2008 April Meeting Issue #114

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes April 2008 Issue #114

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




* April 27th Cyser Distribution

* May 3rd “Big Brew” (Keith Story’s Piscataway)

* May 20th Whales Meeting (Uno Chicago Grill)

* June 14th Whales Picnic (Colin’s House Point Pleasant)

* August 8/2-8/3 Belgium Comes to Cooperstown (Tickets on line only 4/1)



Check the member’s only Yahoo User’s Group thewhales for the latest announcements and calendar updates.  Feel free to upload pictures, review beers/bars and post comments.  If you are a member and do not have access to the site, please let Bobby at rmierzej@telecordia.com know and he will invite you to the group.



Gary--“So for the Big Brew, Please bring some food for everyone to eat, like potato salad or sausages.”  Unknown female member--“I think there will be enough sausages at the Big Brew”


The Tuesday April 15th, meeting was held in Woodbridge at JJ Bitings.  Thanks again to the folks at JJ Bittings for supporting the Whales and their activities. 


A group of 28 Whales and potential Whales attended the April meeting.  In attendance were Kristen, Big Bill, Jay, Potential Whale Craig, Colin, Nick, Kings Steve, Brad and Jen, Rick and Heather, Luke, new member Matt, Alex, Jody, Nate, Newman, new member John, Paff, the Schreyer trio (Bill, Steve, and Jim), Prez, Keith, Mike V., Gene, new member Karl, and Gary.   


Due to scheduling issues, the alternate meeting location options were whittled down to one.  The May meeting will be held at Uno’s Chicago Grill on Rte 1 South in Metuchen.  The Whales will have a private room for their May 20th meeting.


At the meeting Keith volunteered to host the American Homebrewers Association Big Brew at his house in Piscataway.  The Big Brew will be held on May 3rd with all-grainers starting at 8:00 AM, and extract brewers starting anytime after that.  Please remember to bring a food item to share, and any cool brews as well.  The big brews are a great opportunity for less experienced brewers to see lots of different brewers equipment and techniques.  It is also a good chance to see how all grain is done.  If there are folks who are interested in co-brewing, there are lots of members who brew 10 gallons at a time, and would be willing to split a batch.  If you are interested post a message on the group Yahoo site or send an e-mail to the group.    


The group assembled agreed that the Whales Picnic will be held at Colin’s House in Point Pleasant.  Colin has advertised a pool for swimming and washer’s for throwing.  The picnic will be held on June 14th, and there will be additional details discussed at the May 20th meeting.  The members also agreed to release some funds from the treasury to purchase meat products (ribs and steaks?) for the picnic.


August and Mike have agreed to brew a Whales Wit, for the Whales Brew at JJ Bitings.  A date has not been nailed down as of this meeting, but should be finalized soon.  Look for more details at the May meeting.


Thanks go out to Brad and Jen for delivering the Whales entries for the nationals.  Judging was to be held from 4/25 – 4/27.  The next opportunity to earn HBOY points is the Buzz Off.  The Buzz off will be held at Iron Hill Brewery in West Chester, PA on June 7th.  Entries will be accepted between May 12th, and May 24th at Home Sweet Homebrew, Keystone, and Iron Hill.  The club will be collecting entries for group drop off at the Big Brew or our May meeting.  Please do not bring the beers into Pizzeria Uno, we will collect them after the meeting.  For more info on the comp, follow the link http://www.hbd.org/buzz. 


The group that attended the Weyerbacher open house said it was a fun event, but very crowded.  The open house saw about 600 visitors, but some tasty brews were sampled, and the brewers were available to ask some questions of.  The contingent of about 10 people then made their way to Witch’s Brew to have some less crowded beer drinking fun.


The Whales Cyser project was discussed and distribution to the Lucky participants will be held at 4:30 PM at Gary’s house.


Colin gave a Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) report prior to the April COC.  At the time of the meeting there was a 3 way tie for first between Brad and Jen, Jody and Luke.  Each had 7 HBOY points.   Rounding out the top 6 were Colin, Gary and Heather with 4 HBOY points.


A large portion of the April meeting was devoted to the extract only Club Only Competition.   This years COC for extracts, saw 11 entries.  The competition started with Newman’s ESB, Brad and Jen’s Irish Red, Jay’s Caramel Cream Ale, Bill Schreyer’s Dunkel, and the 4 Kings American Amber.  Then Karl served a Dunkelweizen, followed by Jim’s Brown Porter, and Keith’s Chocolate Honey Porter, and  Gary’s Brown Porter.  Rounding out the COC flight were Colin’s APA and Nick’s Wit.  The voting was amazingly close as 3 beers tied for 1st with 4 votes.  The Caramel Cream Ale, Dunkelweizen, and Chocolate Honey Porter went head to head to head for the extract only crown.  Ultimately Keith’s chocolate honey porter carried the day and received the extra HBOY point.  Overall, it was an extremely difficult competition to judge, and the quality of all of the entries was excellent.


The Whales Flanders Red beer project continues to sit and sour in Bobby’s basement.  The eventual distribution should happen some time in 2009.


The Whales shirt and hat order was placed.  The turnaround was a few weeks, so the new Whales attire will be available at the Cyser distribution, the Big Brew, or the May Meeting.


The Beer in the News report involved another report that Anheuser-Busch is not standing still as the beer market continues to grow rapidly in the craft segment and remain stagnant in the lawn mower beer category.  In response to these continued trends A-B will be releasing a blueberry flavored lager called Wild Blue.  A-B says that its new brew isn’t for “timid or reserved beer drinkers.”


Mike V. gave a treasurer report at the meeting.  The club account stands at around $1100.  Folks are reminded that the 2008 dues are due and were raised to$40. 


Mike V. is the Whales librarian and will keep the database on thewhales Yahoo group to manage the newly created Whales library.  Mike checks the Database just before the meeting to see if anyone is on the waiting list for material from the library.


Jody continues to maintain the WHALES brewing database data.  Remember when you brew to send me an e-mail at moffamily@verizon.net.  In the e-mail tell me brewing date, how many gallons, what style you brewed, the OG, and what the % alcohol you expect.  I can also track wine, cider and mead as well. 


The club continues to seek out volunteers to make presentations at club meetings.  Members can discuss anything from beer styles, equipment, techniques, ingredients, or any other topics of general interest.  The club is also looking for folks interested in setting up some class trips to different breweries or local apiaries etc.  Contact Gary or Luke if you are interested in making a presentation or setting up a trip.  It is important to let Gary, Luke or Jody know when a presentation is planned for the meeting, we will be sure to allow enough time for it, and we will try to ensure that the presenter has the floor.    


The Flight:

The April flight was the first time we attempted to pass the bottle as opposed to pass out the 28 cups required.  We will likely modify this technique to have the brewer walk with the beer, or at least label the bottle so members will know what they are being served.


The April flight saw four brews to be tasted.  Bill started the flight with a tasty Saison, followed by Prez with a Peach Moonshine.  New guy Craig served a tasty honey beer, and new member Jay served the group a ginger beer.  At some point during the flight someone gave me some lemon cello that was also very tasty.      


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter