Upholding Oshkosh's Brewing Traditions

Anyone who brews their own beer is a real SOB!



June 2017 Meeting Minutes

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!

SOB Meeting May 2017

May 17, 2017
The SOB’s gathered at O’Marro’s Public House, which is rumored to be the source of U2’s ‘Sweetest Thing’.
New Faces
At this meeting we had the fortune of meeting a few new faces. There was Jeremy, who has been homebrewing for about a year, and has not only a whiskey barrel stout being aged on Peddleton whisky and oak chips, but an amber ale as well as some cherry bounce. And there was also Jesse, who was invited by Zach who was here at his second meeting. Great to have you all at the meeting!
Signup Sheets At this Month’s Meeting:
As we had a number of events coming up, it was necessary to discuss a few of the signup sheets that were being passed around at the meeting. They included:
• Casks and Caskets to help and/or bring beer.
• Brewing Education – what do you want to see? Would you host anything?
Treasurer’s Report
Zach forgot the bank bag at home so there wasn’t a full report this month. Dues are coming up next month, and Zach will send out a reminder to everyone next week. The options are to send dues to Zach or bring them to June’s meeting. It was also noted that family members can join for half-cost. The intent there is for people whose significant others don’t attend everything, but do come and contribute from time to time. Zach also reported that he will be making up membership cards again, and Mike has confirmed that Dave at the Cellar will give S.O.B.’s a 5% discount if members show their cards. Jeff did note that most homebrew shops will offer discounts to homebrew clubs if they can prove it – now we can. Note – memberships run from June to June and will be prorated based on the month they join.
1st Beer Sampled
Richard Cardenas – Irish Red (3rd take), with Carapils 40 to get the red hue up. Richard thinks it has too much roast character so will be taking another crack at this in the future. Northern Brewer and East Kent Golding hops. Overall, a very fine beer. A fine beer indeed!
Big Brew Day
Recap – occurred on May 6th and the SOB’s had 10 brewpots going. If you weren’t there you missed Ian and Zach’s super big brewing system with a refrigeration unit on a trailer!!! The event was held at the Cellar Homebrew Shop, and owner Dave Koepke indicated that he’s in again for next year. Dick Waltenberry drove up Friday evening with the giant RV – a great wind block on what turned out to be a windy day. Dick noted that there were an awful lot of people who went into the “novelty” shop next door at very late hours Friday night….
Beer Week
It was beer week in the Fox Valley. The Source Public House, just east of Appleton, was to be hosting Central Waters, who promised to bring some things they haven’t served before, or things that may be hard to get. As part of beer week, there were also rumors that a yuuuuuge inflatable Irish Pub with a Reggae band will be at Lion’s Tail. I’m not really sure how those two go together, but you know what? ‘Murica.
Casks and Caskets
This will be held on November 4th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Oshkosh. We need to know how many free tickets to create, which is a direct correlation to how much beer we’ll have. That is why it is important for people to sign up early. Any style of beer, wine, mead is being asked – each member 10 gal. Will open this up to the FDL and Appleton clubs.
2nd Beer Sampled
Brian Schnieder – based on an Elk’s Head cream ale with Safeale 05. There was a little bit of Belgian-y flavor with a bit if bubblegum. It was a touch sweet, so the thought was that perhaps it had not fermented all the way. Brian says it was a 1.066 OG, and bottled at 1.010. He used Pilsen light DME, and steeped with Carapils and flaked corn. The general consensus though was that people liked it, and would just rename it to a saison and call it good.
Club Only Competition
At the July meeting we’ll have our club only competition. RJ from Bare Bones, Kevin from Fox River, Alex from Lion’s Tale, and Alex from Stone Arch will be there to judge. Will do 2 separate competitions for each beer entered. One will be judged based on the club membership, and one judged by the professional brewers. To that end, please make sure to bring a minimum of 48oz for judging. There were just over 10 persons who were interested. Please note: we will limit the competition to 1 entry per member to avoid palette fatigue.
3rd Beer Sampled
Jeff Eaton – Scotch ale that soured in the keg, and then sat for one year in the bottle. It definitely did not turn out like intended. Was a starter batch for a bourbon barrel wee heavy….but something…..some……thing…..happened. Jeff thinks it may have been due to sanitation. Well, in any case, just rename this baby to a sour brown and call it good. Cause that’s what we do, baby!!
1st Wine Sampled
Al brought in a dandelion wine. O.G. 1.095 … didn’t get a F.G. (he thinks it may be because this stuff dissolved his hydrometer). It’s a 2015 vintage which per the experts was a good year for the dandelion crop. Al just started picking dandelions until he got tired of picking them so he doesn’t recall exactly how many were used. It was smoother than everyone thought and turned out quite good.
NHC Report
Nothing new to report. Ian noted he will send an email out to everyone who has signed up. Do remember, if you have beer you can give it to Zach and Ian to serve at the event, even if you can’t make it.
SOB Merchandise
Jeff is working on coming up with samples (hoodie sweatshirt, hat, work-shirt, stickers). Al suggested S.O.B. rompers. Only if you model them for our brochure Al.
Sours and Wilds
• Anderson Valley – Kettle Soured Gose. Uses Lactobacsomethingoranother. This style originated in Germany and used coriander and salt. This one was brewed with watermelon juice.
• New Glarus – Oud Bruin 2016. Kinda like a Flanders Brown. Brewed in foeders and blended with Dan Carey’s proprietary goodness with a coolship. Now, if we’re going to talk about coolships, has anyone ever seen the Star of India?
• New Glarus – Enigma. Flanders Red. A mystery wrapped in yeast.
• Upland – Revive. This one is a little hard to describe but says it is a fruited sour. Brewed with pineapple.
• Unita – Hopscursion Brett IPA. Tasted like hops and horse blankets.
Future Bus Trips/Tours
Jeff Eaton – getting to be enough breweries in the Fox Valley, considering a bus tour around town. Also looking at 3 Sheeps or Calumet Brewing. More information pending future meetings. If anyone has ideas, let a board member know.
Next Month’s Meeting
We will meet at Rushford Winery in Omro and will discuss ciders and meads. Shane from Rushford will talk about this and give us a tour.
S.O.B. merch for sale here. Have a swap meet going on with things for sale.
Al moved we adjourned and Kyle seconded. We adjourned.

April 2017 Meeting

April 19, 2017    

The SOB’s gathered at O’Marro’s Public House, where the ghost of St. Patrick routinely haunts the ladies bathroom.

Meeting Kickoff

The meeting was presided by none other than the Sultan of Swing himself, Mike Engel. Mike passed out the survey results from the last meeting (which will be covered later) and we began.

New Faces in the Crowd

We had two new faces present this evening – David and Logan, both of whom have recently started brewing and are looking to take advantage of all the club has to offer.  Welcome to both and happy brewing!   

Treasurer’s Report

Zach Clark gave no Treasurer’s report this month.  He said he forgot, but I don’t believe him.  I think he is purposefully keeping us in suspense until next month.  By the way, don’t forget that yearly dues are coming up and will be needed at the June meeting.  For a paltry $20, you get full membership and all the benefits that come with being a member (including periodic sampling of Al’s duck corn wine!).  Think of it this way, that’s only 1/32nd the cost of a pair of new Yeezy boots.

1st & 2nd Beer Sampled

The honor of the first two beers sampled fell to Jody Cleveland who served up two different iterations of an English Brown ale.  The first one was right down the center of the style chart, a nice true-to-style mild and malty tasting ale.  The second, served immediately after was the same beer recipe, but did not go through the boil (only held at 152C).  When asked why Jody did this, he answered like a true brewing explorer “because I wanted to see what would happen.”  To be honest, this second beer had an odd taste that I wouldn’t really want more of, but I applaud Jody’s inquisitive nature that leads him to explore new beers.  And oh by the way speaking of Jody’s new beers, as many of you may know Jody is an assistant brewer at Bare Bones Brewery here in Oshkosh.  And Jody’s American Wheat ale is now on tap at Bare Bones’ tap room!

Survey Results

Mike took the group through the main points of the survey that we did last month.  Some of the key points from that:

·         People want to keep the annual beer dinner going and are willing to pay (on average $35 per person).  We’ll look to do this next February. 

·         People want to keep the Club-Only competitions going.  And to that end, we’ll look for doing this again at the July meeting so stay tuned.

·         People are interested in more education on yeast and hops.

·         People want to do more brewery tours as a club.

3rd Beer Sampled

Chuck Tomsovic then stepped forward and provided what can only be described as an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in barley.  This beer was called Scrot Scratch Stout and the name was quite fitting.  Not because the beer was made with real bits of scrot (although there were rumors that Jody found a curly hair in his, and Travis found it a bit salty), but because it is a mystery as to why it was named this.  Just like it was a bit of a mystery as to what was actually in it.  Chuck believes this beer was made with 13 different malts, and the grain bill was a hefty 23 lbs.  He used home-grown Nugget hops, and lager yeast.  This beer, odd name notwithstanding, turned out to be quite delicious! Oh, and I forgot to mention that Chuck actual drew a picture of a scrot on the growler he brought to serve it, so there was that.

Bus Trips

Per Jeff, there are 8 spots left on the bus going to the Chilton Brew Festival.  Let him know if you are interested (but know everyone is on their own for the brew fest tickets).  The Madison bus trip is scheduled for June 3rd.  The plan is to hit Wisconsin Brewing Co., Vintage, Karben 4, and Ale Asylum.  The bus will leave at 9am and be back by 8pm.  Cost for the bus is $30 and Jeff would like to have it paid for by the next meeting on May 17th.

Big Brew Day

Big Brew Day is May 6th at the Cellar Homebrew Shop.  The plan is for the club to kick in for some sort of food with those who are coming bringing a dish to pass.    

4thBeer Sampled

New Face David brought an Irish Brown ale for the club to sample.  It was made with Centennial, Goldings, and a 3rd hop variety I didn’t catch.  He used real vanilla, maple syrup, and Door County hazelnut coffee at bottling.  Then, if all of that weren’t awesome enough, he threw in some Jameson Caskmates for good measure.  Keep this up David, you’re doing great!

Casks & Caskets

So this next report out was interesting.  Not Scrot-Scratch Stout interesting, but I’m pretty sure nothing else I’ll ever encounter will be.  Mike reported that the Hilton Garden Inn is our venue as this place has lots of redeeming qualities about it – an area for a band, washing stations, and hotel rooms on site.  So, Mike confirmed October 28th with them and we booked for $800.  Then they called him back and said they goofed and it wasn’t available, but Nov 4th was.  For their error they knocked the price down from $800 clams to $600, so hey that’s cool.  Then they called Mike back and said, okay that date is available but they forgot they had another event booked during the day so we can’t get in until 5pm.  For their error they knocked more off and we were down to $400.  Okay, slightly annoying but hey, everyone makes mistakes and we’re paying half the amount, so we’re still cool.  However, just to make sure we’re still cool the group was polled to make ensure everyone was still on board, and just like we had hoped the collective awesomeness of the S.O.B.’s shown bright as the message loud and clear was ‘Full Steam Ahead!’  So, as noted in prior meetings, we’ll be looking for a collective group effort to pull this off and each member is asked to provide 10 gallons. 

5th Beer Sampled

John Dewane delighted our palettes after this with a farmhouse ale.  This little gem was made with dry yeast, and a combination of Vienna, Munich, wheat, Carapils, and #10 Crystal malts. This was a great beer and the consensus was that we wished there were more of it. 

Club Only Competition

The club only competition noted earlier in the evening will be held at July’s meeting. The plan is to have the brew masters from Fox River Brewing, Lion’s Tail, Stone Cellar, and Bare Bones judge the entries.  This will be a wide-open competition, meaning everyone can brew whatever style they want and the winner will be best of show.  Do note however, that each entry will be judged based on the BJCP style it represents.  In other words a spot-on true-to-style American Lager would score higher than a mediocre Belgian Quad.  This provides everyone with equal footing so it should be exciting.

Beer Styles

The beer style of the month was pilsners and Ian Wegner provided the club with the history of this venerable beer style.  After this, we sampled the following commercial examples:  Pilsner Urquell, Kronbacher Pilsner, Bare Bones Pilsner, and Sierra Nevada Nooner. 


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