On a cool autumn evening 16 days deep into October, a few more than 40 SOBs assembled in the pub of O’Marro and proceeded to gulp down pools of beer. They also managed to squeeze in a meeting. Here’s how that went:

The pre-meeting gathering was hosted by Mark Schmelling who gave us a concise and thorough run through on how he corrects the chemistry of his brewing water. If your brewing water is not all you think it should be, see Mark. He knows his stuff and is always willing to share. Nice job, Mark!

And then we got down to business with a debate on proposed changes to the SOB bylaws. The main point of contention turned out to be the section concerning two-year term limits for board members. Thoughtful points were brought up by several SOBs  and in the end, the gang decided to shelve that amendment and revisit it later. The remainder of the changes were passed unanimously. Among the modifications to our by-laws is a provision that any SOB in good standing can attend the monthly SOB Board Meeting. All you need do is contact a board member 10 days prior to the monthly club meeting. It’s not as much fun as a full club meeting, but it’s kind of interesting to see how the SOB sausage gets made.

Somewhere in the middle of the above, Bryce and Kurt rambled in and Bryce delivered our belated toast. Something like, “My friends are the best friends. Loyal, willing and able. Now let’s get to drinking! All glasses off the table!” You’ll have no problem guessing what happened next. Thanks, Bryce!

What’s Coming Up

Let’s start with the big one: Casks & Caskets. Mike gave a rundown on where we’re at. Things are looking pretty damned good. We have lots of beer ready and it should be a great night. What all of us can now do is help to sell tickets. Urge your family and friends to turn out for the most unique beer tasting they’ll ever experience (and that ain’t no bullshit). Contact Janet Wissink for tickets. Mike and the Casks team have done an incredible job putting this together. It’s no easy task and we all owe them a huge thanks. On behalf of all of us SOBs, we want you to know that your hard work is appreciated!

Next month’s meeting will be our annual Chili meeting. You’ll hear more on this one, but start thinking about that special pot of chili you want to make.

Our last appearance at the summer Farmer’s Market in Downtown Oshkosh will be Saturday, October 19. We’ll be there brewing beer and promoting Casks & Caskets. As an added bonus Becky Gall and Jeff Eaton will stroll through the crowd dressed as enormous beer bottles. That ought to turn some heads.

Also on Saturday, October 19, we’ll be touring the Rushford Meadery & Winery. SOB Shane Coombs’ will give us the inside info on his soon-to-be open operation.  Our man Schmelling will be sending out more info. Feel free to bring some of your own wine, cider and mead to pass around (a beer or two wouldn’t hurt either). This one is going to be fun!

On October 26, Jody Cleveland will represent the SOBs at the Downtown Chili Cook-Off in Oshkosh. Jody will be pouring his homebrew in an effort to alleviate the mass indigestion taking place around Opera House Square. Good luck, Jody!

The SOB Christmas meeting is coming up! Zach Clark and Ian Wenger have volunteered to coordinate this year’s party. Thanks for stepping up guys! It’s great seeing new members pitching in; not to mention brewing such terrific beer.

Looks like the annual SOB dinner will again be hosted by Stone Cellar of Appleton. Bryce has offered to get the ball rolling on this one. The proposed date is February 19. Anyone have an idea for a theme? Think on it, we’ll have more discussion coming up.

We’re looking at taking another SOB brewery tour sometime after the new year. We’ll probably be heading to the southern end of the state, this time. No other details just yet.

The National Homebrewers Conference will be in Grand Rapids, MI this year and it’s looking very likely that the SOBs will be there. The conference runs from June 12-14 with registration beginning in February. Consider making plans for this. SOBs who have attended in the past have raved about it. Julie Lawson has volunteered to help us get organized. More to come.

Recent Successes

Jeff Eaton poured a couple of his excellent brews at the Barley & Hops Beer Fest on September 26. I was there, too, and can attest that Jeff had a good crowd enjoying his brews.

The apple crush at the Schmelling compound on September 28 was a big success. About 30 people were on hand and somewhere in the vicinity of 175 gallons of juice was collected. The club may want to think about investing in some equipment for this event as it’s turning into a popular annual gathering.

On October 11, Randy Bauer and Hiedi Hunter brought it strong for the SOBs at the St. Gabes Brewfest in Neenah. Jeff Eaton supplied the beer and Randy said people loved it. How’s that for teamwork!

The Beer Roll
And with that we adjourned to the bar, which was filled with excellent home made beers, wines, meads… Here’s a partial list of the things were tasting. Thanks to all of you who brought in the goods!
Kevin Lentzen’s Imperial Nut Brown Ale
Eric Hunter’s Dream Wheat
Brandon Zeddies’ Strong Ale and Pale Ale
Jeff Eaton’s Black IPA and Chili Pomegranate Wine
Zach Clark and Ian Wenger’s Brown Ale and India Amber Ale
Bob Stein’s Pumpkin Spice Wine
Keven Jelic’s Electric Lollipop
Mike Schlosser’s Chocolate Vanilla Cream Stout