Fellow Homebrewers,

It looks like spring is finally here to stay and that means brewing season has officially begun for us outdoor brewers! I can’t believe how fast March has flown by. So many exciting brewing events are all just around the corner starting with the annual club big barrel brew next Saturday the 28th at Carson’s Brewery. Once again Liquor Locker has graciously donated a fine oaken bourbon barrel to the club for us to fill with the finest beer we can brew. This year it’s a Jefferson’s Ocean barrel and we will be brewing a chocolate coffee stout. Yum! A big thank you again goes out to Jason Carson for hosting the event and John Mills for all of his assistance. We are very fortunate to have a place to brew inside as a club with a ready supply of hot liquor water available. All the ingredients are ready and John has even offered to mill the grain for us.

Other great events just around the corner are: The Bloomington craft beer festival April 11, Upland’s Up Cup (which yours truly will be judging this year) April 25, National Homebrew day May 2, Zoo brew June 6, then the Brewer’s Cup July 10 and 11. It is all coming up so fast!

The first quarterly club social night was a smashing success at Carson’s. No official head count was taken (everyone was too busy socializing) but the turnout was great. I’d like to thank all who attended. It was nice to relax with everyone outside the club in a social setting. Thank you to everyone who brought food. I had a blast! The next club social night will be June 13 at Tin Man. Be there or be square!

We have another great tech topic planned for the March meeting. Michael Julian, our resident tech wizard and webmaster, will be giving a presentation on BeerSmith, a very popular software program that helps brewers design great beers, match popular beer styles from around the world, manage recipes, generate step-by-step brewing instructions and perform dozens of brewing calculations with ease. For me Beersmith is an essential tool for homebrewing and I can’t imagine life without it. I have read in the “Designing Great Beers” book on how to formulate recipes and calculate the gravity and IBU’s by hand and let me tell you, those old timer’s had it rough! For those of you out that that listen to podcasts, Brad Smith, the creator of BeerSmith, has an excellent podcast that I listen to and strongly recommend.

As a reminder, please continue to bring those canned goods to every meeting. I have been floored by the amount of support and enthusiasm our club has shown for this cause. I know it can be a minor inconvenience to remember to bring another thing to every meeting (trust me, carrying them down the stairs and driving them to the donation drop off place hasn’t been easy for me either) but we are really making a difference is someone’s life out there and I am very proud of the generosity our club has shown.

So, everyone dust off those kettles, break out the burners and get to brewing while the weather’s nice, and I’ll see you Wednesday at the meeting!

Cheers

Sky Buttrum

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