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Club meetings this quarter will be October 11, November 8 and December 13. The October meeting will be held at Scott's house in Hudson. Other meeting locations have not yet been decided (check our web page or call Strangebrew for the latest location and directions). We are now seriously trying to find a more permanent home and this will no doubt be a hot topic of discussion at the next meeting.
The October meeting theme beer will be Octoberfest. If you haven't thought about your Octoberfest yet, it's too late. Just show up for this annual event where our home-brews are stacked up against the best national and international fest beers on the market.
The December meeting theme beer will be Belgian Dubbels. If you haven't thought about your Dubbel yet, it's not too late but you'll have to get on with it soon. See last month's newsletter for more details on this style.Upcoming Trips & Outings
Its time to start looking forward to the Second Annual Wizards Holiday Party. Last year we had a great time out at the Horseshoe Pub. Watch for updates here and in the egroups for times, dates and places. Once again the club will be buying a round, so try to take advantage of this opportunity to see your dues in action.
Starting with the October meeting, club meetings will be conducted according to this new agenda. It is hoped having an agenda like this will help add order and focus to meetings. Please be prepared to comment at the October meeting.
7:00-7:15, Social time 7:15-7:45, Business 7:45-8:30, Special Topics 8:30-Whenever, Free form discussionSpecial Features - New to our Web Site
Be sure to check out the Special Features section of the Wizards Web Site. This new section is home to all those new things that come up that just don't seem to fit anywhere else. So far you can read about the Swill-Off, see an article about us from the local newspaper and get a copy of our all-new recruiting brochure (print a copy out for your friends).Dues
Dues are now past due. If you haven't paid your dues for this year, please make plans to fork over twelve big ones at the July meeting. Dues help the club in many ways. 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 Christmas Ales at our holiday party this past December.Newsletter
As always, articles and suggestions for the newsletter are both welcomed and encouraged and should be sent directly to Bill.
The August club meeting proved to be one of the most ambitious meetings we've held! Between the Summer Picnic, Kolsch tasting and our First Ever Swill-Off, things moved at an especially quick pace. Thanks to Phil for hosting this event and for doing most of the shopping for the cook-out.
First on tap was the Kolsch tasting. Unfortunately, we only had two home-brewed Kolsch's to try. The first was Phil's and the second came from Bill's father. Both were tasty but Phil's seemed to hit the mark a little better. It had a light hop aroma, excellent color and good head retention, slight fruitiness and nice a creamy taste. The second had the same aroma and fruitiness but was too dark in color with a slightly sour finish (don't blame the brewer - blame me for a lousy recipe). Both Scott and Bill had started to prepare Kolschs but neither was ready for this tasting. Both were, however, ready for the September meeting where they drunk and enjoyed, but not scored.
Next on tap was the first ever swill-off. The idea was simple - compare and contrast some of the most popular commercial beers of today. Judging was done in a blind tasting by six different judges. AHA score sheets were used as a means of guiding the tasting and were used to collect comments about the individual beers. The overall score is the summation of the six judge's ordinal rankings. The Gold Medal went to Ballantine Ale, the silver medal to Moslon Canadian and the bronze went to Budweiser. It is most interesting the Gold Medal beer, Ballantine Ale, was an ale while all the other beers sampled were lagers. Was the club showing a preference for ales or was it just a better beer? After a brief discussion the judges concluded it was, in fact, the best of the lot. For tasting notes and scoring details, see the swill-off web page at http://www.strangebrew.net/wizards/swilloff.htmClub Samplings
Homebrew tastings over the last few months have included Phil's Barleywine and wheat beer, Greg's Pilsner, Scott's brown ale, Chuck's Amberbock and "regular", Bill's light and dark milds (the dark is much better) and of course, the Kolschs. Chuck also treated us to a mulled apple wine he made which was absolutely fabulous! Commercial tastings included Smuttynose Kolsch (2.5/5) which was a bit of a disappointment and a Smuttynose Dunkel Lager (3.5/5) which was closer to our expectations for this fine brewery. Note, numbers in parenthesis, where available, show our rating on the five point scale with one being "it stinks" and five being "give me more."
Homebrew tasting notes from the July meeting are provided courtesy of Greg:
After having been to Bill's place yesterday and seeing the enthusiasm for group brews, I am extending an invitation for the next Wort buddybrew, which will be at my place in Framingham on SAT 25NOV which is the weekend after Thanksgiving.
It is the second annual event for this day and here's how we normally work buddybrews:
I will be establishing an elist of interested parties who use reply all to keep the ball rolling. last year we had 5 participants and 7 burners and made 6 10 gal batches.
Email Brett to sign up or for more information.
Here are this issue's feature web sites! Everyone is encouraged to reccomend a site for future issues.
Comments, questions or information on the WIZARD's to Bill