BURP 10 Years Ago this Month – Jul 2006

Compiled by Bill Ridgely, BURP Archivist

For many years, BURPers have looked forward to July’s hot, humid weather for one very good reason – the July pool party! And this event has been held in Nokesville, VA at the home of Bruce Bennett and Nancy Cozier for many of those Julys. This was certainly the case in 2006 on a typically steamy day made refreshing by a dip in the cool backyard pool. But what goes better with a nice swim than a cool homebrew? (Well, some might say drinking beer and swimming are not the best combination but, hey, we’re BURPers!). The beer theme of the meeting was a summertime favorite – German Wheat and Rye Beer. Several great examples of Bavarian Weizenbier were brought to the event, including a keg of the elixir provided by BURP’s A.J. deLange. The monthly competition was ably run by Alison Skeel, sitting in for the two BURP Ministers of Culture, who were unable to attend. While all sub-styles of the category were open, only Weizens were submitted for judging. The winning brewers, announced at meeting’s end were: 1st, Lee Swimm; 2nd, A.J. deLange; and 3rd, Ty Ming & Jack Mowbray. A great time was had by all, and several members stayed late to enjoy the cool waters into the evening hours.

The combined July-August 2006 issue of BURP News featured announcements of upcoming events (including the 19th annual MASHOUT and a special brew day to celebrate BURP’s Silver Anniversary) along with Fearless Leader Steve Marler’s insights gleaned from the recently-held AHA Conference in Baltimore (Steve in particular learned much from John Mallet’s presentation on “The Science Behind Maltolicious”). Longtime columnist Charlie Pavitt wrapped up the issue with some wonderful excerpts from the book One Hundred Years of Brewing, published in 1903 and reprinted in 1974. The 718 page book contained a huge amount of detail, but Charlie focused on the first 180 pages, which dealt with brewing even earlier, including edicts published as early as 1351. I’ll reproduce one of those, from the German city of Erfurt, here:

No citizen shall brew more than twice a year; for each time he shall use three chests of malt, filled to the level, no more and no less. On Wednesday evening before St. Michael, when the beer-bell is tolled, and no sooner, the fire shall be lit and the brewing commenced; nobody shall brew, unless he has his own vessels, tubs, casks and his own tun. Before the evening of St. Severi nobody shall malt the barley, and neither wheat nor oats shall he mix with the same.  For such price as the beer is called out for after Walpurgis, it shall be sold. In the country nobody shall sell foreign beer or wine without the knowledge of the city authorities. Any citizen who brews in the country shall be regarded a citizen no longer.