2000 November Meeting

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes         November 16, 2000
Recording Secretary: Kenny Schrader

Friday night November 3rd, WHALES had a very successful between meeting gathering in New Brunswick, starting at The Old Bay. Thanks to Luke for coordinating the informal event which enticed no less than 9 WHALES to come out and play! The crew quaffed nearly all of the tap offerings at Old Bay in the outdoor beer garden, and the early Autumn weather was simply delightful! We wandered to Harvest Moon, and then to another bar a few blocks away where we closed the joint down, eventually getting kicked out well after last call. GREAT fun for all who attended!

WHALES held their monthly third Thursday of the month "official" meeting at J.J. Bitting Brewpub with a fine turn-out, indeed. Those in attendance numbered 10 strong, with appearances from Master Brewers Brad and our Tom (of J.J. Bitting). SPECIAL GUEST Mr. Dave Hoffman, owner and Master Brewer of Climax Brewery attended, and is always welcome! PREZ Keith, Luke, Paul, Kenny, Mike M, as well as MR. ~AND~ MRS. Crazy John rounded out the meeting.

First order of business discussed was dues money, and how it should be spent. The talk evolved around T-shirts, web site(s), bottle openers, and a Christmas party. In fact, the very next meeting will -BE- a WHALES Christmas party, as it falls on December 21st!


* * *  M A R K    Y O U R    C A L E N D A R S  !!! * * *
The Club will meet at KILMEYER'S in STATEN ISLAND for this very special ocassion at 7 PM sharp. Great German food and beer is in store, so please plan to attend on this holiday excursion. President Keith extends the invitations to Tom Baker of HEAVYWEIGHT BREWERY, Dave Hoffman of CLIMAX BREWERY, and of course Brad of J.J. BITTING BREWERY. We hope all can make it for an enjoyable night.

Our Club Homebrew Competition looks doubtful in 2001. The "Gold Medal" comp, we've had 2 years running. It is just very tough to recruit judges any more.

We are also sorry to report that a fine sponsor of WHALES, "Hop and Vine" is going out of business. This homebrewing supply house is yet another to shut down operations, and is offering 30% off closeout sales.

Thanks to Dave Hoffman, homebrewing supplies can still be obtained. Just CLIMAX! All grainers can get 50 lb sacks of barley starting at $32. Tom Paffrath also has excellent contacts, so do not hesitate to ask Tom for anything you might need. Do you see a pattern developing here? WHALES began with Joe Barcas out of his Woodbridge shop, which eventually had to close operations. Then the shop in Highland Park had to shut down. Now Hop and Vine is out of the picture. Who's left? Joe Bair in Princeton? Princeton Homebrew is a friend of WHALES btw, and offers a 5% discount. It's just a damn shame to see the hobby dwindling and downsizing. It's sad to see those that love the art of homebrewing and wanted to have a business of it go down the tubes.

It's a small world, and "Word" gets around. We have on good authority that former Bitting brewer, John Eisenstein (now with Appalachian) says hello to WHALES! John was super to WHALES, and we wish him the very best as well.

Also heard from, through the grape vines, is none other than John Fox! John says hello, through Dave Hoffman, and extends his good wishes to the Club. Thursdays has John unable to attend meetings due to family responsibilities, and we surely understand that. CHEERS to John and Pat, and we hope to see you both when you are able!

Baloo is again overseas. Touring France, Belgium, and Switzerland, etc... AGAIN! Says "howdy" with a post card.

The beer samplings at this meeting were incredible! This is where we learn the most about beer and brewing, no doubt. WHALES President Keith cracked open the first tasty homesud which was his OkFest. Paul popped a super wheat to share! While the wheat was out, Keith slipped in another wheat to sample. This one from Janet (Mrs. Prez), a PEACH wheat made with 8 lbs of real fruit. Crazy John brought some Weyerbacher brews. HOPS INFUSION made with 7 hop varieties and also their IPA. The IPA was like chewing on a hop pellet! Dave brought his CLIMAX lager. Also, his "PRIVATE STOCK" Oktoberfest which was oh so very fine and delicate, compared to other 'fests' on the street. Mike M brought his "Brew Bash" WHEAT, fresh as fooking bejeezus, and it killed us all with it's bananna zest. Hoffman stated to Mike the ultimate compliments... Tom pulled out a fine Weizenbock to share but felt undermined after tasting Mike's wheat. Both were grand though by any stretch of imagination. So many good brews for sure. From Brew Bash, we got a first class seat at tasting Keith's Downtown Brown Ale. This brew was almost tasting like a porter at this time. While brown was around, Tom cracked open his "Bee Sting Brown", from the Brew Bash. Yes, another winner! Paul continues to tease us with the "Little Porter That Could".

The Friday after THANKSGIVING is an open house to Tom Baker's HEAVYWEIGHT release of his barleywine. 1 - 3 pm.

Hop EXTRACTS were discussed in detail by Hoffman. He brings a dropper with him to put in bland beers so he can enjoy better. Speaking of Dave and Climax, he is hoping that his new web site address will be up and running soon. The NEW url will be www.climaxbrewing.com

LUKE has plans for HARVEST MOON at 7pm on 12/01/00. You won't want to miss it!

The WHALES Group Website has been a hit since debut! Feel free to add your photos, events, comments. We have a good 10 members at least who have kick started it off. Once again, this is in no way a substitute for the site you are (hopefully) reading now. Just an alternative.

*** Happy Thanksgiving, Folks. Drive responsibly. ***
Kenny/Divorce Court Labs Brewery