Meeting Minutes, February 2014

Business

Tolga called the meeting to order at 7 PM (a record early start!)  The brewers all introduced themselves, with a brief explanation of their brewing technique (extract, partial mash, or AG) along with their island beer.
 

Tolga started with an update/discussion of many topics:

  1. Chip and Matt the Younger showed some potential logo/T-shirt designs. No consensus was decided on whether Matt’s circular or rectangular logo was preferable for a shirt, but it was agreed that they were both excellent efforts.HOWL-Logos
  2. Brian H gave some updates on attempts to put scoring sheets in an online format (i.e. Google Docs). Brian indicated that a trial version is ready, and that it would be set so that scores from individual judges would be uploaded, tallied, and the average score as well as individual sheets would be sent to the brewer as feedback. The email/update would not be individual emails (i.e. 25 emails for each review), but rather a single email with all reviews within. Brian needs testers to verify it is working correctly, but the feedback was that this is an excellent step forward and could save much time and hassle in the future with regards to paper judging forms (especially Mike’s 1/16 size printouts).
  3. Zach gave an update on his “Guess how much beer I have” contest. The winner was Cathy. The final number of beers were: approximately 197 distinct beers, and 573 total bottles in the cellar. Many questions ensued as to why those beers were not drunk immediately upon purchase. Members also graciously offered to help consume those beers for free.  It was also decided that the initial supply stop at the onset of the zombie apocalypse would be Zach’s house.
  4. Tolga lead a discussion of structural changes to the club in response to recent Facebook posts. It was noted that the club was originally formed with the intent of sharing brewing knowledge so that we all could become better and more proficient brewers, regardless of skill level. It was felt by many that in the last year the club focus has shifted away from learning to more of a social drinking club. Tolga as President decided that rather than enforce changes unilaterally he would consult the officers (Matt the Elder, Zach), the hosts (Jim and Kevin), and one founding member (Mike R) to discuss possible problems with the club and potential solutions to steer the club back to a positive learning focus. At least seven major areas had been outlined by the committee as needing addressing. The first major issue was safety of the club members, as it had become clear that too many beers were being brought to the meetings. It was unanimously decided by the members of the Governance committee that a first step would be to limit the beers brought to 15 total, such that at most each member consumes no more than 3 pints over the course of a meeting. This was enacted for safety of the members as well as to help reduce any potential liabilities our hosts may face. It was thought that voting on each structural change was impractical, but the Governance committee is fully open to input and comments. It was suggested that brewers put up any positive ideas on the Facebook page for consideration. Discussion amongst the brewers concerned possible learning methods, and it was strongly suggested that we devote 15-30 minutes of each meeting to some sort of lesson/demonstration/etc. Several ideas were proposed, including: comparison of cold-steeped grains versus traditional methods (Tolga), a night of focus on single styles and their exemplars (Zach), Nitro versus CO2 comparison (Tolga/Kevin), an examination of BJCP guidelines (Rob), Hop examination/sampling (Zach, Matt, others), an examination of grain flavors (Zach). It was agreed that these were all excellent ideas, and Tolga offered to undertake the first lesson for the next month. A final issue that was raised was how to handle judging for the May meeting. Kevin explained how judging is set up at actual competitions (i.e. GABF), and the officers/governance committee agreed to brainstorm and quickly come up with possible solutions to ensure a smooth and fun competition.
  5. A final discussion was initiated by Tolga regarding whether the club needed a charter as had been suggested and drafted by Elaine. Jim strongly stated that he did not feel a charter was necessary, and he started the club for fun and education. A vote was taken amongst the attending members, and it was unanimously decided that a charter was not necessary at this moment. Some discussion was made that perhaps a mission statement or FAQs could be added to the website and Facebook page to explain to new members the purpose of the club and to outline the general guidelines regarding meeting structure. This will be pursued further.

Tastings

Finally, tasting commenced. The styles of the month were: Amber, ESB, and Pale Ale. Prior to sampling each style, Tolga provided some guidelines per BJCP as to what is acceptable for each style. As noted by several members, some of the style guidelines are extremely broad, hence difficult to really ascertain if a beer is true to style or not.

The beer lineup was:

  • John A – Kolsch
  • Matt the Elder – Gratzer
  • Jennie – Amber
  • Chris S – ESB
  • Cathy & Rob – ESB
  • Clinton – English Pale Ale
  • Chip – American Pale Ale
  • Zach – Belgian Pale Ale
  • Tony – Pale Ale
  • Mike J – Chinook Ghost Pepper IPA
  • George – Mosaic IPA
  • Dave – IPA
  • Mike R – Belgian Golden Strong
  • Matt the Younger – Belgian Cider
  • Kevin – Malt Cider
  • Brandon – Vanilla Oak Bourbon Porter
The beers were generally very good. For the monthly competition, the scores were:
  • Jennie – 34.7
  • Chris S – 35.4
  • Cathy & Rob – 28
  • Clinton – 32
  • Chip – 33.6
  • Tony – 37.5
  • Mike J – 31.3
  • Dave – IPA 36 (later corrected to 39)

Bestest Brewer Ever (February 2014)

TonyLuis Antonio “Tony” Ponce

Tony was declared the Bestest Brewer Ever for February 2014 at the meeting for his complex Pale Ale finished with Calypso hops. This was a split batch, half of which was aged with Kefir Lime leaves, which he had brought to an earlier meeting.

Dave, another competitor,  didn’t know how to do simple math, so he lost at the meeting but apparently won later  with his corrected score of 39. Tony and Dave will settle their differences next month in Fight Club or in the Jell-O wrestling pit.

The meeting was adjourned. Next month is a Brewer’s Choice month, so there will be no formal judging. Brewers are also reminded that owing to it being Brewer’s Choice, the beer lineup will be first-come first-served, with only the first 15 beers allowed. Preference will be given to those who did not bring a beer to this month’s meeting if needed.

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