The virtual brewing club

Well, that escalated. One day we were cancelling our meeting and hoping for the competition to go ahead. Now, while we managed to get the competition judged {results below!} at social distancing, we now must postpone our Hills breweries tour and the club’s BeerBQ.

The committee met online last week and are determined to host BeerBQ at the very first opportunity we can after restrictions are lifted.

We want to postpone the Hills tour in hope we can still host it. If you bought a ticket, thank you and they’ll be kept in credit for the new date. If you want a refund, that’s OK too. Just email us and we’ll get it done. 

The new normal (hopefully not)

The club has subscribed to Zoom video meeting platform and we will host our regular meetings online until things change. Our meeting on Wednesday 15 will be at 7pm on Zoom and links/ PIN numbers will be sent out soon. We want it to be a catch-up and ask you to talk briefly about a beer you’ve brewed, something you’ve just done differently or ask a question about something you need advice.

As you’d imagine, everyone talking at once isn’t going to be a good experience so we’re using this as a trial. Mics off, use the chat feature and a host will facilitate speakers and responses. In the future, we’ll have special guests (from around the world) and other presentations. They can be recorded too for watching later.

Before next Wednesday, if you don’t have it or use video conferencing, please get Zoom on your phone, tablet or computer and try it out with friends or family to get used to using it. Here’s a getting started guide or this more blunt guide from the ABC – How to not suck at video conferencing.

In the meantime, if you’ve exhausted your Netflix recommendations, you can listen to our of our meeting presentations from our shop (you need to log in) like this cracker on water and treatment by Leon and Luke.

Summer competition results

The summer competition was judged by a small but to our usual standards of anonymity and independence. Thank you to Gary for making it happen when we thought it was all lost. And thank you all for entering. We were overwhelmed by the response in Belgian entries. We’re sorry we couldn’t judge the other categories. All the entry fees totally over $300 are going to be donated to the CFS Foundation.

The score sheets will be uploaded to the portal in the next few weeks, so please be patient. Medals will be posted. Please make sure your postal address is correct in the portal. In the meantime the winners of the Belgian categories were:

Cat 21 Belgian IPA
1st place. Brendan Macey
2nd place. Gavin Pennell
3rd place. Ali Holden
Cat 24 Belgian Ale
1st place. Gerard Flynn
2nd place. Luke O’brien
3rd place. Christopher Kerr
Cat. 25. Strong Belgian Ale
1st place Sam Wallwork
2nd place. Luke Beard
3rd place. Nick McAuley
Cat 26 Trappist Ale
1st place. Ben Krauth
2nd place. Gus Kingston
3rd place. Nick McAuley
Overall champion scores
1st place 44 points. Gerard Flynn
2nd place. 43.25. Points Ben Krauth
3rd place. 43 points. Luke O’Brien

Stay well everyone … and stay home.

Cancelled meeting this week

The committee has made the difficult decision to cancel this Wednesday’s meeting. We are all aware that the whole nation, and the world, is taking unprecedented measures to try and slow the infections from COVID-19.

We don’t want to be seen to be above the expectations of the community when concerts, sports, family get-togethers and weddings are being cancelled. There is a lot of disappointment and we are sure you understand. What we all do this week will hopefully show significant benefits by this time next month.

We also planned to use our off flavours sensory kit. Not only is it quite expensive to buy and we want everyone to be able to have benefited from it, but we also cannot use it without people coming in close contact with vessels as we stick our noses into it.

It is a fast-changing situation, however, we do plan to continue hold the competition judging on Saturday albeit with changed routines (no jugs will be used, bottles opened at the tables, stewards will wear gloves and we’ll use disposable cups that we will recycle.

We understand this makes it difficult for some of you to drop your entries off without a meeting. Please watch your emails and the Facebook Group and Page for updates. You can still drop them at BeerBelly (note cutoff time on the competitions portal) and Gilbert St at 12pm on Saturday. If you’re stuck, send us an email and we’ll try and sort out an alternative.

Enter here.

We also hope our Hills bus tour goes ahead (Tickets are available here). We have committed to refunding tickets if the tour doesn’t go ahead.

The BeerBQ on May 2 is also still on our calendar. All you need to do is brew a beer for it and hope it happens.

For now, stay safe and healthy.

Gus and SABC committee.

Summer competition entries open

The summer competition entry portal is now open. To enter, you need to register an account. While we use this platform a lot, you cannot use an old or SABSOSA log-ins. Once you’ve registered you can enter a beer(s) and return later, log in and enter or edit more beers, print labels and pay.

This is a Belgians competition. If you’re entering a Belgian, select one of the specific BJCP categories. If you’re entering a non-Belgian beer choose ‘other’ (the last item in the drop-down menu) and use the BJCP 2015 categories to indicate in the box what style of beer it is. E.g. 13A. Dark Mild.

The best of show and medals will only be awarded to the Belgians entered. Other beers will be judged as normal with judges sheets available in the portal after completion.

Bottle drop is currently only at BeerBelly, our meeting on March 18 or on the day by 12.15pm.

 https://comps.sabrew.com

While this was a Belgians comp, the club opened this competition up to more styles with the benefit of all entry fees set at $7 and all going to a bush fire and wildlife related charity. It also allows more members to have a go at judging which is a great learning experience.

We always need judges and stewards. Indicate your willingness to help in your entry or send an email to competitions@sabrew.com.

Judging will be held at The Gilbert St Hotel from 12pm. We estimate the presentations will be around 3pm. If you can, come down for the event from 3pm. We’ll put one some snacks and the bar will no doubt have a great line-up of beers to enjoy.

March meeting

We are at the Wheaty on March 18 and we’ll be doing the off-flavours training kits that were postponed in November.

Hills breweries tour

Watch out for an announcement and tickets for the Hills breweries tour on Saturday, April 18. The bus tour will go to Urailda Brewery, Silver Bark Brewery, Lot 100 (Mismatch) and Left Barrel Brewing with brewery tours and meet and greet from the brewers. Numbers are limited so be quick. Cost $TBC.

BeerBQ

Also fast approaching is our BeerBQ on May 2. That might not seem soon but this is a reminder to think about what you want to brew for it and schedule it in.

More dates in the Club Calendar.

Collab club brew day on Sunday

Club brew day

REGISTER HERE to brew, join a brew team or just come along watch.

You probably know by now that we are brewing together on five or six club member’s systems. We’ve done it before. Bring your kit and brew together, join a team, make what you want. Maybe share ingredients costs. Make a double batch. Whatever you want. Strike water and chilling available. May the best system … win?

We need you to register so we can cater.

Pizza lunch provided by our hosts and the club. Places for brewing set-ups are limited but if your kit is mobile and you can brew, let us know in the registration. If you want to join in, either join as a team together or we’ll sort you out. 

We’ll taste the results in a meeting in the future.

Summer comp update – expanded field

Our summer comp is being judged on March 21 at The Gilbert St Hotel and as you all know, the focus is Belgian beers. We’ve been looking for a way of raising some money for bushfire appeals and we’ve decided to open up the categories to a broader range. We’ve set entries at $7 per entry but it’s all going to a great cause.

So watch out for the portal opening soon and what categories will be available. We are aiming to keep it simple and all categories won’t be available. This is mostly due to time and availability of judges but it also gives anyone who wants to give judging a go a start.

Best of show will still be a Belgian beer.

So if you’ve got a lager, pils, pale, IPA, stout, porter, amber laying around after Christmas, don’t drink it just yet. 500ml+ preferred but we will accept 2x330ml in this case.

Fresh hop testing

This offer came from Silver Spring Hop and Permaculture Farm in the Adelaide Hills to brew with their fresh hops:

We are very very close to harvest now on the hops farm and we do not have time to test our hops myself this year. So we’re looking for a couple of competent all gain brewers in SA to test the hops for us.

We need simple ales made with 100 per cent of our hops. Now since the brewer is doing most of the hard work we’re happy to give away 250g of fresh off the oast dried flowers.

We will require 2 litres to make sure the hops are at the quality we expect before I put them up for sale. You get free hops for the brew minus 2L of the final beer.

The club would also love to try some of the beer too at a meeting in the future.

Testing will be as required as we pick. First pick will be Cascade 10%AA. Second pick will be Dr Rudi 12%AA. Third pick Chinook 10%AA. Fourth pick Centennial 9%AA. Fourth pick Columbus 9%AA. Fifth Pick Target 9%AA. All are super fruity so suit ales. We have cohumulone numbers etc too.

Contact Stuart at: stbinnion@yahoo.com

Little Bangs in Mad March

This Wednesday we’re meeting at Little Bang Brewing Co. 25 Henry Street Stepney at the special ‘Fringe Event’ time of 6pm – 8pm. Like The Wheaty, LBBC is also a Fringe venue hosting comedy, so while you’re welcome to stay longer, we’ll shift our formalities to an earlier window. It’s tough to find places to meet in Mad March.

Our guest is Tony from The Suburban Brew who will take us through how as a gypsy brewer he uses Little Bang’s brewery to brew his range. Plus beers from the brewery and meals are also available.

Club brew day

At the meeting, we’ll also provide more info about the club brew day on Sunday, March 1. If you haven’t heard, we are brewing together but on five or six systems. We’ve done it before. Bring your kit and brew together, join a team, make what you want. Maybe share ingredients costs. Make a double batch. Whatever you want. Strike water and chilling available. May the best system … win? 

Pizza lunch provided by our hosts and the club. Places for brewing set-ups are limited but if your kit is mobile and you can brew, let us know in the registration. If you want to join in, either join as a team together or we’ll sort you out. 

REGISTER HERE to brew or just come along and join in. 

We’ll taste the results in a meeting in the future.

Membership

When your membership is due, you will receive an email two weeks out. Please check your spam folders and add info@sabrew.com as a contact/safe email. You can also check your membership online at https://shop.sabrew.com/product/membership/

Summer comp – venue locked in 

We’ll judge the ‘all things Belgian’ summer comp on March 21 at The Gilbert Street Hotel from 12pm. Entry portal opens soon. Bottle drop a the March meeting, on the day or at BeerBelly.

We always need judges and helpers. Come along to help or just for the winners’ presentation from around 3pm and stay for some nibbles and a beer. It’s really great The Gilbert are allowing us to use their function room

Opportunity to test ingredients

We got a message from Robert. “Hi there, I’ve started producing a biodynamic organic barley malt (green atm – Westminster) and was wondering whether there might be someone that could test the malt during a brew and provide feedback on it? I can supply 10kg of malt to test.”

If you’re interested, contact Robert with your idea of what to brew at redfernblack@outlook.com. We’d like to taste the results as well.

ANHC / Club Night reminder

We want as many members as possible to come to the Aust. National Homebrew Conference in October. Put Oct 9-10 in your diaries now and scout out plane fares. Also, think about a good theme for the club to have at club night (playing dress-ups) and what to brew. 

Calendar 

We shared this last time, you can save the club calendar and print it out for the fridge or dunny door as a JPG or a PDF. It prints up to A3. We’ve also updated the online calendar page on the site. you can add to your own calendar: https://sabrew.com/calendar/list/

The 2020 club calendar


2020 Club Calendar. To help everyone know what’s going on with the club, we’ve worked out all the dates of things we know in now and put them all in one handy printable or savable as an image for you to plan things now. We’ve also included the themes of meetings where we can. Some dates might change so always read club communications in emails, on the website and Facebook.

You can save the image below as a JPG or a PDF. It prints up to A3. We’ve also updated the online calendar page on the site. you can add to your own calendar: https://sabrew.com/calendar/list/

Print it for your fridge, office wall or toilet door. Save the picture to your phone’s wallpaper!.

This month’s meeting on February 19 is at Little Bang. It’s Fringe time which means venues are busy with shows. We’ll be starting a bit earlier, 6-6.30pm and we will be getting an insight into using the brewery by a ‘gypsy brewer’. More to come.

Details about the summer competition were in a previous post here. It will be judged on March 21. The entry portal will open a couple of weeks before.

Summer competition details

This is a quick note to give some details about the club’s annual summer competition will be judged on Saturday. March 21. The theme is Belgian. We know not everyone loves the style, but not everyone loves IPAs either. If you’ve never brewed a Belgian beer before, have a go, even if it’s just a mini-batch. They make great swap beers if you don’t love yours.

Styles are by BJCP 2015 CategoriesIf you add a particular adjunct like fruits, indicate that in your entry. So you can make a Belgian Strong with raspberries if you want.

Venue: TBC (Either the Irish Club, The Wheaty or The King’s Head).
Entries: $5
Help: Yes please. We need judges and stewards.
Winners: announced and awards as soon as judging is complete.
A Facebook event will be up soon for info and RSVPs.

  • 24 BELGIAN ALE
  • 24A. Witbier
  • 24B. Belgian Pale Ale
  • 24C. Biere de Garde
  • 25 Strong Belgian Ale
  • 25A. Belgian Blond Ale
  • 25B. Saison
  • 25C. Belgian Golden Strong Ale
  • 26 TRAPPIST ALE
  • 26A. Trappist Single
  • 26B. Belgian Dubbel
  • 26C. Belgian Tripel
  • 26D. Belgian Dark Strong Ale
  • and
  • 21B. Specialty IPA
  • Specialty IPA: Belgian IPA

May the best Belgian win.

Forward dates:

The February meeting is Wednesday, Feb 19 and will be at Little Bang Brewing, Henry St Stepney. The kitchen is open for dinner. We hope to get a tour and a bit of insider knowledge from a gypsy brewer who uses the brewery.

February 19: Club meeting at Little Bang.
March 18: Club meeting (Wheaty) Off flavours using sensory kits.
March 21: Summer competition judging (venue TBC)
April 15: Club meeting (Wheaty) Member beer tasting and assessment
May 20: Club meeting (Wheaty)
June 17: Club meeting (Wheaty) TBC Barrel aging beers.

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.

SECRET SANTA! 

 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 – info@sabrew.com

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 SABrew.com shop after logging in https://shop.sabrew.com/product/sabc-beerbq-lite-christmas-party/

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. https://sabrew.com/join-sabc/

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.