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Annual Business/Elections Meeting: Zoom with Arbeiter Brewing, March 16th at 7:00

March 5, 2021

Get your crowlers of Arbeiter closer to the 16th, then tune in on Zoom as we drink those beers with Aaron Herman, head brewer at Arbeiter.  Trivia contest for Arbeiter gift certificates!  Run for the club board!

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Final Friday Social reminder

February 22, 2021

As we left the house this morning, my son turned to me and asked if it was spring. With an amiable clemency in the air, it really did feel like dripping icicles and winter’s gloom were relenting to a new season even if just for a day. As I lifted the little ones into their car seats, my mind went forward and backward. Nothing can be definitively acquired; everything must be done all over again every day. Spring coming means that I need to put away the last efforts of 2020 and bottle those ciders and cysers that I’ve been putting off. Spring means doing everything all over again, but hopefully better. Last week I brewed up a Golden Promise SMASH with hops from the South Fork Hop Harvest event last year and the green tea aroma of the hops sent me back to last summer when my daughter and I spent an afternoon picking hops right off the bine. I could almost feel the lupulin perfuming my fingers again. Soon enough.

MHBA Final Friday is this week!

February 26 at 8:30 pm

All welcome

Members in good standing as of noon on February 26 who attend will be eligible to win one of two $50 gift cards to Eastlake Craft Brewery. Not a member? Sign up today!

We’ll be drinking Beneath the Wolf Moon NEIPA together so order yours today! Eastlake has kindly offered the promo code YEASTCAKE to get a discount. Also, did you know they deliver?

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/97027571797

Meeting ID: 970 2757 1797

Passcode: 809875

 

MHBA Honor Roll

Congratulations Josh Mahoney, Kevin Meintsma, and Matthew Weide for their third place medals at Midwinter Homebrew Competition!


Hearing Voices

This following are a curated list of what we’re reading, listening to, and thinking about in the world of beer, mead, and cider this week.
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crowler sitting on pieces of cut firewood

Final Friday, MHBA Honor Roll additions

February 9, 2021

Final Friday – February

On Friday, February 26th, Ryan Pitman Head brewer/Owner of Eastlake Craft Brewery will be joining MHBA members for our Final Friday Social, complete with beer tasting, virtual brewery tour and fun! The featured beer that was just released and will be a direct brewery purchase option for members in advance of this event is “Beneath The Wolf Moon” – IPA – Imperial / Double New England ABV: 6.8% – Juicy IPA featuring a flavorful trifecta of hops. Pacific Jade for peachy citrus and black pepper notes, Amarillo with more of a zesty citrus, and the tropical Azacca Hops.

Advance Ordering with a Special Price for MHBA: Ordering of “Beneath The Wolf Moon” can be made online for direct pickup and also delivery is available for free within areas listed on their ordering site: Use Promo Code YEASTCAKE – this will work on both store for delivery and also for pickup orders.

Feel free to pick up/order any others listed as there is quite a selection.
Pick-up Hours: 11a-7p Mon-Sat, 11a-6p Sun
Delivery Window: Delivery hours are 11am-6pm, leave a comment in the order notes for a smaller window if you likeDelivery Cutoff: Order by 3pm for same day delivery
We will be purchasing two $50 gift cards for this event to giveaway to eligible dues paid MHBA members in good standing. Not a member? Join today and get yourself eligible! The brewery may also have a few things to add for making this fun and engaging Q&A.
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/97027571797
Meeting ID: 970 2757 1797
Passcode: 809875


Iron Brewer

This year’s Iron Brewer challenge is saison!

Compete with other MHBA members to have your beer professionally brewed and served at the Forgotten Star Brewing taproom.

To keep our activities as healthy as possible, there will NOT be a homebrew share and voting this year. Fortunately, to keep with tradition of a yearly throw-down, Forgotten Star Brewery’s owner and head brewer Matt Asay has agreed to choose the club’s best saison.

Forgotten Star Brewery has a massive taproom section with plenty of space for a safe, socially-distant get-together as Matt, announces his favorite saison. There is also an outdoor tent and skating rink in case President Dave Matson wants to lace up and work on his axel jumps.

Entries can be dropped off at the brewery any time during normal business hours between now and February 25th.

Limit three unique entries per entrant. One bottle per entry. Attach your name and saison strength and color per BJCP guidelines. Including the beer recipe would be helpful but not required.

Entry deadline February 25th.

Winner revealed 6:00 P.M. March 2nd at Forgotten Star Brewing Company.

Also, if you’d like to bring bottles to swap with other members, feel free. Just don’t bring them into the brewery.

Good luck!

Final Friday – January recap

On January 29, 13 club members got together online and had a lively discussion. As promised we held a raffle and club members in good standing Matt Johnson and Josh Mahoney each won a $50 gift card to Fair State Brewing Cooperative just for being there.

MHBA Honor Roll

This club is unbelievably impressive. The MHBA website has a brand new In the Media page with links to books, articles, podcast appearances, and blogs by members of the club. Are we missing stuff? Let us know and we’ll add it!

The MHBA won the best homebrew club at Domras Cup! Congratulations to the following club members who came away with swag:

  • Adam Bystrom. 9th place Heavy Medal, 3rd place Melomel, 3rd place Braggot.
  • Josh Mahoney. 7th place Heavy Medal, 1st place Sweet Mead, Honorable Mention Cysers and Pyments.
  • Nathan Steigman. 6th place Heavy Medal, 1st place Braggot, 3rd place Experimental Mead.
  • Matthew Weide. 1st place Cysers and Pyments.
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Opportunity abounds

January 25, 2021

Welcome to 2021. Like most of you, I’m reminded this time of year is nonpareil for quiet reflection. The sun, low in the sky, casts long shadows and lets you recount how far we’ve come and where we want to be going. Last night, after some exercise, I found a bottle of IPA from the club bottle share last November that was positively sublime. Joy can come in unexpected places, even a forgotten bottle. With fresh snow by our feet, I hope you’re having fun imagining the delicious beverages that will grace your carboys this year. Joy is also not an accident.

With that in mind, the MHBA board met on January 12 and planned the core club events for this year:

  • March 2, 2021. Iron Brewer (see more below)
  • March 16, 2021. Club Elections and a guest from Arbeiter Brewing Company. Are you interested in being on the club board? We’ll be electing club president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and member-at-large. This is your club, and your chance to steer the ship!
  • April 17, 2021. Spring Forward Homebrew Review.
  • May 1, 2021. Big Brew Day.
  • September 19, 2021. Autumn Homebrew Review.
  • November 6, 2021. Learn to Brew Day and Club Cider Buy.

Final Friday Club Socials

Miss your MHBA friends? Joined the Facebook group and want to check out our club? Let’s try something new and have a regular social event. No agenda, just fun.

Name: MHBA Final Friday Social
Time: Fri, Jan 29, 8:30 – 10:30 PM
Join the meeting: https://meet.google.com/pwq-opzb-sun

In the spirit of supporting local breweries affected by the pandemic, let’s all try to get Life Ain’t Fair by Fair State. You can order online and have contactless pick up from locations all over the cities. If enough of us get the same beer, it would be fun to taste it together.

Direct link to order: https://shop.fairstate.coop/product/life-aint-fair/

Can’t get it? No problem. Open something from a brewery you want to see in 2022 or some of your homebrew.

See you all at Final Friday!

Iron Brewer

This year’s Iron Brewer challenge is saison!

Compete with other MHBA members to have your beer professionally brewed and served at the Forgotten Star Brewing taproom.

To keep our activities as healthy as possible, there will NOT be a homebrew share and voting this year. Fortunately, to keep with tradition of a yearly throw-down, Forgotten Star Brewery’s owner and head brewer Matt Asay has agreed to choose the club’s best saison.

Forgotten Star Brewery has a massive taproom section with plenty of space for a safe, socially-distant get-together as Matt, announces his favorite saison. There is also an outdoor tent and skating rink in case President Dave Matson wants to lace up and work on his axel jumps.

Entries can be dropped off at the brewery any time during normal business hours between now and February 25th.

Limit three unique entries per entrant. One bottle per entry. Attach your name and saison strength and color per BJCP guidelines. Including the beer recipe would be helpful but not required.

Entry deadline February 25th.

Winner revealed 6:00 P.M. March 2nd at Forgotten Star Brewing Company.

Also, if you’d like to bring bottles to swap with other members, feel free. Just don’t bring them into the brewery.

Good luck!

MHBA Honor Roll 

Congratulations Adam Bystrom for being the First Runner Up in the 2020 National Mead Maker of the Year circuit! And congratulations to friend-of-the-club and fellow Minnesotan Josh Holbrook for BEING the 2020 National Mead Maker of the Year!
The definitive guide to holding homebrew contests in the midst of a pandemic, a herculean labor by Al Boyce, Kevin Meintsma, Matt Weide, Josh Mahoney, and Dave Royer, was cited in the latest issue of Zymurgy.
Open Mic
Do you want to organize an event of interest to the MHBA? Let us help publicize it! Contact the club secretary to get the ball rolling!
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glass and bottle

Iron Brewer, Holiday Party recap

December 28, 2020

Iron Brewer

This year’s Iron Brewer challenge is saison!

Compete with other MHBA members to have your beer professionally brewed and served at the Forgotten Star Brewing taproom.

To keep our activities as healthy as possible, there will NOT be a homebrew share and voting this year. Fortunately, to keep with tradition of a yearly throw-down, Forgotten Star Brewery’s owner and head brewer Matt Asay has agreed to choose the club’s best saison.

Forgotten Star Brewery has a massive taproom section with plenty of space for a safe, socially-distant get-together as Matt, announces his favorite saison. There is also an outdoor tent and skating rink in case President Dave Matson wants to lace up and work on his axel jumps.

Entries can be dropped off at the brewery any time during normal business hours between now and February 25th.

Limit three unique entries per entrant. One bottle per entry. Attach your name and saison strength and color per BJCP guidelines. Including the beer recipe would be helpful but not required.

Entry deadline February 25th.

Winner revealed 6:00 P.M. March 2nd at Forgotten Star Brewing Company.

Also, if you’d like to bring bottles to swap with other members, feel free. Just don’t bring them into the brewery.

Good luck!

Here are some resources that may help you get started in making your perfect Saison:

 

Holiday Zoom

There were still ugly sweaters, holiday lights, and the shroud of holiday mystery. But club members celebrated a bit differently this year with a holiday party over Zoom. We were joined by the Head Brewer at Back Channel Brewing, Marc Makarem, who gave an inspiring story of his journey from back-porch home brewer to where he is now. A fierce round of trivia was played, and club members Al Boyce, Adam Bystrom, and Dave Royer (as a gift from Marc) each won a $50 gift card to a taproom of their choice to support local breweries.

Everyone who attended the Holiday Zoom is on Santa’s nice list and can buy a bottle of Back Channel Soviet Slayer for a $5 discount, which were specially set aside by Marc for our club. After the guided tasting he provided, this is sure to be a hit! Get a stemless chalice while you’re there, too! (I can vouch that it’s surprisingly awesome.)

 

Flex

Since Apple is getting into the lucrative fitness market, the MHBA had no choice but to follow suit. There are two new ways to have fun and get swoll as a club (and are free!):

 

MHBA Honor Roll

Congratulations to Anthony Davis for winning Best of Show at the Sour Times Competition for his brett beer! He also picked up a silver medal for his Berliner weisse.

Also, shout-out to Colby Reineke for winning silver in American wild specialty (which I actually judged, it was a heck-of-a-beer!), bronze in continental sours, and Honorable Mention in historical/brett beers.

You can see the full results here.


Open Mic

Do you want to organize an event of interest to the MHBA? Let us help publicize it! Contact the club secretary to get the ball rolling!
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Virtual Holiday Party this Friday!

December 14, 2020

Club Holiday Party this Friday from 7 – 10 pm

Rolling with the punches! Since we can’t be together to celebrate at our annual party, we are planning a virtual party!

Join us for a virtual MHBA Holiday Party!!! It’s your chance to hear from old friends, meet new members and let everyone know what you’ve been brewing during these crazy times.

Working on a few things like a local brewery beer tasting, ugly beer label contest, and more.

A link to the meeting will be added in the near future.

MHBA Honor Roll

Nathan Steigman won four medals at Orpheus for his outstanding meads. You can see the full results here.

Cider Shenanigans

 

The annual club cider buy was a success! We successfully dispensed two totes of delicious cider. People picked up delicious, Minnesota honey from Gardner Bees. Thirty six bottles of beer, cider, and mead were entered into the club bottle share, which has resulted in 24 completed score sheets helping our members get better.
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Missing out is just spooky

October 28, 2020

October can get pretty spooky, so to avoid the very real and totally not made up terror of missing out the Minnesota Home Brewers Association wants to let you know that three windows of opportunity are quickly closing.

  • All orders for cider need to be placed before Monday, November 2. You don’t want to miss out on Pine Tree Apple Orchard’s delicious cider or Barley John’s famous egg bake. Place your order here. 
  • Due to covid, we will not be doing our customary bottle share at the cider buy. Instead, we are doing a bottle swap where you can drop off four bottles at the club secretary’s garage and you will get four different bottles at the cider buy to enjoy off-premise. You can even elect to get written feedback. To participate, enter the details of your brew here as soon as possible. The drop off is noon to 3 PM on Saturday, October 31 at the garage at 887 Nebraska Avenue W, Saint Paul, MN. More details are on the club website here. To recap: don’t bring beers to share to the cider buy, instead plan ahead and get bottles to enjoy later!
  • You can order amazing Minnesota honey from Gardner Bees and pick it up from Josh Mahoney at the cider buy, but only until Monday, November 2. I’m getting a pail of their new goldenrod honey and can’t wait to try it in a cyser!

You don’t want to miss this. All those bottles and kegs you have could be full of crisp, fruit-forward, austere, and refreshing hard cider in a month or two.

Don’t forget your mask, practice physical distancing, wash your filthy paws, and please don’t come if you’re having symptoms. If you ordered and think you might be coming down with something, please reach out to a club officer and we will make alternate arrangements.

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Cider Buy, Bottle Share, Cysers

October 20, 2020

The Cider Buy

The Minnesota Home Brewers Association is hosting our annual cider buy at Barley John’s Brewpub on November 7 from 10 am to 4 pm. The cider is from Pine Tree Apple Orchard and is being sold to club members for $25/5 gallons. The deadline is November 3, so don’t delay! Order your cider here!

If you’re new to making cider or want to up your cider game, check out:

Please remember that we will NOT fill glass containers for safety.

Don’t forget to enjoy Barley John’s famous egg bake and support them for hosting this annual event!

But wait … there’s more!

Due to covid, we are doing a virtual bottle share in lieu of our traditional in-person share. To join the fun:

  1. Pick a beer, mead, or cider you’ve made and of which you have at least four bottles
  2. Fill out this form with the details of your beverage. Decide if you want the recipient to judge it or not. This MUST be done prior to drop off.
  3. Drop off the four bottles at the club secretary’s garage (887 Nebraska Ave W, Saint Paul, MN) on Saturday, October 31 from noon to 3 pm. Can’t make that drop-off window? Contact the club secretary at [email protected]to drop it off before October 31. Please drop off your bottles in a four or six-pack holder. There will be a stack of post-it notes with a unique number on each one. Write your name legibly on the top-most post-it and stick it to the barrel of one of your bottles, and put that bottle inside the holder you brought. Using the permanent marker provided, please write the number from the post-it on each bottle cap.
  4. The club secretary will create mixed packs
  5. Pick up four different bottles at the cider buy
  6. If you decided to have your entries judged, you will get score sheets via email from the club secretary

Could the day get any sweeter?

Gardner Bees produces local, high-quality honey that has been used to make award-winning mead. Members who order honey from them will be able to pick it up from Josh Mahoney at the cider buy. This is a great opportunity to make cysers!

Speaking of cysers…

Club board member and one of the top home mead makers Adam Bystrom was invited on Got Mead Live last week to talk about cysers. You can listen to their conversation here.

Pucker up

Our friends at the Nordeast Brewers Alliance are hosting the Sour Times Homebrew Competition. Entries open November 1, and are limited to 50 entries. Get your sour and funky beers ready to compete!

Open mic

Do you want to organize an event of interest to the MHBA? Let us help publicize it! Contact the club secretary to get the ball rolling!

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Save-the-Date for the Club Cider Buy and Recapping a Busy September

September 27, 2020

Before we recap the busy September we had in the MHBA, we are pleased to announce preliminary details of the (drumroll, please) … club cider buy!

Club Cider Buy

Join the Minnesota Home Brewers Association for our annual cider distribution and homebrew demonstrations at Barley John’s Brewpub on November 7 from 10 am to 4 pm. This year, due to Covid-19 we will be scaling down the event bit and still working through some of the details on how to have a very safe event and have fun. This is a FREE event, open to anyone who is interested.

Of course, a big part of your yearly event is the purchase and distribution of fresh pressed cider from Pine Tree Orchard that you can use for your hard ciders, cysers, and fruit beers. All MHBA members in good standing are able to purchase cider today. The price will be the same as in past years ($25/five gallons), and you will be responsible for bringing a plastic container (we will NOT fill glass due to safety).

Barley John’s will be making their annual “Cider-Buy Eggbake”. It’s so delicious, do yourself a favor and buy yourself a couple of pieces and wash it down with a pint of Barley John’s beer and support our wonderful hosts!

Purchase your cider now! Need help with your recipe or process? Go check out the MHBA cider guide!

Bottle Share at the Cider Buy

Because this is 2020, we are doing things a little different this year. In lieu of the normal bottle share, we are doing a bottle swap. How, you say? It’s easy:

  1. Pick a beer, mead, or cider you’ve made and of which you have at least four bottles
  2. Fill out this form with the details of your beverage. Decide if you want the recipient to judge it or not.
  3. Drop off the four bottles at the club secretary’s garage (887 Nebraska Ave W, Saint Paul, MN) on Saturday, October 30 from noon to 3 pm. Can’t make that drop-off window? Contact the club secretary at [email protected] to drop it off before October 30. Please drop off your bottles in a four or six-pack holder. There will be a stack of post-it notes with a unique number on each one. Write your name legibly on the top-most post-it and stick it to the barrel of one of your bottles, and put that bottle inside the holder you brought. Using the permanent marker provided, please write the number from the post-it on each bottle cap.
  4. The club secretary will create mixed packs
  5. Pick up four different bottles at the cider buy
  6. If you decided to have your entries judged, you will get score sheets via email from the club secretary

Honey Pick Up at the Cider Buy

Gardner Bees produces local, high-quality honey that has been used to make award-winning mead. Members who order honey from them will be able to pick it up from Josh Mahoney at the cider buy. This is a great opportunity to make cysers!

MHBA Members Win Big at Valkyrie’s Horn

The Valkyrie’s Horn Mead Competition had its second year and led the way in synchronous remote judging. The following club members medaled:

  • Al Boyce – 1st place, 39A/M2C Berry Awards Group 1
  • Adam Bystrom – 2nd and 3rd place, 36A/M3A/M3B SHV Group 1 
  • Paul Dienhart – 2nd place, Pyment
  • Christy Helps – 3rd place, Braggot
  • Pat and Hank McNeely – 3rd place, M1B Semi-Sweet Traditional Group 2
  • Brandon Pflipsen – 1st place, Dry Traditional; 1st place, 41A/M3A/M3B SHV Group 2
  • Nathan Steigman – 3rd place, Specialty
  • Matthew Weide – 1st and 2nd place, Sweet Traditional

Commercial Calibration: Style 2 C – International Dark Lager (BlackStack Spare Parts)

BJCP Grand Master VIII judge Al Boyce blindly evaluated BlackStack’s Spare Parts as an international dark lager (style 2C). You can watch his commercial calibration video here.

Hop Harvest Day with South Fork Hops

Club members were invited to pick centennial, CTZ, and Yakima Gold at South Fork Hops, a small scale commercial hop farm near River Falls, Wisconsin. The Yakima Gold impressed with its green tea aromas.

Grape Pomace Pickup with Mousse Sparkling Wine Company

The club learned this summer that a prominent commercial meadery adds grape pomace to some of their meads to enhance mid-palate mouthfeel. In response, club members were invited to pick up freshly-pressed Frontenac blanc and Marquette grape pomace from a vineyard owned by the newly-opened Mousse Sparkling Wine Company in Jordan, Minnesota. Mousse also arranged to give club members a tour of their production area and provided a tasting of their wines. Club members have a whopping seven batches of mead using this pomace.

Open Mic

Do you want to organize an event of interest to the MHBA? Let us help publicize it! Contact the club secretary to get the ball rolling!

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Mead Day is TOMORROW

July 31, 2020

WHO’S COMING???!

Saturday, August 1st (tomorrow) is MEAD DAY 2020! This year club members are invited to a virtual tour and mead tasting with one of 2019’s most awarded meaderies – LOST CAUSE MEADERY out of San Diego, CA!

We’ll be tasting:

  • DEVILRY: Raspberry mead with meadowfoam honey.
  • GSB: Grenache, syrah and blackberry mead with buckwheat honey aged on oak.
  • DEAR MONTANA: Traditional mead made with Montana sweet clover blossom aged on oak.

After the private tour we will have a Q&A session with owners Suzanna and Billy Beltz!

Join Zoom Meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84862565176?pwd=RituV25zMWtibjVHRmpJWk5oZkVMQT09&fbclid=IwAR0eKPnQXchn8b4cz3jDK5MMEafU8-OfDr8–F_CcirtJtgZnOYP9ZA6lJk

Meeting ID: 848 6256 5176
Passcode: 294130

Dial In: +1 646 876 9923

Join us even if you didn’t get in on the mead buy to socialize with your friends in the MHBA!

Cheers!

Still thirsty?

For our July installment of the MHBA Commercial Calibration video series, Nick A provided a blind evaluation of a BJCP style 1B beer. You can taste along here.

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