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Upholding Oshkosh's Brewing Traditions

Anyone who brews their own beer is a real SOB!

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Meetings

June 2021 Meeting

Our June 17th meeting held at Fox River Brewing recognized new and departing board members and celebrated tapping #2 of the SOB anniversary beers!  Our new fearless president Scott Westphal kicked off the meeting with a cheers to beers while hoisting the Kellerbier (recipe by Logan Anderson) as part of the limited release beers honoring the SOB’s 30th anniversary.  Prost!

Mike Engel has handed off the torch to Scott as he completed yet another term as President of the SOB’s.  Mike has served on the board for over 15 years of his total 25+ years of being an SOB.  To add to the celebration, Mike also announced his retirement from his actual job!  So please take a moment to congratulate Mike if you haven’t had the chance already!  We thank you for all your years of service on the board and wish you all the best in your next adventure of retirement.  Cheers, Mike!

In other election news, Logan Anderson has transferred responsibility of Secretary to Michael Udelhoven.  Logan will be starting a new life journey in Germany later this year.  We’ll miss his enthusiasm and contribution to the club greatly (especially his beer).  I offered to let him keep his role as Secretary if he would stay in the states instead, but he wouldn’t go for the deal, ha!

In case you’re already bored with reading, let’s get to the exciting stuff! THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY FOR THE SOB’s IS THIS SATURDAY!!! June 26th at Fifth Ward Brewing in Oshkosh. The party officially starts at 2pm and doesn’t stop until we drink the entire batch (gotta have goals in life, right?) of Mike Engel’s Pumpernickel Rye! The 3rd installment of the limited release SOB beers. Former members, current members, and all are welcome to come celebrate and honor the SOB’s. I hear there will be cake too…like we didn’t already have you at beer.

If you weren’t able to attend the June Brews on the Bay at Menominee Park, I highly suggest you make an effort to go July 14th.  Mark and Logan represented the SOB’s in June while pouring some of their amazing beers.  Kurt, Logan, Travis, and Scott are signed up to pour beers during the July 14th event.  Stop on by to support your SOB’s and taste some beers from local breweries. 

July’s meeting will return to our regularly scheduled time of 7pm and third Wednesday (July 21st), however it will be held at Omega Brewing in Omro.  This will also be our SOB club competition.  If you have a beer you wish to enter into the competition, please submit them between July 11-18th at The Cellar and be sure to label them using the appropriate BJCP labels (which can be found HERE). Omega has even offered to brew the winning beer! 

Lastly, a quick highlight of upcoming events:

Club Beer Competition – July 21st, Omega Brewing

Club Picnic – August 18th, Kiwanis Shelter Menominee Park

Club Cider, Mead, and Wine Competition – September 15th, Rushford Meadery

Green Bay Bus Tour??? – Stay tuned for details about timing and sign-up!

Can’t wait to see everyone at the SOB 30th anniversary party June 26th!

April 2021 Meeting

Do you know what the greatest feeling is? Sitting on a bar stool, talking beer, and hanging out with some of the greatest SOBs in all the world! And so, we’re very glad to finally be back to live meetings. In April we saw some old faces, some new faces, and some faces that we didn’t think we’d see again! That’ right, Mr. Jared Mathys, we’re looking at you. Although we were just getting back to our regularly scheduled meetings there was plenty to talk about, so let’s dive in.

Our first order of business was, like always, the new faces in the room. Too often when we ask if there are any new faces in the room, we’re met with blanks stares from the crowd. However, last month we had the opportunity to meet a few great fellas from 8th Day Community Brewery. Now if you’ve never heard of 8th Day don’t feel too bad. They’re a new concept brewery that is operated by committee and donations only. That means there are no large investors and all forms of brewing, social media presence, book-keeping, etc. are operated by a team of devote volunteers. Currently they are contract brewing at Fifth Ward with hopes to have their own brewery up and running soon. Moreover, they’re a team of people dedicated to being involved, and in such fashion our new friend Chris donated some time, brats, and “shtuff” to our annual Big Brew Day celebrations on May 1st.

Big Brew Day is one of the SOBs most notorious events. Typically, a lot of people turn out with even more beer. We were a little nervous this year because we had to cancel the in-person event at the last minute last year. As it turns out, our fears were greatly misplaced. 8 brew kettles turned up with plenty of additional friendly faces and a plethora of great beers. The day started out a little rainy and over cast, but cleared up as soon as the SOBs lit their burners. Although the wind was less than ideal every brewer filled up a carboy with sweet wort. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some of those beers in time for the May meeting.

Speaking of the May meeting, this is another important one. Next month we will be voting on two new board members. The Presidential and Secretary positions are up for grabs to anyone in the club. We already took some nominations at the April meeting. Some of the nominations were vehemently rejected while other were eagerly accepted. Currently on the ballot is Scott Westphal for President and Mike Udey. Of course, these are just two options, so if you have other nominations or think you’d fill the position well yourself be sure to stop by the May meeting to have your voice heard.

Last on the meeting agenda was the SOB 30th Anniversary party. We’re still in the planning process and are working out some of the important dates but will let you know as soon as we know! What we do have set in stone is that there will be a grand celebration on June 26th at Fifth Ward in all of the grand SOB fashion. There will be SOB merchandise, pictures form years gone by, beers of every color and bitterness, and most importantly there will be SOBs of all generations. We also know that along with the celebration we are collaborating with 3 of the Oshkosh breweries to have an SOB beer brewed and released on premise; at Fifth Ward Mike Engel will be brewing his famous pumpernickel rye beer to be so aptly named Buffalo Mike’s Last Ride (at least that’s what we all want it to be named), Al Jacobson will be brewing a spiced ale at Barebones, and Logan Anderson will be brewing a kellerbier with Fox River. Although we don’t have exact dates for all of these releases, yet we are looking to release in mid to late June. Stay tuned for more details. For now, that’s all we have for you. We are excited to be back to live meetings and hope you are too. We’ll see you all in a few weeks!

Jan 2021 meeting

The SOBs started 2021 out on slightly different note than usual. As compared to our normal holiday partying, our January meeting was a little more organized and informational. We hosted Bobby, owner of McFleshman’s Brewery in Appleton. Here is what Bobby had to say:
McFleshman’s started out as a brewery focused on traditional German and English beers and has remained true to that calling. In their hand-crafted brewery and taproom, you’ll find an impressive juxtaposition of German and English cultures; a stained-glass German image hangs behind numerous beer engines, instruments (ready to be played by anyone who can tune one) adorn the wood worked walls, while a hop laden biergarten sits in the bright southern sun. Although Bobby freshly refurbished the building that would house his brewery the brick and mortar is not unaccustomed to the smell of malt and hops as McFleshman’s is the 9th beer related business to be located at 115 State St. The location once used by Calumet County Brewery and as a Blatz distribution center now holds a copper gilded brewery and numerous taps.
Bobby began his brewing journey long before opening McFleshman’s. As he traversed textbooks on his quest to becoming an astrophysicist, he occasionally reduced his rent by brewing his now famous English Bitter, MSB, for his English landlord. After a spurt in academia, he decided to expand on his homebrewing passion by opening a brewery in the heart of Appleton, Wisconsin. Here he has partnered with local colleges to create one of the most true- to-tradition breweries in the area.
Bobby’s Czech built brewery is designed for decoction mashing to increase malty, bready flavors and satiating the lager lovers of the region. As a lager lover, I can only dream of so many homebrewed lagers. He says that beyond the ability to make lagers there is a stark difference from homebrewing and commercial brewing. In homebrewing we tend to go big and bold, holding nothing back. While in commercial brewing you need to consider a large audience. In commercial batches mindfulness needs to be adhered to in hop additions as lower IBUs are required due to higher hop utilization and a lot more yeast needs to be pitched to start a strong fermentation. But one thing remains constant – in recipe building less is often more as complex flavors are achieved through subtle malt and hop additions. With a little luck, like with Something Amber Vienna Lager, mixing fewer local malts to create a malty and delicious beer can be a winner in only a few batches. Even with many successes and GABF awards, Bobby still attributes connecting with homebrewers as one of the biggest rewards of big -time brewing.
As homebrewers we have begun to associate sour beers with craft, fruit ales with little room for tradition. In Bobby’s mind sours like lambics are at the heart of his traditional brewery, which is why he plans to team up with Appleton Beer Factory to deliver a new sour beer program. Moreover, the Dr. of Astrophysics (and beer) plans to install horizontal lagering fermenters. This will allow him more room for lagering German styles and to skim off fresh yeast for future repitching. Most of us think of immediate repitching but Bobby is once again looking to team up with Appleton Beer Factory to build a propagator that will increase healthy yeast cells by continually pouring in heat and oxygen. Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the beehives perched atop the white clad roofs of the McFleshman’s building. Last year the bees produced 200 lbs. of honey, which Bobby hopes to turn into mead in future years.

In all, we cannot compliment Bobby’s brewing or brewery enough. Many great beers have come from his 3-year-old brewery and we expect more to come. Even non-traditional styles seem to be amazing when brewed at McFleshman’s, which is why we raffled off 3 Black is Beautiful Imperial Stouts brewed at McFleshman’s. Congratulations to our winners and we can’t wait to see you all again soon.

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