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July, 2015 Member Meeting

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee invite you to attend our upcoming member meeting, Wednesday, July 22nd at our usual location, Cliffords Supper Club in Hales Corners.

The July meeting will be a commercial meeting ($10) featuring Karben4 Brewing Company out of Madison. Brewmaster Ryan Koga along with owners Alex Evan and Zak Koga will be our guests. Karben4 is currently in limited distribution in the Milwaukee area so this will be an excellent opportunity to sample taproom-only beers while talking with the guys at K4 about their rapid success in the Wisconsin brewing industry.

As always, we encourage you to bring your homebrew to share. Beginning this month we'd like each member who brings a keg to talk a little about the beer you're sharing. This allow you to better showcase your homebrew as well as receive contructive feedback from the club. If you bring a keg (or enough bottles to share) to the meeting and email the board in advance to let us know what you are bringing, we will give you $20 for your ingredients.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   and let Josh know directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can have adequate serving equipment on hand.

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June, 2015 Member Meeting

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee invite you to attend our upcoming member meeting, Wednesday, June 24 at our usual location, Cliffords Supper Club in Hales Corners.

The May meeting will be a commercial meeting ($10) with a unique twistDave Mueller from Usinger’s Sausage will be our guest for our first ever “Usinger’s sausage and Milwaukee craft brew pairing."  We’ll be sampling various Usinger’s sausages along with beers from Milwaukee area craft brewers.  The brewers at Sprecher, Lakefront, MKE Brewing Co., Brenner and St. Francis Brewing have been gracious enough to hand select the beers for this pairing.  In addition, Chef Don Walsh Jr. of The Blue Heron Supper Club in Big Bend, WI. and Chef Scott Mattfeld of Quarry Catering in Lannon, WI. are busy designing prepared sausage samplers around these beer selections (does chicken sausage wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon sound good?).  It should be a pretty special meeting this month so I hope you all can attend!  

As always, we encourage you to bring your homebrew to share.  Bringing your beer to a meeting is a great way to get feedback and share your delicious brew with like-minded beer enthusiasts.  If you bring a keg (or enough bottles to share) to the meeting and email the board in advance to let us know what you are bringing, we will give you $20 for your ingredients.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or let Josh know directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  so we can have adequate serving equipment on hand.

HopProject

May, 2015 Member Meeting

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee invite you to attend our upcoming member meeting, Wednesday, May 27 at our usual location, Cliffords Supper Club in Hales Corners.

The May meeting will be a homebrew meeting ($5). This month will be the culmination of our hop project. Several Barons brewed Bob Manke's Three Floyd's Zombie Dust clone recipe with the only difference being the hop used. Each brew contained a single hop and the hops employed were:

It should be interesting to compare the results and see how each of these hops brings it's own distinctive character to the beer.  Be sure to come and join in the fun.

As always, we encourage you to bring your homebrew to share.  Bringing your beer to a meeting is a great way to get feedback and share your delicious brew with like-minded beer enthusiasts.  If you bring a keg (or enough bottles to share) to the meeting and email the board in advance to let us know what you are bringing, we will give you $20 for your ingredients.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or let Josh know directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  so we can have adequate serving equipment on hand.

HinterLandBBPage

April, 2015 Member Meeting

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee invite you to attend our upcoming member meeting, Wednesday, April 22 at our usual location, Cliffords Supper Club in Hales Corners.

The April meeting will be a commercial meeting ($10). This month we have Bill Tressler, owner of Hinterland Brewing & Gastropubs as guest speaker.  Hinterland Gastropub continues to be one of the most highly rated restaurants in Milwaukee and they have also been collaborating with local craft brewers and retailers recently so this should be a very interesting meeting. We'll be sampling some of Hinterland's year-round, seasonal and taproom-only beers.

As always, we encourage you to bring your homebrew to share.  Bringing your beer to a meeting is a great way to get feedback and share your delicious brew with like-minded beer enthusiasts.  If you bring a keg (or enough bottles to share) to the meeting and email the board in advance to let us know what you are bringing, we will give you $20 for your ingredients.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or let Josh know directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  so we can have adequate serving equipment on hand.

AleAsylumForBBSite

March, 2015 Member Meeting

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee invite you to attend our upcoming member meeting, Wednesday, March 25 at our usual location, Cliffords Supper Club in Hales Corners.

The March meeting will be a commercial meeting ($10). We keep the Madison brewery theme going when Dean Coffey, Co-Founder and Brewmaster of Ale Asylum joins to talk about the recent brewery expansion and all things Ale Asylum. Be sure not to miss this one as there might be a beer or two to sample which you won't currently find on shelves. 

As always, we encourage you to bring your homebrew to share.  Bringing your beer to a meeting is a great way to get feedback and share your delicious brew with like-minded beer enthusiasts.  If you bring a keg (or enough bottles to share) to the meeting and email the board in advance to let us know what you are bringing, we will give you $20 for your ingredients.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or let Josh know directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  so we can have adequate serving equipment on hand.

Baron's Brewing Prowess On Display

The Beer Barons would like to congratulate the following members on their 2015 competition wins. 

Way to go! 

  Brewer(s)

Award

Style Competition
 best-of-show-3 Josh Strupp 

ESB Ramp Up

Milwaukee Brewing Company                                                                                      

8C: Extra Speical/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)                                              2015 Midwinter                               
Gold Medal

 John Blythin

Co Brewer: Renee Weinberger                            

 Gold Medal Stong British Ale 2015 Midwinter
Gold Medal

Dan Schlosser

Gold Medal Dark American Beer 2015 Midwinter
Silver Medal

 Victor Williams

Co Brewer: David Hardeman                                                                                  

Silver Medal  Russian Imperial Stout 2015 Midwinter
Silver Medal Dan Schlosser Silver Medal European Sour Ale 2015 Midwinter
Bronze Medal Tyler Fitzgerald Bronze Medal Russian Imperial Stout 2015 Midwinter
Bronze Medal  Bob Manke  Bronze Medal Amber Malty European Lager 2015 Midwinter
Bronze Medal Sig Copple Bronze Medal English Bitter 2015 Midwinter
Bronze Medal James Wischer Bronze Medal Specialty IPA 2015 Midwinter

great-dane-pub-and-brewery

February, 2015 Member Meeting

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee invite you to attend our upcoming member meeting, Wednesday, February 25 at our usual location, Cliffords Supper Club in Hales Corners.

The February meeting will be a commercial meeting ($10). Rob Lobreglio, Co-Founder and Brewmaster of The Great Dane Pub and Brewing will be on hand to talk about the future of The Great Dane and share samples of his beers.

As always, we encourage you to bring your homebrew to share.  Bringing your beer to a meeting is a great way to get feedback and share your delicious brew with like-minded beer enthusiasts.  If you bring a keg (or enough bottles to share) to the meeting and email the board in advance to let us know what you are bringing, we will give you $20 for your ingredients.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or let Josh know directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  so we can have adequate serving equipment on hand.

Jan2015GadgetNight

January, 2015 Member Meeting

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee invite you to attend our upcoming member meeting, Wednesday, January 28th at our usual location, Cliffords Supper Club in Hales Corners.

The January meeting will be a homebrew meeting ($5). Our gadget guru, Dave Campbell, will be back for Gadget Night Part III along with special guest Spike Brewing. We'll also have Sierra Nevada Celebration and Lakefront Oktoberfest on tap. The January meetings typically start late and are noisy due to everyone renewing their membership. If the meeting has started, please be considerate of the speaker while you're checking in and/or renewing your membership.  

We will continue our homebrew format from last year. If you bring a keg (or enough bottle to share with the club) to the meeting and email the board in advance to let us know what you are bringing, we will give you $20 for your ingredients.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  in advance or let Josh know directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to let us know what you are bringing so we can have adequate serving equipment on hand.

holiday-beer1

December, 2014 Member Meeting

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee invite you to attend our upcoming member meeting, Wednesday, December 17th at our usual location, Cliffords Supper Club in Hales Corners. Mark your calendars and don't forget it is a week early this month in observance of the Christmas holiday.

December is our annual Christmas party. Clifford's will be serving broasted chicken along with all the sides. Please remember to bring a cold dish or dessert to share. On tap for the party we will have Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Oskar Blues Ten FIDY, Founders Devil Dancer, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Bell's Winter White and Lakefront Beer Line Barley Wine. In bottles we will have Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout, Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale and New Glarus Oud Bruin.

This years raffle will include a 15 gallon MegaPot 1.2, sacks of malt, a Blichmann Beer Gun, a Dark Star burner and other great prizes.

If you bring a keg (or enough bottle to share with the club) to the meeting and email the board in advance to let us know what you are bringing, we will give you $20 for your ingredients.  Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  in advance to let us know what you are bringing so we can have adequate serving equipment on hand.

JoshStrupp2014GermanFest

 

Congratulations to

Beer Baron Josh Strupp

The Beer Barons would like to recognize and congratulate member Josh Strupp for his recent wins at the 2014 German Fest Stein Challenge.  Josh took gold medals for both his DK's Kolschbier and Meta Loon Maibock while also taking Best of Show and 2nd Best of Show for these two beers as well.  That is quite an accomplishment among 250 entries.  Congratulations Josh and keep up the great brewing!

article header“Have you ever seen 12 Bigfoot in one place at one time?” Ask most people that question and you’d better be prepared for some strange looks and inquiries about if you’re feeling okay. But that’s exactly what you would’ve witnessed at the Beer Barons meeting this past January 22nd. You see, some dedicated Barons were able to capture 12 vintages of Sierra Nevada’s classic Bigfoot Barleywine for a vertical tasting of mythical proportions. 

The 10 Barons who participated in the tasting were able to sample annual releases from 1998 & 2000 and 2005 – 2014. Yes, that’s right, 12 years of Bigfoot dating back up to 16 years! The beers were provided by Barons Dan Schlosser (1998, 2000, 2007 & 2014), Mike Schwartz (2005) and Jayme Nawrocki (2006 & 2008 – 2013).
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The tasters, several of which are BJCP judges, sampled the beers side-by-side:

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Before we get into the beers let’s talk a bit about cellaring beer and the effects of aging.

First off not all beers age well, while others are suited for it. Pale Ales and IPAs with their fresh hop aromatics are not beers you should consider aging, as those fresh hop qualities we all love are some of the first things to drop out. Wheat beers are another style you should consume fresh and avoid cellaring. In general lower ABV sessionable beers are not candidates for aging. Beers that are high in alcohol, have a moderate amount of roasted grains, use a wild yeast, are barrel-aged, and are bottle conditioned are prime candidates for aging. Styles that age well are beers such as barleywines, imperial stouts, Belgian strong ales, lambics and old ales.
 
Aging affects the flavor of beer in a number of ways, the majority of which are formed by oxidation. One of the most common descriptors for oxidative flavors is wet cardboard. This off-flavor is classified as an aldehyde and has a very low flavor threshold: as little as 0.1 parts per billion.cellartips
 
Oxidation will also affect the color of beer, making it darker over time.
 
The aroma of many light-colored beers can be affected by oxidation. The malt character present in a fresh example may become honey-like over time.
 
Dark beers tend to react differently. As they age, sweet, sherry-like notes replace rich malt aromas. Many people welcome this, although it is much different from the original malty character of the fresh beer. These sherry characteristics result from the oxidation of malty-tasting chemicals called melanoidins.
 
Sherry-like flavor can add complexity to certain beer styles, like barleywine and dark Belgian ales. However this flavor would not be considered appropriate in lower alcohol beers and too much can make strong, dark beers seem singular and uninteresting.

Now back to the Bigfoot tasting.

One thing to note is that Sierra Nevada switched from twist-off caps to pry-offs in 2007. This is important, as twist-offs tend to allow more air ingress, which can increase, and speed the level of oxidation that occurs over time.

As we sampled the beers we attempted to zero-in on which beer was best, which was worst and what the peak range for the beers was.

When the beers were poured it was obvious right away that the 98' & 2000 vintages were quite a bit darker than the others, a sure sign of oxidation. Some of the comments on these were "chunky," and "sherry-like." The group quickly agreed that these 2 beers were well beyond their prime and should not be considered in our rankings.

In general the color lightened and the clarity improved as you moved from the older beers to the newer, with the 2014 being a bright, rich copper and clear.

It was interesting to compare the beers side-by-side and note the subtle and often times not so subtle differences. The hops became much more evident in the 2011 – 2014 and really dropped off in the beers prior to that. The malt character rounded out over time and the sherry notes increased in the older beers. The alcohol (Bigfoot is ~10% ABV) was generally less evident and blended in the 2005 – 2011 and more prominent and noticeable in the 2012 – 2014. Personally I noted a bit of a hot alcohol in the 2009, but nobody else seemed to pick up on this. A couple of the tasters felt that the 2008 was the best balanced of the group while another mentioned that the 2005 was harsh and had a menthol character. One taster also noted the 2011 as being harsh, but in my opinion that was the best of the bunch and seemed to be the best balanced. The dark horse of the group was 2005 with 3 second best votes, although it also received a worst and second worst vote. It just goes to show you that judging can be a bit subjective and dependent upon one's palate.

Overall this was a great experience and I'm thankful to have been included. If you have a little patience, you can put together your own vertical of some of your favorite big beers in the future. Happy cellaring!
 
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