Compiled by Bill Ridgely, BURP Archivist
BURP’s annual potluck holiday banquet has been the place to be in December for many, many years. The club’s first holiday banquet was held in Dec 1988 at Colonel Brooks Tavern in the District. Since then, it’s been held in a number of establishments – mostly community halls but occasionally at other commercial venues (including the Brickskeller). By 2006, the club had adopted a rather cozy community building in Arlington, VA (the Lyon Park Community Center) for the annual event. In addition to great homebrewed beer and fantastic food, the event highlighted the club’s accomplishments and key individuals over the course of the year, and then (as now) elections were held for the club’s officers for the following year (longtime BURPer Kathy Koch was elected the club’s Fearless Leader for 2007). Meeting reports in the club newsletter were still being written at this time, and the banquet was well covered by reporter Pho Ming Hedd. In particular, there was a mouth-watering list of the various dishes brought to the table, all made (per club tradition) with beer. These included Christmas Pork with Figs, Pork with Duvel, Reindeer Balls (don’t ask), two Flemish Stews (made with Kriek & Brooklyn Stout), a Stout-infused Beef Stew, Chicken with Kolsch, Greek Eggplant, Pork in Cider, and Aji de Gallina, just to name the ones with readable labels. And, as always, there was a Holiday Beer homebrew competition, which this year secretly included a ringer, the club’s 25th anniversary American Barleywine. And yes, it was the winner. But once this was established, the top three non-ringer beers were awarded – two Winter Warmers and a Doppelbock (the latter brewed by the club’s Brewer of the Year, Mel Thompson). It was a fantastic evening of fun, food, and friendship!
The Dec 2006 issue of BURP News featured outgoing Fearless Leader Steve Marler’s year-end roundup of BURP accomplishments, including BURP leading light Tim Artz winning the Real Ale Competition, Wendy Schmidt being crowned Queen of Beer in a national all-woman homebrew competition, and Ed Bielaus winning the very prestigious 8th Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing.