On a balmy September eve at the tail end of summer, about 40 happy souls with mouths full of beer gathered in the church of O’Marro for the 270th monthly ceremony known as the SOB meeting. And it was good.

This month’s pre-meeting gathering featured another excellent demo by Jody Cleveland. This time, Jody took us through his protocol for creating a frozen yeast bank. Great info Jody, thanks! Next month, we’ll have Mark Schmelling giving a quick overview on water chemistry and maintaining correct PH levels. Be there early to feed your inner geek.

The business portion of the meeting was opened with a heartfelt toast by Brother Kevin Lentzen. His lovely recitation celebrating both the majesty of Gambrinus and our own sloppy drinking habits was roundly applauded by everyone who could be bothered to stop pouring beer down their throat. This deal about kicking the meeting off with a toast is turning out nicely. Any volunteers for next time?

And then we got busy.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Steve gave us an overview of our fiscal state. We’re rosey, friends. With nearly all of the Casks & Caskets bills paid, we’re still running a good surplus. Excellent job managing those funds, Steve!

Proposed By-Laws Changes: President Chuck, gave a brief rundown of some proposed changes to the SOB by-laws. All you SOBs will soon be receiving more info on the amendments under consideration. Most of them are slight (cleaning up wording and defining terms), but a couple of them should get your attention. First, there’s a proposed spending limit that would prevent the SOB board from doling out cash in amounts over $400.00 without first getting the approval of the membership. Second, there’s a proposal to limit SOB board positions to terms of 2 years. Those are the biggies. We’ll be voting on these changes at the October meeting after everyone has had an opportunity to digest them.

Casks & Caskets: You knew it was coming. And it’s getting closer everyday. Our good man Mike Engel gave us an excellent rundown on how things are shaping up for the big event. It’s pretty clear our Casks Crew is doing a fantastic job. They’ve managed to get just about the whole damned thing underwritten (Becket’s just kicked in $400!) meaning we’ll be able to hand over more money to our charity, the Oshkosh Hunger Task Force. Now the rest of us need to do our part. Help spread the word, you SOBs! And help peddle those tickets! Contact Janet Wissink (wiss@centurytel.net) for a stack of tix that you can sell to your friends, family, co-workers…. And of course, we still need more beer. Every drop helps! Go HERE to add your beer to the Casks line-up. And if that doesn’t work for you, drop me (leer99@gmail.com) an email and I’ll take care of it.

Once again, a big hoist of the SOB beer mug to Mike Engel for kicking much ass on this entire endeavor.

Some Recent SOB Successes

Timber Rattlers Outing August 28: A good time was had by all at our annual group gulp at the old ball game. About 20 SOBs gathered to gate their tails and watch some baseball. Even Bryce had fun!

Great Lakes Brew Fest September 14: The SOBs killed it again! Although homebrew clubs abounded at this one, guess whose booth stole the show. That’s right, a pack of SOBs won the day. Our wandering SOBs brought it strong!

Oshkosh Farmer’s Market September 14: Another excellent Farmer’s Market showing by the SOBs. We generated plenty of interest and this time we even poured homebrew (thanks to Oblio’s). We managed to drain a keg of homebrewed Chief Oshkosh in a couple of hours.

Coming Up

September 28: Schmelling’s Apple Crush. Just what it says, a bunch of SOBs getting together at the Schmelling ranch to smash apples into a liquid mush that they’ll ferment like hell. Mark will be sending out more info on this shortly. Stay tuned, Cider Heads.

October 11: St. Gabes Brewfest in Neenah. After much deliberation, looks like we’re going to be on hand, once again. But of course, you can’t have a St. Gabes Brewfest without some SOBs; it just wouldn’t be right. There’s still time to get in. Contact Jeff Eaton for info (jeaton51@hotmail.com).

October 19: Downtown Oshkosh Farmer’s Market. The SOBs will have another appearance at the Farmers Market. If you’d like to help out, let me know (Leer99@gmail.com), it’s always a lot of fun. I might even buy you a hot dog.

October 19: Rushford Meadery & Winery Tour. SOB Shane Coombs’ joint will get the SOB treatment at 3 pm on the Saturday in question. Shane’s place is just a couple miles west of Omro and he’s looking forward to having us out to take a look around and talk mead and wine. Bring some samples of your stuff to share. There’ll be an email about this event sent out in the near future.

February 1, 2014: Fond Du Lac Brewfest. They’re gonna have a “Homebrew Alley” at this cool fest in  Fondy. Our friends the Vintners are setting that up and we’re hoping to have a good contingent of SOBs flying the colors. Keep it in mind.

February 19, 2014: The beer dinner? Nothing planned yet, but you might want to save the date. This has been one of those events that your fellow SOBs can’t stop raving about. Appleton again this year? We’ll see.

Winter Beer Tour: The SOBs are thinking about taking another beer tour sometime after Christmas; this time heading south. The last beer tour to the north this past summer was a blast. Got any ideas for a good time in the southern part of the state?

June 2014: American Homebrewers Association 2014 Conference. It’s in Grand Rapids this year and already we’re hearing chatter about taking the SOB act to Michigan. Think about, friends.

The End
To think all that preceding yammer got yapped in just 36 minutes. When the hell did we get so efficient. It was another fun meeting, but then the real fun started. We all pitched into some fine eats done up by Michelle and Jody and washed it back with an excellent selection of homebrews. Checkout that beer list. Thanks to all you fine SOBs who brought in your suds.

Kevin Lentzen’s Belgian Tripel
Jody Cleveland’s Belgian Red
Cindy Kerwin’s Mystery
Brett Hintz’s Milk Stout
Michael Udelhoven’s Udderly Vanilla Creme Ale
Jared Mathys’ French Dubbel
Nick Belville’s Cherry Mead
Jeff Eaton’s Cherry Pomegranate Wine
Jeff Eaton’s Smoked Porter