In evaluating the club membership survey results, the overall theme is the desire to brew better beer, and the value of the club is to help members accomplish that objective. One-on-one feedback, entering and judging competitions, and other educational activities are the tools.
The Brew The Style (BTS) challenges present a great opportunity to hone your skills and brew outside your comfort zone. It is also a great way to get feedback from others in a blind tasting format. We plan to have BTS challenges three times a year, and once the style is selected for the next challenge there will be a style discussion session two or three months in advance. We have decided to incentivize the BTS challenge by awarding the winner a voucher to cover the entry fees and shipping charges of entering the winning beer in a competition (up to $50 total).
We hope this will result in more club members entering the BTS challenges, and more entries from SPHBC in regional and national competitions. After all, entering competitions provides feedback (sometimes it is even useful!), and winning it is the ultimate test of brewing quality beers. There is no substitute for medals, and winning competitions will also raise the profile of the club, ideally increasing membership. So get brewing.
A common thread within the survey results was the camaraderie and social aspect of the club. We think that a fantastic way to promote that aspect, while keeping our educational mission in pursuit of better beer, is brewing a Big Brew with the 20-gallon club system. We will inspect and make the necessary repairs and adjustments in March (help wanted!) with the idea of organizing a Big Brew Day in April. If you have not brewed in a long time this is a way to ease yourself back into the game. At the end of 6 hours of fun with your fellow club members, you go home with 5 gallons of wort. Ok, it may be 7 hours and 4 gallons, but you get the idea.
The most common request was “more time to brew”, but there is nothing we can do about that. But a close second was a request for more structured and pre-programmed club meetings. This will allow better planning and should increase attendance by both members and curious souls. To facilitate this process, we have built a calendar for the rest of the year, with the next few months summarized below.
Thanks to the generosity of Charlie Madison, the manager of the Northern Brewer St. Paul store, we will resume monthly club meetings there. This will also help the meetings run more smoothly, as the space in Bent is a bit cramped and the noise level rather high. Unless noted differently, the meetings will continue to be held the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. The first meeting at Northern Brewer will be May 6th, 2023.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Kris England and Bart Blume for allowing us to meet at Bent Brewstillery over the past year. It was a generous act when securing meeting spaces was very challenging.
PROGRAMMED CLUB MEETINGS FOR 2023
February 7th, 2023 @ Bent Brewstillery, Roseville
Brew The Style (BTS) challenge beer tasting (Altbier), and selecting the style for the next BTS challenge, for the July meeting. Please send style suggestions to the list.
March 7th, 2023 @ Bent Brewstillery, Roseville
Brew The Style for July discussion, best commercial examples.
April 6th, Thursday, 6-8 P.M. @ Summit Brewing
NOTE THE DIFFERENT DATE AND TIME, THIS IS THURSDAY AT 6 P.M.
The role of the QA/QC laboratory in a brewery. Visit to Summit Brewing, presentation and discussion with Zach Quandt, Quality Manager, Summit Brewing Company.
May 2nd, 2023 @ Northern Brewer, St. Paul
June 6th, 2023 @ Northern Brewer, St. Paul
Beer tasting 101, presentation and demonstration led by Joe Gerteis