High Plains Draughters December, 2001

I. Last Meeting
II. Next Meeting
III. Weiss is Nice Club-only AHA Competition
IV. Great American Beer Festival
V. Winners Circle
VI. King's Corner
VII. New at the Brewshops
VIII.. Next Month's Meeting

I. Last Meeting

A bittersweet farewell it was, as we toasted the long and fruitful career of Professional Brewers LLC. Most of the regulars and a few new faces gathered at the Warehouse on the evening of the 19th to share brews, views and a zymulogical anecdote or two. While partner Andrews appeared to be taking the closing to heart, partner Bocock was positively glowing with the thought of sleeping in on Saturdays. Early arrivals carted off what brewerania was still available after Bob Rescinito bought out the joint. Bob will be carrying on the legacy when he opens the new Professional Brewers LLC sometime in mid-Oktober(details below.) The Warehouse is dead, long live the Warehouse!!

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II. Next Meeting

Yes, it's time once again for that most favored of all Draughter events, the annual Oktoberfest. We'll bring the bratwurst, you bring the side dishes and everybody bring your Marzens, your Dunkels, your Bocks, your Hefeweizens, your...well, you get the idea. It's a family affair, so bring the chilluns. As usual, the event happens at Crown Heights Park, located between Walker and Shartel on 38th St. starting at 1:00 p.m. Call a newsletter staff member if you have any questions or concerns.

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III. Weiss is Nice AHA Club-Only Competition

Due to a judge scheduling situation, we've delayed the judging of the AHA Weiss is Nice Club-Only Competition until the evening of October 17th. This gives you a chance to get that just-bottled weizenbock in after all. All entries should be turned in by 5:00 p.m. on October 17th. You may drop off your entries at SW Brewer's or call 329-4517 to arrange alternative drop offage. Eligible AHA categories include Berleiner Weisse, Weizen, Dunkleweizen and Weizenbock.

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IV. Great American Beer Festival

Several of the HPD faithful made the trek to Denver for the GABF. Bob Rescinito filed this report:

Billed as "America's Premier Beer Event", this year's festival drew over 35,000 beer devotees and featured tasting opportunities of more than 1,700 beers from around the United States. Held October 2-4, at Currigan Hall in Denver, the GABF is truly a wonderful opportunity to sample some of the best beers in the country. Over 400 breweries were represented this year and each showcased a minimum of three beers! Also represented were the High Plains Draughters! Several folks from our club made the trek to the Rockies to attend this premier event. Those that I saw were Marty and Karen Thee, Ken and Ellen Parrot, and Jim Steward and his daughter. Also seen lurking about with a stack of resumes was none other than Jack Sparks!

The GABF was presented in a new format this year, with the awards ceremony being conducted on Thursday, October 2nd, during the AHA/AOB members-only night. Sessions were open to the public on Friday evening from 5:30 to 10:00 pm and on two Saturday sessions from 12:30 to 4:30pm and 5:30 to 10:00pm. The members-only night is the best opportunity to sample beer in a relatively peaceful environment. Most of the attendees on that night are nose-in-the-glass beer connoisseurs, gleefully bouncing from brewer to brewer, deftly discerning and comparing aroma and flavor components of each beer. The public sessions included many true beer geeks, plus the more prevalent "let's-see-how-quickly-we-can-get-hammered" participants. Thousands of them were in attendance!

With the price of admission, you are treated to a program which lists the locations of all the various breweries, a sort of road map to the brews! Also included, and of much more importance, is a 6oz glass emblazoned with this years GABF logo. Each sample of beer is poured into this glass in one ounce servings. It's just enough for those with discriminating palates to decide whether or not to have more or to move on to something else. As the evening wears on, imbibers are known to lose their grips on the glasses, much to the delight of the rest of the crowd! As glasses crash to the concrete floor, a large cacophonous roar of approval (or sympathy!) fills the auditorium. Needless to say, this takes place many times during the course of the evening, Some wonderful beers were presented this year! Favorites included: a Gueuze/lambic from Diamondback brewing, with an earthy sourness that any wanna-be Belgian would love; New Glarus' Red, a sour- cherry, almost cider-like offering that was quite refreshing; Anderson Valley's IPA, can you say "BIG HOPS"; and Baltimore Brewing's Rauchbier, a favorite smoke in the Bamburg style. Personal highlight of the event? Great Lakes Brewing's 4-year old Steamroller Barleywine! This wonderfully rich treat featured perfect malt/hop balance, a big nose with nice, smooth taste followed by a slight burn in the finish. This booth was frequently visited!

Many unusual beers and flavor enhancers were prevalent this year. It was obvious that many of the brewers were concerned with the "hopping of America," as many of the beers contained extreme IBU levels. Cascade was the predominant hop of choice, but others used Columbus and other high-alpha hops with much success. Bert Grant's Fresh Hop Ale uses cones fresh from the vine which imparts an unusual grassiness to the beer. One beer of note, a barleywine, created quite a stir! One sniff revealed the presence of an herb closely related to the hop! In fact, this potent brew smelled as if someone had used a giant spliff when oxygenating the wort! Several interesting holiday ales, pumpkin ales, and other fruit and spiced beers were also present. Favorite T-shirt seen: "Life Begins at 40 IBU!"

Beers aren't the only thing to look for at GABF! Many of the beer world's luminaries were also present! Being in the right place at the right time yielded some interesting experiences. Prior to the members only session, an exclusive get-together was held at the Great Divide Brewery in Denver. Billed as "An opportunity to drink some beer and eat something with local brewers and writers," the first person encountered at the event was none other than Michael Jackson himself, author and beer aficionado extraordinaire! After a few pictures, a brief exchange followed. For the most part, MJ stared vacantly through bloodshot eyes from behind those famous glasses. However, he did ask, "When does the motorbus to the hall depart?"

Other chance encounters included Charlie Papazian, Pierre Celis (with son-in-law and brewmeister, Peter Camp in tow,) Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewing, Mrs. and Mr. Carol Stoudt of Stoudt's Brewing Co., George and Laurie Fix , Dave Miller, John Hansel and Lew Bryson of Malt Advocate Magazine. "Wicked" Pete Schlosburg was seen busily defending his latest, Easy Ale (a brew with "greater market appeal"). It was rumored that Augie Busch was among the throngs, though that was undoubtedly a barlywine-induced sighting!

Lots of our Texas friends were in evidence as well, including Darrel and Chris Simon, John Morrison (late of Hauffbrau in Arlington, currently working on a brewpub in Denton) and Charlie Gottenkieny, AHA's Homebrewer of the Year.

A trip to the GABF without visiting some of the local flora and fauna just isn't complete! In Ft. Collins, tours of New Belgium Brewing Co., Odell's and H.C. Berger breweries were enjoyed by all. New Belgium is the epitome of automation for a micro. From humble beginnings, they can truly lay claim to being the first U.S. micro to brew true-to-style Belgian ales, including Abbey Ale, Trippel Ale, Porch Swing Single, Saison and others. Of course, the omnipresent Fat Tire Ale reigns supreme in the Denver region.

Not far from New Belgium is Odell's, a much smaller operation but with some very fine beers. Their 90 Schilling and porter were quite enjoyable. Another small operation located in Ft. Collins is H.C. Berger. Owner Peter Davidoff was more than willing to show off his brewery and to let us sample the fruits of their labor. He enthusiastically shared many of his beers, including a Maibock, which won an award at the GABF. He was gracious enough to provided a sample of the previous years version which aged very nicely and was, arguably, a better beer than the award winner! They also have a Rauchbier that has just a hint of smoke that is very enjoyable. Peter also designs his labels and makes tap handles which he proudly showed off!

Lunch in Boulder at Oasis (where Dave Miller was encountered), a trip to Liquormart for some take-home treats, and dinners at the Chop House and Wynkoop's rounded out the trip! Whew! What a way to visit Colorado! If you have not been to the GABF before, it comes highly recommended. The beer, the crowds, the beer, the VIPS, the beer, the side trips, and the beer all make the trip extremely worthwhile. After all, it is America's Premier Beer Event!

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V. Winners Circle

No local recipes, cause no one sent any in. However, this recipe for the AHA Nationals winner in the Strong Ale category should raise a few eyebrows. Just goes to show, all-grain doesn't always rule. This recipe doesn't exactly match the one in Zymurgy, but it's close enough:

AHA Strong Ale Winner
(for 5 gal.)
10 lbs. John Bull amber malt extract
1 oz. Fuggle pellets (6.2 AAU)
  Wyeast 1968 ESB ale yeast
Add malt extract to water, boil for 60 min. with hop pellets. Chill, aerate and pitch.
OG - 1.074, TG - 1.020.

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VI. King's Corner

In keeping with his position as patron saint and king of the High Plains Draughters, the hit was put upon Joe Bocock to provide words of wisdom in a column-format. To wit, the first installation of King's Corner.

The Meaning of a Brewing Community

We have all occasionally been asked why we chose to spend some of our precious spare time brewing. Some would say to create something unique we can share with our friends. If this is one reason you started home brewing, there is an even better reason to keep the grain cracking and the pot boiling. Those friends with whom you enjoy sharing a beer keep growing in number.

Many people often ask about the philosophy behind our brew club. Sharing beer with an ever larger group of folks is surely it's lynchpin. Since it's inception in 1989 by local geologist Kent Keller, many changes have taken place. From a group of four, our club has grown to a mailing list of over 175 families, all of whom are potential brewing pals. To reach our goal of gathering more brewing pals, a few rules have been followed. First, anyone who wants to be part of our group is welcome. Second, any formal structure that invites division has been avoided. This means no dues, no treasurer and no bickering over relative status. The club is basically run by a lose knit gang who perform objective feats to become masterbrewers (winning a club competition, placing in several or brewing 50 batches of all-grain beer.) We always need new help in judging, planning programs, organizing events, etc. Our motto has always been "if you want to do it, then you get to do it."

These things have created a real brewing community in Oklahoma City that seems destined to enrich all our lives. Every brew shop is welcome to place an announcement in each of our newsletters to help this community to learn more about what is available. Please help us encourage your favorite brew shop to take advantage of this opportunity. In addition, every brewer is invited to write articles and contribute to our newsletter, which brother Nagode has changed from a one-page announcement into a work of (brewing) art. Nuff said.

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VII. New at the Brewshops

Professional Brewers' Warehouse

Professional Brewers will be open under new management and at the new location, 2733 W. Britton Rd, on Saturday, October 18, from 10:00am-2:00pm. It is easy to find, just east of May Ave. on Britton Rd. on the north side of the street, located in the northeast corner of the building behind Pirates Alley Picture Frames and Candy City. Come by and see Bob's new set up and get your supplies for your Fall brewing.

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VIII. November Meeting

The November meeting has not been planned at this time. Please feel free to offer suggestions on program, meeting place, etc. to any masterbrewer that you can corner.

That's all for now. If you have comments, contributions, gripes or whatever, feel free to contact one of the newsletter staff. They may be reached (at reasonable hours) at the following numbers: Joe Bocock - 552-2256, Rick Lloyd - 340-1977, Tim Nagode - 280-4957, fax: 290-2754.

See you on the 25th... Hoppy brewing!!!

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Last Updated: Sunday December 02, 2001
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