2003 March Meeting Issue #53

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes
March 2003 Issue #053
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

PREVIEW:
Club Only Brown
NYC Pub Crawl

QUOTES OF MONTH:
"Arrogant Bastard Ale is like an elephant with hops blowing out of his trunk."
(you will just have to imagine the sound effects, sorry, ask Paul)
"Your tongue has hop scars on it."
"What's under your kilt?  Your sister's lip stick."
"Pick it up ass hole.  What does it say?  Cathy."
"Can Club Dues be used for bail?"
"I'll have a Raspberry Top Hat."
"How many bars do we have to walk pass to stop in one, dammit!?"
"You throw that toy one more time, it's history dammit."
"Ricoli"
"Breath deeply Hophead.  You don't need that cigarette."

CALENDAR:
03/22/03- Hophead celebrates 2 weeks NO SMOKING
04/04/03- DEADLINE for AHA Club Only #10 Brown Ale
04/06/03- BEER TASTING of Mid Atlantic brewers at Trap Rock
04/07/03- J.J. Bitting Beer Dinner
04/12/03- PUB CRAWL Philadelphia by Joe
04/17/03- SPECIAL PRESENTATION by Luke
04/18/03- DEADLINE for AHA National Homebrew Competition
05/03/03- Big Brew Bash at Luke's
05/15/03- SPECIAL PRESENTATION by Piper
06/19/03- SPECIAL PRESENTATION by Leo

WHALES held their March Madness meeting at J.J. Bitting Brewpub on March 20th.

ATTENDANCE: Keith, Paff, Steve, Juliana, Tripka, Piper, Hophead, Luke, Kenny, Tom T, Peter, August, Sandra, and another Mike.  MaxPixie was absent and claims she had a cold but there are rumors she got tanked on cherry stout.

Prez Keith opened the meeting with a salute to our USA troops in the Middle East.
NYC Pub Tour of 03/22 discussed.
Philly Pub Crawl of 04/12 discussed.
Paff made official laminated WHALES membership cards and handed out.
It was suggested to make a Euro Lager at our next Big Brew.
Congrats were offered to all of our WOW VIII winners!
April 06th at Trap Rock $20 noon - 4pm featuring regional brewers.
Pizzeria Uno Beer Dinner coming up either 21st or 28th.
J.J. Bitting Beer Dinner April 7th by reservation only $40-$45.
White Labs or WYeast yeast guest speaker in works.
Dan at Buy Rite discount for WHALES and/or special presentation.
Paff is Gate Keeper for web site write-in's.  Fixing server kinks.
Atlantic City to open Beer Garden at Tropicana with 101 taps!
Luke to host Big Brew AND register the Club.
Cambridge Brewing Co. Strong Ale highly recommended.
Annual CLUB BREW at J. J. Bitting in either April or May.
August's Half Barrel Gazette features WHALES in newsletter.
Keith, Steve, Tom, and Leo toured Ramstein and Ramapo.

From Luke:
Planko's in Fords has "amazing shit piled up to the ceiling since the Kennedy administration."  The cases have dust on them.  The bar has only 4 stools.  Crap is piled all over the joint and there are 100s and 100s of bottles everywhere.  A blue collar white trash joint to drink and leave.  There is a cat there that knocks shit all over the place.  Luke also recommends if in the Boston area to visit a BBQ joint called Redbones.  The food is amazing and you can buy a half a cow for $15.  Aside from the amazing food, they have 20 fantastic taps including Old Crusty.  If you can't make up your mind on what to drink you can spin the Big Wheel to make a decision.

The Club officially held our prejudging for the AHA Club Only Category #10 Brown Ale competition.  We had examples of all four brown styles to vote on.  Entrants were:
Keith- Southern Brown (#10C)
Kenny- Mild Brown (#10A)
Paff- American Brown (#10D)
Steve- American Brown (#10C)
Tripka- Northern (Nut) Brown (#10B)
Tom T- English Northern Brown (#10B)
Congratulations Keith on being voted in to represent us!  Everyone that participated by entering a Brown receives one point in the WHALES Homebrewer of the Year Competition (HBOY), and Keith gets one extra point for being selected.

HBOY STANDINGS as of 03/20/03:
16 points- Keith
9 points- Kenny
8 points- Luke
7 points- Tripka
7 points- Hophead
5 points- Steve
3 points- Paff
1 point- Tom T

Our monthly Club Tastings are always outstanding!  This month featured 11 fine homebrews and 7 commercial brews.
1) Pilsner from Paff- Beautiful light color, nice malt, expertly balanced. Luke said " it taste like the French bathed in it".
2) Ordinary Bitter from Kenny- Drank with judge's comments from WOW VIII.
3) Mystery Beer from Piper- Dryness and roast.  A sweet stout style.  Turns out to be Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.  Piper was pounded these babies at 75 cents each while on vacation.
4) English Strong Ale from Steve- This beer had a 4 day primary and while still young has great potential with no evident defects so far.
5)
Alt from Paff- According to the judges at WOW VIII, Paff's beer sucks.  With that in mind, we held our noses and tasted this beer which
was malty and balanced. Did they have the same beer?
6)Paff's`mistery brew (only two guessed it) Weizenbock from last years Philly's homebrew competition still very drinkable, BOS winner.

7) Belgian Strong Dark from Kenny- Tripka gave this a big thumbs up.
8) Oatmeal Stout from Keith- Even though this beer won 2nd place at Split Rock, Paul called it a "porter".
9) Oatmeal Stout from Tripka- Yet another fine effort from Mike.  This beer took a third place at Split Rock.
10) Barleywine from Kenny-  This American style won first at WOW VIII and was almost exactly a year in the bottle being bottled St. Patrick's Day 03/17/02.  "oh yeah baby!"  Luke called this beer the "new Big Johnson."
11) Imperial Stout from Paul- Perhaps the best beer of the night, Paul retired the last two bottles of this first place winner at WOW VIII.  A Grandmaster judge scored this a 41 and commented "Over the top in presentation."  A Novice Judge gave it an awesome score of 44 and said "Impressive, huge and over the top."  A BJCP Certified judge agreed and wrote "It puts me on the edge of my seat."  This huge beer is definitely a "Big Wow!"  Good and sticky, thick and chewy, very respectable, and world class.
12) Barleywine from Paff- Tom named this brew "Little Weiner".  It was brewed in early November of 2001 and he only bottled it last week!  That is one long fermentation.  It is still and non-carbonated right now, but dry and floral.  A good one to lay down and try again in the future.
13) Romapo Valley Triple  from Paff-  This beer is called Demon Fuel, and it sure is!  It has notes of white raisons and sells for $31 a growler.
14) Heavyweight Lunacy from Paff- This is a Belgian Golden ale.  The labels were screwed up on this batch.  The beer weighs in at 9.3% abv but the old labels used at bottling say 7.7%.
15) Terminator Stout from Luke-  Commentary was "sucks" and "diacetyl".
There may have been other commercial brews brought but the meeting ended here.

Many thanks to Luke for a very successful NYC Pub Crawl!  On March 22, Luke led the "Tour of Ireland and Scotland."  Luke, Cathy, Keith, Janet, Hophead, and Kenny met at the Woodbridge station and caught the 12:56 to Penn Station.  We were walking to the #6 subway to take uptown, where we had to cross the tens of thousands of people demonstrating the war in Iraq.  That was an incredible site.  Anyway, our first stop was the terrific Irish pub "The Kinsale Tavern" located at 3rd Ave and 93rd St.  The barkeepers and waitresses all have a delightfully thick Irish accent.  25 tap selections are offered along with a good 75 bottles.  We found the Anchor Liberty Ale a top favorite of our group.  We also had John Courage and many others.  Without a doubt, this joint pours the BEST pint of Guinness you could ever have.  The head was similar to whipped egg whites, where peaks are formed (often in the shape of a 3 leaf clover) and these peaks just sit there and last forever.  We also had layered with precision the Guinness on top of the Liberty, as well as other ales.

The food at Kinsale is great for the price.  I had a bacon Swiss burger that was grilled to perfection.  It sat a good 5 inches high and came with steak fries, lettuce, onion, and tomato.  Hophead had a huge plate/bowl of lamb stew that was hard to finish, but he did.  Keith had a grilled chicken sandwich to enjoy, while Janet had the highly acclaimed Shepherd's Pie, made with lamb and mashed potatoes.  Luke and Cathy had filled up ahead of time, so just munched on an appetizer.  We all had a good time at the Kinsale, good food and drink, and once again the most PERFECT pint of Guinness Stout in every way.

The tour continued to "Scotland" after a short subway cruise where we then walked to Saint Andrew's at 44th and 6th.  Police presence in the city is very high.  A fight almost broke out between  anti-protestors and war supporters as we walked by.  Without incident, we arrived at Saint Andrew's to sample some of the 20 taps and hundred bottles.  This place has one long, long, long straight bar, from front to back.  It was here where we met up with Piper Mike, his wife Michelle, and two of their friends.  They had seen a show and had time before their dinner reservations so it was good timing to meet with the tour group and have a few pints.

One of our favorite taps was Belhaven Scottish ale, which is nitro jetted and provides that ultra creamy head.  The tap selection was decent, but we also looked at the bottles on the wall.  They carry many bottles from many countries.  Of those bottles, Hophead spotted Double Chocolate Stout and Lindeman's Framboise.  YES!  But no, there was no double stout left.  OK, we'll improvise and have the bartender layer us some Guinness Stout on top of the raspberry lambic.  YES!  This was indeed quite a hit.  They charged us $14 for the combo which is $7/pint.  The Club went through many, many of these and the drink was named Raspberry Top Hat.  Delierium Tremon's, the Belgian, was served in it's own unique glass.  We did not eat here but all of the tables were filled, and folks seemed to be enjoying their meals.

Still thirsty, we ventured over to The Ginger Man at 11 East 36th Street.  This was NOT on the tour schedule, but was DEFINITELY worth the visit!  This place has well over 60 taps, a foot long list of Belgians, and a huge bottle selection from around the world.  We decided to all order something different, but share.  We started with a pint, a FULL pint (yes, no little tiny snifter glasses here) of Victory Old Horizontal draught.  We also shared Victory Storm King Stout, Blue Point Toasted Lager, Stone Brewing IPA, Arrogant Bastard, North Coast Red Seal Ale, Rogue Dead Guy, Stone Brewing Smoked Porter, Anchor Foghorn, Victory Golden Monkey, and so many others.

To go along with the brews, we had hot pretzels dipped in a thick rich honey mustard sauce, with a viscosity and intensity not seen before.  It sucks to have to pay for potato chips at a bar, but we did and went through several "baskets."

While we had pulled 2 tables together for our group, Ginger Man also has a lounge with sofas and comfortable seating.  The bar holds quite a few stools as well.  At one point, Hophead and Prez bellied up to the bar.  They were greeted by a "person of authority."  He knew all of the taps, and was knowledgeable of origins and styles.  Hophead thought this was the owner or manager, as the gentleman was eager to offer samples of every single tap.  EVERY TAP!  We met the gentleman on the way out too, sitting at the front door.  Heck, he was only the bouncer.

After a train ride back to J.J. Bitting, we met up with Steve and Dana for a few pints.  All in all, a GREAT day!  Many thanks Luke for your navigating skills and a good time had by all.

That's all for now.  God Bless America
Kenny / Divorce Court Brew Labs