2008 June Meeting Issue #116

A good portion of the June meeting was devoted to Paul Holm the owner/brewer of the Long Island Meadery.  Paul shared some of his experiences and knowledge gained from the challenges of starting a Meadery.  Paul started up in September of 2004, despite managing a day job working for the LIRR.  He typically buys honey in 3000 lb batches.  He practices a no heat method for producing his meads, and utilizes many varietal honeys and fresh fruit. One of the major challenges in starting the meadery is raising public awareness about mead.  He also had numerous challenges navigating the various labeling requirements for his products.  Paul also brought a huge selection of his meads to be tried at the meading.

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes June 2008 Issue #116

 

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996

www.whalesclub.org

 

Calendar

* July 15th Club Only Competition (Mead)

* August 2nd New Jersey State Fair 11th Annual Beer and Wine Contest

* August 8/2-8/3 Belgium Comes to Cooperstown

* August 23rd Whales and Winos Canoe Trip

* September 16th Club Only Competition (Imperial Anything)

 

 

Check the member’s only Yahoo User’s Group thewhales 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.

 

Quote:

“Oh, you like hot dogs?  Then I guess that I won’t tell you what they are made of.” – Casey Falkinburg to Nicholas Moffett at the Picnic

 

The Tuesday June 17th, meeting was held on a beautiful summer evening up on the deck of J.J. Bitings.  As always the whales owe a great debt of gratitude to Mike and August for their continued support of the Whales endeavors.

 

The Whales achieved a new attendance high water mark as 36 people made it to the June meeting. In attendance were Kristen, Big Bill, Jay, Craig, Colin, Nick, Steve G., Rob G., J.D., Brad and Jen, Heather and Rick, Luke, Matt, Bobby, Neal, Jody, Nate and Lisa, Alex, Newman, Paff, the Schreyer Quartet (Steve, Jim, Bill, and Kristen), Jim, Prez, Keith, Mike V., Gene, Karl, Gary, Mike G., and special guest Paul Holm from the Long Island Meadery (phew!!!!!!!)

 

The membership spent some time discussing the extremely successful Whales Picnic at Colin’s house.  Colin and Karen kindly hosted many Whales and families, with fun to be had eating, drinking, swimming and playing some washers.  Special thanks go to Big Bill, Colin, and Brad and Jen for supplying kegs for the event, also to Luke who brought the giant Jug-O-Mead.  There was only about a ½ hour of heavy rain, and the undeterred crowd moved the party to Colin’s front porch.  The group is looking forward to next year picnic, and Keith and Jody will have to wait until then for someone to challenge their washer’s dominance.

 

Big Bill unveiled the new Whales Banner at the picnic, and it was displayed at the meeting.  Bill collected a case plus of homebrews to give to the sign maker who refused to take any money for the production of the sign.  Thanks Bill for coordinating the sign.

 

A good portion of the June meeting was devoted to Paul Holm the owner/brewer of the Long Island Meadery.  Paul shared some of his experiences and knowledge gained from the challenges of starting a Meadery.  Paul started up in September of 2004, despite managing a day job working for the LIRR.  He typically buys honey in 3000 lb batches.  He practices a no heat method for producing his meads, and utilizes many varietal honeys and fresh fruit. One of the major challenges in starting the meadery is raising public awareness about mead.  He also had numerous challenges navigating the various labeling requirements for his products.  Paul also brought a huge selection of his meads to be tried at the meading.

 

The Whales had a good showing at the Buzz Off.  The Buzz Off is one of the five major competitions for Home Brewer of the Year for the Whales.  Keith Story took a first and second with his Lemon Honey Wheat and Belgian Wit.  Jody had a first with his Dry English Cider, and Gary had 2 thirds with his Braggot and New England Cider.  Jim Schreyer closed out the medals with a third for his Dunkelweizen.

 

Following the Buzz Off, Gary jumped to the top of the Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) report.  Gary had 18 points, closely followed by Brad and Jen, and Keith Story with 17 points.  Jody rounded out the top 4 spots with 14 points.

 

The next opportunity for HBOY points is the Club only competition at the July meeting. This club only competition will be for all categories of meads.

 

Congratulations were sent out to Bobby, for the second most watched Big Brew Video.  As part of the American Homebrewers Association promotion, Bobby pulled together a video of the Whales Big Brew at Keith’s house.  A portion of the prizes sent to Bobby were donated for the next Whales raffle and some books for the Whales Library.

 

The members gathered agreed that the hosts of club events like the picnic and Big Brews will get a nominal reimbursement to help cover some of the incidental costs (propane, food, water, etc.) associated with hosting.

 

The Whales Flanders Red beer project and Whales Mead Barrel Projects continue to sit in Bobby’s, Luke’s and Leo’s respective basements.  All project participants anxiously await the distribution of the wonderful elixirs.  As an added treat a sample of the mead was brought to the meeting to be tasted at the flight.

 

The lucky holders of Belgium Comes to Cooperstown tickets are buzzing with excitement in preparation of the event.  There will be about 25 Whales making the migration to upstate New York.  Look for some coordination of the pre and post event parties at the July meeting.

 

This month’s installment of the Beer in the News report concerns the creation of two Belgian inventors.  The game is to be played by men at the urinal.  You can either shoot space aliens, or ski down a virtual ski slope.  Remember not to cross the streams!

 

If there was a treasurer report at the meeting, I didn’t catch the club balance.  Folks are reminded that the 2008 dues are $40, or $10 per quarter.

 

A second Whales raffle is being organized for the July meeting.

 

Colin continues to collect the White Lab vials for the club.  There are over 210 vials in the treasury, and will be used to buy more books for the library or yeast for club projects.

 

Mike V. is the Whales librarian and will keep the database on thewhales Yahoo group to manage the newly created Whales library.  Mike checks the Database just before the meeting to see if anyone is on the waiting list for material from the library.

 

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 massive flight of 10 meads, 1 cider, and 9 beers were tasted at the meeting.  Thanks again to Paul Holm, from the Long Island Meadery for supplying 9 of his terrific meads.  We had several semi dry, semi sweet, and sweet meads.  The meads were wildflower, peach, strawberry/raspberry, black raspberry, pear cyser, vanilla, blueberry, sweet traditional, and rootbeer.  Following Paul’s mead were served a sample of Mike G’s organic American Lager.  Bobby passed around some Summer Bitter, and Bill provided his New England Cider with David Houseman’s judging comments.  Luke poured everyone a sample of the Whales Barrel Mead project, and Jay distributed some Rye ale.   Newman followed Jay with another tasty rye pale ale and Nick served a tasty IPA.  Craig served a very tasty 3 hearted ale, and Matt poured a nice dry hopped pale.  Colin sweetened things up with a strong scotch ale, and Alex closed the flight with a tasty honey bee ale.

 

Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter