The WIZARDS Newsletter
September 2009

WIZARD's Club News

Upcoming Club Meetings

Club meetings are always held on the third Tuesday of the month at Deja Brew in Shrewsbury. Check our web page, call Strange Brew or call Deja Brew for directions.

Upcoming Events

Check out the web page - it now contains the full calendar of events for 2009 and early 2010 along with the event coordinator for each activity! You can see what we plan to do at each meeting and who to talk to about helping out where you can. The calendar will also give you plenty of notice about the Quarterly Brewing Styles so that you can brew on the club's schedule. Finally, you'll note a few spots where volunteers are still needed....

Wizards 11th Annual Home Competition

Time to start thinking about the 11th Annual Wizards Home Brew Competition! The competition is a great way to improve your beers and if you're lucky you might even gain a few bragging rights! Complete details are available on the website at

Not only is the competition a chance for you to get some written feedback on your beers, its a great way to get involved with the club and learn a little bit in the process. Competition judging will be held at the April meeting. All members are encouraged to attend and participate. Starting in February we'll start preparing the club for the competition judging with an "Intro to Judging" session and then we'll hold a more detailed practice run at the March meeting that will include Vik's palate training seminar.

This year's entry deadline will be in April. Watch the website for complete upcoming details.


Dues for 2009/2010 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

Club Highlights

Too many things, too little time to write about them!

Octoberfest - September Club Meeting

The September Club Meeting brought our annual Octoberfest tasting just like it does every year. This year's tasting featured a total of eight fest beers for our tasting pleasure. Eight is really nothing - last year year's event had seventeen, yes that's seventeen, different commercially available Octoberfest beers. Two years in a row German's came out on top but not by much. How fitting given its their beer style!

The complete list of sampled Octoberfests in 2008 and 2009 are shown below in the order they were preferred by the club's unofficial tasting panel.

September 2009 September 2008
Weihenstephaner Festbier
Harpoon Octoberfest
Spaten Oktoberfest
Clipper City Märzon
Sam Adams Octoberfest
Victory Festbier
Hofbräu Oktoberfest
Lienkugel's Oktoberfest
Hacker Pschorr Original Oktoberfest
Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen
Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen
Hofbräu Oktoberfest
Sly Fox Oktoberfest Lager
Weinhenstephaner Festbier
Spaten Oktoberfest Ur-Märzen
Opa Opa Octoberfest
Stoudts Oktoberfest
Hooker Octoberfest Lager
Flying Dogtoberfest Märzen
Wachusett Octoberfest Ale
Acht Schklenterla Rauchbier Märzen
Avery the Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest
BBC Oktoberfest Lager
Otter Creek Oktoberfest
Newport Storm Regenschauer Oktoberfest

July Meeting - Summer Swill-off 2009

This year's swill-off brought a new twist to the wizards. The theme of this year's event was "South of the Border." Event organizer Nick brought us eleven appropriately selected beers to sample. The night started with Nick providing the complete list of beers to be tried and then providing them to the club one at a time. He then told us that whoever could identify the most of the samples would get a prize. Several people got three right but Greg took the top prize by identifying five of the mystery beers and got himself a (small) bottle of Pardon Silver. Thanks to Nick for taking the lead on the swill-off this year.

Sampling Belgians
Courtesy of Keith Antul

If you've ever wanted to get in to Belgian beers, Keith provided this list of good, **affordable** Belgians that are easily found at Austin or Julio's. He tried to cover, (broadly) the general spectrum of Belgian beer styles.

New England Homebrewer's Jamboree

Click here to read about Bill and Darja's trip to the 13th Annual New England Home Brewer's Jamboree held at the Branch Brook Campground in Campton, NH.

Holiday Party 2008

We'll end this newsletter by reliving last year's holiday party in pictures so we can start looking forward to this year's event.

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