2002 May Meeting #42

WHALES May 2002 Newsletter and Minute
WHALES Newsletter and Minutes
May 2002
Issue #042 by Kenny Schrader
Woodbridge  Homebrewers  Ales & Lagers  Enthusiasts  Society
Preview: WHALES BREW, Brooklyn, Annual BBQ Picnic
Quotes of month:
Hophead: "Each one of you bastards is sicker than the other."
Joe: "5 lbs of hops?!  I don't think I had 5 lbs in the store!"
Hophead: "I want to drink a grain alcohol with hops."
Hophead: "I use hops in place of oregano."
Hophead: "I want a hop tattoo on my toe and the vine can grow up
my body."
Luke: "We take the train Saturday to Brooklyn.  What time do you
have to be at work Monday?"
Waterfront Alehouse Bathroom: "To lock, use dead bolt.  To
unlock, use live bolt."
06/15 Saturday- BBQ/Picnic at Swim Club
06/20 Thursday- Club Meeting, Mini Keg Presentation
Much has happened since the last letter!  Grab a beer, let's fill
you in.
Our 10 barrel batch of Dunkelweizen the Club brewed 03/09 hit
the J.J. Bitting taps in late April and is currently FOR SALE to the
general public!  We've gotten many compliments on this batch.
Thanks once again to brewers Brad and  Tom, and owner Mike
for allowing our Club this tremendous opportunity.
On Monday, April 29th, the PALE ALES Homebrew Club out of
Princeton held their meeting on our home turf at J.J. Bitting
Brewpub.  WHALES were represented there by Keith and Luke
who attended the meeting.  Brad gave the PALE ALES a 20
minute talk and tour of the brewery.
Saturday, May 4th was the AHA Big Brew Day.  Special thanks to
Mike Tripka and Julianna for hosting the event at their home.  We
made 30 gallons of homebrew that day!  Luke invited a guest
and "taught a friend to brew".  What we made:
Keith - 5 gallons American Brown Ale all-grain
Luke and Dave - 5 gallons IPA extract and grains
Mike T - 10 gallons Dunkelweizen extract and grains
Steve - 5 gallons American Amber extract and grains
Kenny - 5 gallons Chocolate Weizenbock extract and grains
Keith, Luke, and Tripka all had boil overs!
Thanks Steve for letting us all use you wort chiller!  You have a
beauty!  Thanks also to Mrs. Prez Janet who grilled up some
BBQ burgers and dogs, and an EXCEPTIONAL expertly cooked
London Broil!  The day was absolutely fabulous.  We drank
Mike's Pale Ale, Magic Hat #9, Magic Hat Blind Faith IPA, Keith's
Dunkelweizen, Mike's barleywine, and Luke's 11% Mead.
Our monthly Club meeting was held on May 16th, the third
Thursday of the month at J.J. Bitting Brewpub 7:30pm.
Attendance: Joe, Steve, Juliana, Mike T, Paul, Luke, Tom, Keith,
Kenny, Crazy John, and all the way from Pennsylvania, BOB
REID!  So glad you could make it Bob!
The weather that night was gorgeous and we held the meeting
outdoors on the roof deck.  If you pop in for a meeting and don't
see anyone at the bar or in the dining room be SURE to check
the roof!
Up for discussion was the WHALES Annual BBQ / Picnic being
held Saturday June 15th at Joe's swim club.  The event will kick
off "noonish" but I'm sure folks will start showing up sooner than
that.  Directions are in the Posting Section of the private web
site.  Joe is trying to get us in for free.  If not, the cost might
involve $5 per person or family, details to follow.  The Club is
taking out $75 of dues money to pay for ribs and charcoal that
Tripka will pick up.  Bring lawn chairs and bathing suits.
Other topics of discussion involved a product called Prime Tabs.
These are little pills of corn sugar you drop into bottles or kegs
instead of boiled and cooled corn sugar and water.
Mike T has been out beer hunting and had Ramstein on tap at
The Hoffbrau House.  He also went to The Ship's Inn in Milford
(NJ's 1st brewpub) and heard they have their 7 bbl brew system
up for sale.  He also just purchased 5 lbs of whole hops!  If you
need some, give him a holler.
Luke has recently been to The Jolly Trolley in Westfield and
thinks it is a great beer bar.  They had Raspberry Lambic and a
Weinstephen on tap.
June 8th-9th is a seafood fest in Belmar.
We were supposed to have a guest speaker at this meeting.
The brewer from NJ's newest brewery, Cricket Hill, had to
John Eisenstein's wife had their 2nd baby.  CHEERS!
Presentation Schedule:
June: Mini Kegs by Kenny.
Volunteers wanted for July, August, September, October,
November, December.
WHALES field trip to Brooklyn Brewery scheduled for Saturday,
May 18th.  See report below...
1) Keith's Dunkelweizen.  A replica of the beer on tap now at
Bitting that the Club brewed.  Keith's beer has a tad more hops
added and is also a tad more darker.  Nicely aromatic.
2) Tripka's Sayerville Nevada Pale Ale.  A Club favorite.  As far
as hoppy beers go, if Hophead Paul like yours you've done a
good job!  Paul likes this one a lot, as well as the rest of us.
3) Kenny's American Amber.  Well past it's prime and that's
what the judge's commentary in the recent AHA Nationals
reflected.  Burnt Electric was the term.  Over half a year old, this
WAS a dyno beer at it's peak.
4) Steve's Virgin American Brown.  His first batch of beer came
out EXCELLENT!  Good malt and a hint of roast caramel.  One
to be proud of!
5) Kenny's IPA.  This beer scored well at the AHA Nationals with
a 33 from both judges.  Last of that batch, slightly gushing.
6) Tripka's Barleywine.  WOW!  No doubt, the beer to save for
last.  Big malt and even bigger hop.  Very, very "Bigfootish".
Dandy candy!  Brewed in November and bottled January, this
beer has the legs to go much further.
Our Event Coordinator Luke (AKA Pathfinder) planned a special
day for the Club this past Saturday, May 18th.  We met at the
Woodbridge train station to catch the 11:33.  The rest is history.
Attendance:  Luke, Kathy, Leo, Kim, Paul, Kenny
We took the NJT into Penn Station and hopped on the subway
where we ventured into the Twighlight Zone right off the bat.
There was an accordion player keying the ivories while we
waited for our train.  Our train came, we rode 25 minutes.  When
we got off the train, our ears were greeted by the music of yet
ANOTHER accordion player just happening to play the exact
very same song when we boarded!  Weird, totally.  Maybe there
is an accordion player at every stop that only knows one song?
We took a short walk from the L train through the Brooklyn
streets in search of Brooklyn Brewery.  Pathfinder Luke found it,
no problemo.  A tour had just started so we joined right in.  You
get 2 free samples with each tour, so we made certain to grab a
cup before going in.
The tour was conducted by a Brooklyn Brewery regional sales
rep who did a very fine job explaining the history of Brooklyn
Brewery as well as the brewing process.  Brooklyn Brewery is
currently the 34th largest brewery in the U.S.A.
#1 is Bud.
#2 is Miller.
#3 is Coors.
#4 IS Pabst.
Brooklyn's flagship brand is Brooklyn Lager.  This is a Vienna
style lager which competes directly with a similar product called
Sam Adams Lager from Boston Brewery.  That's some tough
Most of Brooklyn's beers are not brewed here.  They are contract
brewed by F.X. Matt in Utica, NY.  That's the same brewery who
makes the Saranac brand, as well as many others.  Brooklyn
feels they have major control though on how their beers are
brewed in Utica.
Both Luke and Paul grilled our tour guide about the Black
Chocolate Stout recipe.  Our Club did tasting of several years
of this stout, and was disappointed in the last batch.  First, our tour
guide insisted that none of the original recipes were changed.
Then he tried to bull us about how beer changes with age.
When pressed though, he finally admitted that "Garrett told us to
tell you that."  WE KNOW they changed it!  They just won't admit
The tour was a good one, then time to kick back.  You are
allowed two free samples with each tour, but we soon found out
that you can get more freebies with a nice tip to the bar maid.
What you are SUPPOSED to do though is buy wooden nickels
called "Brooklyn Beer Money".  2 chips go for $5 bucks and each
chip buys you 12 ounces of fresh tap brew.  FRESH as bejeezus
and at $2.50 a beer that is not a bad deal at all.
The Brooklyn tap selection was superb, with not a bad one in the
lot.  Among the draft taps:
Brooklyn Lager
Brooklyn Pilsner
Brooklyn Ale
Brooklyn India Pale Ale
Brooklyn Brown Ale
Brooklyn Wheat
Brooklyn Belgian White
The brewery also sells bottles, six packs, and cases of all the
above including the Black Chocolate and Monster Barleywine.
Paul bought a bottle of the Monster to share with the group.
We got to meet the brewery cat, also called Monster after the
high gravity ale.  Every brewery needs a cat, to guard the grain
from pesty rodents.  Monster the cat seemed very content to do
the job.
This brewery is a cool joint to hang out at.  People were coming
in off the street to have a few beers and shoot a game of pool.
The tasting room has paintings from local artists hung about the
walls.  Bathrooms are clean and adequate.  We hung there
about as long as we could as there was a private wedding being
held at the brewery that same afternoon!
Walking back to the subway, in fact right across the street from
the brewery, there was some art show going on.  They were
giving away FREE BEER!  Of course, we stopped in!  All you
had to do was sign the guest log and they gave you a free
Brooklyn beer.  Then pretend you looked at the art.
Off to Waterfront Ale House for lunch and great tap offerings!
Brooklyn Weiss
Dogfish 60 minute IPA
Sam Adams Ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Alagash Belgian Dubbel
Original Sin Cider
Heavyweight Cinderbock
Anchor Liberty Ale
Guinness Stout
Jevor Pilsner
Denvergems Witt
Magic Hat #9
NY Porter
Right off the bat, we started off with 2 FULL PITCHERS of Magic
Hat #9.  The food menu is reasonable, and the food is real good
better quality pub grub.  We had venison nachos, Texas dips,
French dips, Chicken Wraps, Pulled Pig, and fries for the table.
The cole slaw is magnificent.  A pitcher of Liberty Ale washed it
all down nicely, thanks.
Well, it wasn't planned in the schedule, but we trained it over to
Heartland Brewery as well!  They had 8 brews on tap:
Red Lager
Pale Ale
Red Ale
Oatmeal Stout
Beer is pricey here at $6 pint so we had one each and left.
Back at Penn Station, we found out there was some time to go
for our return trip.  (Leo and Kim had left a bit earlier, hope you
made it back OK!)  We stopped for Crispy Creme doughnuts
and pizza.  With still some time to wait, we went to a Penn
Station bar.  Paul switched over to martinis, having been beered
out.  The Guinness stout at this joint was SUPERB!  We
watched at how fascinating the nitrogen jetted down to the
bottom of the glass.  The thick creamy head was perfect, tight,
tiny packed bubbles that laced, laced, and laced down the
insides of the glass.  A professionally poured nitrogen Guinness
is hard to pass up and this bar sure did it right!
Back in Woodbridge, Paul and Kenny went for night caps at J.J.
Bitting, martinis and bocks.
AWESOME DAY!  Thanks Luke for making it happen.
Well, that's all for now.  Till next time.  CHEERS!
Pictures of the Brew Bash and Field Trip are developed.
Check the private web sight soon for new photo albums!
Kenny / Divorce Court Brew Labs