Compiled by Bill Ridgely, BURP Archivist
As has been a March tradition for some time now, the beer theme of the March BURP meeting is Stout, the “National Beer of the Irish”, and the event takes place during the month celebrating Irish patron saint St Patrick. In addition, the meeting homebrew competition honors late BURP founding father Dan McCoubrey, who famously only brewed Stout. The Dan McCoubrey Memorial Stout Competition remains to this day BURP’s longest running monthly competition. In 2008, the meeting and competition was held at the home of Bud & Helen Hensgen in Arlington, VA. Of course, large quantities of great food is required to provide a base for all of that stout, so the club also took upon itself the task of preparing a batch of Dan’s equally famous “Irish Stew for 100”. Many hands were required to accomplish this task, and several (meat browning, veggie chopping) were done ahead of time and results brought to the meeting separately. Eventually, the giant pot of stew (and an accompanying pot of a non-meat version) were cooking away in the outdoor kitchen set up in the Hensgen driveway. Meanwhile, BURP Co-Enlightenment Ministers Wendy Aaronson & Tom Cannon provided an excellent educational session on malt varieties, which included samples of wort prepared from six different malts. As these samples were presented for tasting, Tom & Wendy explained the malting and roasting process, what flavors each malt imparted, and when and how to use them. Following the education session, club members enjoyed some fine commercial and homebrewed stouts along with the usual plethora of food items on the buffet table. The stout competition comprised 16 entries in every BJCP stout style category. The evaluation was performed by 7 of the club’s top BJCP judges. Results were announced at meeting’s end: 1st, Colleen & Tom Cannon for an Irish Dry Stout; 2nd, Jamie & Paul Langlie, also for a Dry Stout; and 3rd, Mel Thompson, Ty Ming, & Bill Strehl for their Foreign Extra Stout.
The Mar 2008 issue of BURP News was jam-packed with great writing, including the winning Baltic Porter recipe from the February meeting (see last month’s column for details on the competition), information on the upcoming BJCP exam preparation class, Co-Fearless Leader Alan Hew’s introduction of his “Fun & Creative Brewing Challenge” (with a different “outside the box” brewing theme each month), Charlie Pavitt’s “Trivial Beer-Suits” column (explaining how China had become the world’s largest beer producer despite its relatively low per capita beer consumption), and finally Ralph Bucca’s report on his volunteer work assignment in the countries of Georgia and Armenia, teaching local farmers long term cold storage techniques for their fruit harvests (and, consequentially, sampling vast quantities of the excellent wines produced in these regions). You can read the whole issue here: https://www.burp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Newsletter200803.pdf.