This year will mark the return of the club's annual Oktoberfest party hosted by club memember Armand Houle. As part of a new tradition we'd like to do a "people's choice" style competition for any of the Festbier-style categories. This would include Oktoberfest (3B) from the 2008 BJCP style guidelines as well as Festbier (4B) and Marzen (6A) from the brand new 2014 guidelines. We're still working out prizes and exactly how things will work, but wanted to get the word out so people could start brewing. If you're interested in this, make sure you RSVP and check that you're planning on entering so we can get an idea of logistics.
For more info check out the event details on the website.
Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 2pm - 6pm
Location: 111 Gadshill Place Pittsburgh, PA 15237
I have a few quick announcements that I wanted to send out before Saturday's meeting.
Saturday's Meeting. If you haven't already, be sure to RSVP for Saturday's joint club meeting at the Pittsburgh Tech Shop. They tech shop has an amazing range of tools that would be extremely helpful for those of you who want to enhance their homebrew setup but don't have access to a fully equipped shop. They even offer courses to help you learn to safely use a new tool or technique. In addition to a multi-club meeting, we'll be touring their shop to see what they have to offer.
Online Beer Scores. If you're interested in improving the quality of your homebrew and your judging skills, you should definitely check out Andy Weigel's Online Beer Scores page. If you're interested, you can register your latest homebrew and bring one or more bottles to the meeting. Exchange bottles with another brewer, and you'll have an opportunity to both judge their beer and receive some critical feedback for yours.
The Club Picnic. You should have all received the official announcement that our club picnic has been scheduled for August 24 at North Park. This will be a pot-luck style event with a set of friendly competitions to honor the best dish, best grilled item, and best beer. The club has an alcohol permit with the park, so you'll be able to bring along any homebrew or commercial beer that you would like to share with the group. For details, be sure to stop by the event page below.
This Year's Competition. It's official! We now have a date and location for this year's homebrew competition. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 25 at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy. We will be running our judging operations out of their 2nd floor banquet hall. As always this event requires significant effort from the club. We'll be sending out additional details in the near future for anyone who wants to help out.
Other than that, I look forward to seeing many of you at Saturday's meeting!
I have a couple of quick comments on Tomorrow's meeting and a few other updates that I wanted to send out to the full membership.
Tomorrow's meeting. First, I hope to see many of you at Chris Meta's tomorrow for our June club meeting. Because we're having this event at another member's home, you are welcome to bring homebrew or even a commercial bottle that you've been looking for a reason to open and share.
Online Beer Scores. If you're planning to bring homebrew to tomorrow's meeting, consider registering a bottle or two on Andy Weigel's OnlineBeerScores site. Label your bottles with the ID number from the site, and bring them to the meeting to exchange with another brewer. Over the next few days, you can complete online score sheets back on the site to give each other feedback.
Our July Meeting. For our July Club Meeting, Gregor has organized a multi-club event at TechShop Pittsburgh. The TechShop is a member driven organization that gives you an opportunity to take classes around various tools in their shop and gain access to those tools for your own projects with a paid membership. For details and a link to the multi-club RSVP page, follow the link below.
Hope to see you at tomorrow's meeting!
The Wilderness Voyagers outfitters in Ohiopyle, PA have been sponsoring one of the more laid back beer festivals of the area for the past couple of years now. The club has been invited back for another year, and Gregor has offered to organize the group's involvement. He has a few interested members signed up to bring a keg, but still has two open seats for club members willing to bring a keg for the event.
- Beer and Gear Festival
- Saturday June 21, 2014 (3:30 - 7:00pm)
- Wilderness Voyagers (map)
If you're interested in bringing a keg or have any questions about participation, please contact Gregor for details. If you have trouble reaching him through that form, feel free to respond to this message, and I'll make sure it gets to the right place.
Note that the event takes place outdoors, and includes a number of excellent breweries from around the area. If we have enough people going, there should be plenty of time to take turns checking out some of the other beer. Note that the event is one week after the National Homebrew Conference in Grand Rapids, so participating in that event certainly doesn't preclude your involvement.
In a little over a month, we'll be celebrating the 3rd Annual Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week. In previous years, the club has participated in several different events over the course of the week. We've hosted brewing demos, participated in beer festivals, and promoted homebrewing in whatever other forums we can.
Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week (PCBW)
April 25 through May 4, 2014
Last year, we were invited to more events than we have homebrew or members to support. In other words, there is plenty of room for additional participation. If you're interested in contributing a keg, now is the time to start brewing!
We'll send out more email later this month as specific opportunities start to appear. If you have any questions or are interested in particular events, feel free to respond to this message.
It's time to get ready for our March club meeting! This time, we're headed to a brand new craft beer bar in Squirrel Hill: Independent Brewing Company. They don't brew their own beer, but they do offer one of the best selections of local beers in the city. The owners are homebrewers themselves and big supporters of the local beer community, which makes this bar a great destination for the club.
March Club Meeting
Indepdendent Brewing Company (Squirrel Hill)
Sunday, March 30 @ 2:00pm
For details and to RSVP, visit the club's web site:
I'll see you guys in a few weeks!
It's time to get ready for this year's holiday party! This year, we're releasing the holiday party along side our new web site to give memberrs an opportunity to join the new web site and use it to RSVP for the party. The event is schedule for Sunday, December 8 at Bocktown Monaca. There's a Steeler's game at 1:00pm that day, so you're more than welcome to head over to Bocktown a little early to watch the game or stroll in a little late once the game comes to an end.
RSVP Today! Visit the event page now, and buy your ticket to the event!
We're hoping to serve dinner at 4:30pm, which should give you just enough time to drag over a keg or a growler and share a few homebrews (and commercial beers) with your fellow homebrewers. Dinner will be served buffett style by Bocktown and will include a vegetarian option for those who are looking for such an option.
The club is long overdue for a refresh to our web site. Our previous site has served us well for several years, but you'll notice that we've started to rely on multiple incompatible services for managing member lists (Excel), email lists (Google Groups), event signups (Anyvite), and other aspects of the club's operation. That layout has introduced extra fees when charging for events, confusion with respect to who has paid for their membership, and unnecessary complexity in managing various concepts of what constitutes membership. Starting next year, we're transitioning to a host that helps us manage nearly all aspects of the club in one place.
The new web site provides a single platform to manage membership lists, collect dues, manage event RSVPs, and more. This new platform isn't free, but the officers believe that the improvements in our ability to collect dues will more than pay for the cost of the site. We also believe that shifting to a central provider for nearly all of our needs will streamline the management of the club for current and future officers.
Right now, the new site is listed under a subdomain under our new host (groupspaces.com). In the comming weeks, the new site will completely replace the group's current site, and the trashhomebrewers.org domain will point directly to the new site.
The Best of Show winner from this year's TRASH competition was a style that you wouldn't typically expect a commercial brewery to scale up. Rob Withee's "Black n' Brett" is an American Stout fermented entirely with Brett Brux. It ranked first in Category 23 in this year's competition, and was named best of show by our panel of second round judges. Bottom line: it was an exceptional beer. The problem is: it's not the kind of beer that a brewery can turn around in a matter of weeks. We never expected that it would be scaled up by one of our local breweries, but Matt Moninger (second round judge and head brewer at Church Brew Works) put out the offer. He was willing to work with Rob and scale up Black N' Brett on the Church Brew Works system.
Earlier this year, Rob and Matt got together for the "Black n' Brett" brew day, and from there we all waited. Now, several months later, the beer has finished aging and is ready to go. It went on tap at Church Brew Works last week and is likely to stick around for another month.
Show your support for the club and make your way over to CBW to give Rob's beer a try! Better yet, check in to his beer on Untappd.