News and Announcements

February 2016 TRASH Meeting - Maggie's Farm Rum

  • Sunday, February 21st, 2016 at 12pm - 3pm
    Location: 3212A Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

    For our February 2016 meeting, we'll be heading to Maggie's Farm Rum in the Strip District.…

    • 12 people attended

TRASH News & Notes for December 2015

E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 @ 8:42am

Happy Holidays TRASH Homebrewers!  Here's some club business - our gift to you!  Please read on...

- New Officers

- Committees
- Competition Date
- NHC Competition Entries
- BJCP Exam Beer
- Club Dues
- Upcoming Meetings

New Officers
If you missed the last few meetings, you might not be aware that the club has a couple new officers.  First, thank you to Andy Weigel and Malcolm Frazer for their service to the club.  Now, please welcome our new Vice President, Chris Marasti-Georg (CMG), and our new Secretary, Mark Minuto.  Thanks for stepping up, guys!  Next fall we'll be looking for folks to consider running for the President & Treasurer offices.  If you're an avid homebrewer and want to keep this club running, please give it some thought.

We've been talking about forming committees for a while now, and now is the time to do it.  We need you to get involved and help plan some things.

  - NHC 2016 Club Night Booth - If you are going to the
National Homebrew Conference in Baltimore (June 9-11, 2016) and would like to pour your homebrew at the TRASH booth on Club Night, please get in touch with us.  We will add you to a mailing list where all the planning will be done.  CMG will be the chair of the NHC 2016 committee.  There's lots of details to work out, and we can't get this done without your help.  Not sure what club night is all about?  Here's a video that sums it up pretty well.
  - Competition Committee - Organizing the TRASH competition takes a lot of work.  This year a few of us did just about all of it, and it was difficult to get it all done.  Going forward we need club members to get involved to help out with some of the tasks - planning, getting supplies, seeking sponsor donations, etc.  If you would like to help out for 2016, please
get in touch.  We need your help to keep the competition going strong.  And Weigel will continue to be the judging coordinator.  Jack & Andy will co-chair the competition planning committee.

Competition Date
The shipping deadline for first-round entries for the 2016 National Homebrew Competition has been announced.  Entries must be received by Wednesday, March 9th, 2016.  Recall that we were talking about having the TRASH competition on March 12th, thinking this would be early enough that entrants could use their feedback from the TRASH competition to help decide which beers to send to NHC.  Since that's obviously not going to work, we're re-evaluating when exactly to hold the competition.  We still want to hold it in the spring, but we're thinking about early April instead of early-mid March to give us a little more time to organize things.  Most importanly, though, we want to establish a consistent date to hold it for years to come.  We'd like your input - does having the competition before the NHC deadline matter to you?  If you have an opinion on this,
send us an email to say so.

NHC Competition Entries
Since it's looking like TRASH 26 will be held too late to serve as a means of vetting your NHC entries, we are working on other ideas to help our club members get input on which beers to send to NHC.  The first option is Andy Weigel's  We've mentioned this web site many times before.  We are working out details to allow club members to register the NHC-candidate beers on the site and bring them to the January meeting and have some of the experienced BJCP judges in the club take those beers home and complete a detailed score sheet for them.  Keep an eye out for another communications with the details about this.  Another option we're thinking about is to have a separate get-together outside of the normal club meetings just for those looking to get feedback on the potential NHC entries.  This meeting would be open only to those entering NHC, and you'd have to bring your beers to it to get feedback.  If you plan to enter NHC,
please let us know so we can get an idea of how many people will be at the gathering, and how many beers might need judging through

BJCP Exam - Beer Needed
There is a Beer Judge Certification Program tasting exam on February 20th.  Unfortunately there are no seats available in the exam, but the exam administrator is looking for homebrew to use in the exam.  He's looking for seven 12-ounce bottles of each sample provided.  The exam should include a range of beer from heavily flawed to excellent, so any homebrew you have to donate will be appreciated.  If you have any beer that you'd like to donate,
please email us and we'll get you in touch with the exam administrator.  Please DO NOT mention any details about your beer in the email, because some TRASH officers are taking the exam and they cannot know anything about the beer.

Club Membership Dues
The year is just about over.  This means your 2015 club membership is about to expire.  Please take a minute to
renew your membership online.  Or plan to pay at the January meeting if you'd prefer.  Your membership dues help keep the club running by paying for necessities like web site hosting, club liability insurance, and meeting & event supplies.  In return, you get benefits like the ability to participate in club events such as the cider group buy, aha big brew, public pouring events like the Big Pour, and more.

Upcoming Meetings

January 17 - Rock
 Bottom - Homestead

More meetings to be announced soon!

January 2016 TRASH Meeting - Rock Bottom Brewery

  • Sunday, January 17th, 2016 at 12pm - 3pm
    Location: 171 East Bridge St, Pittsburgh, PA 15120

    For the club's January 2016 meeting we'll be catching up with our friends at the Rock Bottom…

    • 18 people attended

TRASH News & Notes for late October

E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Monday, October 26th, 2015 @ 8:48pm

Hi everyone,

We have a handful of things to share with you, so please read on.  In this email:

- Pouring Opportunity - Association for Women in Science
- Cider Group Buy
- Club Dues
- Officer Elections
- Mystery Grain Competition
- November Meeting Location Change
- Holiday Party

Association for Women in Science - Science & Brews
The Association for Women in Science is holding their inaugural Science & Brews event on Friday, November 13th from 6-8pm at the Citizen Science  Lab (inside Energy Innovation Center across road from Consol Energy Center).  Their goal is to both recruit new members and to promote enthusiasm for science and science education in a fun, spirited, and accessible way.  They're expecting approximately 40 people for the event and have asked if we'd like to set up a club booth to share some homebrew and promote our club.  If you have a keg or two of beer to share and would like to attend this event for TRASH,
please get in touch with us by this Friday, October 30th.  If we get at least two brewers to volunteer and four varieties of beer (the kegs should be at least half full) then we'll commit to being there.

Cider Group Buy
Thank you to club members Nick Yorty, Charlotte Kymer, Mike Beattie, and Brian Robbins for running the show at the cider pickup on Saturday.  And thank you to MoreBeer for donating loads of free white wine yeast, yeast nutrient, and potassium metabisulfite.  With 30 people getting in on the group buy, we hope to see lots of cider entries in the TRASH
 26 Homebrew Competition next spring!

Club Dues
We are now accepting payment for 2016 club dues.  If you're a 2015 dues-paid member, you can re-up your membership for next year any time between now and January 31, 2016 without falling off the active members roster.  You can pay in person at a club meeting, or you can pay on the club web site at:

Dues remain the same as before: $15 for individuals and $20 for household memberships.  Your dues help keep the club running and allow us to organize events that feel are well worth the price of membership, and hope that you agree!  If you're considering joining the club, if you join now you'll be covered for the rest of 2015 and all of 2016.

Officer Elections
As we've been announcing at the past few meetings, officer elections will be held at the November meeting for the positions of Vice President and Secretary.  Nominations were technically due at the October meeting, but as we announced at the meeting we will extend that by one week.  If you would like to nominate yourself or someone you know for one of these roles please
contact us by the end of Sunday, November 1st.  We currently have one nomination for each position:

Vice President:
 Chris Marasti-Georg
 Malcolm Frazer

Note that Malcolm is the club's current secretary and has agreed to stay on if nobody else steps up to take on the role, but ideally we would love to have someone else take a run at the position, because having different people take on an officer role is important for maintaining a healthy club as it promotes participation and incorporates new ideas and points of view when determining the club's direction.

Mystery Grain Competition
Wow - what a turnout we had at Hitchhiker yesterday from folks looking to get in on the mystery grain! Remember that one of the rules of the game is that you have to bring some of whatever you brew with it to the holiday party for the mini competition.  We're looking forward to trying all these beers!

November Meeting Location
As was announced at the club meeting on Sunday, Helicon Brewing will not quite be ready to host a club meeting in November.  The realities of building out a brand new brewery (and the red tape and hang-ups that go along with it)
 unfortunately pushed the shedule back a bit.  We are working on getting a new location for the November meeting and trying to keep the same date & time - Sunday, November 22nd at noon.  We will meet at Helicon after the new year just as soon as the beer starts flowing!

2015 TRASH Holiday Party
Reminder that our annual holiday party will be on
 Sunday, December 5th at James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy.  Full details are available here:

Please RSVP if you're coming so we can give James St. a headcount.


Mystery Grist Competition

E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 @ 8:04pm

Hey TRASH Brewers!

Thanks to a slight grain milling mishap at a local brewery, we have come into possession of about 45 gallons of milled mixed grain.  The grain was milled about two weeks ago.  We'd like to give this grain to the members and have a competition to see who can brew the best beer with it.  To participate, come to the meeting this Sunday at Hitchhiker and bring a container big enough to hold 15 pounds of milled grain.  The grain will be handed out first come, first served.  Take your grain home, brew something with it, and bring the beer to the holiday part at James Street on December 5th where we'll have a mini competition to choose the best one.  Here are the full details:

- The makeup of the grist is not fully known, but is likely to consist of: Rahr 2 row (a lot most likely), Caraaroma, Raw wheat, Honey malt, Belgian chocolate, and Roasted barley, plus less of the following, but still may be there: Biscuit, Munich 1, Caramunuch 1, and Carafoam

- You must be a dues-paid TRASH member to participate
- Bring a container large enough to hold 15# of milled grain. A 5 gallon bucket should be big enough
- Brew any style of beer you want using the grain. You do not need to use all of it if you want to make a smaller beer
- You can add up to 30% (by weight) of other fermentables - other malt, sugar, honey, whatever. 30% applies to the amount of the mystery grain you actually use. If you use 10 pounds of it, you can add 3 pounds of your own fermentables.
 If you use the full 15 pounds, you can add 4.5 pounds of other fermentables if you wish.
- Use any hops, yeast, flavorants, process you want. The only fixed variable is that at least 70% of your grist must come from the mystery grain.
- Grain must be picked up at the meeting this Sunday at Hitchhiker.
- Beer must be brought to the Holiday party to be evaluated.
- The beers will be evaluated as a body of work (I.e. how it presents itself)
 as opposed to being judged against a specific beer style.  

See you Saturday!


2015 TRASH Holiday Party

  • Saturday, December 5th, 2015 at 5pm - 11pm
    Location: James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy - 422 Foreland St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

    The club's annual holiday party will once again be held in the ballroom at James Street…

    • 9 people attended

TRASH News & Notes for Oktober

E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 @ 9:58pm

Good October, Homebrewers!  In this email:

- Compettion & Awards Banquet Info: come hang out with Gordon Strong
- Cider Press
- Wigle Whiskey Homebrewers Competition
- Upcoming Meetings

Competition & Awards Banquet
If you have entries in the TRASH XXV Homebrew Competition being judged at James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy next Saturday, October 10th, thank you!  If you have signed up to volunteer, thank you some more!  If you are signed up to volunteer but cannot make it for whatever reason, please contact us as early as you can to let us know so we can re-work the volunteer schedules for the day without having to scramble the day of the event.

If you are going to attend the awards banquet, please RSVP on the trash web site to let us know how many to expect!  RSVP Here.

If is our pleasure to announce that Gordon Strong - BJCP President, Grand Master level IX judge, and author of Brewing Better Beer and Modern Homebrew Recipes - will be on site judging the competition along with the rest of the volunteers.  Gordon will be signing books before & between & after the judging sessions, so bring your copy if you'd like to get it signed (or you can purchase a copy from him for $20).  Gordon would also love to speak with judges at the lunch break about BJCP stuff as part of his role as our region's BJCP representative.

The judging sessions are open to competition volunteers only; judging is not open to the general public.  However, the awards banquet is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM and is open to everyone.  If you have entries in the comp, come to the banquet to hear the results and hopefully win some medals & prizes.  We aim to start right at 7:00, unless judging runs a bit behind.  Plan to arrive for the banquet around 6:45.  The planned schedule for the evening goes like this:

- 7:00 - end of night: food & drinks can be purchased from James Street.  Leftover competition beer can be opened, tasted, shared, enjoyed, etc.
- 7:00 - Discussion and Q&A session about BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines led by Gordon Strong
- 7:45 - Announcement of TRASH
 XXV Homebrew Competition Winners
- 8:30 - Announcement of winners wraps up, everyone is welcome to stay to eat, drink, be merry.
- 8:30 - Gordon
 Strong book signing - bring your copy of Brewing Better Beer or Modern Homebrew Recipe to meet the author & get it signed.  New copies can be purchased for $20.

Cider Press
Reminder: get your orders in for the fresh-pressed cider group buy!  $4 per gallon, must be picked up in person at Soergel's on Saturday, October 24th.  All orders must be paid for by the end of the day on October 16th.  Please bring containers for your cider - buckets, carboys, kegs, whatever.  If you need to purchase gallon jugs from Soergels, please let us know so we can give them a heads-up of how many we'll need.  Full details:

Wigle Whiskey Homebrewers Competition
Wigle Whiskey is once again holding their homebrew competition on November 1st.  This is not a BJCP-sanctioned competition and TRASH is not officially involved, we just want to pass this along as it might be of interest to you.  Details available here:

Upcoming Meetings
October 25th, 12:00 - Hitchhiker Brewing Company - Mt Lebanon

November 22nd, 12:00 - Helicon Brewing - Oakdale

December 5th - Holiday Party - James St. Gastropub & Speakeasy - North Side
Invite Coming Soon

November 2015 TRASH Meeting - Hop Farm Brewing Co

  • Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 at 12pm - 3pm
    Location: 5601 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

    For the club's November meeting we will be visiting Hop Farm Brewing Company in Lawrenceville.…

    • 18 people attended

October 2015 TRASH Meeting - Hitchhiker Brewing Company

  • Sunday, October 25th, 2015 at 12pm - 3pm
    Location: Hitchhiker Brewing Company - 190 Castle Shannon Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15228

    For the club's October meeting we'll be heading over to Hitchhiker Brewing Company in Mt.…

    • 13 people attended

TRASH News & Notes for September

E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 @ 8:27am

In this email:

- September Meeting - Please RSVP
- September Mini-Competition
- Bulk Cider Buy
- Competition & Awards Banquet
- Nemacolin Brews & Brats
- Upcoming meetings & events

September Meeting - Please RSVP
If you are attending the September Oktoberfest meeting on Saturday, September 19th, please RSVP.  Armand and Sue prepare a wonderful spread of traditional Bavarian festival food for us, but they need to know how many they're serving.  Do us a favor and let us know if you're coming, and if you're bringing guests please tell us.  Full meeting details & RSVP here:

September Mini-Competition
The September meeting will see another quarterly mini competition.  Bring out your best example of these styles and try to win the tasters' choice!  The theme this time is malty, moderate-strength German ales & lagers.  See the meeting link above for a complete list of accepted styles.

Bulk Cider Buy
If you want to purchase fresh-pressed local apple cider from Soergel Orchards, please plan to attend our bulk buy on Saturday, October 24th at 8:00 AM.  The cider price is $4 per gallon and you MUST pay for it in advance.  If you want cider, be sure to contact us and let us know how much.  We'll respond with instructions on how to pay for it.  Full details are here:

I see some folks have RSVP'd to the cider event but have not contacted us about how much cider they want.  NO extra cider will be available for purchase at the event.  All cider MUST be ordered and paid for in advance.  If you show up and you haven't put your order in and paid in advance, you will go home without cider.

TRASH XXV Homebrew Competition
The annual TRASH Homebrew competition is nearly here, and this is the 25th annual edition of the event!  Be sure to enter your beer, mead, and cider!  In addition to the chance to win medals, bragging rights, and prizes, you'll get at least two competed BJCP score sheets back for every entry.  This kind of anonymous feedback about your brews is invaluable in your quest to make better beer.  Register your entries here:

The competition will be held on Saturday, October 10th.  Entry deadline is Friday, September 25th at 7:00 PM.

We can always use more judges and stewards.  If you're new to competitions, consider signing up to steward.  It's a great way to see how competitions work and help out your homebrew club.  It takes a lot of people to successfully pull off a competition.  We'd love it if you were part of it!  Judge & Steward sign-up is available at the same link as beer registration above.

TRASH XXV Homebrew Competition Banquet
As always, there will be an awards banquet after the competition.  Like last year, it will be held in the evening after judging wraps up.  There is no cover charge.  Food and drink will be available for purchase.  Also, all of the competition entries that did not win gold medals will be available for sampling.  (Every entry consists of two bottles.  The 2nd bottle is required for those that win 1st place in their category to be judged for best of show honors.  The 2nd bottle from all the other entries is up for grabs.)  Full details here:

Nemacolin Brews & Brats Festival
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has invited us to pour our homebrew at their Brews & Brats festival on Saturday, October 10th.  This is the same day as our competition which we truly hope you'll attend as a judge, steward, or even just come to the awards banquet to see how your beers showed, but if the competition isn't your thing and you have two kegs of beer that you'd like to pour, please get in touch ASAP.  In return for pouring at the event, Nemacolin will give you a free night's stay at their resort.  You need to provide two full kegs of homebrew to participate.  Event details are available here:

If you're interested, please get in touch with us ASAP as time is short.

Upcoming Meetings & Events
September Meeting - Oktoberfest! - Sue & Armand Houle's house - 09/19/15, 2:00 PM

TRASH XXV Competition - James St. Gastropub & Speakeasy - 10/10/15, 8:00 AM

TRASH XXV Competition Awards Banquet - James St - 10/10/15, 7:00 PM

Cider Group Buy - Soergel Orchards - 10/24/15, 8:00 AM

October Meeting - Hitchhiker Brewing Compay - Mt. Lebanon - 10/25/15, 12:00 PM
Invite coming soon!

November Meeting - Helicon Brewing - Oakdale - 11/22/15, 12:00 PM
Invite coming soon!

Steel City Big Pour - Booth Volunteers Needed

E-mail sent by Member 184c802, Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 @ 11:28am

We've been offered the opportunity to have an informational booth in addition to our pouring station at this year's Steel City Big Pour. We have 2 volunteers to man it, but need 2 more for the afternoon session and 2 more for the evening session - or 2 people that are able to do both sessions.

The only requirement to particiapte here is that you are a dues paid member.

Event Info
Saturday, September 12th, 2015
Session 1 - 12-3PM
Session 2 - 5-8PM

If you are interested in participating, please reply directly to me at

Participants will be selected on a first come, first served basis, so if you wanna do it, get back to me ASAP.

Steel City Big Pour - 2 Open Spots Remaining

E-mail sent by Member 184c802, Thursday, August 27th, 2015 @ 9:53am

Just a reminder that we still have 2 open spots for the second session of the Steel City Big Pour event.

Event Details

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Session 2 - 5-8PM

If anyone is interested in serving their homebrew, we require at least 2 kegs of decent quality homebrew per session. This is a big event, so we try to put our best foot forward. We have a very limited number of spots available.

In order to keep things running smoothly and keep our beer selection organized, we ask that anyone participating brings ONLY kegged beer. Brewers should bring no more than a total of 3 kegs per session. We're going to be rotating our beer less frequently than previous years. The goal is for brewers to not have to leave with nearly full kegs at the end.

If you are interested, please respond directly to
Please include:

Which session you're volunteering for (or both)

How many kegs you'll be bringing, as well as what styles you anticipate bringing.

TRASH XXV Competition Awards Presentation Banquet

  • Saturday, October 10th, 2015 at 7pm - 11:30pm
    Location: James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy - 422 Foreland St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

    Following the conclusion of judging and tallying of results from the TRASH XXV Homebrew…

    • 21 people attended

TRASH XXV Homebrew Competition

  • Saturday, October 10th, 2015 at 8am - 5pm
    Location: James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy - 422 Foreland St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

    2015 Marks the 25th installment of the TRASH Homebrew Competition!  TRASH XXV will be held on…

    • 13 people attended

TRASH XXV Competition Judge & Steward Registration is now open!

E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 @ 7:52am

My fellow homebrewers,

The TRASH XXV Competition web site is now live!

Registration is now open to sign up to judge or steward.  Please sign up at the link above if you're planning to volunteer!

The competition will be held on Saturday, October 10th, 2015 at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy on the North Side.

Beer entry registration will open on Friday, August 28th.

The competition is limited to 300 total entries.  Each brewer will be limited to five entries during the first two weeks that registration is open.  After two weeks the per-brewer entry limit will be lifted.  We do this to allow everyone that wants to get an entry or two a fair chance to get in before it fills up.

There is a chance we could raise the total entry limit to a number higher than 300.  The number of beers we can handle is directly related to the number of judges and stewards that volunteer their time.  If we get more judges and stewards committed early, we can raise the limit accordingly.  If you're entering the competition, we'd greatly appreciate if you could help out at the competition.  It's a fun day and a great experience.

The competition will follow the new 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines.  All beer, cider, and mead categories will be judged.  If you have an entry that meets a style listed in the 2008 guidelines, don't worry; it will slot into the new guidelines without issue.  The old styles are all still there, just moved around in the ordering and grouping, and their definitions have been revised a bit.

If you have any questions or comments about the competition, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at

See you on October 10th!


 If you're a dues-paid member and want to get in on the cider press, please let us know how much cider you want at this link:

Those organizing the press will be discussing it at the picnic on Saturday and will use the amount signed up for by then to determine how we go forward - where we buy from, whether we buy apples or already-pressed cider, etc.  Please add your amount now if you want cider.

PPS> If you're coming the the picnic this Saturday and are bringing something for the potluck, please sign up here (just to avoid those oh-so-embarrassing duplicates):

2015 Steel City Big Pour - Servers Needed

E-mail sent by Member 184c802, Thursday, August 6th, 2015 @ 4:30pm

2015 Steel City Big Pour

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Session 1 - 12-3PM

Session 2 - 5-8PM

If any dues paid member is interested in serving their homebrew, we require at least 2 kegs of decent quality homebrew per session. This is a big event, so we try to put our best foot forward. We have a very limited number of spots available. Those who are able to bring at least 4 kegs of different beer and are available attend both sessions will be given priority.

In order to keep things running smoothly and keep our beer selection organized, we ask that anyone participating brings ONLY kegged beer. Brewers should bring no more than a total of 3 kegs per session. We're going to be rotating our beer less frequently than previous years. The goal is for brewers to not have to leave with nearly full kegs at the end.

If you are interested, please respond directly to Please include:

  1. Which session you're volunteering for (or both)
  2. How many kegs you'll be bringing, as well as what styles you anticipate bringing.

We have been asked to do a brewing demo as well. John Rozborski usually handles this but is unavailable this year. If you are interested in organizing this demo for both sessions and are able to bring your own brew setup, we can do it again this year. If no one is interested in leading the charge on this, we'll table it until next year. You can also email me directly at to get on this list as well.

TRASH Picnic, Apple Cider Press, Competition Info

E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Monday, August 3rd, 2015 @ 12:36pm

Hey everyone!  If you're coming to the summer picnic or if you want to get in on the apple cider press, please read on as we need some input from you.  Also please keep October 10th open to participate and volunteer in our annual competition.  This is the 25th year for it, let's make it great!

In this email:
  - Summer Picnic - please RSVP
  - Cider Press - please let us know if you want cider
  - Competition - important dates & details
  - Upcoming meetings

TRASH Summer Picnic
Our annual picnic is in less than two weeks - Saturday, August 15th at 2:00 PM at North Park.  Please RSVP at this link if you are attending:

If you are bringing family or guests, please post a comment under the meeting details to let us know.  This is so we can buy the right amount of burgers, dogs, water, & pop.

The club is providing the basics mentioned above and we're havinga potluck to fill out the menu.  If you're bringing something for the potluck please go here and leave a comment so somebody else doesn't bring the same thing:

Cider Press

Planning for the cider press is under way.  Right now we need to know how much cider/apples to buy.  If you want cider, please visit this link and post a comment with your name and how much you want:

Note that the cider press is one of the benefits of club membership.  You need to have paid your 2015 dues to participate.  In a couple of weeks we'll tally it up and work out the details of where and when to buy it.  At that point we'll set up a means for everyone to pay for their cider - payment will be required ahead of time.

TRASH XXV Competition

Here are important details regarding this year's homebrew competition:

  - Date: Saturday, October 10th, 8:00 AM
  - Location: James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, North Side
  - Registration Opens: Friday, August 28th
  - Registration Closes: Friday, September 25th
  - Judge & Steward Registration opens: Soon.  Setting up the web site now.
  - Drop-off Locations: TBD.
  - Categories for Beer, Cider, and Mead.  Following 2015 BJCP Guidelines.
  - Awards banquet immediately following the competition, around 7:00 PM.

We need volunteers for the competition!  Judges and Stewards.  Please keep October 10th open to spend with us.  Sign up on the web site once it goes live.  If you have never volunteered at a competition before and are interested, come see us at a club meeting.  We can talk about what's involved; it's not particularly overwhelming.  Hopefully we can assuage any intimidating factors and help you get involved in the wonderful world of homebrew competitions!

Once the competition web site goes live you'll hear about it from us - we'll email the club, tweet about it, post it to facebook.  Probably multiple times.  The TRASH compeition is our club's marquee event.  It's a great time, and we need everyone's help to make it so!

Upcoming Meetings

August Meeting - Summer Picnic - Saturday 8/15/15 - 2:00 - North Park

September Meeting - Oktoberfest! - Saturday 9/19/15 - 2:00 - Ross Twp

October Meeting - Hitchhiker Brewing - Sunday 10/25/15 - 12:00 - Mt. Lebanon
Invite coming soon!

November Meeting - Helicon Brewing - Saturday 11/21/15 - 12:00 - Oakdale
Invite coming soon!

September 2015 TRASH Meeting - Oktoberfest! at Armand & Sue's

  • Saturday, September 19th, 2015 at 2pm - 6pm
    Location: 111 Gadshill Place Pittsburgh, PA 15237

    Once again the club will return to the home of Sue and Armand Houle in mid-September for our…

    • 19 people attended

Beer & Sweat Judge Registration Now Open

E-mail sent by Jack Smith, Thursday, June 18th, 2015 @ 9:32pm

TRASH Brewers,

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.

Register here:

What is Beer & Sweat?  Well, here's a short video that paints a very clear picture:

For most of us, the weekend goes like this:

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.

ByLaws Changes
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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)

Cider Press
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.

Upcoming Meetings & Events
AHA Rally at The Brew Gentlement - June 20th, 1:00 PM - Braddock

July Meeting - Brixton Brewing - July 26th, 2:00 PM - Rochester

August Meeting - Summer picnic! - August 15th, 2:00 PM - North Park

September Meeting - Oktoberfest! - September 12th, 2:00 PM - Ross Twp

October Meeting - Hitchhiker Brewing - October 25th, 12:00 PM - Mt. Lebanon


July 2018
Saturday 14th
12pm July Meeting - BOS Release at Helicon
August 2018
Saturday 4th
1pm August Meeting - VooDoo Homestead
August 2018
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Next Event

For additional events, check out our full calendar.

Contact Us

Don't let the "Serious" part of our name scare you off. If homebrewing interests you, come to a meeting.  We'd love to meet you!

If you have any questions please fill out the contact form.



Competition Facebook


President: Sean Kinnas
VP: Alex Szokolyai
Treasurer: Paul Fisher
Secretary: Daren Szakelyhidi
Past President: Jack Smith

Club-Only Comps

10/23/2016: Fall Beer
Winners: TBD

07/23/16 - Cider & Big Brew Beer
Winners: CMG, Timur Snoke

01/17/16 - Porter
Winner: Paul Fisher

12/05/15 - Mystery Grist
Winner: Tom Bosak

09/19/15 - Malty German Beers
Winner: Armand Houle

06/13/15 - Light Hybrid Beers
Winner: Mike Beattie

03/15/15 - Dry Stout
Winner: Brian Robbins

01/18/15 - Holiday Ale
Winners: Mike Beattie, Brian Robbins

09/20/14 - Festbier
Winner: Chris Brunetti


TRASH Homebrewers

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