July Meeting Notes – VIBE Events

by samadams on July 26, 2012

Hello Beer Enthusiasts!

It’s been a while since I’ve sent out a follow-up to the meeting, and I wasn’t even there! Thanks Garrett for providing the details. Mmmm, beer travel. I happened to be in Alaska last week and found myself walking to the Skagway Brewing Company for a taster. After all, spending the day in a helicopter on top of Meade Glacier with your family is bound to make you thirsty for local craft brew. Lo, and behold… Spruce Tip Blonde Ale. What??? Have I entered a VIBE booth? Since I’ve had the pleasure of tasting numerous styles, from Pale Ales and IPAs, to Belgians and Stouts at various VIBE meetings over the years, I’d consider myself a Spruce beer expert. I was particularly impressed when our server said that all the employees go out to gather the spruce tips. Awesome. While our homebrewed versions (at least my memory of them) set a high bar, the Skagway Blonde was a pretty good example of a specialty ale. The base beer was well done to style, but there is a subtle sweetness that the Spruce tips impart that if not accounted for will make the beer taste a little sweeter than I’d like. The blonde was there, the spruce was there, there was just a sweet tinge to every sip that I think was a bit much. Dan Lang calls this the sweet spot. It’s there and then it’s gone, and the resiny flavors become more pronounced after the initial sweetness subsides. This is why the Spruce tips go so well with the Pale Ales and IPAs, the marriage of resinous and sweet spruce with a bitter hop explosion is tough to beat. Okay, I guess this is why competitions are blinded, because there’s a natural tendency to lean toward voting for your own beers. Thanks Dan and Janice for getting us on the Spruce Tip!!! Go VIBE!!!

Okay, back to the meeting.

Ventura County Fair – The fair judging will be held on July 29th starting at noon. Last I heard, there were 11 confirmed judges. If you have time, interest, and some beer knowledge, email Charlotte at agriculture@venturacountyfair.org. Last year there were almost 120 entries and only 8 judges. Even if you haven’t taken the BJCP exam, we will pair you with an experienced judge and you’ll have your first competition judging under your belt.

Progressive Beer Dinner – Russ and Wendell are planning a progressive beer dinner, where we take a bus to a number of VIBE member’s houses for appetizers and beer. They are going to have a date and more solid plans by the next meeting. At that point they will start taking names for people who want to participate and people who will volunteer their houses/beer/food.

Southern California Annual Homebrew Competition – This is Jim Delperdang’s other club’s homebrew competition (the Inland Empire Homebrewers). As you probably gathered from his email, Jim will pick up any entries that are submitted to Surf Brewery by next Friday, July 27th (5 p.m.). See this website for more information about the tournament: http://inlandempirebrewers.com/comp.html This is a great competition, and one that many VIBE members have entered and won.

Iron Brewer Competition – Garrett is planning an Iron Brewer competition. Like the Iron Chef show, brewers will be tasked with making a beer that showcases a special secret ingredient and then the beers will be judged. Brewers are encouraged to pour and discuss their beers at a VIBE meeting. Garrett will send an email to the club with more information soon. Respond to that email if you would like to be involved.

Surf Brewery Pro-Am Competition – Andrew Carter and Doug Mason are organizing a BJCP sanctioned homebrew competition that will occur in December or January. The winner of this competition will brew the winning beer at Surf Brewery. Surf will serve the beer in the taproom as well as enter it in the GABF Pro-Am competition. More details forthcoming.

Surf Brewery Homebrew Classes – Garrett is teaching Surf Brewer’s homebrew classes. The following classes are on the books for the next few months. Email garrettzuleger@yahoo.com to sign up or provide input. All classes are on Saturday at noon and between 2 and 3 hours. – August 18: All Grain Class (Focus on the mash) – September 15: Beginner Class (Focus on the extract brewing process) – October 13: Advanced Brewing Class (This will cover a variety of advanced brewing topics, such as water chemistry, draft systems, sour beers, etc. Please email Garrett if you have specific topics that you would like to be covered)

California Beer Festival – September 15-16, 2012. We’ve poured beer from the VIBE booth every year. We will discuss the club’s interest at the August VIBE meeting. If you think you’re interested, have some homebrew ready to pour. Every year we pour whatever we seem to have on hand and the public loves our beer! “Where can I buy this stuff?” “How can I get in the club?” The VIBE booth line has even been longer than some commercial booth! Go Homebrew!

As you can see, lots of things are happening for VIBE in the near future. Please, get involved. The more people that we have working on various projects for the club, the better.

Cheers, happy homebrewing!! Dan

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