The Newsletter, November 2020.
I have been amazed at the enthusiasm shown by our club members throughout this COVID 19 pandemic where we have been able to meet remotely via zoom and enjoyed those meetings.
Considering it was February when we last met face to face and now the last meeting for the year. I would like to thank all members on behalf of the committee for getting involved in those Zoom monthly meetings, having fun with it and just shooting the breeze.
Being at home meant that drink driving was taken out the equation and to my surprise the meetings went later into the night than would be the normal, so members interacted even if it were remotely.
Hopefully, most of us can get along to Warrien Reserve Warrien Road Croydon North on Saturday 5th December for the Christmas lunch. There is childrens play equipment, covered shelter to protect against rain or sun and good open park in a suburban street. Get along and bring your family. We will be seeking numbers at this months meeting for catering purposes.
Club our energies will need to turn to BeerFest 2021, held in February and we will require judges, stewards, and general help to make it successful. We could be inundated with entries as this COVID lock down has given many brewers the opportunity to brew more frequently. As a club member it is a great opportunity to see how your beers stack up and the chance to receive feedback on your brewing process, so go to it and enter.
Look forward to catching up with everyone Wednesday night at Pete’s warehouse. If you brewed a SMASH beer and have any left, bring it along for the internal competition.
The next meeting, 25th of November.
In person, back at Pete’s warehouse but outdoors. The address is Unit 11/12 Edina Rd, Ferntree Gully VIC 3156.
BBQ will be going and an internal SMASH beer comp so bring along an entry if you have it.
20th-21st of March.
Meet the Brewer.
This months brewer… John O’Driscoll.
Tell us a little about who you are.
I’m from a small town called Bandon in Ireland. I moved to Australia in 2002 with my now wife Cate, and have since had two children, Tadhg & Seamus.
When did you join the Melbourne Brewers and what do you like about being in the Club?
I joined the Melbourne Brewers on the 04th of July 2016 after a chat over the phone with the then President Andy. It’s great talking to others that share my passion for brewing, and I’ve learned so much from them.
When and why did you decide to give brewing a try?
A good friend in Ireland had taken up brewing and was so passionate that I decided to give it a go.
Do you brew kit, extract, all grain or a combination?
I brew mainly all-grain with the occasional cider.
How many batches are you up to?
I have no idea, I have a folder of brews I’ve done, but I never got around to organising or counting, I’d guess 150-200 hundred.
What’s your favourite style to brew?
Even though half my beer are IPA/pale ale, I really enjoy brewing Stouts, Browns, or Reds most.
What about your favourite style to drink?
I like bounce around a lot and go through phases of drinking anything in the spectrum from very hoppy to very malty. I don’t like lager though.
Do you have a favourite store bought beer?
Anything in a growler J, in reality in the last year I’ve stopped going into stores nearly completely. I now try to only buy directly from the brewery.
What system do you brew with?
A Grainfather. I bought one soon after it became available and have never regretted my choice.
What’s your favourite brewing gadget/tool?
I think my Brewfather software, it makes everything very easy to plan.
What’s been your best highlight since you started brewing?
No real highlight, I just get a great buzz when friends and family drink and enjoy my beer.
What about your biggest disaster?
I once had a brew day from hell where literally everything went wrong, including my grain mill battery running out, I forgot to put in some of the dark grains I held back for the sparge, a stuck sparge, wouldn’t boil for some reason, OG numbers were way off, open fermenter tap, late addition of coffee beans which I left in way too long. I didn’t brew anything for months after that day.
What’s your favourite brewery to spend some time at?
I like a few, but probably go to 2 Brothers most as the beer’s really good and it’s nearby.
What would be your best tip for others?
Get in the habit of good planning, have a few go to brews that you get right all the time, and brew something new every so often.
What do you love about brewing that keeps you picking up the paddle?
The days of planning beforehand, the brew day, and sharing the final beer.
When you’re not brewing, how do you spend the rest of your spare time?
I really enjoy hanging out with my family.
Our sponsors 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!
Christmas Party 2020.
Saturday the 5th of December at 12pm for a 1:30pm BBQ lunch in the park. It will be held at Warrien Reserve on Warrien Road in Croydon North, 3136.
Club committee will be providing the food.
This is a family friendly event with partners and children welcome.
The Old Dick.
Since 1999, the Club Brewer of the Year trophy has been an unusual mechanical device, affectionately known as “The Old Dick”.
The trophy was built about 22 years ago by former Member Dick Seville who was a popular and eccentric Member of the Melbourne Brewers and the ABAV which preceded it. “The Old Dick” is designed to hold a 750ml bottle of beer and to gradually tilt it in order to pour the contents without disturbing the sediment, thereby obtaining a crystal clear beer.
Dick an engineer by trade would regularly take the device with him when dining at BYO restaurants and drinking his own beers, mostly bottle conditioned brown ales.
Longstanding Members will remember Dick as the quietly spoken gentleman who would bring a large plate of cheese and onion sandwiches to every club meeting which would be unveiled late at each meeting after the standard Club nibbles had been consumed. These would rapidly be devoured and were a traditional part of Club meetings for many years.
Dick was an inventive guy having a hand in building one of the first commercial washing machines ever built in Australia. Unfortunately, Dick passed away several years ago but much of his brewing equipment was donated and subsequently auctioned by the Club so many current Members have equipment designed and built by Dick and his legacy lives on.
The Old Dick was donated by Dick’s family and Colin Penrose. So next time you see “The Old Dick” remember that it, like our Club, has a rich history built on the efforts of eccentric good blokes like Dick Seville.
The Old Dick is a prestigious award given to the Club Brewer of the Year, based on all the members points tallied from all competitions entered. First, Second and Third all generate points to determine who gets to be this years Brewer of the Year.
The club’s preferred method of payment is online. http://melbournebrewers.org/register/melbourne-brewers-membership-2018-2019/ New members: If you believe you are not on the club mailing list, send the committee an email or bring it up with someone at a meeting to make sure we add you in.
Your membership comes with these great benefits plus many others so support the club and help keep it going.BYO Magazine All members receive the BYO magazine as part of their yearly subscription.
(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.
Brew Days 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.
Activity Days 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 Club buys (Bulk buys) of equipment offer significant savings to members.
Club Library There is a large range of brewing books and equipment available for loan by members.
Things to keep you busy.
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.