Upholding Oshkosh's Brewing Traditions

Anyone who brews their own beer is a real SOB!



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.

October 2020 Meeting

SOB October 20 GM Minutes

This month, a virtual meeting took place and a total of 8 members were in attendance via the Zoom format. We marveled at the medicinal drug, er beer cabinet, that Chuck was in front of. Here’s what we discussed (while drinking our beverage of choice):

  • From here on out, we will hold meetings virtually until it’s considered safe to hold them live.
  • Unfortunately, the Christmas party is put on hold until its safe to do so. We’ll schedule it as soon as we can. The board will discuss a re-scheduling of the wine, cider, mead competition as well.
  • We are holding dues to the $10 mark until the end of the year. That’s a deal! Please send to Treasurer Kurt Weina.
  • Dick Waltenberry’s winning entry in our recent beer competition, an English Porter, was brewed several weeks ago at Fox River in Oshkosh and will hit the tap line in a few weeks. We’ll send out an email once it’s available.
  • We discussed the rise in home brewing during the pandemic and an idea was brought forth to hold a “beer share” among our membership. Quite simply, it would involve signing people up and then bringing the beers to a central location (we discussed Fox River during Dick’s opening day beer release) for distribution. Everyone liked that idea with at least 6 people stating they would like to get in on it. Link to sign-up in this blast below.
  • President and Secretary elections in January. Mike is stepping down and Logan may not have time to continue in his position, although he has done a great job and we think he should stay! Please consider these positions as your next opportunity to continue the great fun of the SOB!
  • During our open forum, a few items of note: FW’s Buffalo Plaid is back, along with Double Oat 7 and Infinity Crisis, a Chocolate Amber. And, just yesterday, Blueberry Pancake Stout!

October 2020 meeting

SOB Octoberfest!

It was almost just like old times. These wort shares are going to have to continue if this keeps happening! 
Attendance at the September Octoberfest meeting was superb. Guess that’s what happens when you provide free beer and brats!

25 people came out of hiding to attend and no less than 11 different Octoberfests hit the ground running. A world of different palettes were uncovered from this experiment: case in point – two that were fermented with the same yeast resulted in very different tastes!

We also signed up two new members on the spot! Welcome new members Brent Bowman and Michael Gumtow to the SOB fold.

Thanks to all those who brought their wort share beer along; to Kurt Weina, for donating and cooking the food and to Zach and Ian, for providing the wort, setting up the beer garden and bringing out samples of their own Octoberfest and a special sampling of their forthcoming Doppelbock, which by the way, will is now on tap!

Coming up in October is the Wine, Mead and Cider Competition, to be held at Rushford Meadery and WInery in Omro.

We also wanted to mention that Fox River will be brewing Dick Waltenberry’s winning entry in the SOB beer competition on Friday, October 2nd, beginning at 7am! Only five people will be admitted and masks must be worn.

One last note. We think not all of the members received the notice about the Octoberfest tasting. We apologize for that are are going over the membership list with a fine tooth comb to make sure all members receive club communication. Thanks for understanding!

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