Kicking off 2020

Happy new year!.

We kick off 2020 with our regular monthly meeting this Wednesday at the Wheaty from 7pm (yes, it’s the third Wednesday of the month already). Traditionally we’ve met at Little Bang in January but because of the Wheaty’s availability during Fringe, we’ll go to LBB next month.

This week, apart from a catch-up and beer, we’ve got some hop sensory kits to use courtesy of Wally who donated them. This isn’t the off flavours identification session we were planning before Christmas. We know there is a lot of interest in that so we’ll do that in March. This is a way of experiencing the different aromas hops can produce — earthy, piney, floral, tropical etc…

With the devastation of the current bushfires, we as a club would like to contribute something in the way of a donation. We have some ideas but we’d like to hear any you have as well. Ideally, a donation of around $2000 is our goal. It could be we sell something, we donate all entry fees from Summer Comp — all ideas welcome.

Summer competition:
The summer competition will be judged on Saturday, March 21. The entry portal will be open in early March and entries can be dropped at the March meeting, BeerBelly and on the day by 12.15.

The theme is Belgian — more specifics to come.

Hot day, hot pizza and cold beers

It’s the end of another year, and we’re going to wrap up with a super casual get together at The Wheaty this Wednesday night from 7pm. Nothing says Christmas like beer and pizza and a hot day right? Hey, at least you’re not cooking and you get to hang out with rad peeps — win-win! it’ll be a hot day too. Our meeting last month was also on a 42C day and the back room at the Wheaty was surprisingly cool.


 Please bring a bottle of your homebrew beer for Secret Santa. Please don’t bring a bought bottle from behind the bar or anywhere else. You can decide to pop your name on it if you like, or leave it a complete secret!

There will also be beers from the Left Barrel Brewing brewing day to taste on the night. If you brewed at LLB at at the club day in October, bring some along for comparisons.

Brewer of the Year 2019

Brewer of the Year is SABC’s annual award that recognises a member’s consistency in brewing throughout the year. It also acts as an encouragement to everyone to just enter beer in competitions because you can always learn from feedback and might even be surprised that it’s actually better than you thought.

This year’s Brewer of the Year is John van der Zalm. With a young family and demanding job, John doesn’t brew a lot but when he does, everything he makes is excellent. Over the last two year’s at least his beer has won or placed in every category he’s entered at our comps, SABSOSA and even does very well nationally. Last year his simple ‘thrown together’ English bitter won best of show at SABSOSA. Congratulations John!

John van der Zalm wins the 2019 Brewer of the Year award.
John van der Zalm wins the 2019 Brewer of the Year award.

Wrapping up 2019

Some words said at the end-of-year BeerBQ summer party last weekend.

Thank you to everyone who came to the SABC end of year summer party last weekend sharing your beers. Also, thank you to everyone who helped cook or contribute something.

So it’s another year and the club has had a good one – from our Southern vales brewery tour, brewing at Left Barrel, Summer and winter competitions getting really big and our successful running of SABSOSA.

Then there were all the monthly meetings that saw really great attendances and I think everyone enjoyed coming along. That’s all because of you, the members, but also the club’s committee which really makes this stuff happen and I want to personally thank them for always being there to step up, step in and come up with the ideas and shoot down the not so good ones.

I also think we need to thank and acknowledge our families – the partners and spouses who let us not just make beer but take time out from family life to sit around and talk about it – and maybe drink it a bit too.

The club is about community – it gives members a connection to others who love doing what they do and a support network of friendships that isn’t just about brewing beer but a whole lot more in life.

It’s been really heartening to see the members use the club’s network to call out for help when their equipment fails or are in urgent need of advice and mentorship. Certainly online there is often offers to help within minutes and I’m sure it’s not just about brewing.

Thanks to all our members for an awesome 2019.

SABC Summer BeerBQ this Sunday

It’s under a week now before our summer club event that we are calling BeerBQ ‘lite’ with petanque. It’s this Sunday, December 8 from 1 – 5 pm at the Prospect Petanque Club in Broadview and the weather is looking like a lovely sunny and warm 33c.

It’s a great spot to relax on a summer afternoon and have a beer and toss some boules. Because you’re a club member, it’s free, but we need you to RSVP for you and your family members in the shop via Santa pic below.

Just select the number of family coming — kids and spouse/ partners — and go through the checkout. It only takes a minute.

Bring your beer, either in some bottles or a keg your own dispensing gear. We’ll supply the glassware.

We’ll have a BBQ for everyone, nice and simple, snags for the kids and Zooper Doopers. There’s heaps of space for them to run around too with a playground in the same park.

If you would like to contribute some food, snacks, treats or just help, please let us know –

We’ll also be presenting the club annual award for Brewer of the Year.

Prospect Petanque Club, Broadview
Prospect Petanque Club, Broadview

Hot break: Wednesday meeting this week

We wanted to do another off-flavours tasting session this month but unfortunately, despite ordering a while ago, the kit hasn’t arrived. We’ll reschedule it for next year. This Wednesday we’ll meet at the Wheaty at 7 pm as usual and we plan to do something new. 

The committee is conscious that as the club grows, having members bring beer for tasting with a group of 40+ members is a big ask but sharing our beers and learning from the feedback of others is, at its core, what the club is about. 

Starting this week, and repeating a few times a year, we will taste beers and provide feedback in smaller groups working together. BJCP accredited judges will help guide the group to provide honest feedback and advice on what to try next time. It’s good for brewers and great to teach people who have not judged before start to learn more.

The beers can be submitted anonymously with no information or a with starting point — style, hops, ABV etc. Or, you can tell us it’s your beer and hear the feedback. 

So if you have a beer you want to share and get feedback on, bring it along. Just a longneck or a couple of stubbies is fine. You don’t need to bring excellent beer. Beers that didn’t quite hit your goals are encouraged. 

Don’t forget beer bingo. Bring a bottle and leave with a different one.

Christmas Party

Our party is on Sunday, December 8 from 1 pm – 5 pm at the Prospect Petanque Club, 14 – 32 Buchanan Street, Nailsworth. It’s a fantastic little place under shady trees in the middle of a park between Main North Rd and Galway Ave.

It’s free for members and their family but you need to RSVP via the shop after logging in

We’ve got a  Facebook event too.

Prospect Petanque Club, Broadview.

If you can help cook the BBQ, set-up or pack up or contribute something, let us know.

December 18: Pizza and secret Santa homebrew beer sharing

SABC BeerBQ (lite) Christmas party

As we crash headlong into end of year parties and summer ales, we’ve got our club season festivities.

For our Christmas event, this year we’re getting together for a summer ‘lite’ version of BeerBQ — like our annual winter event but on:

Sunday, December 8, from 1 pm – 5 pm at the Prospect Petanque Club, 14 – 32 Buchanan Street, Nailsworth. It’s a fantastic little place under shady trees in the middle of a park between Main North Rd and Galway Ave.

As a homebrewing club, we want to celebrate our brewing skills and, like BeerBQ, we welcome members to bring their beer to share in bottles or kegs. We’ll put on a BBQ and there’s petanque to be played as well.

This is a family-friendly event and we welcome you to invite your partner and kids. There’s a playground nearby and they can play petanque and run around on the pistes too.

Being a club subsidised event, there is no cost to members or family. This time it’s not an event for friends and other non-members. Beer is BYO but wine and soft drinks need to be bought from the club bar.

Watch out for a link to RSVP in the club shop and an event in our Facebook group soon.

We need your help. If you’re able to help set-up or pack up, help cook the BBQ (even just half an hour), bring something along to eat like snacks or a salad please or occasionally collect glassware and put it in the glasswasher, please let us know. We appreciate the help (and the committee also wants to relax and enjoy ourselves too).

The venue is great and as you can understand, convincing a club to let us come along and drink beer is a challenge but the Petanque club have been understanding and we’re paying a bit of ‘beer corkage’ and throwing a slab of Hahn Lite their way to cover their losses that they’d usually make from beer sales.

Membership reminder: You can renew your membership online easily yourself. If it has lapsed or about to lapse, you won’t be able to RSVP to events.

Next club meeting: November 20 at the Wheaty for off flavours identification. We’re buying a Siedel off-flavours kit to spike beer so you can get a better understanding of oxidation, acetaldehyde, diacetyl, DMS, solvents and more.

December: Pizza and beer sharing.

Kveik — Aha, it’s just Norwegian for yeast

How good is brewing beer? Even better with friends. Fifteen or so SABC members and a few onlookers shared a great day brewing at Left Barrel Brewing, Balhannah on Saturday. We brewed 280L of American Amber with CTZ and Chinook that came out at 1.066 / 56IBUs. All the brewers took home 20L to ferment as they want. We’ll taste the results of their cold-side decisions at our December/ Christmas meeting.

Thanks as always to Brad at Left Barrel for hosting us again. 

This week is our regular monthly meeting at the Wheaty. The main theme of the night is kveik — the new-old rockstar Norwegian farmhouse yeast that’s spinning heads with its clean fermentation profile at high temperatures. Clinton has brewed a beer for us using White Lab’s commercial strain and, along with SABC’s own Professor of Kveik, Mark Pirate, they’ll present the background of the yeast, pros and cons and experiences using it.

Could this be a go-to Adelaide summer yeast? Get your questions ready to hit ’em with. We’ve also got a beer from Kieren (always a wild ride) and other stuff going on.

Don’t forget to bring a bottle for ‘beer bingo’. It’s hard to share a beer with all members so bring one or two to swap. Put your name on it if you’d like some feedback.

Do you have an idea for a club night theme, topic or want to put on a presentation around a style or comparison experiment? Let us know. We can help line things up or supply some ingredients.

In other club upcoming news and events, we’re working on an event for the end of the year. News to come.

Also (but TBC), next month we’ll probably do another off flavours education tasting session (always happy to have a dud beer donated for examination – don’t be shy) and December will be pizzas and the Left Barrel amber ales.

Summer competition

As you’d know the theme is all things Belgian. We’ll be judging on a weekend in mid-late February. So heads up, you might want to get brewing now and also be aware that sometimes the ingredient you need could be hard to get in January. It’s a good opportunity to brew something you might not usually tackle and put you out of your comfort zones.

Also, the Uraidla Show is on November 3 and is back to judging beer and wine. Entry details here [PDF] 

Membership renewals and joining are online on our website.

Keep up to date with happenings and social posts on our Facebook Group for members

SAB at Left Barrel Brewing

Back to normal

The monthly club meeting is on this Wednesday at the Wheaty from 7 pm. After a flurry of activity managing a successful SABSOSA, we’re back to core business — almost.

On the feedback we got on last year’s post-SABSOSA meeting, we’re going to do it again. Some of our winning brewers will reveal the story and secrets behind the brewing of their winning beers and share their tips and advice for what might have given it marginal gains to earn a medal.

We know not everyone cares about competitions but comp winning brewers make good beer and it’s good to learn how we can make our beers better.

If you did well and can bring in some of your beer for a tasting, that’d be great. Drop us a message to let us know (

Gary accepts his Best Brewer of Show award from Jade at The Wheaty

SABC, again, did really well in the show. Congratulations in particular to winners of Best Brewer Of Show, Gary Waters and Highly Commended Beer (Imperial Stout), Julien Gibson.

Also, Luke Scrivens, Wolfgang, Thomas Michl, Rafael Aragon, Brenton Schoemaker, Wol, Brendan Macey, John Van der Zalm, Liam Yorke, Craig Milnes, Lachlan, Ali Holden, Neill Gardner and Paul Sparkes.

The full results are now on the SABSOSA page.

A big thank you to Gary and Julien who shouldered the majority of the work organising the competition and everyone who helped judge, steward or did anything to make it the successful and smoothly run comp it was… and of course all of you who entered.

Left Barrel Brew Day #2
We held one last year and Left Barrel has invited us to brew again. For members who didn’t get to do it last time, we can offer it to about 15 to brew on Saturday, October 12. Express interest on the Facebook event or email us. We hope we don’t have to have a rock-paper-scissors playoff to select the final 15. Get in fast. More on Wednesday.

Want to brew a beer with kviek?
We’ve got the ingredients to brew a beer using kviek yeast — the Norwegian monster yeast that knows no temperature boundaries. Come on Wednesday and put your case forward — again it might involve a rock-paper-scissors playoff to select a winner. Resident kviek professor, Mark Pirates, is going to share his boundless passion for his favourite Norwegian product other than Aha.

Got any ideas?
We’re always looking for meeting night presentation ideas. If you’ve got something you want to share or group experiment — let us know. We can help buy ingredients if needed.

Case Swap
Glen is hosting another case swap on Saturday, November 9. A case swap is a good chance for brewers to get together to enjoy beer, talking brewing and of course, talking crap. Attendees typically bring a keg or bottles of homebrew beer along to share. Talk to Glen or send him a message if you want to know more (like where he lives). More on Brew Adelaide forum here.

If you want a t-shirt or cap for summer or a hoodie to warm up on chilly spring evenings, order from the SABC shop. If you order now, we can deliver to you on Wednesday night.
You can also join or renew your membership too!

Robe Beer Festival Homebrew Competition

Enter your beers into the Robe Beer Festival and compete for gold, silver and bronze awards in 10 categories, up to $1000 in prize money. Gain recognition for your crafty brews and valuable feedback from the competition’s judging panel. This is your chance to win the BEER OF SHOW prize, where you get the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and brew your winning beer on a commercial scale at the local Robe Town Brewery in Robe, South Australia.

Awards will be announced on the main stage at Robe Beer Fest 2019, Saturday 26th October.

The Entry deadline for entry to the Robe comp must be received by email: October 13th. Entry Form is here.

They also need judges. Contact Tom O’Reilly on 0434 497 131.

They’re also organising a masterclass for homebrewers that will be held in Robe on the afternoon/evening of Friday, October 25th, during the final judging stages of this year’s homebrew competition. Learn about classic homebrewing faults and how to avoid them, as well as tips for making great beer from experienced brewers and beer judges.

Scaling up

At the club meeting on Wednesday, we’re going to be joined by three brewers who took their homebrew developed recipes to commercial release. James from Shapeshifter, Tony from The Suburban Brew and many of you will know our member Stuart Kirk, SK Beverages. All three have released beers on the market this year.

We’re going to discover what lessons they learnt when scaling up their homebrew to commercial scale. Can you just press the scale-up button on BeerSmith and know the beer will be the same and how does the cost of ingredients factor. An IPA with five hops might be spectacular as a 20L batch but it’s not economically practical at 1000L.

So the theme is about recipe design and ingredients and not so much about barcodes, marketing and tax but the brewers will be available for a chat after the formalities. We’ll also have some goodies to raffle!

Win a 75L Stainless kettle

We’re going to draw the winner of the stainless 75L kettle at the meeting as well. Everyone who is currently a financial member of the club will be in the draw. If your membership has lapsed, or you’re not sure what status it is, check or renew online before you miss the draw. Tips on how to do it here.

SABSOSA entry assessment. Brewed an IPA but the hops haven’t quite popped? Maybe it’s a winning American Pale Ale. A stout but with some adjuncts? Possibly it’s better suited to the experimental category.

As we’re on the eve of the state competition, we are also asking everyone to bring along a bottle of your entry and our experienced club judges can offer some advice on if you’re entering it in the right category. It seems straightforward but many great beers lose points and places because they’re simply in the wrong category.

It’s getting close. Bottle sorting is on August 31 and judging on September 6-7. If you are willing to help, either judge or steward, can you please express your interest via the portal. You need to EDIT your profile and indicate in the fields that you can help. It helps us plan things much more easily and with over 400 entries, we need to be methodical. You can also help at bottle sort and even at the award presentation on Sept 14 at the Wheaty.

The entry portal is open and closes on Aug 30. Like our comps, you should enter, pay and print labels well in advance of the deadline. You won’t be able to get in after that. Fix your labels to bottles with rubber bands.

Bottle drop off. Club members who have bottles ready can bring them to the Wednesday meeting. We’ll look after them. Goodwood Cellars are now a drop-off point too. Follow SABSOSA on Facebook for updates.

Understanding beer
Speaking of the language of beer, TAFE SA is offering its Beer Flavour Training course again. Over four weeks, it aims to teach anyone seeking a detailed and comprehensive understanding of beer styles, flavours, faults and evaluation. The course is delivered by Stephen Nelsen.

Ideas Do you have an idea for something the club can do or offer? It could be a simple meeting theme or a weekend event or even a service for members to benefit from. Let us know either by email or chat to a committee member.

It was a dark and roasty night

Mid-winter is good in some ways. Dark beers take on a uniqueness that’s better enjoyed (and add some cheese!) but chilling wort is much quicker with cold groundwater.

Here’s a quickfire what’s on.

August meeting – Wednesday 21 at The Wheaty

We are going to be joined by three local brewers who ‘went pro’. The theme is upscaling and lessons learnt — Suburban, Shapeshifter and SK Beverages.

They perfected a beer on a homebrew scale that they believed in. What does a brewer need to think about when making a commercial batch of the same beer and what were some of the surprising lessons learnt?

SABSOSA – share your entry

Also, with SABSOSA entries open, we’re asking everyone to bring a bottle or two of their entries to share one-on-one or two with some of our club members who judge. It might be too late to brew again but it’s not too late to make sure the beer is entered in the right category.

One of the areas some of the best beers fall short is where it’s a great beer but wrongly entered. An IPA where maybe it could have done better as an Americal pale ale, a wild ale that’s a winning saison or an America porter that’s better categorised as a black IPA etc.

Bring your entries to share and talk about. Take a good look at the SABSOSA guidelines too.

We’re also advising on packaging. Please be aware that SABSOSA is not accepting 330-375ml stubby bottles. It was announced last year that it was going to be the last year for stubbies. Read all of the entry FAQs.

The entry portal is now open. You need to create a new account. As you’d all be aware, SABC is running the competition and we do need help. Please sign in and enter your expression of interest to judge or steward that way. It makes allocating judges and stewards to flights easier for Gary.

We also are on the lookout for bottle drop locations. If you can think of any that would work, especially in the southern suburbs, please let us know. Preferably as the venue on our behalf too. That saves us a job. Bottles are dropped off in the last week of August.

Win a 75L stainless kettle.

Every financial member of SABC is in the running to win a brand new 75L stainless steel kettle generously donated by Kieren. We’ll draw the winning entry from the kettle at the August 21 meeting.

If your membership is about to expire, needs renewing or you have a friend that is interested in joining but needs some incentive, get on it before Aug 21. Renew or check membership online here.

Win this 304 stainless kettle

All in to win a 75L kettle

Thanks to everyone who came to our AGM/ Cheese pairing night — everyone thought it was a great night. We got through the business end efficiently, presented winter comp prizes and moved on to SABC treating everyone with wonderful Wheaty French cheese platters to pair with WBC Yeast Coast IPA, Shiploads Porter along with a beer brewed by Leon with the leftover grain from the club brewday.

Competition time – win a 75L 304 steel kettle

We’ve got a great prize to give away and SABC members need to do nothing to be in the running to win except make sure your membership is up to date. All members are in the draw to win when we pull names from the kettle at the August club meeting on Aug 21.

If your membership has lapsed, or you’re reading this and have been thinking about joining SABC or you’ve got a friend you’ve encouraged to join, as long as you’re paid up by 12pm August 21, then you’re in to win. Checking the status of your membership is easy on our website. Find out how here.

Prize value $300. Kettle offered as-is with no accessories or warranty. Cannot be exchanged for cash. SABC is not liable for any issues or damages caused by its use. Winner will be drawn at the SABC meeting, Aug 21. Prize must be collected in 14 days or it will be offered to second place.

Gawler Show homebrewing competition

Entries for the Gawler Show close on August 9. It’s a good hitout for SABSOSA to test your beers — or enter your winter competition beer. Enquiries to Rachel Edwards who has taken over the competition this year.

The SABC committee for 2019/20

President: Gus Kingston, Vice President: Luke Moran, Treasurer: Edward Shorne Holden, Secretary: Clinton Fisher, Comms and Social Media: Samantha Wallwork, Competitions Director: Gary Waters, Website Manager: Julien Gibson, Events Co-ordinator: Lachlan Johnson, General committee members: Glen Phillis, Leon van der Linden, Mark ‘Pirates’.

AGM minutes available on request.

President’s report, 2019

Earlier in 2019 the SABC conducted a questionnaire to find out what the membership enjoyed, wanted to do more of, see less of and the direction we should go in. The feedback we got was very positive. With that comes the hard part — how do we keep going offering the same meetings, activities, projects, events and get-togethers that our membership enjoyed?

It’s difficult for a club with a paid subscription to attract new members and maintain existing members with the pressures of life. There are also many avenues on social media to ask questions and get answers on how to brew better beer or overcome any challenges brewers face.

Forums and social media can quickly generate answers to a wide range of questions any homebrewer needs. Likes on a photo of a brewer’s ‘perfect’ creation can rack up but you can’t taste photos, friends and fellow brewers can’t smell the aroma from a picture. They can’t help with recipe design and other flaws.

It’s hard to get adults to join a club but everyone who has joined us recently has been pleasantly surprised by what they discover and the friendship we offer. This year we grew by around 25 members (that’s also 25 per cent) and now sit precariously on the verge of 100 members.

Our main focus is on how our members can benefit from what we do. Our special events are subsidised, the prizes for our competitions are for members to win, now our Facebook group is by-and-large for paying members and the unique opportunities like brew days are open only to our members to take part.

The most important thing we ask whenever the committee plans events is how much benefit does it offer our members and can we offer it for no extra money.

This year’s calendar has been choc-a-block and I did some back of an envelope calculation and estimated that if anyone came to at least half of the year’s regular meetings, attended a few of our special events, took up any of the special offers and benefits that come our way and maybe won a raffle, they’d have value that easily exceeds the $60 membership fee.

This year our meetings some great special guests. Many of you told me they enjoyed Stephen Nelsen from TAFE but we also had Gabi from Gladfield and Dermott from BeerCo. We went to the German Club, Little Bang and Pirate Life’s new digs and a tour of Southern Vales breweries.

Other highlights were presentations by members on water, lagers and kegging.

BeerBQ was again a highlight for the year – not only for Keiren’s green glitter beer but everyone else’s beers, the food was again on point and it was free for members again.

A brew club should brew beer and this year we were grateful that Brad at Left Barrel helped a group of members brew a pro-size batch of beer for them to all takeaway and make their own fermentation decisions. The rest of us got to try the results.

Brewing at Glen’s house was another great day of making beer and friendship and great pizza.

We’ll be doing both of these again soon.

We also kicked big competition goals. John Van de Zalm won SABSOSA’s Best of Show. Keiren Vercoe and Greg Weider shared silver at the Aust. National Homebrew Competition and SA best overall state.

The ‘Nats’ were held alongside the Nat. Homebrew Conference in Melbourne and a sizeable number of SABC-ers attended. Our beers were head and shoulders above other bigger clubs at the social club night and our theme bar took the equal top spot with a beer pouring Dalek. Gary’s saison also took silver in that unofficial competition.

I can’t write about our own competitions without by noting the work and passion of our competitions director Gary Waters and IT whizkid Julien Gibson. Gary’s passion was also rewarded. He was accepted into the associate judge program for the Independent Brewer’s Awards for the next year.

Our Summer Competition was saison, NEIPA and milk stouts and with 50+ entries, we had to look to the King’s Head as a venue to judge and then we came to the winter comp. At 75 entries for ‘All things American’ from club members, it was our biggest yet and judging day at the Irish Club was a suitable test run for SABSOSA.

That’s a wrap for the year but I can’t sign-off with acknowledging the hard work of the committee. It’s their ideas and support that really make things happen for the benefit of you the members.

Angus Kingston, President, SABC 2018-19