June 2013 BIER Minutes

6/10/2013 we had a good sized group, 22 of us, there were 16 last year.  Thanks to Fil, we met at the Brothers 2, a great venue for us, with lots of space, no added noise, good food, and fine Craft taps.  Welcome to summer. 

            Jason Fletcher             James Dunn    Rich Andel      Chris Given                 Chris Hritcko Tammy Martin

            Brian Murphy  Dick Tuthill                 Jim Parks         Jeff Poltz                     Dave King (2)             Theresa Hollister

            Kristen Lyons             Fil Fata                        Jim Dabek       Jerome Scott               Rick Boyle II 

            Dan Viviano                Jason Gardner             Mike Fata        Jason Toussaint           Jared Clifton                

Theresa Hollister from Finger Lakes Beer Trail, told us about their efforts to promote Craft Brewing in the Finger Lakes region.  She also handed out the latest Finger Lakes Beer Trail Map, showing all the newer places, including Upstate Brewing Co., Hopshire Farm & Brewery, Water Street Brewing Co., North Brewing, Galaxy Brewing Co., & Binghamton Brewing Co..  This is a truly great time for Craft Beer, 24 to 47 breweries in 2 years.

Binghamton Brewing Co. signed a lease on a site at 15 Ave. B in Johnson City, congratulations, Kristen and Jason.  Now the big work begins.

Galaxy Brewing Co. is making great headway, with most stainless steel in place, and the bar was recently finished.  They should be open in a month or so, stay tuned.

North Brewing made the news, with an interview of Zach in the Police Gazette.  Good read, pick up a copy at the brewery. 

The NY State Fair Homebrew Competition was held June 1st.  It was organized by SCBC, the Syracuse club, at the Fair Grounds in Syracuse.  Dave King (2) Stewarded IPA’s (44 of them!) in the morning with Chris Sack, President of SCBC and Judged ˝ the English Bitters in the afternoon, with Rich DeTommaso from UNYHA.  OK, I’m a hop head, but the IPA’s were much better than the Bitters.  Tom Elliot had the best Bitter in the 2nd group.  Frank Haining judged, as well.  It was a very good day, always fun to help at a competition. 

Marty offered to host a big brew at Farmhouse Malt, in Newark Valley.  He has several brew pots and burners, and will provide the base malt.  Everyone is busy in mid summer, but maybe in the fall?  Think about it, and form brewing teams.  Let’s do it.  BTW, check out his web site, it’s much improved.   

The National Homebrewers Conference was held June 26 to 30 in Philadelphia, with both Dave Kings attending.  3,400 attendees was a record, by a long shot, nearly double last year’s.  We saw many old friends, and were able to discuss all things beer with some of them.  I won’t insert a long list of Homebrew rock stars here, but Gary Glass, Ted Hausotter, Randy Mosher, Tasty McDole, Brad Smith and John Palmer are on the short list.  We had dinner and brews with Ted Hausotter, Randy Scorby (the 2011 Brewer of the Year), their wives, and one of the conference speakers.  The 2nd Round Judging went very smoothly.  Dave King (2) Stewarded the IPA table, and all but about 3 of the 34 were very good.  An experienced judge stated that, “nearly all of these are better than I drank last night.”  7,757 beers were entered by 2,187 brewers, and somewhat fewer than 900 were passed on to the 2nd round for us to judge.  The Seminars were very good.  Pro Night was OK, with about 50 breweries beers sampled. Club Night was crazy, with about 85 clubs pouring a great array of fine homebrews.  We shared a booth with our brothers from Ithaca, and between the 12 of us, we had about 30 beers to serve, which was probably typical.  I heard that between the hospitality lounge and Club Night, there were about 3000 kegs, so that’s almost a keg per person.  Many kegs didn’t even get tapped at club night.  The Golden Urinal Award was given to Barley Legal for bringing the greatest number of kegs, 120.  We need to have 2 nights of Club Night in the future.  The last event was the Banquet, with Rogue’s beers and Chef Sean Paxton in charge, and 2,200 of us attending.  The meal was excellent, made with Rogue beer as well as paired for each course.  Roasted Pork Stromboli with Roguenbier Rye was great.  Next year the NHC will be in Grand Rapids, MI., with room for 4,000 Homebrewers, less than a 10 hr. drive.  I’ll be there, will you?

There’re a string of local festivals coming up.  Syracuse is July 19th, Madison Co. is set for Sept. 14th.  I don’t have a date for Rochester’s Flour City Fest.  Oct. 5th is set for the next Sudsy Brews and Fiery Foods in Binghamton.   

Binghamton Brewing Co. signed a lease on a site at 15 Ave. B in Johnson City, congratulations, Kristen and Jason.  Now the big work begins.

John and Michele are doing well at Water St. Brewing, they put lots of info on Facebook, good place to keep up. 

On to the beer!

Homebrew Tastings;

Ed – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Clone, Ed’s favorite, and for good reason, well dried out, with good hopping throughout, recipe from the clone book.  Dry malt extract, Perle and Cascade hops worked very nicely, well done, Ed.

Jason Fletcher – Hefeweizen, brewed with ˝ 2 Row and ˝ Malted Wheat, Mt. Hood hops, produced lots of clove and banana from the WLP300 yeast.  Nice example of the style.

Jared – Belgian Pale Ale, with Pale Malt, wheat and rye for an O.G of 1.060, fermented with Trappist yeast.  Only Eldorado hops were used, interesting new variety, with tropical fruit flavors.  

Jim Dabek – Saison de Pied (foot), Pilsner, Munich, and Wheat malts were single batch sparged and diluted to full volume, Northern Brewer, Saaz, and Kent Golding hops were used, along with orange and grapefruit zest.  WLP565 yeast did the Belgian Saison flavor to it.  You have to be into Belgians.

Jim Dabek – Saison de Pied (foot), 2nd runnings of above with 2 gal. water, soured slightly.  Lighter, slightly tart version of the previous.      

Rich – Session IPA, with the help of Jim Parks and Jeff.  There’s a big movement to make these.  They used Pale malt for the base, with Crystal 80, Varapils and Vienna, mashed at 155°F for an O.G. of 1.052 (4.8% ABV).  Warrior, Columbus, Amarillo, Citra, Chinook, and Simcoe hops were used between the boil and hopstand, for a 78 IBU, very aromatic, sessionable IPA, with good body.  Well done guys.    

Jerome & Tammy – Summer Ale, kit, plus Carapils, lemon and orange peel zest.  Their 4th batch, took essentially 1 year to fully carbonate, so yeast were pretty much shot when they bottled it.  Worth the wait, light, but very nice.

Jason Toussaint – German Blonde, brewed with 2 Row and Vienna malts, with U.S. Tettnang hops, Jason brewed this for Rick Boyle’s Sept. wedding.  It helps when your friend is a generous brewer.  Great job, light (4.2% ABV), refreshing, surely will be well received.     

Chris Given –Amblerville Amber, batch 109, Pale Liq. Malt Extract, Vienna, Crystal 20, Crystal 40, Cara Pils, Melanoidin, and Debittered Black malts were used with toasted rolled wheat for the complex malty flavor.  Magnum, Centennial and Topaz hops balanced it out.  1.053 to 1.016 made this a tasty brew.

Dave King – Dad’s Brown Ale, a firmly bitter, aromatic West Coast style American Brown Ale, similar to Tasty McDole’s Janet’s Brown Ale, but based on a simplified Judy’s Brown Ale, but 85 IBU, not 60, and lots of C hops, late in the boil and in a tripple dry hopped (last 6 days of fermentation, and then 1st 9 days in keg).  The last dry hop was for 4 days right before NHC Club Night.  Unfortunately, there were so many people and clubs, I couldn’t find Tasty, until the next day.        

Jason Gardner – Maple Brown, 5.4% ABV, and 34 IBU, WLP013 London yeast.  Jason used some Maine maple syrup, since this was brewed for a friend in Maine.  I’m sure this very drinkable ale went over very well.  Life is good when your friend is a generous brewer.     

Chris Given –Brown Bastard Bock, batch 108, Amber Liq. Malt Extract with Crystal 40, Carapils, Meanoidin, Victory, and Smoked Malts were balanced with Northern Brewer, Willamette, and E.K. Fuggle hops.  Saflager S-23 yeast took it from 1.055 to 1.016, and it was primed with maple syrup, for a nice maple, slightly smoky, maltiness.

Chris Given –Black Ale, batch 110, not a Black IPA,, low hopping, lots of Chocolate and kilned coffee Malt

Marty – Crazy Daisy Belgian Triple, American 2 row base malt, wheat malt, and Crystal 20 were used with 2 lb. of cane sugar gradually added to the fermenter, for an O.G. of 1.077, and it finished at 1.009 (88% attenuation, to 8.9% ABV!).  The hopping was all Mt. Hood for 37 IBU.  It was mashed at 149°F and fermented with Canadian Belgian yeast, Wyeast 3864 at 68°F.  Marty used his hops and mostly his malts, and the fine flavors show case the fine quality of his products. 

Commercial Tastings;

Brian – Lucky 7 Porter, from Evolution Brewing, Salisbury, MD, near Ocean City, MD.  Dave King’s been there, nice little home town brewery.  This is an intensely flavored dark brew, with coffee, chocolate, and slight smoky flavors.    

Jim Parks – Southern Tier Plum Noir, Italian plums in an Imperial Porter, at 8% ABV, an intensely flavored, roasty strong brew, with some dark fruit flavors.

Jeff – Namaste, from Dogfish Head, a Belgian Witbier with orange, very high CO2, like champagne.  

Chris Hritcko – Ground Break, from Ithaca Beer.  This 6% ABV hoppy Belgian Saison is similar to a Belgian IPA.                                                                 


Great beer, lots of fine friends.  Michele was our server.  Thanks to Fil for allowing us to meet at Brothers 2.         

See you July, 10th, at Brothers 2!  7:30, and don’t forget to use rubber bands to attach the labels on your samples.     

              Dave King (2)