2008 May Meeting Issue #115

The Tuesday May 20th, meeting saw a change of venue to Pizzeria Uno’s Chicago Grill in Metuchen.  Special thanks go to Mike Sella for opening up the establishment to our large crowd of Homebrewers.  Thanks also go to Paff for working with Mike to arrange to off site meeting.

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes May 2008 Issue #115


Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




* June 14th Whales Picnic (Colin’s House Point Pleasant)

* June 17th Whales Meeting (JJ Bitings)

* June 21st New Jersey Beer Fest (Battleship New Jersey, Camden)

* 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


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@telecordia.com know and he will invite you to the group.



“No Speedos at the Pool Party” – Rick M.


The Tuesday May 20th, meeting saw a change of venue to Pizzeria Uno’s Chicago Grill in Metuchen.  Special thanks go to Mike Sella for opening up the establishment to our large crowd of Homebrewers.  Thanks also go to Paff for working with Mike to arrange to off site meeting.


Another near record group of 32 Whales and potential Whales made the Trek to Metuchen.  In attendance were special guest visitor Uncle Leo, Jay, new/old Whale Jim, new member Craig, Colin, Nick, Steve G., New guy Bob G., JD, Brad and Jen, Heather and Rick, Matt, Bobby, Jody, Nate, Alex, Newman, Paff, The Schreyer Quartet (Bill, Jim, Steve, and Kristen), Jim Shelton, Prez, Keith, Harley Steve, and New Guy Tom, Mike V., Gene, and Gary.  Things were hectic at the meeting, so if I missed anyone I apologize.  Send me a note (moffamily@verizon.net) , and I will add you to the attendance list.


The membership discussed a very successful American Homebrewers Association Big Brew at Keith’s house in Piscataway.  The Big Brew was held on May 3rd with approximately 25 people brewing 70 gallons of beer/mead.  The weather was not as good as years past, but the rain held off for the event.


During the meeting details of the Whales Picnic were discussed.  The meeting is being held at Colin’s House in Point Pleasant.  It will start at 1:00, and the club will provide funds for meat and Colin is working on getting clams for the Picnic.  Members should plan to bring some food and beer to share at the picnic.  Colin has advertised a pool for swimming and washer’s for throwing.  See you there.


The Whales Brew at JJ Bitings will be scheduled for some time after the “T” ball season has ended.  We will discuss further at the June meeting.


At the May meeting Gary collected entries for the Buzz Off.  The Buzz off will be held at Iron Hill Brewery in West Chester, PA on June 7th.  The Buzz Off is one of the main competitions for the Whales Home Brewer of the Year Competition.


At the meeting we discussed the results from the last HBOY competition (Nationals.)  Congratulations go to Brad and Jen for winning first with their Common Cider.  Gary took second in both the Melomel and Specialty Mead categories for his other meads, and Colin took third for his Melomel as well.  Discussions were being considered to change the name of the Whales to add cider and mead to the acronym (Whalcmes???).  We will have to wait and see how these entries do in the Nationals before considering a name change.


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.


Colin gave a Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) report for the period through the first round of the nationals. Leading the pack are our BJCP judges Brad and Jen with 15 pts, second is Gary with 14 and Luke is in 3rd with 9 pts.  There are a total of 18 Whales and 1, Four Kings Brewery with HBOY points.


Gary handed out the Whales apparel that was on order in March/April.  Some well dressed Whales were seen leaving Uno’s at the end of the night.  Gary also procured a couple of additional pieces of apparel to allow the club to provide a thank you gift to any VIP’s.


The Whales Flanders Red beer project continues to sit and sour in Bobby’s basement.  Bobby brought some of the Flanders red for tasting at the flight.


There were two Beer in the News reports given at the meeting.  The first story from “down under” involves the production of Non-alcoholic dog beer.  This product allows man and his best friend to enjoy a brew together.  The second story from the good ol’ US, was about a man who loved his brew.  He loved PBR so much, that he had a coffin produced in a replica of the beer can.


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.


Gary organized the first ever Whales raffle.  There were several difficult to obtain beers, meads, a growler form Uno’s and a carboy from Gary donated to raise special ops funds.  The club raised a total of $147 that will be dispersed at a later date to fund things like a bus for the Philly Pub crawl, a Whales Beer Project, etc….


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 nice flight of homebrewed and commercial beers were presented at the end of the meeting.  The flight started with Keith’s witbier, followed by Keith’s Lemon Honey Wheat.  Matt’s Belgian Wit was sampled by the group and then Nick served an American Amber.  Returning Whale Jim poured a tasty Oatmeal Stout, and Leo served a commercial Bell’s Two Hearted Pale Ale.  Bobby gave the group a sneak peak of the Flanders Red barrel in his basement, and Leo closed the flight with a can of Surly Furious IPA.


Editor’s Note:  To close this month’s news letter, I wanted to relay a story on the Hazard’s of Homebrewing.  A few week’s ago, my son’s preschool teacher approached my wife’s car, and said “I have a story for you.”  Doreen, concerned asks” what did he do this time.”   Mrs. Cox relayed, “We were doing matching in class, and Nick correctly matched the mouse with the cheese, but he had a question.  Nick asked, ‘do mice really eat cheese?’  Mrs. Cox answered “Well yes honey, but why do you ask?” Nick responded, “Well in my house mice eat grain.”  Confused Mrs. Cox asked, Nick, you don’t live on a farm, why do you have grain?  Nick responded,” My Daddy has grain to make beer.”


Don’t worry, I solved the mouse problem.


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter