Big Brew/May 2015 Meeting Notes

Once again, James and Joan opened up their lovely house and lovely yard for our annual Big Brew event (with a little meeting thrown in).

We had a relatively light turnout – only 23 members (and a couple kids), but we had a visitor from the long ago – Patrick Kennerly (previous club president and the guy largely responsible for pushing Microfestivus from a local event to one of the best beer festivals on the East Coast). Unfortunately, Pat wasn’t there to rejoin us, but rather looking to sell his brewing system as he’s been too busy directing and acting to brew.
In our own Big Brew tradition, James cooked up a great batch of jambalaya for us to enjoy as we waited for the start of the Kentucky Derby.
We had three brewers: Carl Y., John M. & Chris B. Carl & John both did a “brew in a bag” and had very smooth brewing sessions. Chris did not and had a stuck mash. Not that I am implying anything…
General Business
Treasurer’s report: 65 paid members and $2131 account balance
Future meetings:
  • June 13th – Carl Y. (Saison competition)
  • July 18th – Doug and Kel M. (Scottish Heavy presentation)
  • August – Scott & Martha A.
  • Virginia Beer & Wine Festival – It was cold, damp and rainy. Attendance was very low! No lines to get beer or to use port-a-johns though.
  • Summer campout – 6 definite on camping and 3 maybe. Decision is that there is enough interest to pursue finding location. (Update as of this email: 7 = “Yes”; 4 = “Sounds intriguing”; 5 = “Maybe”.)
  • Spring Teach a Friend – May 30th
    • Volunteers are needed to contribute food & homebrew for sampling, to pour and discuss beer/homebrew process.
    • Brewers needed – Mike U. & John Z. volunteered. Others?
    • Promotion
      • Harry sent out email with promotional materials
      • Carl Y. posted it on (popular event site for Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Radford area)
      • Many suggestions for where to hang flyers: Mouse, Barrel Chest, Mr. Bill’s, Wine Gourmet, Parkway Brewing, Sunken City Brewing, (Big Lick-already there), Blue 5, Blues BBQ, Wasena Tap House, Jack Brown’s
      • Need people to print and ask businesses for permission to post!
  • Open floor (local beer/brewery updates, brewing tips/questions, etc.)
    • Carrie C. gave a review of their visit to Wild Wolf Brewing. Her comments regarding the experience were not complimentary. She gave a positive review of Bold Rock. Comments about them were that it is nice, “gorgeous” and cider at the location is better than what is in bottles at the stores.
50/50 Raffle
  • Joan B was the winner (I don’t recall how much…)
FastRack Challenge & Auction
  • Unable to do the FastRack Challenge due to poor planning on my part (I forgot that we needed a beer case box). Will do it the June meeting, but that is past the deadline for submittal – we’ll just do it for amusement…
  • Jim D. explained how the FastFerment plastic conical worked
  • Auction of those items:
    • FastRack – John M. (got it for a steal at $10!)
    • FastFerment – Dan T. (after fast and furious bidding at the end, he squeaked in at $86)
Kentucky Derby (and Raffle)
  • Derby winners were:
    • 1st – Kathy M.
    • 2nd – James B.
    • 3rd – Harry M.