Neither snow nor wind nor gloom of night will stay these beeriers from the swift completion of yet another round. 

On the cold Wednesday evening of January 16, 2014, about 45 of the finest yeast freaks you’ll ever meet gathered in the O’Marro’s Club House and did that thing they do. It’s time for the 274th monthly of the Society of Oshkosh Brewers!

How’ya Doin?
And who’s that we see sitting up front? It’s our long lost Chuck Tomsovic. Welcome back Chuck.

As we like to do, we kicked things off with a toast. It was Mike Udelhoven’s turn: “May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty and may our Ale never go musty.” Nice one, Mike. No danger of that around here.

We had a good crew of friendly folks stopping by to check us out for the first time. Stephen, Lynn, Tom, Kurt and Kevin were there giving us the once over. Looked like they had a good time. Stephen even brought in a couple of his homebrews.

We went around the room catching up with what’s been brewing in some SOBs pots as of late. Shawn Lord says he’s been working on his recipe for Ale Asylum’s Bedlam, a Belgian IPA. Mike Schlösser has a new stove and is threatening to break it in with his first batch of stove-top beer in years. Dick Waltenberry has decided it’s time to brew even more beer. He’s currently working out the logistics of going from 5 gallon batches to 10 gallon brews. And Ian House just kegged his apple-crush cider and then brewed his annual Hop Nog IPA. Damn, this is making me thirsty!

Taking Care of Business
With the secretary position being vacated by a three-gallon tinhorn whose name shall not be mentioned, we find ourselves electing a new minutes-man to the post. And after a quick tally of the votes, that man is Richard Cardenas. Congratulations, Richard!

That was followed by the remainder of the current board being re-elected to their individual posts. Keep up the good work Chuck, Jeff, Becky, Steve, Jody and Mark!

By Laws: The proposed term-limits change to our by-laws was discussed and a quick read through of the language was given. We discussed both the merits and potential problems of imposing such term limits. It will be up to the club to accept or reject the proposed two-year term limit. The vote will come at the regular meeting on March 18, 2014.

Mid-Meeting Whistle Wetter
We haven’t been passing beer around during the regular portion of the meeting as of late, but it looks like that’s going to change this year. Hurrah!

The first homebrew to make it through the crowd this year was Jody Cleveland’s American Honey Brown Lager. Jody brews this using a high-kilned base malt named Ashburne Mild, some Caramel 60 and then spikes it with a large dose (20%) of honey at flame-out. The beer turned out dry and tasty; with one club member comparing it to a braggot. A good discussion of Jody’s beer ensued. Let’s hope we see more of this kind of thing in the future. If you have a beer you’d like the club to evaluate, bring that damned thing in. This doesn’t have to be the best beer you’ve ever brewed; just any beer your looking for feedback on. Be brave you SOBs. We all want to see what you’re up to in the brew shed.

Jody’s beer was followed by a presentation on porter. We talked about the history of porter in general and Brown Porter in particular. And while we gabbed, we drank some Taddy Porter, a classic example of the style. We followed that with a tasting of and discussion about a Porter that Chuck Tomsovic recently brewed. And that was a good beer, too! It straddled the lines between a Brown Porter and a Robust Porter. Thanks for stepping up, Chuck.

Coming Up
We closed out with a few dates to keep in mind.

Beer Dinner: This will be February 19 at Stone Cellar. We have about 25 people signed-up for this one, but it would be good to have a few more. Bryce will be sending out more info soon.

AHA Conference: This is in Grand Rapids from June 10-14 and the SOBs will be there. Mark Schmelling is heading a committee to plan this event. He could use your help. Contact Mark by email (pp270@wmis.net).

Fond du Lac Brewfest: This will be February 1, 2014. The SOBs are going to be kicking some ass down there. You want to kick some ass, too (metaphorically, of course)? Contact Jeff Eaton (jeaton51@hotmail.com). For more info on the Fondy Fest, check out the Brewfest webpage.

Barley’s Beer Tasting: February 5. A few SOBs will be on hand pouring some of their best at this mini-beer beer fest at Barley & Hops in Oshkosh.

Kirby is Coming!: Famous Wisconsin Brewmaster Kirby Nelson will be coming to speak to the SOBs at the April 16 monthly meeting.

Big Brew Day: Hey, you SOBs, save this date: May 3, 2014. We’ll get together for our first group brew of the new year. What the hell is a Big Brew Day you ask… it looks something like THIS.

Post-Meeting Meeting
From there out it was all good brew and snacks. Thanks to Linda Lyster for bringing in some terrific smoked fish and thanks to Jeff Eaton and Becky Gall for our other tasty snack. And a big thanks to all of you who continue to bring your homebrewed, beers, meads, wines and ciders to the club meeting. That’s what it’s all about.

Adieu!
Thanks for indulging my peculiar typing habit over the past few years, you SOBs. Look for Richard Cardenas to fill this space next time. Go get ‘em, Richard!