The WIZARDS Newsletter
October - December, 2003

Upcoming Events | Club Business | Recent Events | Hints & Ideas | Feature Sites

WIZARD's Upcoming Events

Upcoming Club Meetings

Club meetings this quarter will be October 21, November 18 and December 15, all at Deja Brew in Shrewsbury. Check our web page, call Strange Brew or call Deja Brew for directions.

Upcoming Trips & Outings

ActivitiesClub Meetings
  • October - Fall Brew Day??
  • December - Holiday Party
  • March/April - Homebrew Competition
  • April - Pub Crawl
  • May - National Homebrew Day Brew Day
  • October Meeting - Octoberfest
  • December Meeting - Wee Heavy

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.

Get Ready For October

The club's annual Octoberfest Tasting will be here before you know it! Now is the time to bottle up your 2003 entry and bring it to the October meeting. We'll have our tasting and judging pitting our club against the best the commercial world has to offer! No homebrews ready? Then stop by the packy and pick up a bottle or two of your favorite festbier and join the party.

WIZARD's Club Business

New Direction for the Club

There has been much discussion over the last few months about how to improve the club. The suggestions being made all have the following goals in mind:

Before going into any of the specific suggestions being discussed, let me offer my own personal views on why a change is necessary. Clearly these are both admirable goals. Sure we're starting to get a good turn out at our club meetings, but now that people are coming we have to find a way to get them actively involved with the club. Club activities are a shambles. Attendance is at an all time low! Here is a short list highlighting the types of problems that must be overcome if we are to survive in style:

  1. Four members made the last pub crawl.
  2. Getting judges for the competition was next to impossible.
  3. Only two brewers participated in our last brew day.
  4. We rarely have more than one or two homebrews for any given style of the month.
  5. No one wants to write a newsletter article.

It is my humble opinion that the way to increase membership involvement is to improve meetings and activities so that people want to keep coming back. But there isn't an easy way to do this. That's why I recommend the "do less, not more" approach.

The following changes were discussed:

Below is one suggestion as to how we could proceed for the year. Hopefully this will be a topic of discussion for the September meeting. And of course, the only way this will work is everyone takes the time to get involved and help out!

Month Club Meeting/Activity
January New Brewer's Night
February 1st Quarter Style - TBD
Talk about 2nd Quarter Style
March Judging Seminar
April Competition Judging
May 2nd Quarter Style - TBD
Talk about 3rd Quarter Style
July Summer Swill-Off
August 3rd Quarter Style - IPA
September Cider Talk
October 4th Quarter Style - Octoberfest
November Talk about 1st Quarter Style

Dues for 2003/2004 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

Festival of Ales

<Higgins An unplanned "meeting" of the club took place this past Saturday at the Festival of Ales held at Higgins Armory in Worcester. In the end, seven club members and their families ended up at the armory for this annual event. We were treated to beers from Concord, Paper City, Wachusett Brewing Companies and Deja-Brew. As always, a good time was had by all.

Club Samplings

Homebrew tastings over the last few months have included Greg and Dave's ESB, Greg's Terrible Triple (his name, not ours), a pair of Dunkelweisses from Bill and Jeremy, Brian's Bock, Damase's Pilsner, Audrey's Belgian Wit, Bill S's chocolate cherry porter, Jeremy's Lobster Claw Barleywine and a pair of Munich Dark's from Tony and Bill S. Commercial tastings included Three Flag's Dreadnaught Imperial IPA (3/5) and Ruddles County Bitter (1.5/5). 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."

The Other Stuff - Hints & Ideas

Maybe Next Time

Sad to report but there is no feature article available this issue. We are always looking for articles from our members, so who will submit the next one? Perhaps it will be a seasoned old timer with a sad story to tell or perhaps it will be one of our newer members ready to share their experiences with homebrewing and the club?

Feature Sites

Here are this issue's feature web sites! Everyone is encouraged to recommend a site for future issues.

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