2005 December Meeting Issue #86

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes December 2005 Issue #086
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996
Prez crowned Whales Homebrewer of the Year 2005
Fair Democratic Whales Elections held
Whales kick ass at Split Rock (again)!
* Whales Holiday Party January 7th 2PM, The Office- Bridgewater NJ
* Club Only, Belgian Strongs (Cat 18) will be judged at the Jan meeting
* Big Beer Nite @Luke’s Friday Jan 20th 7PM
“God bless the woman who gave birth to the brewer.”  -Czech Proverb
The WHALES held their Tuesday 20th  December meeting at J.J. Bittings, the malt anchor of our brewing ship.  Seeing Mr. Cerami dining on his own food gave us the confidence to order some delectable dishes of our own.  On hand were Prez, Crazy John, Luke, Neal, KeithS, SteveG, Gary,  SteveS, Gene,  Darin, Leo & Kim, Robert Berg and returning newbie Mike.  Where the hell is Piper??
The Whales Holiday Party is scheduled for Saturday January 7th at 2PM at The Office in Bridgewater (728 Thompson Avenue & Rt 22W 732-469-0066).  The Prez allocated funds for the purchase of finger foods and two beverages each.  After that, you are on your own.  The Office offers a fine array of quality beverages in sampler, pint or pitcher and a sizeable menu.
The next COC will be Belgian Strong Category 18.  They will be judged at the January meeting and count for the ’06 HBOY.  The Mead COC will be in August ’06 so if you don’t have one, you’ll need get it going now.  Go to www.beertown.org for all the 2006 categories and dates.
Although there was some worry about violence at the polls, the Prez was unanimously elected to an unprecedented 9th term at the helm.  Uncle Leo twists Fort Knox by the muslin bag as treasurer and Luke Shakespeare will be penning the newsletter for another 12 issues.
Nov 19th marked Lake Harmony PA’s annual Great Brews of America and we, of course, kicked some AHA ass.   The festival was attended by numerous Whales, six of which were honored with 11 overall medals including 5 first places at 15 tables!   Visit http://www.splitrockresort.com/beerfest/homebrew-competition.php for a complete listing of medal winners.
Gary took orders for the second round of Whales shirts.  Popular this time round was the flesh colored ‘nude’ shirt so popular with the kids these days.  If you somehow missed out (again), you’ll need to wait until we stain the current batch of shirts with stout.
Whales Homebrewer of the Year “Final Report”.  Can you say three-peat?  The Michael Jordan of the brewing court-The Prez is crowned Whales Homebrewer of the Year.  The happy recap;  23 beers competed in the five club only competitions held in ’05.  That’s nearly an average of 5 beers per flight.  In the remaining four Whales sanctioned competitions from 93 entries we won 7-1st place medals, 4 second place medals and 9 third place medals.  This includes Prez’ 1st place in the Nationals and the Whales Oak Aged Impy Stout winning a 1st place some 19 months after it’s brew date. 
It’s all about brewing more and brewing better.  The hi-lite of the HBOY contest this year is that we had 13 members score points.  So here it is… Prez 33.5, Gene 17, Luke 15, Tripka 12.5, Uncle Leo 12,  Gary 11, KeithS 7, Darin 4, SteveG 4, Neal 4, SteveS 3, Orth 3, and Paff 2.  January marks a clean slate.  What talented upstart will challenge the Prez for the crown in 2006?
Cider Barrel update:  Luke and Prez sanitized the oak barrel, dragged it into the basement and racked 53 gallons of fermented cider into it.  After a month, Luke sampled it and reported that, although the malolactic fermentation hasn’t kicked in yet, the cider is starting to clarify and has a wonderful Applejack nose.  Get your bottles ready for March.
Treasurer’s Report:  Our previous balance of $722.54 was reduced by the agreed up shirt supplement for paying members, the foodgrade plastic barrel for the cider and various shipping reimbursements.  Current balance now stands at $509.45
With the new year comes hope for the future, new cross strains of hops, and the bill for dues.  With the Prez’ fine leadership and Leo’s fiscal frugality, dues will remain at $36 for the year.   See Leo to square it away for ’06.
We’ve collected 18 White Labs vials.  For 5 vials, you get a coupon for free yeast.  For 15, you can get a beer style book.  For 5000 vials, Chris White will fly here from San Diego and neuter your dog.
Heavyweight Brewing in Ocean Twp. hosted an Open House on Dec 4th.  Prez and Luke made an appearance at this heavily attended event.  Tom poured his cranberry wiezen and sold cases of his now famous Chuck-Chuck oak aged brown ale.  You are encouraged to pick up a Heavyweight Brewing product for your next celebration.  See http://www.heavyweight-brewing.com/ for more info.  Will Tom Baker bless us with a guest appearance at the January meeting?
Riverhorse Brewing will be hosting it’s annual Chilifest on 5th February 1-4PM.  It’s $35 for all the beer and chili you can slam in four hours.  Tickets are almost sold out so go to www.winterfestival.org to download the ticket odor foam.
The War of the Worts XI is almost upon us.  Entries will be accepted from 1/28-2/11 only.   Darin may be available to transport our entries to a drop-off.  This is one of the Big Four Whales sanctioned events that counts towards the 2006 Homebrewer of the Year Award.  Check out www.keystonehops.org/wotw/ for forms, rules and info on judging or stewarding.
The Flight: 
We began with SteveG’s American Pale Ale.  We then sampled KeithS’s English Brown and Gary’s lousy dopplebock that turned out to actually be a great dunkel. Crazy John brought his brew bash porter and we finished the evening with new guy Mike’s wonderful Saison.
That’s all Folks!  Hoppy Holidays and a Very Brew Year.
-Luke, CEO Pissoff Brothers Brewing Co.