BURP 10 Year Ago this Month – October 2008

Compiled by Bill Ridgely, BURP Archivist

October has been a transitional month for the BURP Club for many years. Representing the end of the warm season and the start of cooler times, the October meeting has run the gauntlet from a Halloween theme (“Weird Beer”) to various “strong and high alcohol beverage” themes consistent with the forthcoming holidays and cold weather imbibing by a warm fire. The theme of the October 2008 BURP meeting, held at the beautiful home of Jay & Gretchen Nogle in Herndon, VA, was twofold – a competition for Smoked & Wood-Aged Beer and an educational session on Mead, presented by two of the club’s best meadmakers. Yancy Bodenstein & Lyle Brown brought numerous examples of their homebrewed meads as well as samples of various honeys used in the process (Yancy contributed an imported Scottish heather honey that was very well received). The well-attended session was quite helpful for those intent on taking the newly-introduced BJCP Mead Judge certification exam. Meanwhile, the competition for Smoked & Wood-Aged Beers was conducted in a separate room. At the time, there were not many homebrewers making these styles of beer, but there were enough to provide some classic examples for this competition. The winners, announced at meeting’s end, were: 1st, Mel Thompson (Classic Rauchbier); 2nd, Mike McGuire (Wood-Aged Bourbon Imperial Stout), and 3rd, Wendy Aaronson & Bill Ridgely (Wood-Aged Wee Heavy).

The Oct 2008 issue of BURP News began with a review of the veritable cornucopia of beer-related events that had taken place around our region during September, including several Oktoberfest celebrations, a beer dinner held by the recently-disbanded GABS Homebrew Club, and BURPer Bud Hensgen’s “Art of Homebrew” show held in Dupont Circle, featuring fine locally-created artworks along with 11 homebrewed beers contributed by BURP members. This review was followed by Charlie Pavitt’s monthly “Trivial Beer-Suits” column, this time riffing on a recently-published article in the Washington Post on beer becoming the drink of choice during bad economic times. The article concluded with the now-often used line “Beer will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no beer.” The issue concluded with a lengthy and well-referenced article on the new BJCP Color Guide by BURP’s own A.J. deLange, who was responsible for the creation of this judging aid. The guide is a 2.5” by 5” card upon which are printed 12 color patches each labeled with a SRM value ranging from 1 to 44. It can now be seen in use at nearly every BJCP-sanctioned competition. A.J.’s analysis of color and its role in beer and brewing was highly technical but fascinating for those of us with limited scientific background in the field. You can read the entire issue on the BURP website at https://www.burp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Newsletter200810.pdf.