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From the club President
Having not been involved in planning and organisation of BeerFest in the past it has been an eye opener to me as to the amount of work and effort needed to make our beer competition a success.
I would therefore like to thank the committee for their input so far. Lin is in his second year supervising the overall project and has kept BeerFest at the forefront of activities since the end of last year. We are in capable hands.
When it comes to being successful we can measure it in a number of ways. This year entries are substantially up on last year and the sponsorship of the competition and the individual categories is fabulous and the envy of other competitions. Well done to Tom Cooper who has professionally done the leg work and seen it through.
What a great line up we have !
Champion Brewer – $500 voucher for Grain and Grape
Beer of Show – Prize package from Home Make It ($100 voucher, 2 x bags Viking Pilsner Malt, 2 x Fresh Wort Kits, 2 x White Labs English Ale Yeast, 2 x White Labs German Pilsner Yeast.
Best Novice – Fermentasaurus with pressure kit from Keg King
Best Club – 10 x bags Malt from Cryer Malt
Pale Lager – $100 pack of malt, hops and yeast from Beerco
Wheat and Rye – $100 voucher from Brewers Choice
Dark Ale and Lager – $100 voucher from Clever Brewing
Strong Ale and Lager – $100 voucher for Grain and Grape from Spiedel
Porter and Stout – Malt and Yeast from Bintani
Pale and Bitter Ale – Malt and Yeast from Bintani
American Pale Ale – $100 voucher from The Brewers Den
Farmhouse and Wild – $100 voucher from Greensborough Home Brew
Speciality – $100 pack of malt, hops and yeast from Beerco
We brought BeerFest back to “our club house” at Edina Street, Ferntree Gully so as to hopefully gain more support from other Beer Clubs in the way of entries, judges and stewards. This aim has been achieved.
We also hoped to gain more participation from our own members, making it easier for those that found it difficult to attend the previous years when held at country locations and requiring a weekend away. For those that haven’t put their hand up to participate and take on one of the many roles that need fulfilling, hopefully you get along to see how well our club presents BeerFest.
We are also wanting to appeal to those that have had limited or no brewing experience but would like to find out how to do so. On Saturday Chris Duckwork is demonstrating how to brew (BIAB), starting around 9am and as he is going to do two separate brews so he will at it all day. It’s a great opportunity for those looking to get into home brewing and to see how it’s done.
Our next meeting on 28th February will be at Foragers Drop at 499A Whitehorse Road Mitcham. Our club will have two brews on tap, a Saison brewed by Andy and Braden and a Rooibos Stout brewed by myself as judged at our last meeting, highlighting the South African hops afforded to us by Mazen Hajjar founder of Hawkers Brewing.
Hawkers will also have a tap take over at Foragers Drop. Their Hop Series No 2 also highlights the South African hops so its Hawkers V Melbourne Brewers. Also on tap will be four other Hawkers beers including West Coast IPA, Pilsner and an IPA.
It should be a terrific night so come along and bring your friends.
See you at BrewFest at Pete’s warehouse on the weekend and at Foragers Drop for our next meeting
The next meeting.
Februarys meeting on Wednesday the 28th, will be at Foragers Drop in Mitcham. Hawkers are doing a tap takeover with their Hop Series IPA No 2. Plus two of our beers also brewed with Hawkers South African Hops being a Saison By Andy and Braden plus a Rooibos Stout brewed by Ian B.
Andy with the Saison on tap at this months meeting.
Brewer of the month.
This months member is….Ian Bennett
Tell us a little about who you are.
I was brought up in Chadstone and saw the shopping centre built and continue to expand. Growing up my friends and I were engrossed in sport particularly football, cricket and tennis. My friends from primary through to secondary school are still my friends today, most of them I’ve known for sixty years.
I played at district cricket with St Kilda but spend most of my time playing Sub District Cricket at Oakleigh mainly as an opening batsman.
At seventeen I started umpiring football in the local South Eastern Football League before starting on the VFL Reserve Grade, then progressing to the VFL Umpires Association where I umpired football throughout the country each Saturday. Also umpires League reserves matches and I’m a Life Member of the AFL Umpires Association having umpired with the VFL for 10 years.
On retirement I coached the Development Squad Umpires alongside Glenn James for 8 years, many of those umpires went on to senior AFL football and umpired Grand Finals. I then coached The Southern Football League Umpires for further 8 years. I am a Life Member of both the SFL and the SFL umpires association.
For the past 20 years I’ve co-produced and presented The Local Footy Show promoting local football throughout metropolitan Melbourne as well as some country leagues. The TV show is seen each Friday night on Channel 31 throughout the winter. It’s been a lot of fun and enjoyment.
I am married to Barbara and have two step daughters Alison and Joanne who now have families of their own. It’s wonderful being a grandparent.
When and why did you decide to give brewing a try?
I was introduced to craft beer by Peter Snare (one of those old friends) who had already started brewing his own beer. I liked what I tasted and Peter showed me how he brewed (BIAB) and I became hooked.
When did you join the Melbourne Brewers and what do you like about being in the Club?
Peter also introduced me to The Melbourne Brewers about 8 years ago.
What I like about the club and still do is tasting others beers, and finding out how others brew. Gaining more knowledge that I would otherwise not be privy to.
I mainly BIAB but also have a three vessel system that needs more tweaking before I use it more often.
What’s your favourite brewing gadget/tool?
My favourite tool is my paint stirrer which I use as a mash paddle. I just love using it.
What’s your favourite style to brew?
I enjoy drinking pales and IPA’s, black IPA’s and stouts and they are the main styles that I brew.
What’s been your best highlight since you started brewing?
The highlight was winning the speciality section at BeerFest the first time I entered a competition for my Black Rye IPA. I also brewed the same recipe for the dinner and received some great feedback which was a real spur on. I brewed it again for VIC Brew last year and received a third placing which I was really happy with.
What about your biggest disaster?
My worst disaster was having three brews in a row having an infection which I cured by buying a new fermentor.
What would be your best tip for others?
My best tip for others is to try and get together with someone else for a brew day. Mike Hewes and I often get together for a brew day and are sometimes are joined by Roger Cheeseman. It’s always a good day exchanging ideas and thoughts on brewing and partaking in some of the product from previous brew days.
When you’re not brewing, how do you spend the rest of your spare time?
Recently brewing has taken a back seat as we are building a new home at Moonah Links Golf Course on the Mornington Peninsula, overlooking the second fairway. I look forward to setting up my brewery there and again having more time to devote to grain, hops, water and yeast.
Beerfest, 24th-25th of February.
It’s going to be a great weekend everyone! On Saturday on top of the judging we will be having two brewing demonstrations run by Chris Duckworth aka Duck plus a Club BBQ. There is also That Little Brewery about fifty meters away with an on site food truck. Sunday morning the judging continues with a Club BBQ. It’s going to be a great weekend to watch, talk and taste all things beer so make sure you come on down.
Our sponsors have put up some fantastic prizes this year in support of the Home Brewing Community. Lets show them some love back and get behind them when you next do your shopping or recommend a store to a new brewer. It’s these sponsors that keep our competitions running so lets return the favour and support them any way you can!
Our major sponsors:
Lame beer joke of the month.
A man walks into a bar and up to the counter. The bartender asks him, “what can I get for you today.” The man replies, “I’ll take three glasses of your most rare bourbon barrel aged russian imperial stout.” As fast as the bartender was pouring, the man was downing the beers even faster one after another. Stunned the bartender asks, “I’ve never seen anyone drink that fast before.” “You’d drink that fast if you had what I had,” said the man. “What do you have,” asks the bartender. Turning around the man replies, “fifty cents.”
17th of March!
Steinbrew is coming fast!
It will be a great weekend of camping, drinking, socialising and of course brewing.
So if you haven’t already, then go convince the family to come and then go lock it in your calendar and get your car packed!
A special reminder needs to be put out for everyone to get their Annual fees paid if they still haven’t.
(This is a great saving over an individual subscription)
Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month at different locations. They are a great place to socialise, listen to talks, participate in Club competitions, BBQ’s and of course taste lots of beer plus many other things.
A monthly newsletter outlining upcoming Club events and competitions as well as general Melbourne Brewers information and photos. This gets distributed by email a few days before Club meetings.
Members are also advised of upcoming events by email. Our member email distribution is also used as a forum to discuss topics of interest and to provide brewing information amongst members.
Periodically, Members volunteer to have a Brew Day at their brewery and invite Club Members or guys who may be interested in brewing to have a look at how they brew, equipment used etc. Brew Days are a good way for novice brewers to learn how to make all-grain beer.
Every so often, days are organised for a group of members to build or assemble equipment e.g. convert kegs to boilers, make immersion chillers, yeast stir-plates, counter pressure bottle fillers, temperature controllers.
Events & Excursions
Periodically the Club organises events/trips e.g. trip to Maltings, Melbourne microbreweries, weekends away at country pubs, fishing trip.
Annual Club events include the Annual Dinner, Xmas party, Steinbeer weekend and Beerfest weekend (Club run comp).
Club buys (Bulk buys) of equipment offer significant savings to members.
There is a large range of brewing books and equipment available for loan by members.
Things to keep you busy.
Come to Beerfest this weekend!
Enter into your calendar Steinbrew for the 17th of March.
Get a brew happening for:
Merri Mashers IPA Comp on 25th of March.
28th of March- Internal comp on Belgian Ale.
30th of May internal comp on Stouts.
21st of April Belgian Beerfest. Get them going now, so they can age properly!
Grafton Brewing Competition entries close 6th of April.
Go to our Calendar and sync it with your own so you never miss an event.
Get some reading done after you buy some books through our book depository link.
Last but far from least, help keep the Club alive and don’t forget to pay your membership fees for this financial year!