We all met at O’Marros Public House on October 19th for our regular meeting.  This meeting was about everything Octoberfest.  But first, we had to get through a little bit of business.

 

At the top of the list is Big Brew Day on May 7th.  Now that we have a real homebrew shop in Oshkosh, it only makes sense that we have Big Brew Day at that homebrew shop.  They are eager to have us.  They will run discounts on supplies for anyone who needs anything, and if you forget something, they’ll be right there to help.  We will have more details as we get closer to May, but it’s always good to plan ahead!

The annual AHA conference is in Minneapolis in June 2017.  Ian is working on putting together plans and costs for the trip for anyone that wants to attend.  Our club has been using the sawdust city theme when they go, with lumberjack gear and a sawmill set up for our beers.  Every year we’ve gone, everyone has had a great time….what they can remember of it!  If you are interested in going next year, get ahold of Ian Wegner at a meeting and he can tell you everything you need to know.

Sometime in the end of the winter months, we are going to do a collaboration brew with Bare Bones.  Much like Fox River Brewing did in the past, we’ll meet there and do a brew on RJ’s brewing system.  What we are going to do differently is we’ll have some members take some of the wort home after it’s boiled and chilled, and those members will ferment and dry hop as they see fit.  We’ll have the exact same base beer, made in a bunch of different finishes.  RJ will take whatever is left, and create his own version that will go on Bare Bones taps when it is ready.  We are not positive of what kind of beer, but RJ is imagining a golden ale or something else he can really hop up.  When all the brews are done, we’ll have our meeting at Bare Bones, and have a competition of sorts, including RJ’s version.  There are a lot of details to work out on this, but so far it is looking like a great way to have some fun and make some interesting beer!  Once we have a date nailed down, we will send out a sign up for those that want to take some beer home.

The last big piece of business was Casks and Caskets.  You all read the letter Mike Engel sent out.  The biggest concern was: will we be able to have enough beer for the event?  We did a show of hands of people willing to bring something, and got overwhelming support from the members that were present.  If everyone that wasn’t there also brings some, we will have more than enough.  There was also talk of inviting the other brew clubs as well.  As stands, we know this: 1. The convention center is good with us doing it there, so long as the state okays the event.  2. The state is ok with the event, so long as we don’t charge admission.  So, we have to do it as a free-will donation event.  Again, the membership that was in attendance was very supportive of going forward with it.  Mike is going to lead the committee on planning it, but he needs help.  If you are willing to help, send mike and email at mengel@new.rr.com.  We believe it’s important to the club to continue to create goodwill in the community.

 

With that, it was time for beer.  And we had plenty of it.  Lee talked about the history of Octoberfest beers.  Marzen and Octoberfest are interchangeable, there is no difference.  And we learned that they traditionally were a late summer beer even when they were first introduced.  It’s the Octoberfest name that made it into a fall beer.  So next time we think August is too early, remind yourself that marzen’s were always released in late July into August, and drink one guilt free!  We had six commercial versions, and one homebrewed.  We started with Bent Tuba from Titletown, then Sprecher’s Octoberfest.  The next two were O’so Brewing’s Marzen and Lake Louie’s as well.  These were all provided by Dublins’ so say thanks and have a beer next time you’re in the area.  The last two were ones that Lee liked, and wanted to have.  The first was the Spaten Octoberfest.  The second one was Sierra Nevada’s brew.  And we were also fortunate to have a homebrewed Marzen, and it was a perfect finisher of the style in a homebrew club meeting!  Now that we got the Marzen out of our system, we sampled some hoppier brews, a couple IPA’s, kellerbier, a honey wheat, and some fantastic cranberry mead.  It was a great finish to our evening.

Our November focus is going to be everything Wine and Mead.  We will perhaps have a competition, maybe just sample and discuss, that will depend on how many samples we have.  If history is any indicator, it will be a good time!

Last, on October 27th, Lee and Jody are going to give a presentation on the history of craft beer, saloons, and breweries in Oskosh.  There will be samples of homebrews served during the event.  The beers have been brewed using historical recipes dating back to 1856.  It take place next Thursday, the 27th, at 6:30PM at the Oshkosh Public Library.  Hope to see you there!