Malted Barley Appreciation Society

Vol. 3 No. 1
January 1996

The December Meeting

by Warren Becker

So many beers, so little time. Joe Lipa of Merchant Du Vin made our December meeting fantastic! Club members sampled the Samuel Smith Winter Welcome, MacAndrews Scotch Ale, Orval Trappist Ale, and Traquair House Ale from the vast catalog of beers that Merchant Du Vin imports. Joe Lipa gave an overview of the breweries and the beer styles that they produce. Merchant Du Vin was the first major importer of gourmet beers, bringing fine beers into the U.S. since 1978.

The first beer we sampled was the Winter Warmer from the Samuel Smith Brewery in London. The holiday ale was delightful! Just a tasteful balance of malt and hops, with a very smooth finish.

Next, we had what many regard as the epitome of the Scotch Ale Style, MacAndrews Scotch Ale from the Caledonian Brewery of Edinburgh, Scotland. The pure malt flavor and robust taste make this ale a perfect drink for this time of year.

Now when describing the perfection of Belgian Trappist Ales, one needs to only look to Orval. A highly carbonated (as Bill and myself will attest to when trying pour this ale into a pitcher) and refreshing ale with a brilliant pale color and very dry finish, Orval is without equal in Belgian, and the world.

When looking for a beer to finish a tasting, or an evening, then Traquair House Ale is perfect! This malty ale has a barley wine taste, and sweet finish. Joe told us that the brewery was returning to the original label design, using the artwork from the brewery's archives.

Our meeting was graced by the arrival of his high exalted grand brewing wizard, Jim Simpson directly from Boston, where he brewed a ten barrel batch of American Pale Ale as one of nine finalists in the Samuel Adams World Homebrew Contest.

We also held our yearly election, in which yours truly was elected president of our club for 1996.

In closing, many terrific homebrews were enjoyed. Keep working those Belgian brews, and see you next month.

This Months Meeting: Due to popular demand, Matthias Niedhart returns to the Malted Barley Appreciation Society! Our next meeting is at Mug's Ale House, 125 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, on Wednesday, January 10, 7:30 PM. Matthias brings in the latest classic German import from B. United, International, Schultheis Berliner Weisse. Be there!

Do you have any articles for the newsletter, or any questions concerning the club? Any calls or letters for the Malted Barley Appreciation Society should be sent to Hop, Skip and Brew. The address and phone number are:

Hop, Skip and a Brew
58-07 Metropolitan Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Phone: (718) 821-6022

Sam Adams Worldwide Contest

By Jim Simpson

I entered the Samuel Adams Homebrew Contest innocently. There was no entry fee, plus you received a half pound bag of Kent Goulding hops and a T-Shirt for your entry. After brewing six Belgian style beers for our contest in April, I decided to brew an easy-drinking pale ale. I brewed a 12 gallon batch, using all English malts, some flaked barley, and turbinado sugar (recipe to follow next issue). I used a single infusion mash program, and boiled the wort for 75 minutes. I split the batch into two carboys, pitching an English Draft yeast from Brewers Resource. One carboy was fermented at room temperature, between 72-75 F. The other carboy was cooled down with by the Wet T-shirt over the carboy trick, to keep the temperature about 5 F cooler. (If you have questions, ask me at the next meeting.)

After a week, I dry-hopped both. To the cooler carboy, I added two ounces of Cascade pellets. To the other, I added one ounce of East Kent Gouldings. After two weeks, I kegged the Kent Goulding beer, and bottle primed the Cascade beer. (This was only three weeks before the entry date for the contest..)

I tasted the beer two weeks after bottling, and it tasted fine, but not anything special. When the contest date rolled around, I was going to enter an infect Weisse beer (just to get the free stuff), but it was in the cellar, and I didn't feel like getting the key, so I picked out three bottles of American Style Pale Ale, filled out the entry form, and sent it to Boston.

I bought some bottles to the November meeting for people to taste. Bill said the was nice, Warren said he liked it also. Both Ritchie and Ray made a point of coming over to me and said it was a really good pale ale. I thought to myself, yeah, it's a nice beer, but the judges will find some kind of flaw and give it 28-32 points, because its too bitter, sour, thin, full... I had no expectations of even a third place finish.

The contest was held on November 11. On Monday, November 13, I walked into my office, and my sister, who manages my office, says you'll never guess what happened? I suddenly go into a panic, because I was in the middle of selling my home and buying a new one. I say the buyers are backing out of the deal. She says No, you have been picked as one of the nine finalists in the Sam Adams Homebrew World Contest. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. For the rest of the day, I was floating on a cloud. I could not believe it. I called the brewer at the Boston Beer Company, and he congratulated me, and asked me about my recipe. He told me to contact their travel agent to make travel arrangements to Boston. (Next month, Boston, and a recipe.)

On December 13, I closed on my house in the morning, fly to Boston, go to the Brewery, meet the brewers, load the grist, taste some Triple bock from the cask, and all with only a plane snack in my stomach.

Due to the holiday, this is a short version of the newsletter. The complete version, including the Belgian Beer Styles, should return next month.

If you want a complete copy of this newsletter, please contact Hop, Skip and a Brew, at:

Hop, Skip and a Brew
58-07 Metropolitan Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Phone: (718) 821-6022

Hope to see you at the next meeting!!