Wow, I guess it's been a while since I updated this blog! Anyway, we've been meeting some area breweries and now we're back at O'Brien's in Brandon! We had 12 members meet to hear our latest plans and taste 7 beers. Two of those were medal winners! Wes poured his Silver Medal German Pilsner, and Lee shared his Gold Medal Schwarzbier! Ray continues to educate us with tastes of the same mead every two months. An email has gone out to all members about upcoming pouring events, and another email details a list of available equipment and supplies from one of our members that has to give up the hobby. I've asked if he'd like to donate any of it to the club to give away or sell, with proceeds going to our treasury. There was also brief discussion of the idea to purchase a can seamer for use by members. Interested?
The Bootleggers represented at Best Florida Beer! Brian won bronze for his Pre-Pro Pilsner and Lee took gold for his blackberry wheat and silver for his Red IPA! Brian also won a bag of grain in the raffle.
We're back to meeting in person for a few months now. This month we met at Strandhill Public for Irish food & beer! The Whisky Burger and a Guinness was a perfect pairing for my palette! Some members brought their spouses, and it was good to see everyone enjoying the gathering. Members shared 3 beers and 3 meads, all worthy of competition medals!
Next month we're back to our traditional meeting location at O'Brien's on Lumsden at Kings. If you're interested in joining the club your first meeting is free. Dues of just $20 will keep you in touch through next year. Prost!
There was also a bucket of booty from the former Bootleggers BrewWorx supplies store that unfortunately had to close last month. Several members found some useful items to add to their brewing supplies
We met at the BarrieHaus Beer Company in Ybor City this month. They welcomed us into their meeting room that was just the right fit for our 7 attending members and their guests. Their excellent beer, hospitality and a view of their huge steel fermenters made this a very special meeting.
The first taste of a young first-attempt Spelt-Challenge beer got us started on our tastings for the night. I’m hoping it carbs up a little better over time and I’m considering adding a flavor. Wes’s Pilsner was excellent, glad to have him back, this guy knows his beers and his home brewing expertise is enlightening. Next, we had Lee’s Irish Red YUM!, Joe Harrick’s Smoked Marzen with a nice medium amount of smoke, Brian’s Imperial Stout from Cigar City, and Ray’s always tastes better with age Orange Blossom Honey Meed. He now has 45 aging meeds!
We met at the new Alafia Brewing Co. in May! We tasted 7 member brews among which included Lee’s first all-grain German Blonde, William’s third-time brewing brown ale and Ray’s three-year old mead! The other tasty treats included Dean’s IPA, deemed an APA by our tasting experts (that’s even better), Joe’s Oktoberfest (deemed a Bock), and Pete’s “Hellish” Rye and Belgian Saison (that he made with Lee at Bootleggers Brewery for the Homebrew Day demo).
Some of us picked up some Spelt grain, donated by George and Mary. We’ll each come up with a recipe and make a beer from the grains to share at the August meeting. It’ll be fun to see how they compare!
Welcome new member, Guy Snyder! We look forward to hearing more about your brewing experiences. We have much to share with you!
Reminder - Join The American Homebrewers Association and sign up for the Annual Homebrew Con! It’s online again this year, so there are no travel expenses! It’s three days of live seminars, a keynote address, online meetups, virtual vendor expo, sponsored demonstrations and the annual awards ceremony. All seminars will be recorded and made available exclusively to registrants from June to November.
We're back to meeting together after over a year of just meeting on Zoom. We shared our latest brews, stories of brewing, and generally had a good time on the back porch of our host, Bootleggers Brewing Co. We had founding members, long-timers, and even a couple new members!
We're considering doing a club pour at The Boot to raise funds for the local Valrico Village Players community theater. If you have some beer to share let President Pete know that you'd like to participate via our private Facebook Group.
Next month we'll meet at Alafia Brewing Co. and get some grains for a club brewing challenge! Everyone will come up with a recipe based on these grains and we'll share tastes at the next meeting.
Dues are due for the year, just $20. Use PayPal via this website, or get in touch with our treasurer, Brian through our club email address.
We had a productive meeting last night. The presentation by Spearhead Hops, located in Ohio, was quite interesting. It renewed my interest in trying to grow hops. You can try their product by visiting their website, www.SpearheadHops.com. Enter the codeword HOMEBREW (in all caps) to get 10% off your order. If you need any followup information just email Thomas at email@example.com.
The National Homebrew Con will be online again this year. I enjoyed the format last year and will attend again this year, June 17-19. Registration opens April 6. Price is just $99. You get access to ALL the presentations after the Con all year!
Competitions are still happening. The Hurricane, Hogtown, and The Coconut Cub are all listed on www.ReggieBeer.com.
Next month we’ll meet in person at the Bootleggers Brewery. We have the back patio reserved. There will be plenty of room to spread out, with open-air ventilation, and masks recommended, we will share our brews in a safe manner. It’ll be good to see our members in person again.
If you haven’t paid your dues, just visit the website to use PayPal/Credit Card, or contact our Treasurer, Brian Howsare. It’s only $20 for the year. Most of this goes to cover our insurance for pouring events. You get a year of meetings/tastings, discounts at the Bootleggers Store and Brewery, and a club tasting glass (while supply lasts, if current members agree to this idea.)
President, Brandon Bootleggers Homebrew Club
We're still meeting on Zoom monthly. We talk about what we're brewing, drinking, and planning to brew. We've had guests from other clubs join us. And we've watched some of the 2020 Virtual Home Brew Con presentations.
We've also managed to get the Beer Booth out to some COVID-Safe pouring and brewing events.
And we have a running club display at the Bootleggers BrewWorx home brew supply store on Oakfield Rd.
We're still meeting online with the Zoom app. While we miss sharing our brews at pouring events, a couple of our members have managed to exchange some of their beers by meeting briefly. Others have shared with friends and neighbors. The American Homebrewers Assoc. presentations from the former Director and from the last online Brew Con have helped keep things interesting. We learned more about the Kviek yeast at the last meeting. It lends itself to warm fermentation which is easy to do here in Florida where every day this summer has been in the 90's!
Still hoping to get a small meeting together soon. We have to keep an eye on the spread of the virus.
While we had hoped to be meeting in person again by now, being in the state with the most positive tests for COVID-19 made it necessary to meet on Zoom again. We each talked about what beers we've been brewing and drinking. Then, I shared one of the presentations from the recent National Homebrew Conference. We learned a lot about the history of the IPA and an effort by an archeologist to recreate the style complete with aged kegs and ship-like conditions. He was surprised that it turned out good enough to can!
I've been updating our public Facebook group and the membership in the club Facebook group. New members are always welcome. Just use the Contact page on this website to enter your info and make dues payment through PayPal. Join in the fun and learn more about our favorite beverage, BEER! Prost!
New to brewing. So much to learn. Grateful to have this club's help!