2008 December Meeting #122

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes December 2008 Issue #122

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




*January 10th Whales Holiday Party, Stuff Yer Face, New Brunswick

*February 16th Iron Brewer Judging

*February 21st War of the Worts XIV

*March 17th Club Only Competition (Beer with O.G. > 1.080)

Check the Whales website at www.whalesbrewclub.com 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@telcordia.com know and he will invite you to the group.


"The immense importance of a pint of ale to a common person should never be overlooked."-Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

The Tuesday December 16th, meeting was held in the cozy confines of the Hopelawn Volunteer Fire Department's Fire house. A very special thank you goes to Luke's brother John for arranging the alternate meeting location, and to all of the Whales who brought gifts of liquid refreshment to the thirsty firemen. We should also take a minute to thank the Whales long time supporters, Mike and August. The continued support of the fine folks of J.J. Bitings throughout 2008 has been greatly appreciated. Thank You and Happy New Year!!!

A large crowd of Happy Whales braved the snow and ice to make the December meeting. In attendance were Big Bill, Chris C., Mike C., Jay, Craig, Colin, Nick, Suzuki Steve, Rob, Mike G., Brad and Jen, Heather and Rick, Luke, Matt and Cara, Bobby, Neal, Jody, Nate, Alex, Newman, the Schreyer trio (Jim, Bill, and Steve), Prez, Bob and Becky, Kings Keith, Harley Steve, Mike V., Gene, Karl, and Gary. Also hanging out with the Whales were friend of the Kings, Mark, Luke's Brother John.

The Whales December meeting was held at the Homelawn Fire house. A nice spread of finger foods was provided by the club treasury, and Brad brought a keg of Dunkelweizen which he brewed at the Central Jersey Charity Beer Fest available.

The Whales held elections for new officers at the December meeting. When the dust settled, Gary remained President, Mike V. remained as treasurer, and Brad Jones was elected as the next Secretary. Newman became the new librarian, and Bobby was elected as club WebMaster. The club also agreed to create a steering committee to help develop bylaws to direct our fast growing club. The steering committee was agreed to consist of 4 members plus the three officers. Nominations are being made online, and elections should be held at the January meeting.

The Whales holiday party was discussed, and agreed to be held on January 10th at Stuff yer Face in New Brunswick. The location was selected by an online poll at the Whales website, www.whalesbrewclub.com. The club agreed to release $900 of funds to the party rolling. Festivities will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Saturday.

Bobby spent some time discussing the Funky Barrel Project. The Whales Flanders Red Project which has been residing in Bobby's basement since 12/07 will be ready for distribution on January 3rd. Not wanting to have a vacancy in this well conditioned barrel, Bobby also organized a new Funky Barrel Project. A dry traditional Kriek is being prepared to refill the barrel. A big brew was held at Bobby's house on the 3rd of January for participants to add beer to the Kriek project.

The last Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) competition was Split Rock. The Whales did a phenomenal job again taking 17 of 36 total metals. Scoring hardware for the Whales were King's Keith (Gold), Jody (Silver & Bronze), Colin (2 Silver, Bronze), Brad and Jen (2 Gold, Silver, Bronze), Brad and Newman (Bronze), Gary (Gold), JD (Gold, Bronze), Jay (Silver), Luke and Leo (Silver), and Big Bill (Bronze). A group of Whales also made it to the event and had a good time drinking, eating, and hot tubing.

The next Club Only Competition will be held at the March meeting. The group will judge beers with an O.G. > 1.080. This will be another opportunity to earn Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) points for 2009.

The next and major Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) competition is War or the Worts XIV. The competition should be scheduled for 2/21/09, and entries will likely be due by Valentine's Day. Look for more info at www.keystonehops.org .

The Whales hosted a club only competition for BJCP category 16 (Belgian and French Ale). A total of 6 entries were tasted for one of my favorite categories. The entries consisted of Mike V. and Jay D. with Saison, Brad and Jen entered a Black Saison. Nick entered a Belgian Specialty Ale, and JD entered a Quad. Rounding out the entries was King's Keith with his very tast wit. When the voting was done, Keith won the extra HBOY point with 12 votes, and JD came in second with 11. Good luck to Keith with his entry at the national COC for Belgian and French Ales.

Colin gave the final 2008 HBOY report announcing the winners. With a big showing at Split Rock the brewing team of Brad and Jen won the 2008 Whales Homebrewers of the Year. Brad and Jen finished with 38, Gary came in second with 35, and Kings Keith came in 3rd with 26 points. A record 24 Whales earned at least 1 point for the 2008 HBOY. Congratulations again to Brad and Jen, and good luck to all contenders in 2009.

The judging for the Iron Brewer competition was moved from the January meeting to the February meeting to allow a little more time for the brewers to perfect their beers.

Bobby spent some time giving a nice presentation of the functionality of the new www.WhalesBrewClub.com website. Thanks for all of the effort Bobby! The new site is terrific!!

The December edition of Beer in the News was all about the Whales. The Whales and PaleAles were featured in an article in the Courier News. Big Bill made it into the Ale Street News for his Pro Am entry with Basil T's and as part of the 2008 ASN Belgian Beer Tour. Big Bill and Gary were also featured in an article on Homebrewing in Inside Jersey magazine.

Karl held keg fest 2008 in the back of his pick up. Karl organized a major group corny keg buy getting an amazing 60 kegs at an average price of $15/keg. Awesome work Karl.... http://www.whalesbrewclub.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=56&func=view&catid=7&id=337 check out the photo of Karl's pickup with 60 kegs in the back....

The Whales held a raffle for Charity at the meeting. Numerous people donated beer (including a nice donation of full growlers from Iron Hill), hops, equip, etc for the raffle. The whales raised a few hundred dollars to be divided between the young girl suffering from Leukemia, and the We Feed food bank in Woodbridge. Nice job Whales...

Member's in attendance were reminded that the hotel has been named for the 2009 American Homebrewers Association conference. The conference will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area. The hotel for the conference will fill very quickly, so if you are interested in attending it is worthwhile making reservations now. For more info follow the attached link http://www.beertown.org/events/hbc/index.html.

Newman is the Whales New librarian and will keep the database on www.whalesbrewclub.com to manage the newly created Whales library. Newman will check the Database just before the meeting to see if anyone is on the waiting list for material from the library. Sign up if you want to borrow a book from the Library.

Whales are reminded that their 2009 dues should be paid in December or January. The fee is still a very modest $40/yr.

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:

A tasty December flight consisted of 10 beers. Leading off on the all beer flight was Harley Steve with a apricot honey ale. Colin followed with a tasty abbey ale, and Mike G. followed with Pale Porter. Big Bill served a tasty Dubbel, and Nate poured a Porter. Mike C. passed around a spicy winter ale, and Prez provided a smoked porter. Rick allowed the club to taste some of Rogues Hefe, and Nick brought South Hampton's Biere de Mars. Finishing the flight was Brad and Jen with a celebratory magnum of Troegs Mad Elf.

Ex Secretary's Closing Comments:

What a phenomenal year for the Whales. The group has seen massive growth in both members and participation by members. A total of 396 people (Members and Guests) participated in meetings in 2008. The club finished 2008 having a record ~47 members. Additionally a total of 174 beers, wines, meads, and etc were tasted between COC's and flights. That is an average of 14.5 tasting per meeting. Brad and Jen brought a total of 19 beverages to taste between COC's, flights, and Pre-COC calibration.

As the club moves into a brave new world of governance and bylaws, I encourage all members to remember what has made the club so much fun for us all. We are a great group of people from many different perspectives who share a passion for brewing. So as get a little more organized, remember, Relax Don't Worry Have a Homebrew.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve such a great group of people!

Jody, ex-Editor WHALES Official Newsletter (24/24)