E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Thursday, June 18th, 2015 @ 9:32pm
We received the email from the organizers of Beer & Sweat - the annual keg-only competition in Cincinnati - to let us know judge and steward registration is now open! The competition takes place on Saturday, August 22nd this year. General registration for entering your beers into the competition will open on July 8th. Hotel group rate information will be posted in the coming weeks. You. Should. Go.
Friday: Drive to Cincinnati. It's about 5 hours from Pittsburgh. Check in to hotel, drop kegs off in refrigerated truck, go out and enjoy the city's craft beer scene. Turn in kind of early because Saturday is a long day.
Saturday morning: Retrieve kegs from refer truck, set them up at our assigned tap locations. Make sure they're pressurized correctly and pouring right. Go get breakfast. Once the kegs are set up, you're no longer allowed in the keg room
Saturday, noon: Judge or steward a flight of beer. You're done by 3:00 or so.
Saturday, 5:00: The doors to the keg room open back up to judges, volunteers, BBL club members, and their guests. Dinner is provided for volunteers.
Saturday, 7:30ish: The awards presentation begins. TRASH wins a bunch of medals. But not as many as we'd like. We need you and your beer to be there!
After the awards are over, the party continues. Remember, there are about 350 kegs of homebrew in a banquet hall with as many people. Do the math. Things start to get a little blurry at this point, but it's OK because you're staying in the hotel. And because it's a bunch of homebrewers and their guests, eveyrone stays civil and has a great time. The party is usually still going well into the wee hours of Sunday.
Sunday: wake up (eventually), check out, drive back to Pgh. Look forward to next year.
Entering homebrew competitions isn't your thing? No worries. Don't look at this as just a competition. Look at it as an amazingly fun homebrew event that happens to have a competition. Go!
PS> Watch that video above. There's an oscar-worthy scene from the TRASH guys in the category of best stupid faces while Keith is trying to talk.
E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 @ 10:15pm
Hi TRASH brewers,
Here is some club news & notes.
As announced at the May meeting, a vote was held among those in attendance at the June meeting concerning two proposed changes to the club ByLaws. Both measures passed unamimously.
Staggering of Officer Terms - Starting this year, we will elect two officers per year instead of all four officers every other year. Term length will remain two years. It was stated that VP and Secretary will be elected on odd years, President and Treasurer on even years. After the vote, several members suggested that it might be wise to elect president and VP together as often the current VP wishes to run for president at the end of the term. If election of these two positions is staggered a VP would have to take a year off before running for president. We will consider this before putting the change into effect.
Membership Dues Grace Period - The grace period to pay dues after the new year has been reduced from three months to one month. Membership technically expires on December 31st. If you renew by January 31st, you will remain on the roster. (Renewal opens on October 1st. Any membership purchased in October through December is applied to the remainder of the current year and the full next year.)
Planning is underway for the club cider press event in late October or early November. We would like to get an idea of how much interest there is in getting fresh-pressed cider to ferment. The cost last time (2011) was about $4 per gallon. Please let us know if this is something you'd be interested in.
Quarterly Mini Competition
Congratulations to Mike Beattie for brewing a Kolsch that was chosen by the crowd on hand at the June meeting to be the best Category 6 beer. The next competition will be held at the September meeting and will be open to just about all moderate-strength German lagers and hybrid beers. We'll be releasing an official list of styles soon, but if it's a German lager or an altbier it will probably be on the list. Stronger lagers (Bock beers) and weizen-style ales will not be included in the competition.
Cooking with Hops Cookbook The club was approached by the author of an upcoming cooking with hops cookbook, Hedonistic Hops. It seems like a cool project, so we agreed to share the link to her kickstarter in exchange for a few copies of the book (if it gets funded) that we can give away to club members at a later date. Have a look and if it seems like a project you can get behind, go ahead and pledge.
Homebrew Happy Hour
If you share the dream of so many homebrewers of one day going pro with your hobby, getting your homebrew into the glasses of the general public is a great way to build a name for yourself and get some instant feedback on how your recipes might do in the market. To that end, we have another opportunity for you to pour! The organizers of the Beers of the Burgh festival are once again organizing the Homebrew Happy Hour at Bayardstown Social Club in Lawrenceville. This year it will be on Friday, July 31st from 6:00 - 10:00 PM. There will be food trucks and live music. Think of it as a homebrew mixer. Guests will be encouraged to bring their own homebrew in bottles or growlers to share. The homebrew clubs will act as a sort-of keystone of the event. If you are interested in manning the TRASH booth and pouring some of your homebrew to the attendees, please let us know by this Friday. We are looking to have at least two TRASH members sign up before we can commit to having a presence there.
Millvale Beer Fest
We have been approached by the organizers of the Millvale Beer Fest, being held this year on Saturday, August 8th, to pour our homebrew at the festival. If you're intersted in pouring your homebrew, please get in touch with us. We have not yet committed to club to be there. We'll do so if the interest is there. They are also looking for volunteers to pour commercial beer at the festival. If that interestes you, let us know and we can get you signed up.
TRASH XXV Competition
The 25th edition of the annual TRASH homebrew competition date is set - Saturday, October 10th. The location is nearly finalized and will be announced soon. The decision on whether we'll be using the 2008 BJCP guidelines or the new 2015 ones will be made before registration opens up, which will likely happen some time in August. We'd like to use the 2015 guidelines, but the competition organization software that we use is not yet updated to support them. If support for the new guidelines arrives before we open registration, we'll go with it. Get brewing! Any beer you brew following the 2008 guidelines will slot in to the 2015 guidelines nicely.
E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Monday, June 1st, 2015 @ 8:44pm
If you are coming to the meeting on June 13th at the Metas' house in Mt. Lebanon, please RSVP by this Friday, June 5th. We'd like to have an accurate head count since food will be provided. The meeting will be free for dues-paid members and $5 for guests. Get full details and RSVP here:
Club ByLaws Changes
There will be a vote among the active members in attendance at the June meeting on two changes to the club bylaws that were proposed at the May meeting at Grist House. If you want to have a say on these two changes, come to the June meeting:
Club Officer Terms: It is proposed to change the club officer terms such that they are staggered. Currently all four officers are elected every two years. Under the proposed change, the President and Treasurer will be elected on even years, and the Vice President and Secretary will be elected on even years. This will allow for a smoother transition between officers with no chance of an entire new board being elected in any one year.
Membership Grace Period: It is proposed that the grace period to renew one's club dues be moved from March 31st to January 31st of the year following the year for which dues were paid. The reason for the three month grace period was to allow members ample time to attend a meeting to renew dues. We now accept payments online (in addition to at meetings), so a one month grace period is sufficient and helps significantly with club bookkeeping.
We are still looking for volunteers to pour their volunteer or homebrew at some upcoming events. Please volunteer if you're free and have the beer to donate. We committed the club to pour at these events based on significant feedback we received from the members wanting to pour their beer at festivals. Our attendance at future festivals/events will be based on how these ones go.
There is one space remaining for the Chili Cookoff at Nemacolin on June 13th. If you pour, you will receive a free-night's stay at a later date of your choosing. Please contact us by this Friday, June 5th if you want to volunteer. Details: http://www.trashhomebrewers.org/item/982975
We need one or two more club members to volunteer to man the TRASH boot at the AHA Rally at The Brew Gentlemen in Braddock on June 20th. You must be an AHA member (AHA rules). You'll role will be to interact with rally attendees who are interested in joining the club, give our business cards, stickers, coozies, etc, answer questions about the club, and sign up new members if anyone is interested in joining on the spot. Details: http://www.trashhomebrewers.org/item/970306
Finally, we're looking for three more folks to pour their homebrew at the Sharp Edge Great Eurpoean Beer Fest on June 27th. The TRASH table at the Sunday session is filled. If you pour at this festival, you will receive a ticket to attend another session, or you can use it to have a friend attend the session you're pouring at. The Sharp Edge wants our list of brewers and beers ASAP, so please RSVP by this Wednesday, June 3rd if you want to pour at this festival. Full details: http://www.trashhomebrewers.org/item/982978
Upcoming Meetings & Events June Meeting - June 13th, 4:00 PM - Chris Meta's House, Mt. Lebanon
Mini Competition! Light hybrid beer (Kolsch, Cream Ale, Blonde Ale, Wheat & Rye Beer)