We met for our January meeting at O’Marro’s Public House on Jan 18th, with a theme of Bocks and Barleywines.  We had a decent amount of stuff to cover, so after having a warm up drink….or two….we got right to it!

First order of business was the election of the three officer positions open.  All three positions were unopposed, so by vote of acclimation, all three were awarded the term.

Our new president is Mike Engel.  The new secretary will be Scott Westphal.  And continuing as membership coordinator is Ian Wegner.  Congratulate them when you see them, and wish them the best.  It’s not always and easy job to plan and run things, so a huge thanks to these guys for stepping up for the next two years!

Next up, we informed the membership of the NE Wisconsin Homebrew Open Competition, taking place and sponsored by Lion’s Tail Brewing in Neenah.  Any style is eligible to be entered, but it must contain at least one Briess Malt.  There is no entry fee.  The date of the event is February 18th.  You need to sign up, and provide 3 twelve oz bottles or 2 bombers.  The web page and information on it for anyone who is interested can be found here



Next up was final information on the FDL Brewfest, and another new brew sampling event in Kimberly.  The FDL brewfest will be held on Feb 4th, at the FDL county fairgrounds.  This year is a Hawaiian theme!  They will once again have the homebrew alley, and the SOBs will be a part.  We have 6 brewers, and a dozen different wares to sample.  One name that stood out is Mike Engels “Buffalo Skeeter Pee”, a fermented lemon juice.  We will also be serving two small quantity bourbon barrel beers, so be sure to stop by the SOB table if you come to the event.  Tickets, and information can be found at:  http://www.fdlbrewfest.org/


Also, new this year is a sampling event held at Tanners in Kimberly, to benefits the Kaukauna/Kimberly library.  It’s call Beer and Bacon night, and it’s everything a bacon and beer lover could hope for.  Different bacon snacks like candied bacon, and bacon paired beers.  The SOBs will have a table if anyone wants to bring their wares.  It has a Valentines theme, and there is a discount for couples to go together.  1 for 25 or a couple for 40.  More information can be found at:  http://baconbeernight.brownpapertickets.com/


Next up, we discussed a bus tour, aiming for May.  Details are being worked out as to exactly when and where we want to go.  Jeff will keep us posted.  The weather will be warming up, and it will be time to start traveling again after being cooped up all winter.  More breweries are opening up in the state than we could have ever hoped for, so our options are ever increasing.  No matter which direction we pick, there are great new places to try.  As Lee said in his blog, it’s a great time to be a craft beer lover!


The AHA Conference is in June, which will be here before we know it!  There will be at least a few SOBs going, and we’re going to bring the ever popular logging setup with us!  Every year we send a few, and it’s always been a great experience, at least what they remember from it!  If you have a vacation to burn, it’s June 15th through the 18th.  If you are interested in attending, get ahold of Ian, and he can give you the details on the plans and the cost associated with it.  We guarantee you’ll have a great time, even if we have to tell you about it after you wake up!


The last order of business was an update from Mike Engel on Casks and Caskets.  We talked about different ways to do the event without getting smacked by the powers in Madison.  Rather than large announcements stating that we will be serving beer for free to anyone that shows up, we’re going to use our C and C website, along with the email list for it, to tell those that have showed an interest about the event.  We will use a will call system, so all they need to do is get their name on the list.  We’ll cut it off when we’ve reached the limit, and the attendees just need to come get their wristband from will-call when they get there.  We’ve been tossing around different ideas to try to make the most amount we can for our chosen charity.  Any ideas are welcomed, and if you’d like to be more active in planning for the event, please contact Mike Engel.


With that, we moved to our theme of the night, Bocks and Barleywines.  One of the first things we found out from a practical standpoint, is that Barleywines aren’t really that easy to find in a commercial setting.

Bock is a strong lager of German origin. Several substyles exist, including maibock, helles bock, and heller bock, a paler, more hopped version generally made for consumption at spring festivals; dopplebock, a stronger and maltier version; and eisbock, a much stronger version made by partially freezing the beer and removing the ice that forms.

Originally a dark beer, first brewing in the 14th century,  a modern bock can range from light copper to brown in colour.[1] The style is very popular, with many examples brewed internationally.

Bocks are traditionally made using Munich malt as the base, and mostly German malts.  If you’ve never tried brewing one, now is as good a time as any to give it a shot.  They are great winter beers, with chocolate and caramel lending some sweetness.  If you do decide to make one, make sure you bring it to a meeting, and we’ll all be more than happy to give feedback on your brew!


Barley wines are the original Imperial.  A barley wine typically reaches an alcohol strength of 8 to 12% by volume and is brewed from a starting gravity as high as 1.120. Use of the word wine is due to its alcoholic strength similar to a wine,  but since it is made from grain rather than fruit it is a beer.

There are two primary styles of barley wine: the American, which tends to be more hoppy and bitter with colors ranging from amber to light brown.  And the English style which tends to be less bitter and may have little hop flavor, with more variety in color ranging from red-gold to opaque black. Barley wines are sometimes labelled with a production date, as they are intended to be aged, sometimes extensively.  This is not a beer that you want to rush.


With that, we concluded our January meeting.  Our February meeting will be held at O’Marros on Feb 15th.  We hope to see everyone there.  As this is my last month as secretary, I thank you for your patience while I learned to write a little more, and try to make it a little more in depth, and a little more fun-Bill