John Longballa

Bowling for Homebrew

January 8, 2016

On Monday, January 25th, at 7:00, the club will take over the six lanes and party space at Saint Francis Bowling Center, located in the St. Francis school building at 426 S. Osceola Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102, just one block north of the intersection of Randolph and West 7th.  The space can accommodate only 40 people, so please e-mail John Longballa at [email protected] to reserve your space at the party.  Homebrew, other beer, and food are welcome and encouraged!  The entrance to the lanes is through the back parking lot of the school.  We can enter any time after 6:45.

The club is paying for the first two hours of bowling, and the folks who want to stick around for a third hour can collect $50 total for the third hour the night of the party.  Shoe rental is $1, and is up to the members to pay.  Children are welcome, and we’ll probably set up a lane with gutter guards (perhaps not JUST for the kids!).

Read More

2015 Holiday Party!

December 7, 2015

On SUNDAY … SUNday … sunday … December 13th, there is but one place to be–the club’s annual Christmas party! We’re taking over the CSPS Hall (above the sadly-defunct Glockenspiel restaurant at 383 West Michigan St in St Paul) from noon to five, and your presence is requested. Where else can you enjoy delicious homemade beer and food while listening to live music, accompanied by the pleasant company of your fellow brewers?

Please arrive any time after noon, and please bring food and beverages to share. There is a “People’s Choice” prize for the best homemade food that incorporates beer into the ingredient list, and another prize for the favorite homebrew. Plates, plasticware, and napkins will be provided by the club.

The live music begins at 12:30, and will be 3/5 of the band, the High 48s (would that be the High 28.8s?). The buffet-style meal will commence at 1:00. Please bring a tasting glass for the homebrew, as well as for the six gallons of Summit Oatmeal Stout that the club is providing.

Anyone who brings at least 64 oz. of a particular beverage will receive credit in the Brewer of Fame program. The club jockey box will be available for kegs.

At 3:00 we’ll have a Secret Santa homebrewed beer exchange. Bring up to six bottles of your finest homemade wares, with your name and beverage style listed on a piece of tape affixed to the bottom of each bottle. You’ll take home as many bottles as you brought, but you just won’t know what you’re getting until you’ve got it–just like Christmas morning!

If you need to renew your membership, we will be on hand to help with that as well. You can also head to the club website and renew right now!

Bring the entire family, and bring some games. We won’t be able to adjourn down the stairs to the Glock this year, but we do have the hall rented until 5:00.

If you have any questions, please hit reply and ask away, or consider jumping on our Facebook group or email list.

See you Sunday, December 13th …

Read More

Expect Bad Weather on Saturday, October 17th!

October 3, 2015

The next MHBA meeting will be on Saturday, October 17th, at Bad Weather Brewing in Saint Paul. Their beautiful new tap room opens for business on Friday the 9th (with a soft opening two nights earlier, but I didn’t tell you that), and we will invade their overflow area from noon to three on the 17th. Homebrew is welcome, but please bring it in surreptitiously. Andy the head brewer will be on hand to show off all his new shiny things to interested parties.

As always, if you bring at least a six-pack, growler, or keg of your latest creation, then you earn credit in the Brewers of Fame program (see website for details–offer not valid in Puerto Rico or Guam). You may always bring smaller amounts (e.g., your last bottle of gold-medal mead), but the point of providing a six-pack of one beer is for us to have a group conversation about that particular beer. We’ll focus the attention on you and your beer for a few minutes, and everyone gets to try it simultaneously, which facilitates better edgimucation for all!

As long as you have your calendars out, please mark down Saturday, November 7th at Barley John’s for the traditional Learn to Brew Day. Jonathan Beckel has once again graciously agreed to procure 500 gallons of cider for people to purchase. This is a mildly-heroic and much-appreciated undertaking, so please be grateful to Jonathan! He has stated that sign-up will begin later this week.

Then, on Sunday, December 13th, we have the annual Christmas Party! This will be from noon to five at the C.S.P.S. Hall, and is not to be missed!

As you were . . .

Read More

B-Limey! The Iron Homebrewer Competition Results are In!

September 22, 2015

Sunday, September 13th, Midwest Supplies hosted MHBA’s September club meeting and the Iron Home Brew Competition. In this competition, the beers entered were not judged “to style,” but were judged on how well lime was used in harmony with the beer. This was a great opportunity for brewers to brew outside the box. Congratulations go to all the brewers who tackled this difficult ingredient. We had a panel of 3 judges taste all 8 beers and award the Iron Home Brewer trophy.

This year the trophy and a $50 Midwest gift certificate was awarded to a team of brewers: Scott Ode and Jim Bradburn for their Lime Pale Ale.

Best of Show: Scott Ode and Jim Bradburn for their Lime Pale Ale

Best of Show: Scott Ode and Jim Bradburn for their Lime Pale Ale

People’s choice, along with a $50 gift certificate was awarded to another team: Megan and Ryan Hoveland for their Lime Wit.

People's Choice: Megan and Ryan Hoveland for their Lime Wit

People’s Choice: Megan and Ryan Hoveland for their Lime Wit

All the winners noted that they utilized lots of lime zest to perfect their beers.

Other participants included; John Kreimer (tied for 2nd), Nathan Steigman (tied for 2nd), John Vircks , John Longballa, Dave Royer, and Kevin Meintsma.

2015-09 Iron Home Brewer 4We also had many entries in the Brewers of Fame program, including all the lime contestants, who will receive credit in the fruit beer category. Others who received credit for sharing at least a six-pack, keg, or growler of a particular style were Kevin Meintsma for a cream ale and a barrel-aged robust porter, John Kreimer for an IPA, a cherry Belgian, and a RazBerry Rhubarb Ale, John Longballa for a cider, a bitter, and a brown ale, and Jon Hunter for a dunkleweizen. This has been a great opportunity for brewers to get some immediate feedback on beers, and a great opportunity to focus the meeting on one beer for a few minutes. If you have a beer and would like feedback, please feel free to bring it to meetings and enter it in the Brewers of Fame program.

A huge thank you goes to Midwest Supplies for allowing us to us their space and donating some of the prizes. The competition was the brainchild of Matt Weide, so thank you to Matt for putting the event together.

Read More

All-Club Camp-Out

July 10, 2015

DATE: 7/31-8/2
LOCATION: El Rancho Manana, by Cold Spring
Call for Reservations: See Reservation Section ASAP

[email protected]

El Rancho Manana
27302 Ranch Road
Richmond, MN 56368

We will be staying in one of their big unimproved camping areas. We will have firewood, picnic tables, port-a-potties, and lots of space. The park in general has many extras to offer too. The grounds contain a swimming beach, hiking and biking trails, showers, and a store. Dock space, boats and water bikes are also listed as available for rent, and horseback riding may be available. All is a short walk from where the unimproved camping is.

NOTE: We could use larger tent/tarp type structures to use for sun/rain shelters. If you have one you could bring let me know.

Reservations and Costs:

Camping cost is $25 plus tax per adult for the weekend in our primitive area. Please call Kevin ASAP for reservations at 320.597.2740 and state you are with the Minnesota Homebrewers Camp-Out. Note, if you want more amenities you can talk to Kevin about alternative sites they may have available.

There will also be a charge for those participating in Saturday’s dinner. Final costs will be determined on site. I am expecting around $10 per adult, no charge for kids. Please let me know ahead of time if you are planning on coming or even if you are a maybe so we can plan Sat food accordingly. Email me at [email protected] at least one week in advance.

Master of Malt competition:

This fun competition between clubs has been held at the campout since 1992 (yes this will be year 24). Each club can enter up to four brews: one for ALES, one for LAGERS, one for BELGIANS, and one for MEAD/CIDERS. There will be awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in all categories and best of all, you will be competing for the coveted title of Master of Malt! The win is recorded forever in history for your club AND you get to spend a full year with the prestigious Master of Malt trophy. It is kind of like the Stanley Cup (but not really)!

Cheers and good luck!

Sour Hour:

We are going to get a sour hour together again this year. Sometime in the lull between after Master of Malt and dinner we will get together and break out some sour beers. It is a very casual thing. Bring and share if you like sours.

Sat Dinner:

Saturday’s dinner will be prepared and hosted by the Prairie Homebrewing Companions. Popular thought right now is Gumbo, corn bread muffins and maybe a salad of some kind. Maybe that will stick maybe not. If you really want to know ahead, let me know and I will update you. I will need numbers so please email me at [email protected] at least one week in advance.

General Other Camping Notes:

Please bring your own food to prepare for meals other than Sat dinner.

Jockey boxes, bottles, growlers and any other beer containers are encouraged. The PHC jockey box will be there. If you are bringing kegs and need a line we will try to fit you on that.

This is a primitive site so no electricity and water on site through community water spigots.

Read More

Election Meeting Results and Wrap-Up

March 5, 2015

Thanks to Gera and Rock Bottom, the club once again enjoyed the lovely and spacious confines of Rock Bottom’s group room in downtown Minneapolis this past Saturday. As recompense for the brewery’s hospitality, the club purchased six pitchers of varying beer styles for the enjoyment of the twenty (or so) attendees. It WAS the election meeting, so no one dared step away to the restroom for long, for fear of returning to find that he or she was now in an elected position!

It was great to see some new faces, and one of those new faces will be seen on the MHBA Board for the next two years. Dan Dugan, fresh off the bus from D.C., accepted a nomination for (and won) an at-large seat. The other at-large seat was filled by Paul Illa, who (besides assisting with the printing of the calendar cards each member will be receiving) also will be serving for two years.

The club very much appreciates Al Boyce, who had been in an at-large seat the past two years.

The other at-large seat up for election had been filled by Gera Exire LaTour, who also had been the club treasurer this past year. On Saturday she was elected to remain treasurer for another year, but vacated the at-large seat she had held so that there could be more people involved on the board. President Brett Glenna, vice-president John Longballa, and secretary Dave Royer were all re-elected to their one-year positions. Chris Smith and Matt Weide are in two-year at-large seats that will be open next February. Michael Cote is a board member as President Emeritus.

Mike Behrendt and Mike Moranz raised the question of whether the club’s cash assets are too high, and asked the board to draft a budget for the coming year, and the board will do so. One reason mentioned for having a large amount of money is that the cost of meeting space might be rising dramatically in 2015, as the CSPS Hall is no longer able to give us the fantastic rate that they have held for us for decades. They are still giving us a break versus their regular rate, but just not as much of a break.

Here is the list of brewers who brought their wares to be sampled by all. They’ll be entering (or climbing) the ranks of the club’s Brewers of Fame program.
John Vircks–Ivan and Arthur: Baltic Porter
Brett Glenna and Paul Illa: English Mild
Gera Exire LaTour: Mead with blackberries and tart cherries
Brett Glenna: Scottish 70/-
Jon Hunter: Vienna
Paul Illa: Gose

Thanks again to Rock Bottom for once again granting us some free space!

Read More

MHBA Brewers Hall of Fame

November 7, 2014

Minnesota Home Brewers Association’s Brewers of Fame Program

The purpose of this program is five-fold:
A) to encourage members to brew more often
B) to encourage members to brew myriad styles
C) to encourage members to bring more homebrew to meetings
D) to encourage widespread sharing of homebrew at meetings
E) to encourage focused group discussions of homebrew at meetings

At each meeting (as opposed to social events), there will be a period of focused homebrew dissemination and conversation following the toast and announcements. Each club member who has brought the minimum amount of homebrew will present it to the attending club officer(s). The minimum amount of each specific beer to qualify for the Brewer Hall of Fame program is a six-pack of twelve-ounce bottles, a full two-liter bottle, or equivalent amount in a keg, growler, or other storage system. The brewer may describe the recipe and/or process while the homebrew is being distributed. A club officer or the brewer may read the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines for the style being shared. Homebrew may ALWAYS be just simply shared, i.e., shared casually, and not through the Brewers of Fame process.

Read More

All-Club Camp-Out

July 20, 2014

Come one, Come All To the All-Club Camp-Out!


  • Friday August 1st-Sunday August 3rd  – Arrive anytime after 1 p.m. Friday–a few folks are staying Sunday evening as well.
  • Camp Nushka – just east of Cass Lake, MN in the beautiful Chippewa Forest, on the shores of Cass Lake (pdf link).
  • Many spaces available for tents, some camper sites as well.
  • Bring your own camping gear and food for the weekend – Saturday night meal provided, plus beer to share (kegs okay, we’ll have jockey boxes available). A chair for around the fire is a great idea.


  • Cost is roughly $35 per adult (kids are free), depending on how many attend, cash or checks accepted; make payable to MHBA.
  • This is a rustic site with no running water or electricity (drinking water will be available), so plan accordingly. What the camp might lack in modern amenities, it more than makes up for in beauty and charm.
  • Families and well-behaved pets are welcome.
  • Acoustic instruments are welcome; amplified music and firearms/fireworks are not.
  • More wood than should be burned is included in the cost.
  • There are two large pavilions in case of the ‘r’ word.

All-Club homebrew competition Saturday afternoon (bring representation for your club in the categories of Lagers, Ales, Belgians, Meads). See if your club can take the coveted trophy keg away from PHC/Tom and Nancy.

Saturday dinner cooked by MHBA: grilled salmon.
Fire Jenga (to those who are regulars to this event, no explanation needed, to new comers, you won’t want to miss this)
Bring Bocce ball or any other yard games you have
A large pontoon will be available Saturday and Sunday for lake cruising, right from the sandy shore of the campground.
There are many paved bicycle trails in the area. Let’s ride!
The lake is shallow and sandy at the site; perfect for swimming and/or inflatable lounge-chairing.

So we can make sure we have enough food, please e-mail your plan to attend to [email protected] by July 27. You can send questions to the same e-mail address.

On Hwy 2, about 5 miles east of the town of Cass Lake, look for SR10, then turn North and go 4.2 miles.
Turn West on Cass Bluff Loop Road (2360), then go 1.2 miles.
Look for the sign (on the left) that says Camp Nushka (if the road starts veering to the right, you’ve gone too far).


Read More

A Look Back at the Homebrew Fest

April 29, 2014

On Saturday, April 26th, Midwest Supplies graciously opened their doors (and their parking lot) to the MHBA for our fifth-annual homebrew tasting event. The skies were mostly clear, the temperatures mostly temperate, and the beverages mostly delicious. Approximately forty tasters showed up, and they were treated to myriad beers, ciders, and meads, as well as club-provided sandwiches, and a burgeoning tub of baker’s yeast-infused yogurt (more on that later).

The people’s choice award for beer went to Nick Tillemans, for his eighteen-month old English barleywine, and the award for meads and ciders went to the event’s wonderful organizer, Gera Exire LaTour, for her sweet mead with star anise and juniper.

Thank you to Gera for organizing the event, and also to Jerry, who brought the yeast/yogurt combination. Along with the yeasty yogurt, Jerry provided a copy of an article by Jim Koch (of Sam Adams), who claims that ingesting about one teaspoon of baker’s yeast for each alcoholic beverage you are about to imbibe will lessen the impact of the alcohol on your body. The theory goes that the yeast will metabolize alcohol in your stomach before it gets into your blood stream. A few brave souls did try the yeast-infused yogurt (the yogurt simply makes it more palatable), but a more scientific process should be employed at a future event to determine the idea’s effectiveness!









Read More