SOB June 20th Meeting Minutes

Pairing with our scheduled monthly tasting of quaffables, we headed out to Omro’s Rushford Meadery and Winery, a few miles northwest of town.

Ably staffed by SOB member Shane Coombs, his wife Laurel (a BJCP judge), Branch Manager Tannin (a German Short Hair Pointer), and Pearl, (a perky Havanese, a breed of Bichon type), Rushford Meadery and Winery is a full-service production facility, comfortably nestled within an old schoolhouse complete with juice extraction equipment, fermenters, a bottler, a large tasting room and an ample vineyard and apple orchard with room to grow.

Starting a bit late, due to everyone getting a taste of the myriad of products available, the meeting commenced, with a large contingent of fellow homebrewers from the Waupaca Badger Den Homebrew Club. They even brought a few of their own brews for us to try, including a wine and some beers. Around 26 people attended; eight of those were from the Waupaca contingent. At least one of the members from Waupaca even joined the SOB’s on the spot!

Because of the nature of this particular meeting, we did not have the opportunity to taste and give proper feedback for member’s brews, but thanks to Jon Frerickson and Cody Banks of the Waupaca club for bringing in a Session New England-Style IPA, a Lightly-Spruced APA and a delightful barrel-aged Belgian Golden Strong, sitting on strawberries. Member Mike Engel brought in his cider from last year’s crop and an IPA (couldn’t have seen that one coming!) brewed at Big Brew Day using the AHA Big Brew Day’s recipe. This one was light in malt backbone, but delivered a strong hop nose and flavor without being too overbearing.

Dues were due this month and treasurer Zach reminded everyone of that fact. Please get yours in if you missed the meeting!

Seven of our club members attended the granddaddy of hombrewing gatherings, the American Homebrewers Association National Convention, this year held in Minneapolis, MN. Those attending reported a fantastic time, with great seminars and really fun club night, where clubs set us booths and served their own creations, complete with fun costumes and decorations to match. Next year’s event will be held in Portland, Oregon.

The club is getting prices and samples of SOB work shirts, caps, t-shirts and stickers to replenish our stock so if you are interested, there will be sign-up sheets to make sure you get your order.

The board rolled out an updated calendar, bringing fruit beers to the September meeting, Octoberfest beers to the October meeting and Barrel-Aged beers to the November meeting. Of course, the annual picnic is in August and the Christmas Party in December.

Next on the docket was discussion of the club-only competition for July, held at The Cellar Homebrew Shop in Oshkosh. The event will be held during the normal club meeting, with brewers from Bare Bones, Fox River, Lion’s Tail and Stone Arch performing the judging per BJCP guidelines. During the meeting, members will be able to judge every entry themselves, making for an interesting match-up between results of the commerical brewers vs home brewers. Two entries of either beer, wine, mead or cider will be allowed per member (must be paid up dues wise) with no entry fee. Entries can be mixed and there will be no entry fee. Four bottles of at least 12 ounces each in brown bottles must be dropped off at the Cellar between July 10th and July 15th during normal business hours. Grand Prize is a traveling trophy and a $50 gift certificate, while second and third place entries will receive a $25 gift certificate and a medal. This is the perfect opportunity to have your creation judged by commercial brewers and get some great feedback in the process! An email will be sent out in early July with the competition rules/form and a link to the BJCP guide for entering the category and subcategory.

Our Casks and Caskets event is looking for a few more committee members, so if you are interested, please email Coordinator Mike Engel.

After the business portion of the meeting concluded, those attending received a first-class tour from Shane covering all aspects of the brewery including future expansion plans and a tour of the vineyards. Laurel pitched in and served glasses of wine, mead and cider in the tasting room for those thirsty during the tour. As the tour ended, most rushed in to buy bottles of their favorites before the bewitching hour of nine o’clock (no more purchases after this time). It was truly a wonderful evening and the weather was near-perfect.

The next meeting is July 19th at the Cellar Homebrew Shop in Oshkosh for our club-only competition. Hope to see you there!