News

Summer is Here and the MHBA is Keeping Busy

May 6, 2021

Looking outside I can see my raspberry bush already coming in and the flowers in the garden already starting to bloom. The smells of Summer can inspire us as we brew. The wildflowers can remind you of a traditional mead, the fresh mowed grass can bring back memories of an IPA, or maybe the flowers bring out the floral notes in an British Ordinary Bitter. Stop and smell the roses can take on a whole new meeting when it comes to home brewing. Next time you are sitting on the patio, stop and take in the aromas of Summer to motivate your next recipe.

Sinning with the Saints – August 22, 2021

The Minnesota Homebrewers Association is excited to announce that we will be taking over part of CHS Field to watch a St. Paul Saints Ballgame! On August 22, 2021 the club will be attending the game to watch the Saints take on the Iowa Cubs. If you would like to join the club in enjoying a good old fashioned ballgame, you can reserve and pay for tickets here. Tickets are $20 and include admission to the game and a fun afternoon with the MHBA!

May Final Friday Social – May 21, 2021

Make sure to mark your calendars for May 21 to join us for our May Final Friday Social. This month’s will be featuring Venn Brewing! Stay tuned for more information.

April Final Friday Recap

Urban Growler founder and head brewer Deb Loch joined us April 30th to talk through two of their amazing brews – the Northwest Session IPA and Brut IPA. Those that were able to get their hands on the beers were able to enjoy the full walk through of the beers including the tasting profiles and how they were made. Thank you Deb for taking the time to join us and discuss not only the beers, but Urban Growler and brewing in general!

Questions From the Community

No Questions Yet! Don’t forget that the Minnesota Home Brewers Association offers the Hive Mind as an option to ask questions from experts the community.

In order to submit a question, fill out the form here. The information is then anonymously sent to the experts who will provide their answer(s) based on years of expertise and studies. The answer(s) will then be collated and sent back to you – its that easy! At the end of every newsletter we will include the anonymous questions and answers for everybody else to see in order to spread the wealth of knowledge.

Hearing Voices

The following is a curated list of what we’re reading, listening to, and thinking about in the world of beer, mead, and cider this week:

  • Ale Adventures discusses some of the Minnesota breweries that have joined the campaign to bring mental health awareness through the “Things We Don’t Say” IPA
  • Steal This Beer chats with Zach Nichols (Cellar West Artisan Ales) about his journey from small bottle shop in Madison, WI to starting his own beer company
  • Michael Stein from Good Beer Hunting unravels the history of Culmbacher, an extinct American dark lager
Read More

Spring Home Review Recap and Upcoming Events

April 19, 2021

As the season changes, so does most of our brewing tendencies. As the weather warms up and we can see some sun / warmth on the horizon, I know I am starting to look at some of the lighter styles that go well after a day outside. After finishing up an oak Dubbel, I am now planning on some lighter, refreshing beers that can be enjoyed after spending the day getting the yard ready for the greener days ahead. Potentially a Kolsch, maybe a Cream Ale, or perhaps an American Wheat Ale – any favorite summer beers folks are planning?

April Final Friday Social Reminder

Urban Growler founder and head brewer Deb Loch will join the Minnesota Home Brewers Association for our April Final Friday Social. In addition to seeing everyone and getting a chance to talk about what we’re all brewing, Deb has generously offered to provide a guided tasting of the following beers:
  1. Northwest Session IPA – a NW-style IPA brewed to meet our refined Minnesota palates. Can you guess how they managed such a feat? (Wrong answers only.) This beer is available in cans.
  2. Brut IPA. For every action there is a reaction. This style was a refreshing but brief reaction to the rise of NEIPA. Deb will offer advice on brewing this style. This beer is available in crowlers at the brewery.
Please consider buying your beer (and Wisconsin-style fish fry! Trust me, it’ll make you nostalgic for going to a supper club with your Opa in the best way possible) right from the brewery to thank Urban Growler for joining us, and supporting a brewery owned by some rad women. I’ll probably be warming up for the evening with a Cowbell Cream Ale, because it is a mighty fine example of the style.
If you can’t make it to the brewery, here is a handy-dandy map of where to find Urban Growler beer:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer…
ALL are welcome. This event will be on Zoom because #stillapandemic. Here’s the meeting information:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99030437549…
Meeting ID: 990 3043 7549
Passcode: 738344

MHBA Spring Home Brew Review Recap

Another Home Brew Review is in the books! On Saturday April 17th some of the best home brewers in Minnesota came together to share, sample, and learn about the beers / meads / ciders that everyone has been making at Forgotten Star Brewing. With both veteran MHBA and new joiners coming together under one tent, everyone voted on their favorites of the afternoon.

The People’s Choice Winners were:

  • Beer: Kevin Meintsma’s English Barleywine
  • Mead / Cider: Kevin Meintsma’s Black Currant Barrel Aged Mead

Now Introducing, Ask the MHBA Hive Mind!

The hive mind of the Minnesota Home Brewers Association has come together to offer their collective expertise to you! Any and every question is welcome, from what temperature should I ferment my Tripel at to what schedule of staggered nutrient additions should I use in my Traditional Mead.

In order to submit a question, fill out the form here. The information is then anonymously sent to the experts who will provide their answer(s) based on years of expertise and studies. The answer(s) will then be collated and sent back to you – its that easy! At the end of every newsletter we will include the anonymous questions and answers for everybody else to see in order to spread the wealth of knowledge.

MHBA Honor Roll

Nathan Steigman joined The Mean House podcast to discuss his dedication and willingness to fail only to go back through the notes and do it again differently, which creates some of the best tasting homemade meads. Give it a listen here!

Hearing Voices

The following is a curated list of what we’re reading, listening to, and thinking about in the world of beer, mead, and cider this week:

Read More

Warming Up with April Events!

March 31, 2021

Even though its only 25 degrees right now, we are looking forward to warmer weather with temperatures jumping into the 70s this weekend in my household. It is looking like it might finally be time to break out the smoker, sit on the patio, and enjoy a home brew in the sun. The summer season home brews I will be pulling out this weekend include a gose and a raspberry saison. The raspberry saison is a small batch off of a larger saison recipe and it will be interesting to see how the raspberry flavors come out, balanced by the fruity / spicy yeast character of the base beer, in comparison to the regular non-fruited saison. If interested to be able to share and try the amazing beers of the club, see below!

MHBA Spring Home Brew Review

Come celebrate the changing of the seasons the best way we at the MHBA know how, by sampling home brew at our annual Spring Home Brew Review!

The great folks at Forgotten Star Brewery just North of the cities in Fridley have been gracious enough to let us host our event with them this year. We’re planning for this to be an outdoor event, but if mother nature turns sour then there will be a large event space available to move to in doors.

Starting at 11am on Saturday, April 17th you’ll be able to sample your fellow home brewers libations and have them sample yours! We’ll have tables set up for anyone willing to pour and show off their latest, greatest (or even most questionable) fermented beverage. Feel free to bring as much or as little as you’d like; bottles, can, or kegs.

This is an excellent opportunity to get advice from seasoned brewers and to also get ideas on what to brew next! We’ll be giving away door prizes as well as voting for our favorite home brewed beverage — so you won’t want to miss it. Hope to see you there!

Stay up to date on the discussion about the event and RSVP on the Facebook event.

April Final Friday Social

For this edition of Final Friday Social we will be having Deb Loch from Urban Growler join us to discuss their amazing Cowbell Cream Ale. Stay tuned for more details as the event gets closer!

MHBA Honor Roll

Matthew Weide returned to The Mead House podcast today to discuss pandemic brewing and Valkyrie’s Horn. I found his concept of victory garden meads especially inspiring. Give it a listen here!

March Final Friday Social Recap

Zoom screen shot with Utepils Head Brewer Eric Harper

On March 26, 18 intrepid home brewers joined Utepils Head Brewer Eric Harper for a guided tasting of Springbok which I found out is totally a real animal. Eric also lead the mother of all technical discussions regarding sauergut as a pillar of German brewing and the virtues of serving Altbier vom Fass. Two lucky club members also won $25 gift cards to Utepils. Thank you to Eric and Utepils Brewing for joining us and sharing your love of European brewing!

Hearing Voices

The following is a curated list of what we’re reading, listening to, and thinking about in the world of beer, mead, and cider this week:

Read More
A can of Utepils Springbok and a Willy Becker glass with ample foam

Springing forward with the MHBA

March 21, 2021

It’s the first day of spring as I write this and a perfect day for brewing. Only the kids haven’t adjusted to our collective spring forward yet, and to be honest neither have I. There’s comfort in keeping things as they are, but we always keep moving forward into uncertainty. Instead of brewing the brown ale I wanted, I bench trialed some ideas for a mead I have in repose. Things didn’t work like I imagined, so I’ll keep thinking and working at it until I get it right. I went all-in and made five gallons because I trusted my process and technique, even if I still don’t know how it’s going to turn out in the end. And so it it is in early spring, not yet verdant.

March Final Friday

Join the Minnesota Home Brewers Association on Zoom this Friday, March 26 at 8:30 pm to have an Utepils Springbok (Helles Bock aka Maibock) tasting with Brewmaster Eric Harper!

Before the meeting, buy your Springbok in cans at fine liquor stores near you.

Zoom meeting id: 921 1846 2685
Passcode: 918183

2021 Iron Brewer Recap

Congratulations to Soren Jensen, Dave Matson, and Jon Hunter for brewing the best saisons at the 2021 Iron Brewer. Forgotten Star Brewing Company will brew Soren’s recipe, which I for one would love to have. And thank you to Forgotten Star for hosting this event in their YOOOGE (and dare I say beautiful) taproom and judging our club’s saisons!

Soren giving a thumbs up

Club Elections Night with Arbeiter Brewing Recap

Thank you to Aaron Herman from Arbeiter Brewing Company for joining us and providing us a guided tasting of their Haha Pils, Citiva Sucker Punch, and Vanilla Mocha Stout. Club members were super impressed with their beer, especially for being the new kids on the block.

Club Zoom from club elections night

Annual MHBA elections were held, and the leadership team of YOUR club for the following year is:

  • President: Nick Aschbrenner
  • Vice President: Josh Mahoney
  • Treasurer: Jon Hunter
  • Secretary: Matt Johnson
  • Member At-Large: Al Boyce
  • Member At-Large: Adam Bystrom
  • Member At-Large: Kurt Lawton
  • Member At-Large: Nathan Steigman
  • President Emeritus: Dave Matson

You can get to know your MHBA board here (PDF).

Hearing Voices

The following is a curated list of what we’re reading, listening to, and thinking about in the world of beer, mead, and cider this week:

Read More

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.
Read More
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.
Read More

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!
Read More
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!
Read More

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.

Read More