The WIZARDS Newsletter
October-December, 2006

WIZARD's Club News

Upcoming Club Meetings

Club meetings this quarter will be January 16, February 20, and March 20 all at Deja Brew in Shrewsbury. Check our web page, call Strange Brew or call Deja Brew for directions.

Club Meeting Minutes and Upcoming Events

The following are the combined minutes for the September through December 2006 club meetings:

The club voted to once again hold a new brewer's night in January. Bill will update the web site and provide brochures to Strange Brew for inclusion in all new beer kits sold over the holidays (this has been done). Dave D will coordinate bringing some simple home brew accessories, such as a wort chiller and a boil kettle, to the meeting. Most importantly, since this is a meeting to show off our club and recruit new members, everyone is encouraged to attend, on time and bring plenty of homebrews to share!

Plans were set for the annual holiday party. $30 plus the cost of pizza was approved to be spent for the party. Since the date has now passed, it warrants no further discussion in these minutes.

Long time (and long lost) club members Phil and Russ took in the November meeting. Phil is already talking about another McNeill's trip in February...

The club is STILL considering some beer crawls. We are currently looking for interest and organizers. Some possible suggestions include:

The are proud to announce their 9th annual homebrew competition to be held in 2007. Mike has agreed to pursue prizes for this year's event. Bill will update the poster and send it to Brian, Bruce and Steve (who will take it to NFG). Complete details for 2007 have been updated on the web site.

Upcoming activities on the club calendar were discussed and the Upcoming Events page on the web site has been updated accordingly. January is the New Brewer's Open House and February is Scottish Ales Night. All members are encouraged to brew a Scottish Ale for the February meeting.

The WIZARDS dues amnesty program will continue through January. Any active member who pays their 2006/2007 dues by the December meeting will have any past debts forgiven. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get caught up on back dues and help fund the club at the same time. Heck its only twelve bucks...

Upcoming club activities are always posted on the club's website at Additional details will be published in the newsletter as they become available and provided via email to the club's egroups email list.

Topics for the Club's Next Business Meeting
  1. March Meeting Style
  2. Preparations for 9th Annual Homebrew Competition
  3. Snowshoe Brew Reminder
  4. Keg Conversion Party Update (Mike is working this one)
  5. Treasurer's Report
  6. Beer Crawls

Dues for 2006/2007 are now due. Dues are still a bargain at $12/year and cover most, if not all, of our club activities. Dues pay our nominal expenses like buying the pretzels and cups for meetings. The biggest way your dues are spent is at club functions where the club finds some way to treat everyone in attendance like buying the pizza at our holiday party this past December or buying the appetizers on the annual pub crawl.


As always, articles and suggestions for the newsletter are both welcomed and encouraged and should be sent directly to Bill.

WIZARD's Recent Events

Octoberfest 2006

As per usual in the month of October, the club held its annual Octoberfest tasting. Regrettably only one homebrew, courtesy of Dave DeVries, was available for tasting. The club though it a nice beer with a dark brown/amber color, well carbonated; good lacing; a biscuity-sweet aroma and a very dry and slightly tart finish. Undaunted by the lack of homebrew, the club had fourteen different beers to taste. Given the number we split into two groups for the tasting and came up with the following comments and ratings.

Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen: Clear, light amber color; thin ring of head; understated malty taste; slight hop bitterness; excellent example {Rating: 4.0}

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest: Light amber color; thin head; slightly more carbonation than Paulaner, but more hop bitterness at end; also an excellent example, but ever-so-slightly edged out by Paulaner {Rating: 3.9}

Left Hand Märzen: Amber color; thin to moderate head; malty aroma with trace of hops; taste malty/nutty, smooth; overall, good {Rating: 3.75}

Hacker Pschorr: 5.8% abv dark gold color malty sweet; nice firm bitterness a very nice beer with lots of malt depth. {Rating: 3.5}

Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen: Dark gold to light amber color, malty aroma. The flavor is not as malty as the HP but very nice {Rating: 3.5}

Berkshire Brewing Octoberfest Lager: Slightly cloudy amber color; thin head; malty/nutty, slightly grassy taste with a sharp bitterness; richer carbonation than previous several examples; candy overtones in aroma {Rating: 3.25}

Spaten Oktoberfest: Light amber color; aroma bordering on skunked (sulphur); thin head; trace grassy flavor; Saaz evident in aroma; agreeable malt taste (moderate body) {Rating: 3.25}

Harpoon Octoberfest: Nice malt aroma {Rating: 3}

Brooklyn Brewery Octoberfest: Medium amber color; moderate malty taste; thin head; slight citrusy hop notes; less malty than the Spaten; dry finish {Rating: 3.0}

Sam Adams Octoberfest: Amber color; thin to moderate head; medium malt body; finish is lacking (“the taste finished before the end”) {Rating: 2.75}

Hoffbrau Oktoberfest: Very pilsner like very pale in color Skunky aroma, Medium body. Not very sweet lacks the expected maltiness. {Rating: 2}

Wachusett October: Fruity (apricot), Not much aroma, Lacks the grain profile for the style {Rating: 2}

Otter Creek Oktoberfest: Weird aroma strange flavor not even a pleasant beer. {Rating: 1}

Löwenbraü: Skunky upon opening (did not bode well); straw color; moderate head; slight malt aroma when agitated vigorously; comment: “this stuff tastes like regular Löwenbraü!?!?”) {Rating: 1.0, but only because the rules do not allow for a rating of 0}

In lieu of the relatively small number of pictures from the Octoberfest tasting, let's regale ourselves with a picture from the the time Bill & Greg had a few liters in the Hacker Pschorr tent. or was it the Hofbrau House tent?

Holiday Party

Some things are better said in pictures.....

A Blast From the Past

Check out last month's newletter for an update on the swill-off, with a new picture courtesy of Steve.

Comments, questions or information on the WIZARD's to Bill