February 15, 2017
The SOB’s gathered at O’Marro’s Public House, where rumor has it if you say that 3 times in the mirror absolutely nothing happens.
The meeting was presided by none other than Mr. Mike Engel, or as he is known around the tri-county area, ‘Buffalo Mike’. As you may know, Mike was newly elected as our club’s president, for a second time. There is a song by some famous British guys who knew a thing or three about music. They sang, “…Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” How’d they know?! Anyways, Mike is back in the saddle again as the club’s president and it took exactly 17 seconds for Al to tell him to speed the meeting along. Ah, the good ol’ days.
Mike took a few moments to go over some of the new things that will be soon implemented in the club. For starters, we are going to be doing a regular email blast with club and meeting information. This will go not only to all current members, but past ones as well as they may want to consider rejoining the club. This email blast will have an unsubscribe link at the bottom so anyone has the ability to option out if they desire. We are also going to start sampling and reviewing members’ beers/wines/meads during the meeting again – with the promise of keeping things moving along so that the meetings don’t drag on.
New Faces in the Crowd
We then turned our attention to the new faces that were in attendance. We had the pleasure of being introduced to Jessica and her boyfriend Jake. Jessica is a fan of wines, stouts, and porters and wants to know about the brewing process. They were introduced to the club via the Fond du Lac homebrew club’s (Central Wisconsin Brewers and Vinters) recent wine night. Cheers to you both, you’ve come to the right place.
Zach Clark gave the Treasurer’s report. The club board has done well over the past several years keeping the coffers at a great level – nice job!!
1st Beer Sampled
The honors of the first beer sampled go to Jeff Eaton, who brought a delicious Chocolate Bunny Porter. I had never had a bunny porter before, or any bunny beer for that matter. Turns out it had 2 whole bunnies in that beer and you know what? It was pretty darn good. It’s at this point I should probably mention that they were chocolate bunnies. If they were real bunnies, I think Jody would have set the place on fire. But back to the porter. An interesting thing about this beer is that Jeff had the gluten removed from it. Now normally, gluten free beers taste somewhere on the flavor scale of “Why God, Why?” and “Give-Me-Back-My-Gluten-Or-Someone’s-Getting-Hurt”. But neither were the case here as Jeff had a lot of flavor packed into this. For this beer, Jeff started with a stout recipe of his and essentially cut everything in half. Then, two chocolate bunnies were unceremoniously tossed into his cauldron of beery goodness, like a couple of villains in a James Bond movie. The beer also included some Fuggles hops, and a combination of Safale US05 and Nottingham yeasts.
Fond du Lac Brew Fest Recap
Kevin Jelic was in attendance and gave a quick recap of the FDL Brewfest. Kevin indicated it was once again very successful, and as it turns out an SOB took home first place in the attendee-voting for another consecutive year. Our very own Travis Sullivan somehow figured out how to make a beer taste like an old fashioned and the people loved it. I’m not sure how he made it, but then again, does that matter? A beer that tastes like an old fashioned!!! Nice work Travis. Also worth noting, that Richard Cardenas took 1st and 2nd in the wine category – way to go Richard!
Next Meeting Items
Next month Mike is going to be sending around a survey for the club. Now, before everyone does a simultaneous eye roll, here’s the scoop. It will be done during the meeting and as an incentive, everyone who fills one out will be entered to win a fabulous prize. I’m not sure what it will be, but Mike said it was fabulous and who am I to argue? The meeting itself will be held at Fox River Brewing Co. in their taproom.
Please note that the SOB website will begin the process of an update/overhaul. Stay tuned for further details.
Big Brew Day
Big Brew Day will be here before you know it. It always falls on the first Saturday in May, so that makes it May 6th this year. As a club, we want to renew interest in this and make it a club priority (‘cause heck, we’re a homebrew club). This year we are going to do it at The Cellar Homebrew Shop. The Appleton homebrew club, the A.L.E.’s, may be in attendance as well.
2nd Beer Sampled
This one was a commercial example of an English style ESB from Sand Creek Brewing. Lee gave everyone a little history on this style of beer, and whilst it was very interesting, I’ll spare everyone the details here to keep the minutes from getting too long.
One of the things that we want to start doing as a club, is to help set people up who need help brewing with other club members experienced in that particular area of need. This could be things like hosting brewing sessions at their homes, showing people how to make/build brewing equipment, or even meeting to discuss their brewing techniques.
3rd Beer Sampled
Jeff was back filling our gullets, this time with a milk stout. This was nearly the same recipe as his chocolate bunny porter, but without the bunnies. This was a pretty good beer, with one little nuance. Jeff made this beer to be put on nitrogen, so the samples we had were understandably flat as he served from his growler. Nonetheless, this was a very nice beer. Then Lee said something creepy about following Jeff home to have more.
S.O.B. Beer Dinner
Historically the S.O.B.’s have held an annual beer dinner in February, where we would indulge in a multi-course meal made with and served with the club’s own brew. In years past, we have traditionally done this at Stone Cellar in Appleton, but have also had it recently at O’Marro’s as well as at Dublin’s. The club was polled to see if there was interest in doing this again in the near future (at any venue), and with about 10 hands raised it was decided to keep this on our radar.
National Homebrewers Conference (NHC)
This year’s NHC is going to be held June 15-17 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Zach and Ian gave the group a download on what to expect for this year, as well as why this is such an important event for the homebrewing community at large. Essentially, this is the nation’s largest gathering of nerdy homebrewers, and it is chock full of demonstrations, seminars, products to purchase, and of course homebrew. Of particular interest is club night – which is essentially a homebrew beer festival on steroids. A few things to note about this year’s event: Hotels typically cost about $200/night (and Ian has a list of hotels near the convention center), registration begins on March 11, and most important – you must be an AHA (American Homebrewers Association) member to attend. The good news is they’ll let anyone join, so long as you pay the required $38.
4th Beer Sampled
Jody Cleveland enchanted everyone’s palate with a funky little ditty he called a brown saison. He used Saison DuPont yeast and a combination of Munich and Special B malts, with some Cluster hops for bittering. Sour, brown, and delicious.
Casks & Caskets
Mike reported that we are 100% a go for hosting the revival of Casks & Caskets this year and that was certainly exciting news. There are currently 5 people on the committee, but there is always room for more so please connect with Mike Engel if you are interested in helping to plan Event City’s quintessential homebrew festival. There are currently 4 venues in play and we’ll hear more at the next meeting.
5th Beer Sampled
Kevin Jelic shared his Weizenbock. This was a strong little number clocking in at ~ 8%, and made with Munich and Vienna malts. Kevin has made this brew before and as was the case in the past, it was a crowd pleaser.
6th Beer Sampled
John Dewayne provided everyone with his Bière de Garde. Traditionally, this type of beer was brewed in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, but this beer was at home here in Oshkosh surrounded by dozens who were thirsty for more of it. John said this was a Domaine DuPage clone with Vienna and Munich malts.
1st Wine Sampled
Tonight we had only one wine to sample. This was Al Jacobson’s infamous duck corn wine. You see, this wine is not just famous, it’s IN-famous. This wine was made with 3.6 ducks and made 4 people temporarily blind. As always Al, you’re the man.
Here are additional topics that were discussed towards the end of the business section of the meeting:
- Ian reported that a New Member S.O.B. pamphlet is in the works, and if you have any suggestions on what content should be in that, please let him know. In addition to providing these pamphlets to new members at our meetings, these could be placed in willing bars throughout town.
- Dave Koepke from The Cellar Homebrew Shop may bring in a rep to speak to the club. Also of note, his next how-to session will be Winemaking 101. These are held at his shop and are free.
- Chuck Tomsovic would like the club to provide some info on water chemistry in a future meeting.
If anyone is interested in helping out with the monthl