Ramble On

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blue Ridge Brewers - October Meeting

I can't always make it to the Blue Ridge Brewers Association meetings.  They're held every other month on Sunday afternoons - since I drive back to Alexandria that evening and since sampling is involved, I figure it's best to avoid temptation...but  this time, with a three day holiday weekend upon us, I was able to join the group to learn about what's going on and enjoy some samples of what everybody else has in the kettle.

By the way, here's a link to our brewers' club:
I also have a link to it in the blogroll in the far right column.

This meeting was held at Beaver Run Brewery - at my neighbors Dan and Sally's barn.  We had a good turn out of around 15 people, which means plenty of samples, including a summery Saison, Pilsener, Oktoberfest Lager, a Lambic, and several Porters and Stouts.

The meetings usually include a mention of equipment or methods.  In this one, Dan showed how his all-grain system worked, using gravity feed and 10 gallon capacity kettles.  Kevin showed us a new bottle cleaning and drying system that was recently featured by Northern Brewer.

There continues to be a lot of interest among the community for identifying local sources of ingredients to brew with.  We had a lucky break in the rain and strolled out to look at the hop yard, which produced over 4 pounds of dried cascade this season - there were a lot of flowers left behind on the bines due to a challenging harvest schedule.  That demonstrated that we know we can get large quantities of hops - several of the brewers have small hopyards producing other varieties.

We also had the attempt last year to grow some local barley - that ended up being more a learning experience for us all, but I understand the farmer is going to make another go of it this year.  I'll keep an eye out for news on this one.

Over the next few days, the notes from the meeting will go up on the website above - one of our members uses the tasting session as an opportunity to polish her skills at food pairings.  I'll be looking forward to seeing the suggestions she comes up with in that next post.

Meanwhile, I need to get back to brewing myself - I have a pumpkin porter planned, and really want to get that one underway one evening this week.

No comments: