Huge shout out to Siciliano’s and everyone involved with this event! Definitely recommend putting this on the calendar for as long as they continue to do this.
Hosted by John at his house in Ada. Attending were Nick, Al, Mike, Phil, Jeremy, John, Steve, Joel, Matt O., and Ken, as well as a guest/possible new member, Taylor.
Success! Style profiles were very cool, good conversation and touched on many brewing topics. Not enough time for malt discussion as well, need to figure out a way to share info without printing everything (Taylor suggested a Google Group).
Al – Black Lager (Pils & Debittered Carafa III…very clean, excellent!)
Mike – Gluten Free Pale Ale (collab. with Steve – Sorghum, BRS, Toasted millet & buckwheat, dark candi sugar, maple sap for brewing liquor)
Phil – DIPA (5 oz. flameout addition, 3.5 oz. dry hop - http://hopville.com/recipe/1688851)
Jeremy – Golden Sour (cheater sour w/ lactic acid, 3 weeks old, lightly sour needed more acid, hefe yeast noticeable…some banana, clove)
John – end of keg of Two Hearted-ish recipe using Belma hops, interesting enjoyable hop character, but not bold like other american varieties
Steve – American Rye IPA (9% rye, comments encouraged more next time…mmmm Amarillo)
Joel – Black IPA (chinook, cascade, centennial?) a little light, darker brown, very nice! cleared up well, no noticeable extract character, black ipa seems to be a good style for extract
Matt O. – DIPA (simcoe, centennial showcase) amber gold, hop aroma could be brought up a bit, but very clean
Ken – Saison (dupont strain) nice peppery-ness, excellent summer beer. Belgian Rye IPA (abbey ale & US-05 mixed ferment) completely different than Steve’s made from the same wort, belgian yeast overpowered hop character
The 2nd quarterly special tasting event 0f 2013 was held Saturday, April 6th, at Brewery Vivant. Attending were Al, Tim, Jason B., Mike Z., Ken, Nick, Steve, Phil, Matt G., and newcomer Matt O. Brooks, who does marketing/accounting at Vivant, also sat in and gave some feedback on our beers and shared some interesting stories from the brewery. Overall, it was a great turnout and a fantastic night of beer discussion and sampling. The Vivant team members receiving shirts were very grateful. Ward, who is leaving the brewery for a summer excursion, promised to get some sweet pictures of him pimping the club in Alaska.
The club decided to abandon the seasonal theme for the quarter of “Spring Fever” in favor for the much more inticing “Under Carbed Surprise”, haha. It was purely conicidental that the majority of the beers shared had not reached full carbonation.
Here’s a list of everything that was sampled:
Al – Scottish Wee Heavy
Steve & Jason B. – Tripel
Phil – Brown Porter w/ hint of cherry
Derek (Phil’s friend from work) – IPA w/ smoked malt (band-aid to the max)
Ken – Rye IPA
Mike Z. – American Brown, Sour Peach Saison
Tim/Matt G. – Oberon, Centennial, Red’s Rye
Nick – White IPA v2 (lemon/lime zesty-ness)
Following the beer tasting, several members of the club attempted to head to the bar area to catch some of the Michigan/Syracuse final four game, but there wasn’t even standing room available. On our way out, several of us were able to grab the 5 gal. corny kegs which Ken procured for us…thanks again, Ken! The bulk of the club departed, but Al and I made our way over to The Meanwhile for some Founder’s KBS & Short’s ControversiALE, yumsville!
Our March club meeting was held at The Hideout Brewing Co. Due to very low attendance, we decided to table the style profile and technical presentations until April
The following beers were sampled:
Nick – Homebrewed Pils & Bitburger Premium Pils
Mike Z. – Imperial Stout
Jeremy – 2012 Homebrewers United Imperial Stout 2nd runnings, 2011 Homebrewers United Barleywine (quite dark, big aroma/flavor of strong molasses/dark caramel, some autolysis after 18 month primary?)
Hideout – Oaked Aged Sour Weizen (very sour!) & what we deemed the worst Pilsner ever (after further review, this may have been their “Clove Anise Pilsner”…so perhaps some of those odd flavors were intentionally, but it was still quite nasty)
The majority of the club has expressed their interest in changing things up to facilitate all of us becoming better brewers. To achieve that goal, we’ll focus on improving our tasting skills, and knowledge of styles, ingredients, and processes. The new format will start with the March meeting.
You can expect roughly the following:
1. 6:30-7:00pm – arrival and shooting of the shit
2. 7:00-7:30pm – in depth style profile(s) (similar to what BYO magazine does, if you’re familiar) while sampling world class examples of those styles
3. 7:30-7:45pm – Q&A, brief intermission, or other discussion
4. 7:45-8:15pm – technical discussion (this could be on ingredients, processes, or a variety of other topics)
5. 8:15-9(ish)pm – homebrew tasting (depending on how many are in attendance and how long the other topics take, we may need to limit it to 1 or 2 beers from each brewer)
I anticipate it will take a few meetings to dial in what works best. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns at any point.
March meeting details are here. Dues for 2013 will be set at $15, please plan to bring them to an upcoming meeting. This will cover Brewsquito shirts which were purchased for some of the staff at Vivant and also the commercial examples to be sampled during the style presentations.
The February club meeting was held at the Hop Scotch Children’s Store owned by Mike Z. and his wife, Rachel. Thanks for hosting, Mike! This could continue to be a nice spot to gather when we have 10 or less members attending, but more than that might be a bit crowded. The stores proximity to Brewery Vivant is an added bonus.
Attending were Nick, Mike Z., Ken, Jim, and Phil. While the numbers were down, most likely due to poor driving conditions, those who were there shared some lively discussion. Topics discussed included: format of meetings going forward, club participation in events such as Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition Party and 2014 NHC in Grand Rapids, fermentation temperature control, breast pumps, and cloth diapering.
Ken – Summit bittered, Centennial/Citra finished IPA with 50% munich malt
Nick – American White IPA with Sorachi Ace hops (fermented with US-05, “white” haziness from high percentage of wheat, esters simulated with lemon/lime-y Sorachi, nothing for phenols)
Jim – Dry hopped Imperial Porter
Phil – Imperial Porter
Mike Z. – Lagunitas Sucks
To wrap up the night, four of us made the quick jaunt down to Vivant for a few samples. We tried the Plow Horse Imperial Stout that took an unexpected turn and ended up as Tart Side of the Moon, the North French Ale (biere de garde), and Angelina, a barrel aged sour beer.
It was a long time coming, but the Brewsquitos’ return to Brewery Vivant was fantastic! Attending were Steve, Mike Z., Kevin, Tim, Ken, Phil, as well as Jacob and Rick from Vivant. The owner, Jason S., also joined later in the evening. Nick would have joined, but apparently he had something better to do.
The night started off with a quick tour of the brewhouse and some Q&A with Jacob and Rick. Jacob was very forthcoming and answered everything we threw at him. He also had some great stories (and pictures) from their recent trip to Goose Island, which they toured during Vivant’s Chicago launch.
Next was the tasting portion of the night, which was billed as “Best of your cellar”. We shared the following gems:
Steve – Belgian Wit
Mike – Milk Stout
Kevin – 2010 Goose Island Nightstalker, thanks again for sharing, Kevin!
Tim – SN Narwhal
Phil – 2011 Sour Saison w/ peaches (Peach Baby), Imperial Rye IPA
Jacob – 14 month old sour (apricot notes), Sun King Crab Apple Wit, 3 Floyd’s Dreadnaught, New Belgium+Vivant Biere de Garde
Before my early departure, I had a quick chat with Rick regarding future events at Vivant. They are very eager to continue our annual Group Brew on their outdoor patio every June (date will be set in the next few months). As for events similar to this, he suggested that we might make the themes based on the seasons (since we’ll meet there quarterly). “Best of your cellar” was a good fit for Winter, with lots of high gravity beers to keep everyone warm. We’ll discuss the Spring event soon, but to me, I think of bright, flavorful beers like IPA, Maibock/Helles Bock, Weizenbock, Amber, etc.