from Marsha W. that Salem Printing now wants a minimum of 8 to10 garments at a time to do our logo embroidery.

   A brief discussion of Microfestivus followed.  Among the many things noted were the small numbers of volunteers on their web sign-up compared to this time last year.  Brian P. told us how he recently contacted the Square Society volunteer coordinator to try to volunteer for a particular brewery.  He was told that the brewers had not been finalized (even though their own deadline for brewer sign-ups was June 15th).  Since our August meeting is now scheduled for the 12th in Blacksburg (the same day as Microfestivus) I would hope that members would prefer to spend their time drinking homebrew at Tad’s and MC’s.  If anyone from the Guild does volunteer, your President requested that they NOT wear garments bearing the SCBG logo.  It would only be natural for festival goers familiar with Microfestivus to assume we are still helping to produce it, if they see volunteers sporting the SCBG logo.

   After a short break, Vice President Bryan S. gave us an informative presentation on the history and style characteristics of Belgian Dubbels.  That was followed by tastings of 4 commercial Belgian Dubbels.  They ranged from very sweet/fruity/malty to more complex/malty with some fruity esters noted.  Thanks to the VP for his research and presentation.

   The meeting officially adjourned after the Dubbel tastings, but the party continued accompanied by excellent food and very good homebrew.  Many thanks, again, to Trish and Dave for opening their lovely home to us, and thanks to all who brought food and brew to share.  Remember to partake of email discussions whenever possible, especially on topics like meeting times and places.  Till next month, cheers and… Brew on!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
July 18, 2006  —  9:00 PM


August 2006 President’s Notes
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 13 August 2006

Narrative summary of SCBG meeting held Saturday, August 12, 2006 at Tad & M.C.’s in Blacksburg

     An unseasonably cool August evening in the hills surrounding Blacksburg, VA, provided a delightful setting for the August gathering of the Star City Brewers Guild.  As has come to be the standard at our meetings, hosts Tad and M.C. presented the club with a gracious welcome, lots of  room to mingle, both indoors and on the wonderful deck out back, and a table large enough to accommodate all the delicious dishes brought by the membership.  And, oh yes, the deck had plenty of room for the various coolers and kegs of homebrew provided by our brew crew.
By the time she-Pat and I arrived at 6’ish (I being thoroughly DIP’ped), most of the attending membership was already present and the aroma of some really GOOD food was wafting through the house.  Members were enjoying good company and homebrew on the deck.  The business meeting got started about 7 PM with a total of 13 members present.She-Pat gave a treasury report, noting that we had a total of  $411.95 in the club account, before additions made during the meeting (thanks Jeff & Cindy).
After some discussion about Martin’s generous offer to host the September meeting as a campout on his property near Chateau Morrissette, it was decided that we would postpone a camping outing on Martin’s land at this time—primarily because of the demands of a competition meeting, which the September meeting is—and all agreed that we would like to do the camping gig with Martin at another time.In light of that discussion, Bryan P. volunteered his and Sue’s home in Vinton as the location for the September meeting and Belgian Dubbel competition.  The date for that meeting remains the same:  Saturday, September 23rd.  Start time and directions to Sue and Bryan P’s. will follow through club email.  A call for stewards, including a head steward, was made at the meeting.  More on that will also follow via club mail.
Jeff and Cindy F. are still “go” as hosts for the October meeting, details on that gathering will follow a little later on.  We discussed the month of November and Fran & Chris’ desire to host “Teach a Friend to Homebrew” day at their shop in Lamplighter Mall.  That event, an annual AHA event similar to “Big Brew,” is always held on the first Saturday in November (November 4th this year).  Fran & Chris have offered to provide the location, the ingredients for brewing a 5-gallon batch of homebrew and the advertising for the event.  The Guild would provide the necessary equipment, the skill/labor to brew the beer and the membership presence to “teach a friend to homebrew.”  We agreed to work with Chris & Fran to realize this event in November.  We also agreed that the regular November meeting, with its demands regarding competition style discussions and nominations of officers for 2007, should be a separate occasion.  Watch your email for details.
The December meeting was discussed briefly, including a general call for a host volunteer and a summary of the many matters that must be accomplished at the final meeting of the year (voting on competition styles and President for 2007, as well as the Scottish 80 competition and the subsequent declaration of Brewer of the Year for 2006).
A few topics were mentioned in passing:  Mashout (which is this coming weekend); Greensboro’s second annual craft beer festival, which is Saturday August 19th from 4-8 PM; and Bramwell Oktoberfest in Bramwell, WV on Saturday, October 7th.
Your President summarized the transaction with Custom Glassware and our order for 144 pint glasses emblazoned with the SCBG logo.  The glasses should be ready August 23rd, followed by shipping (from California) of about a week.  They should be available at the September meeting or possibly sooner. She-Pat will prepare a spreadsheet based on the emails members sent declaring their desired quantities.  There should be more than enough available.  The total production & shipping cost looks to be about $428.  That would make the glasses about $2.98 each.  Those present at the meeting declared that they’d still be willing to pay $3.50 per glass with the extra money helping supplement the treasury.  She-Pat will also work on some quantity discounts, such as 6 glasses for $20, saving the buyer a dollar over the per-glass price.
A lengthy discussion ended the business meeting.  That discussion included an evaluation of the Microfestivus event that took place earlier in the day, without our participation for the first time in at least 6 years.  Coupled with that discussion was the idea that Cary Bednarek, co-owner of Wine Gourmet, proposed to me and she-Pat about joining forces with Wine Gourmet to produce a craft beer festival in the parking lot of Botetourt Commons shopping center.  This discussion needs to be carried forth via email and in person at future meetings, and possible overtures of reconciliation from the Square Society regarding future Microfestivus events would also have to be considered and discussed.  IMHO, it is too early in the discussion to include much of substance in these notes.
As your President brought the business meeting to an official close and called for all present to “eat, drink and be merry,” the door from the dining room opened onto the deck and out of the house stepped long-distance members, Kelly and Esther!  In transit to Mashout this coming weekend, they paused in their travels at Tad & M.C.’s and shared with all present their adventures in their new North Carolina home, complete with some excellent photos of Kelly’s new brew house.  Their surprise visit—and it was a total surprise, as not a single member knew they were coming—helped some of the newer SCBG members to finally put a face (and a character!) with a name.  Now they’ll have a “larger than life” reference point whenever the names “Kelly & Esther” come up. Hmmm, is that TMI?
Till next month—or the next email—Brew on!Patrick Kennerly
August 13, 2006
 September 2006 President’s Notes
Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 17 September 2006

Narrative Summary of Guild Meeting held Saturday, September 16, 2006

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Bryan and Sue P. provided a beautiful and completely accommodating setting for the September meeting and Quarterly Competition of the Star City Brewers Guild.  Bryan and Sue had just completed an expansion of their back deck and it was just in time!  We welcomed two new members into the Guild at this meeting, John and Kathy M.  John and Kathy moved from New Jersey into the Roanoke Valley earlier in the summer.  We welcome them into the Guild and we offer many thanks to Bryan and Sue for their wonderful hospitality to a group that numbered about 26. She-Pat gave us a treasurer’s report which included the fact that the logo glassware order is now paid off.  Several members have yet to pick-up and pay for their glasses—the funds from those orders will be pure profit for the club account.  Not including funds collected at this meeting for glassware orders, the club treasury stands at $271.75.Jeff and Cindy confirmed that the October meeting will be at their home in South Roanoke on Saturday, October 28th, commencing at 4:00 PM.  Jeff will post directions on club email, so be on the lookout for that.  Your Vice President, Bryan S., again volunteered to give the group a short presentation on the history and style of 80-shilling Scottish Ale, which is our final competition style for the year.NOTE: If you encounter any commercial examples of 80-shilling Scottish Ale in your beer shopping, please purchase at least four 12-oz bottles (or the equivalent) for tasting purposes at the October meeting.  PLEASE post your purchase on club email so we don’t have needless duplications AND save your receipts so she-Pat can reimburse you from club funds. Paul and Judie M. volunteered to host the November meeting, which will include voting for competition styles for 2007 and nominations for the office of President for the year 2007.  Discussion of style choices for 2007 should be conducted by group email between now and November so that a ballot of selections may be finalized before we meet at Paul and Judie’s home.The Pats volunteered to host the final meeting of the year in December, which will include voting for President for 2007, the Scottish-80 competition and the computation for and announcement of the 2006 Brewer of the Year honors.  November and December meeting dates will be announced later  —  watch your email.

Floyd Fandango, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 21 & 22, was discussed briefly.  The response to a call for members definitely committed to volunteering at this event was not overwhelming, so your President will try to gather further information on volunteer requirements and will post another call for volunteers on club email.

Bramwell Oktoberfest is Saturday, October 7th in beautiful Bramwell, West Virginia. Check out their website for info or ask Dave F., the Pats, Dan & Linda or Ross and Nancy. http://www.geocities.com/bramwelloktoberfest/

After a brief discussion, it was unanimously decided that the Guild would forego participation in the Sedalia Chili Cook-off this year.

Although Fran and Chris were not able to attend this meeting, your President advocated that the Guild accept their invitation to do “Teach a Friend to Homebrew” day at their shop on Williamson Rd.  That event, an American Homebrewers Association national event, is set for Saturday, November 4th.  Several members suggested that we do an extract brew, rather than an all-grain brew, as that would be the most likely method utilized by beginning homebrewers.  Everyone agreed.  Detailed planning for this event as well as necessary registration with the AHA will take place soon, and, of course, will include Fran and Chris.

The regular business portion of the meeting concluded with a discussion about this year’s Microfestivus.  Some who attended, including our newest members, John and Kathy, offered thoughts from their perspective.  Most agreed that the seeming success of this year’s event in terms of numbers attending will probably hurt the event next year because of this year’s short supply of beer and bathroom facilities, as well as knowledgeable and adequate volunteers.

Following a short break, judges took their positions at three judging tables in order to evaluate Guild members’ efforts at brewing the Belgian Dubbel style.  Eleven SCBG Dubbels were judged during the first round of the competition.  For individual scores from that round (which contribute to the cumulative totals for Brewer of the Year), please see your club website under the BOTY heading.

Second-round judges at a single table then evaluated beers forwarded to them by first-round judging tables.  These judges selected three beers which were awarded top honors:  Third Place to Doug M., Second Place to Patrick K., and First Place to Joe W.  Kudos to all who placed and congratulations to all brewers who attempted this style.  Everyone agreed that this is a very difficult style to capture and one that could take years to master.

Once again, our most sincere thanks to Bryan and Sue P. for their terrific hospitality.  The next few months will be filled with activity and discussion so please watch your email for Guild postings.  And, don’t forget to:  Relax and have a homebrew!

Patrick Kennerly
SCBG President
Sept. 17, 2006


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 29 October 2006

Narrative summary of October SCBG meeting held Saturday, Oct. 28th. ImageThe charming, early 20th century home of Jeff and Cindy F. provided a warm and welcoming setting for the October 2006 meeting of the Star City Brewers Guild.  Many thanks to Jeff and Cindy for their wonderful hospitality!  18 members and 2 guests attended.  One of the 18 was our newest member, Will L. who comes to us by way of Massachusetts and Minnesota, among other places.

She-Pat presented the treasurers’ report, noting that the current balance in the club checking account is $424.44.

After some discussion, it was decided that the November meeting would be held at the Pats’ home on Saturday, November 18th.  We plan to start that meeting in the early afternoon since it will be dark earlier in the evening.  The December meeting will be held at the home of Paul and Judie M. on Saturday, December 16th.  The exact times for both meetings will be announced closer to the meeting dates.

Patrick, Bryan S. and Stuart offered their perspectives on Floyd Fandango, with additional input from John and Kathy M., who also attended the Floyd event.  If the Guild were to consider volunteering for this event next year, Patrick suggested a slightly different approach to volunteering, in order to deal with the 5-hour volunteer shifts wanted by the Fandango folks.  Patrick suggested that the Guild “adopt” two (for example) breweries for one day and agree to provide all of the volunteer pourers for those breweries.  In this way, we could develop our own volunteer schedule so that those who can and want to pour for a long shift may do so, but others, who may want to pour for only 2 or 3 hours, may also participate.  Patrick suggested this arrangement as a possibility to this year’s volunteer coordinator, as well as the idea that we could set up our club tent near the “beer garden” and have home brewing stuff on display.  Of course, this would also provide us with a “base camp” where we could relax and enjoy the festivities.  Patrick will report to the Guild if and when he receives feedback from the producers of Floyd Fandango.

At this point in the meeting, as well as later, when Fran and Chris arrived from their shop, the “Teach a Friend to Homebrew” event was discussed.  This event is scheduled for this Saturday, November 4th.  Fran and Chris have already been promoting the event and they will provide hamburgers and hotdogs for the day.  Club members who come are encouraged to bring a side dish and a discreet drinking vessel for any homebrew that may find its way to Lamplighter Mall.  We will set up the club tent in the parking lot of the shop.  Patrick will bring a turkey cooker, propane, brew pot, brewing water, sanitizer and a carboy for a primary. Jeff will provide the chiller. Fran and Chris will supply a kit (it was suggested that a dark beer would suit the season).  She-Pat made a motion that the club give Chris and Fran $60.00 toward expenses.  That motion was passed unanimously.  Patrick & Pat will be at the Lamplighter Mall at 11 AM this Saturday (the 4th) and encourage all who can do so to come help set –up and help talk-up the craft of home beer brewing.  Though we will not be giving it to the public, your own homebrew is welcome and Chris will make refrigeration arrangements.

An update on style discussions for the 2007 quarterly club competitions followed.  Many members have not yet suggested styles.  Those who have not done so are encouraged to do so via club email, as a ballot will be developed for the November meeting based on input from the entire club.

Marsha W. reminded members that Guild logo wear is still available to order by getting your desired garment and logo details to her at the next meeting.  Marsha must have a minimum of 5 garments to place an order.  Cost is $5 per embroidered logo if you provide the garment.  Bring garments and money to the November meeting.

Jeff led a discussion of the troubles the Guild continues to have with club email.  He is on AOL and hasn’t received club mail for over 10 days.  Fran and Chris are also on AOL and they, too, have missed the last two weeks worth of mail.  She-Pat offered to develop a “work around” mail list that members could use direct from their own address.  Will suggested the possibility of setting up a Group on Yahoo or MSN and members could subscribe to the Group, electing to immediately receive posts to the Group.  She-Pat has since communicated with Doug M., our List Master.  Doug states that he was unaware (not made aware) of the problems AOL users are having.  He and Chuck (our Webmaster) have worked diligently to resolve the earlier issues we’ve encountered with Cox and Va Tech.  If you are on AOL and have not received club mail lately, please write to Doug and let him know.

Following a brief break, in which those present availed themselves of some delicious dishes provided by members and our hosts, we heard our Vice President, Bryan S., offer a presentation on the Scottish Export 80-shilling style of ale (BJCP # 9C).  That was followed by a tasting of Old Chub, which turned out to be more of a Wee Heavy, although a delicious one at that.  Next we sampled the bottled version of Belhaven Scottish Ale.  In contrast to the bottled version, which is carbonated with CO2, we also sampled the canned version of Belhaven Scottish Ale, which is on Nitrogen.  These cans are not available around here and we thank our newest member, Will (and his Dad in Massachusetts), for providing them.  Most everyone found the two versions of the Belhaven quite different.  Lastly, we sampled St. Andrew Scottish Ale.  We look forward to sampling the fruits of our own brewers in December.

Remember, we’ll be at Lamplighter Mall this Saturday at 11 AM for the Fall counterpart to AHA’s Big Brew, “Teach a Friend to Homebrew” day!

Patrick Kennerly


Star City Brewers Guild

Oct. 29, 2006


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 19 November 2006

Narrative summary of SCBG meeting held Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006.

A large and lively crowd filled the home of the SCBG President and Treasurer Saturday afternoon, the 18th of November.  A total of 22 members were present for the occasion along with 3 guests.  We were pleased to welcome Jackie, Lawrence and Andy as guests and especially happy that Lawrence decided to join the club during the festivities.  Lawrence lives in Martinsville, so he joins the Botetourt/Bedford/Blacksburg/Christiansburg members who go to great lengths to enjoy the group’s gatherings.  Welcome, Lawrence!

As a side note, it was very interesting to talk with our guest, Jackie, who, along with Kenny Lefkowitz (creator of New River Pale Ale) helped start the Blacksburg homebrewers’ club in the 90’s.  Jackie and our own Doug had actually met before at a Blacksburg meeting in the 90’s when Kenny was still developing the recipe for NRPA and the club was helping by tasting and giving feedback.  The two only vaguely remembered the occasion—no doubt the result of time passage and countless other homebrew taste tests!

She-Pat gave us a treasury report.  At the start of the meeting, the treasury held $419.44.  Many members paid dues for 2007 at this meeting so the treasury changed during the course of the day.  Several members submitted garments to be embroidered. Joe and Marsha could not attend so Patrick will get these garments to Marsha in the coming days.

Your President gave a brief  recap of the Teach a Friend to Homebrew event held at Blue Ridge Hydroponics on November 4th.  He also shared with the group the positive feedback received from the Floyd Fandango folks regarding our idea for providing them with some experienced beer pourers next year.

Patrick reminded folks of the date and place for the December meeting (Paul & Judie M.’s, Saturday, December 16th).  Paul will announce the time for that meeting via email and will provide directions to their home near Cave Spring High School.  The action-packed agenda for the December meeting was reviewed (Scottish 80 competition, Election of Officers, BOTY determination) and a reminder was given regarding food for that gathering—that it is the club’s Holiday party as well as the final meeting of the year.

Doug and Kelleigh have volunteered to host the January 2007 meeting at their home in Botetourt County.  Details of that meeting will be forthcoming.

Martin shared with us a recent conversation he had with the brewmaster at Foothills Brewing Co. in downtown Winston-Salem.  The brewer is anxious to have the club make a road trip to his brewpub and will set us up in a special room so that we can have a meeting, should we choose, and have a nice place to drink homebrew as well as his brew.  We will definitely pursue that idea in 2007.

At that point in the meeting, your President shared a brief reading from the club’s by-laws, in which it is stated that the maximum term officers may serve the club is 3 consecutive years.  Most of us had been under the impression that the term limit was 2 consecutive years.  That being said, your President informed the club that he would stand for re-election, if nominated.  Nominations were then made from the floor.  Those nominated for club President for the year 2007 were:  Martin C., Bryan S. and Patrick K.  Balloting for the office of President with these three members as candidates will take place at the December meeting.

Balloting for the competition styles for 2007 then took place.  She-Pat described the process by which the ballot came to be.  Nine styles were voted upon by members present.  The nine were: American IPA, American Pale Ale (APA), Berliner Weisse, Bohemian/Czech Pilsner, Extra Special Bitter (ESB), Kolsch, Munich Dunkel, Rauchbier, and Stout (of some kind, other than dry stout).  Balloting resulted in a three selections chosen (American IPA, APA, and Stout), with the fourth selection a tie between Bohemian/Czech Pilsner and ESB.  A runoff ballot was then held to break the tie and Bohemian/Czech Pilsner was selected.  Following that process, a discussion was held to determine which quarters to feature which beers, as well as to determine which type of stout to brew.  The result:  Bohemian/Czech Pilsner in March, American Pale Ale (APA) in June, American IPA in September, and Sweet Stout in December.

The major business being concluded, everyone headed to the kitchen area for food, brew and conversation.  Everyone with whom your President spoke as the event wound down, agreed it was an excellent meeting—the result, partly at least, aided by the great turnout and the inclusion of 3 guests.  Special thanks to she-Pat who did a great job before, during and after the meeting, despite not feeling 100%. Once again, welcome to the club, Lawrence.  See you all at the Holiday Fantasy Home of Paul & Judie M. in December.

Patrick Kennerly


Star City Brewers Guild

November 19, 2006


Written by Patrick & Pat Kennerly
Sunday, 17 December 2006

Narrative summary of the final SCBG meeting for 2006.It seemed more like an April gathering than a December meeting as people began to arrive at Will & Jen’s beautiful and spacious home.  At 4 PM the temperature was hovering around 62F.  As the evening progressed the temperature took a more seasonable decline.  Almost in antithesis to the cooling off outside, each passing hour saw the festivities inside grow warmer.

It has been fairly typical that the December meeting attracts more members than any other meeting, except maybe Big Brew.  On this warm December Saturday, a total of 36 adults, one 21-month old boy and one frog (Wort, our mascot) convened for the final SCBG meeting of the year 2006.  More thanks than I could ever express go out to Will & Jen for allowing us to overtake their home and their lives for about 8 hours.  An especial thanks to Jen, who not only co-hosted but also prepared a table full of wonderful foods.  Many thanks, also, to Marsha, Judie, Bryan P., Kathy, Linda, Cindy and everyone else who helped steward the competition.

She-Pat gave us a treasury report noting that the club account stood at $446.36 not counting the many transactions of dues paying and embroidery reimbursement that would take place during the meeting.  She-Pat also reminded members that 2007 dues are payable now.  $15.00 for a single; $20.00 for a couple/family.  I want to say a heartfelt thank you to my wife for all that she constantly does for this club.  Her contribution is and always has been immeasurable.

A brief discussion followed regarding locations for January & February 2007 meetings.  As was already planned, Doug and Kelleigh will host the January meeting.  Time and date will be announced via email and on the website.  Bryan and Jenny S. volunteered to host the February meeting.

January will be the meeting in which the first quarterly competition style is introduced and sampled.  Doug has agreed to give us a brief presentation on the history and characteristics of the Bohemian/Czech Pilsner style.

Next up, our Webmaster, Chuck G., led a discussion regarding the issues we continue to encounter with club email.  Chuck explained how we may be able to overcome these issues with the use of a Google group mail account.  Chuck is going to work on making that happen and will let us know when and how to get on board.

Another big round of thanks go here to Marsha, who did all the leg work and arrangements for the embroidering of numerous members’ garments with the SCBG logo.  Thank you, Marsha, for all your efforts—the garments look great!

Election of officers for 2007 was next on the agenda.  With all the folks present, the balloting took a little while.  The results:  Patrick Kennerly was elected President and, with the next largest vote count, Bryan Summerson will be the Vice President for 2007.

Following a brief organizational break, the 4th Quarter style competition got underway, as three first-round tables evaluated 12 members’ renditions of Scottish Export/80-shilling Ale.  A strong cast of judges (to whom we also give many thanks!) worked intensely to evaluate the Scottish ales according to the BJCP style guide.  Once their deliberations concluded, the second round table selected the 3 trophy winners:  Paul M. took 3rd place; Chris and Fran A. took 2nd place (their first SCBG trophy!) and Bryan S. took 1st place.

The final event of the evening was the announcement of the Brewer of the Year (BOTY) award winner.  That honor went to your Vice President, Bryan S.  Congratulations to all the winners, especially to Bryan S., for a year of brewing excellence.  Thank you also, to his wife Jenny, for being there to celebrate Bryan’s achievement.

There followed much merriment, eating, sampling of some very fine beers and meads and exceptional fellowship, greatly enriched by the presence of our long-distance members (whose ranks are growing).  By evening’s end, one had to wonder what next year will have in store for this merry band of brewers and friends!

Have Safe & Happy Holidays!

Patrick Kennerly
Star City Brewers Guild
Dec. 17, 2006

2005 Meeting Notes

Archive of 2005 Meeting Notes – By Patrick Kennerly – 2005 SCBG President Continue reading

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