Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jack Of All Brews Meeting 2/8/13: Rahr Bierstube

I had originally meant to do a recap of each JAB meeting here on this blog.  That has not happened, as I'm sure you have noticed!  I've had a great time at every meeting since we began having them in 2006, but some meetings seem to be special.  One such meeting was this last Friday.  Member Chris German of Brewer's Supply Group/Rahr was able to get the Rahr Malting Bierstube in Shakopee for a new meeting place.  The private bar/tasting room is just a bit over a year old now and this is the second time we have been invited out there to enjoy the venue.  There is a very spacious bar with a combination of old world wood and new stainless steel, as well as ample seating and good acoustics.  Old brewerania line the walls and classic German steins populate the display area behind the bar.  They also had two homebrews and some great commercial Minnesota beers on tap.  Love the Steel Toe Size 7!

JAB members listening intently to Enki Brewing founders

Both times we have been to this amazing venue a huge proportion of the folks showing up were new or prospective members--we had seven or eight new people this time.  Of course this sets the bar high for putting on a good meeting in the future!  We had over 25 people at this particular meeting.  The owners of the upcoming Enki Brewing in Victoria, Dan and John, were there to talk a bit about their plans and get to know their future local supporters.  I'm very pleased that they seem to have embraced our club as a partner for the future, and hope we can do a lot of things together in the next few years.

The wonderful Chris German

There was a lot of other business to cover this month.  We started with a quick introduction of new folks and then moved into Brewcred and bling for the last two homebrewing competitions-- 9 medals for Mash Out and 1 for the Beer Dabbler.  Tim talked about our new Dickie's work shirts and took pre-orders for those.  If we can get over 50 shirts pre-ordered we plan on having the club cover the cost of embroidering names on the front.  I call "Doc!"  Tim also managed to get a bunch of candi sugar and free Belgian yeast samples to give out for our May meeting's Belgian Beer Brew Off event.

I did a quick style spotlight on Belgian Dubbels with commercial examples Westmalle Dubbel, New Belgium Abbey, and one from Choc brewing.  We then moved into a quick talk by Tim about the unusual but effective method of eising beers, meads and ciders.  He was able to give us some pre and post eis samples from his personal stock to show the difference in the resulting flavor and aroma.  That eised berry melomel was amazing and I can see why he won the coveted Eis Anything trophy from Mash Out for the second year running.  Minnesota winter is the perfect time and place to try this out!

Then the meeting quickly devolved into fun drinking and socializing.  I think we accomplished quite a bit considering how large a group we had.  I'm guessing all the new guys were quieter than they will be in the future!  It was great to hang out with old friends and some new.  One thing I love about our meetings is never knowing who might show up--it could be an old member from years past, or a brand new brewer just getting passionate about the hobby and wanting to up their game by joining a club.  Personally, joining this club was the best thing I could have done for my brewing, but also for my social life.  We tried a few good homebrews and Ben and Bob won the Golden Mash Paddle this month for their black IPA. 

Thanks again to the folks at Rahr, especially to Chris and Jeff.  We all had a great time this month and look forward to getting back here in the future! 

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