2001 February Meeting

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes         February 15, 2001
Recording Secretary: Kenny Schrader


It's FeBREWary! Quite a lot has happened since our last meeting... Grab a beer and enjoy the ride!
The PALE ALES homebrew Club of Princeton invited us to their monthly meeting on January 22 and it was a great opportunity to see how another Club operates. Keith, Luke, Mike M, and Kenny attended. Harvest Moon Brewpub in New Brunswick was the location. The PALE ALES (stands for Princeton And Local Environs Ale & Lager Enjoyment Society) discussed their upcoming elections for officers, dues ($24), a Michael Jackson event in Philly, and their "Big Brew" (similar to our Brew Bash). The Saki tasting is still on the back burner but when info is available it will be passed on. They discussed their web site (www.paleales.org) and 'Homebrew Joe' talked about the renovated store. Barry of Harvest Moon brought up pitchers of Half Wheat/Half Belgian Strong Ale and gave tours. After the meeting, some of us went over to The Old Bay for night caps. Brooklyn Monster Barleywine, Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine, Ramstein Winter Wheat Doppelbock, and Heavyweight Imperial Porter, are just to name a few that we dove head first into! Great evening, and thanks to those that attended!
Our next extra curricular activity was a DANDY! Over on the border of Pennsylvania in Lambertville, NJ, the WHALES swam to River Horse Brewery for the annual Chili Festival! Janet, Keith and the kids, their friends Bill and wife, Luke and Cathy, along with Kenny, attended this fabulous event. A cheap $10 bucks bought you -ALL- the beer you could drink (and that's a LOT of Hop Hazard!) plus all the eats you could eat. There was a good sampling of chilis from all of the local restaurants including buffalo, ostrich, and veggie varieties, and damned if some were ~H O T~ too! Hop Hazard Ale washed most of it down, and River Horse also put out kegs of Brown Ale, Lager, and Special Ale. The place was jammed but well worth it and you can bet we'll be going back again next year. After the Fest, we walked across the bridge to New Hope, PA and sucked down tap Sierra Nevada Pale Ales in a heated outdoor bar. What a treat! Photos are up on the Member website for those that missed it (how dare you!). Thanks go to Luke, our Event Coordinator, for coordinating this event!
Our February meeting was held at J.J. Bitting on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:30 sharp, and we had the entire upstairs to ourselves.
SPECIAL THANKS TO BOB REID for providing the Club with samples of Blithering Idiot Barleywine, Hops Infusion, and Weyerbacher Imperial Stout. Bob, you are always with us in spirit even if you cannot attend the meeting! Thanks buddy.
ATTENDANCE: Keith, Paul, Kenny, Big John, Crazy John, Hairy Joe, Mike M, Harry, Trip, Julianna, Tom, Patty, Luke, and we also had a first timer guest named Joe. 14 STRONG.
Keith opened up the meeting and first order of business was competitions. The Hudson Valley Homebrewer's comp is coming up, and you can get the details at www.hbd.org/hvhb/ Also, PLEASE GET YOUR ENTRIES IN --N O W-- for NetWort 6! The deadline for this competition is March 3rd, which does not leave much time to get your box off. This is the one comp that's a "MUST ENTER" with great prizes and hosted by WHALES' friend Steve Gale. Expertly and professionally run with instant results on the internet. In the past, the support from WHALES has been tremendous and we hope to have ALL OF YOU enter NetWort once again! Thank you in advance. Details at http://www.cmg.net/belgium/clubhub/
Dues ($2/month) were collected by Treasurer Tom P and many of us are paid up now for the entire year. For all that you get from the Club, our dues are dirt cheap so pay up and reap the rewards! One of these years, you might even get a receipt. :-) (right Tom?) Tom also updated the register so our names, E-mail, phones, etc. should be up to date now.
Our new policy of having a Club member volunteer to do a presentation each month has really taken off! Just to re-cap, we ask that someone come forward each meeting to do a brief (or long) presentation on anything beer or brewing related. The topic is your choice. This creates "purpose" for our monthly meetings, as well as education, fun, and a chance for individuals to express themselves providing a never ending supply of subject matter to maintain our interests. So far, here is how the year is shaping up:
February 15: Imperial Stout by Paul and Kenny
March 15: Beer Mixers by Luke
April 19: Lagers (?) by Mike M
May 17: Beer and Food Pairings by Joe
June 21: available
July 19: available
August 16: Wine Making by Harry
September 20: available
October 18: available
November 15: available
December 20: Christmas Beers by Trip
Speaking of presentations... the IMPERIAL STOUT SESSION by Paul and Kenny went SWELL! Thanks for your support and enthusiasm!
The presentation began with an outline of what the "plan" was for the evening. And what an evening it was! Before any tastings started, we first ran through what exactly the stlye of Imperial Stout is, and its history. This was done with the help of the AHA guidelines, as well as commentary from noted beer authorities.
There were NINE Imperials to sample. WOW! First two from England, where the style originated. Le Coq, a corked 10% version, which had notes of ripe plums and dark fruit. Also, Samuel Smith, a world class benchmark chock full of malt and chocolate. From America we had Weyerbacher Raspberry Impy weighing in at 8.2% at, and Weyerbacher (dry) Imperial. We agreed that the non-fruit version was better than the Berry Bacher, but both are tremendous beers none the less. Storm King made by Victory was quite a hit with our Stout Lovers! By far, this 9.1% rich Impy was the hoppiest of the lot. To quote Jim Anderson "...stimulating in its roastiness, assaultive in its hoppiness, and narcotic in its booziness." Hophead Paul declared the Storm King his new favorite beer! Another World Class benchmark to measure all others by was up next, and that was the 8.5% TON of a CLASSIC Imperial, the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout version 2000-01. "Warm malted milk with a shot of bourbon" said Michael Jackson about this beer. And Steve Hindy said "A giant beer, best drunk in bed, or within a few steps of bed"; we have to agree! Harry was amused with the music playing at this time noting we are "drinking Brooklyn and listening to Chicago!" Paul managed to pick up yet another last minute Impy as well and we were treated with Heavyweight "Perkuno's Hammer" or Baltic Imperial Porter. This big beer checks in at 8.3%, and while our subject matter was stout, this porter fit right into the plan with no complaints! Literature and handouts were passed around with tasting notes about all of the samples.
After having the commercial Imperials under our belts, we broke open the two homebrewed versions of "DEATH BY STOUT" brewed at WHALES Brewbash 2000 by Paul and Kenny. Here is a 10 percent abv wopper of a beer! While all of the commercial brews were drunk one by one, we decided to have the homebrews SIDE BY SIDE. This was to see if we could determine any differences in the yeasts used, as well as the beer maturity. Both were of the same batch yet one had more of a "nose" and the other seemed to have more alcohol warmth. It was of general opinion however, that both of the homebrews could stand tall with equal respect to ANY of the commercial samples. We done good!
The night was not over by any means after the Imperial session, and there were many other beers to go around! The memory is understandably somewhat foggy at this point, so the writer apologizes for any ommisions. What comes to mind however was Big John's Ale/Lager Steam Beer. Mike M's English Ale Bitters. John's stout. Oh God... and then Paul passed around that Samichlaus... Hell, there were many more but too many brain cells got knocked off to recall at this moment! Sorry.
Special thanks to Crazy John for taking photos. They are posted already on the Club Member's web site. For those of you that do not have access simply write Tripbock@aol.com for an invitation and feel free to contribute!
Well, enough for now. It's been some ride! Hope you enjoyed. And REMEMBER to support our friends at the Virtual Village Homebrew Society by entering NetWort 6. SEND IN YOUR ENTRIES NOW!!!
PS: The quote of the month was from none other than our own President, Keith. While we were all on an Imperial High, he said, "I wanna keep this buzz forever".