2006 July Meeting Issue #93


The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes July 2006 Issue #093
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996
SteveS’s three year old mead represents Whales for the Category 24 Club Only Comp!
*  Next month…Rob’s presentation on brewing with Rye
*   Sept Meeting:  COC Category 13 Stouts
"You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline- it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."  -Frank Zappa
The WHALES held their Tuesday 18th  July meeting at JJ Bittings.   Good to be back home after our hiatus, and we thank Mr. Cerami for his hospitality.  On hand were SteveG, Gene, KeithS, Rob & Kristen, Gary, Luke, Prez, MikeV, official new members Steve & Bill, & newbies Jodi, Brad and Jenn.  Happy Birthday Bitting’s brewer August!
There were four entries into the most recent Club Only Comp for Categories 24-26.  Leo, in absentia, forwarded his magnificent sweet mead via Gary.  Luke had two entries, a chili pepper metheglin and a traditional, and SteveS whipped the competition with his smooth traditional mead aged 3 years.  All participants get a HBOY point for entering and Steve racks up another point for winning, with the potential for more points on the national level.  Congrats to Steve and good luck in the next round.
This month’s  presentation “The Virtues of  Meads” by Luke, was cleverly designed to coincide with the mead COC.  Discussed were the importance of quality ingredients, similarities in “brewing” techniques to beer and the most important component, patience.  Meads generally ferment out in a month, but need at least 9 months of aging to take the edge off.
Belgian Dubbel Barrel Update:  KeithS says alls well with the barrel.  He may need some help boosting up the height in preparation for racking/bottling.  Prez says we let it rot until September so possibly at the August meeting we’ll set a tentative racking day.
The AHA National Homebrew Conference was in Orlando 6/22-6/25.  Although no Whales placed in the second round, according to SC resident Mike Tripka the beer was flowing 24/7.  Hats off to Joe Formenak (see the flight list) for capturing the Ninkasi Award and to Jeff Carlson of Michigan who scored a Nationals hat trick in the newly released cider results.
The Garden State Craft Brewers Guild 10th Annual Beer Festival was held on the Battleship New Jersey on the Camden Waterfront Saturday June 24th.    Inaccurate weather predictions kept attendance down, which meant more beer for those in attendance.
Heavyweight Brewing closed it’s doors at the end of June.   The goodbye Open House was held Sat/Sun 7/1-7/2 at Heavyweight World Headquarters in Ocean Twp with many Whales in tow.  Thanks to Kim for being the designated driver on Saturday.  Rumours abound that the Bakers are looking to open a brew pub with a bottling line on the other side of the Delaware River.
It’s not a gang, it’s a club:  The first ever Whales motorcycle run was held July 9th.  Uncle Leo, Baldheaded Jeff, SteveG, SteveS, Luke and Gary rode the country roads of NW NJ and wound up at Hot Dog Johnny’s for birch beer (it’s the only beer they serve).
July 11th was the date for the Gambrinus Beer Dinner at Triumph Brewery in Princeton.  Attended by several Kings and newbies Brad & Jenn, the dinner featured Brooklyn’s Garrett Oliver as it’s honored guest.
Sponsored by Brewery Ommegang, the Cooperstown Belgian Beerfest was held Saturday July 15th.  Eighty importers and thirty American craft breweries rounded out the afternoon and camping was the means that nite (including the infamous “recovery pod”).  Uncle Leo led the troops (Gary, Beth, Baldheaded Jeff, SteveG, Keith and Neal) up to Cooperstown on two wheels with a four wheeled supply convoy in tow.
Keith and Donna are hosting a Wine & Whales Canoe Trip & BBQ on Saturday August 12th.  Fun day of canoeing on Cedar Creek thru Double Trouble State Park and then a BBQ in Lanoka Harbor.   Great way to wet your whistle and other parts simultaneously.
The next COC?  We’ll judge Category 13 stouts at the September meeting and Category 6 Light Hybrids (Cream Ale, Blonde Ale, Kolsch and American Wheat or Rye) in October.  Remember, only dues paying members have voting rights in club only competitions.   Go to www.beertown.org for all the 2006 categories and dates.
Treasurer’s report:  None
The Flight:  In addition to the aforementioned mead flight, KeithS poured his own honey wheat and was kind enough to save us some of Joe Formanac’s award winning Pils and American Pale Ale.  Jody brought his hefeweizen and MikeV had a big ‘ol jug of his own American Pale.  We sampled two commercial products;  SteveG’s Thiriez Amber (a French Farmhouse Ale) and Bergmannnn’s Zywiec Porter.
Be well and brew well!
-Luke, WHALES Corresponding Secretary.