Tag Archives: Home Brewing

Featured Interview – Tyler Moles, Beerfest Organizer

While “Beerfest Organizer” isn’t Tyler Moles’s actual job title at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, it may as well be right now. Beerfest is one of the most important fund raising events for the local charitable organization, whose mission it is to help all children achieve success in life.

We spoke to Tyler about Beerfest, his role at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, and his street cred as a craft beer lover.

What is your title at BBBSO, and how long have you held the role?

Development Director – I’ve had this role for almost 2 whole days.  For the 5 months before that I was the Development Officer.

This is your first year working with BBBSO and Ozarks BeerFest.  How did you get involved with this organization?

I have volunteered at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks events for a few years now.  I feel very passionately that youth mentoring is one of the most important elements of building a strong community.  By helping children realize their potential they can become productive and happy adults.  This in turn helps them raise the next generation outside of the cycle of poverty.

Are you a craft beer nerd?

People that are overly enthusiastic about craft beer are not nerds.  They are cultured.

Let’s establish your craft beer fan street cred:

What’s your favorite beer style?

I am a huge fan of IPA’s, but really for a beer to be good it mostly just needs to be a beer… and not have fruit in it.

Have you ever made beer at home?

A couple of times with mixed results.  I’ve been told that the secret is to either know how to do it or to follow a recipe.

Let’s imagine you’re going to cook a steak on the grill at home? What are you going to drink with it?

Beer, of course.  Responsibly.   I can’t tell you the kind of beer.  We have a lot of fantastic breweries that are awesome enough to come and help us put on Ozarks Beerfest.  I don’t want to risk upsetting any of my beer brewing friends by naming a favorite. I will tell you that it’s likely going to be a local favorite (It’s an ale and it’s pale).

What experience do you bring to the event that you feel has been particularly helpful?

I’ve thrown a lot of parties and helped to put together events in order to try and make the world a better place.  As a Sertoman, I have been involved with the planning of several awesome events, including Wingapalooza, Sertoma Chili Cook-off, and Cashew Craze.  I am stoked to be able take what I’ve learned and apply it to Ozarks Beerfest.  Make no mistake, this is a different kind of event, but I promise you that it is going to be out of this world.

BeerFest patrons enjoying samples
The 2013 event was the first at which homebrewed beer was allowed to be served due to a change in state law. Pictured, members of the Zymurgists of the Ozarks and employees of The Homebrewery share samples of homebrewed beer.

What makes this year’s BeerFest different from the event in previous years?

More craft beers for one thing.  We have a lot of new breweries represented this year.  In addition we have more food, more games, we even have a stein holding competition lined up for your enjoyment.

We noticed that you set a limit this year on those VIP tickets.  What’s the deal?

We’ve got some really cool things going for VIP’s so we want to keep the crowd down during VIP hours.  By limiting the number of attendees during these hours, VIPs will be able to fully enjoy the VIP experience.

What are the benefits of purchasing VIP tickets?

We have some really cool breakout sessions lined up with the brewmasters from some of the breweries.  We will be releasing more details shortly.  These sessions will be only available to VIP ticket holders. 

VIPs will get in 2 full hours early at noon.  They will get an awesome commemorative mug.  They will also get $10 in Beer Bucks to use on beer merchandise.

What do I get with my general admission ticket?

A general admission ticket will get you in to the event at 2:00 p.m.  You’ll get an awesome pilsner style Ozarks Beerfest tasting glass which you can use to sample any of over 100 different beers.

Where can I see what breweries will be represented at this year’s festival?

We’ve got a very small handful listed on ozarksbeerfest.com .  Really, I’m thinking of making people wait to see how massive the full list is.  I want to make sure there are enough surprises to keep Beerfest fresh.

What food vendors will be there?

We’ve got tons of beer related food this year.  Farmland is bringing in 1000 Boulevard bratwursts.  Rold Gold is bringing in 1000 bags of pretzels.   Rib Crib is bringing in barbeque.  Garbo’s is bringing in pizza.   You can check out some of the other awesome restaurants on ozarksbeerfest.com.  That said, there will be more than what is listed on the website.

So I have purchased my ticket and I’m inside the event. What, besides beer and food, will I find inside?

You’ll find Beer Plinko, Beer Lovers Lane (where you can find merchandise from the breweries.  We’ll have a few surprises as well. 

What part of BeerFest are you most looking forward to?

5:00 pm when the event is over.  That is when I can sample a beer.

Purchase your tickets for Ozarks Beerfest online or at Select Price Cutter Locations, Springfield Brewing Company, Mother’s Brewing Company, The Home Brewery, White River Brewery, and all Springfield Rapid Roberts locations.

For more info about the food and beer you’ll find at the event, make sure to check out ozarksbeerfest.com.

VIP tickets (200 available) are $50 per person and include the following perks:

  • 2 hour early admittance at noon
  • Exclusive breakout sessions
  • Signature VIP Mug

$10 of Beer Bucks to spend on merchandise at the event

General Admission tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door. They include your own tasting glass and admission from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

What’s on Tap! 8/14/2014

Great things are afoot in the SGF.

First off, this weekend you’ll get to try I Wanna Rauch, this year’s Springfield Brewing Company Pro-Am entry for the GABF competition.  This smoked german lager is incredibly well-balanced and will make you rethink what flavors belong in beer.

Their GABF entry was determined by the Homebrew ZOO‘s annual Spring Competition.  Keith Wallis took Best of Show with his smoked lager, and was therefore chosen as SBC’s recipe for the GABF Pro-Am entry.  It’ll be released in the brewery this weekend for you to drink your fill.

Watch for another local brewery to get into this mix, as Mother’s Brewing Company also brewed a GABF Pro-Am entry with a Homebrew Zoo Competition winner.  Their partner in crime, Nathan Hopper, won the annual Fall Competition in 2013, and you should watch for his beer to be available at Mother’s shortly.

If you’re interested in sending a beer to GABF, the Homebrew ZOO hosts a competition each spring and fall.  SBC sponsors the spring competition, and Mother’s sponsors the competition in the fall.  This fall, the competition centers around Belgian Styles (and French Saison because we feel bad for the French for only having one beer style of their own).

OK, so to summarize, SBC will have the Rauchbier on tap this weekend, and they also have the Bull Creek Brown on tap now.

Mother’s Brewing Company and the Moxie Cinema are hosting another movie on August 22nd.  This month’s Friday Flix is Superbad.  Show starts at about 8:00, but the tap room opens at 4, so why wait?  Bring your blankets, bring your chairs, but leave the kids at home, because this event is 21+ only!  $5 at the door.

Also, Leaky Roof Meadery has their stuff out in cans, but you can still check out the tasting room for several more varieties and live music.  Upcoming shows out in the Buffalo, Missouri meadery include the following:

  • Stormy Weather 7-10pm on August 16th
  • Casey Lynne and the Deal Breakers 7-10pm on August 23rd

As always, feel free to post any other craft beer related events in the comments below.  Watch out tomorrow for an interview with Leaky Roof founder and head meadmaker Todd Rock.

The Rundown #16

The delay in this week’s Rundown was due to my being on vacation earlier this week.  We still have some good news for you beer lovers, though:

First up, Leaky Roof Mead is officially available in cans in the SGF area.  I’ve seen it at Macadoodle’s on Independence and know it is hitting the Wine Center and many other accounts around town today.  The Cyser and the Berry Picker are available in 4-packs of 16oz cans, and they hope to be able to release the Bond Burner at the end of the month for those of you who like jalapenos and pineapple (If you think it sounds weird, you should at least try it.  It’s REALLY good.)

Springfield Brewing Company has big news for you.  The always amazing Bull Creek Brown is on tap now and has taken the place of the Heart of Darkness Dunkel.  In addition, watch for this year’s GABF Pro-Am entry, I Wanna Rauch, to appear on tap this Saturday.

Keith Wallis pours a healthy dose of hops into the SBC kettle while brewing "I wanna Rauch"
Keith Wallis pours a healthy dose of hops into the SBC kettle while brewing “I wanna Rauch”
Homebrew ZOO members pose with Bruce from SBC as part of the GABF Pro-Am brew day.  They brewed "I Wanna Rauch", a recipe by Keith Wallis, pictured center.
Homebrew ZOO members pose with Bruce from SBC as part of the GABF Pro-Am brew day. They brewed “I Wanna Rauch”, a recipe by Keith Wallis, pictured center.

This beer has an interesting pedigree.  This was the Best of Show winner in this year’s “To Helles and Bock” homebrew competition, hosted by The Zymurgists of the Ozarks Home Brewing Society (HomebrewZOO).  The brewer, Keith Wallis, was also the mastermind behind last year’s Best of Show Winner, 585 ESB, which was on tap for several weeks at this time last year.  Needless to say, he’s an excellent brewer, and you can expect a phenomenal beer.

SBC is also releasing a new drink menu which highlights several beer cocktails made with their ales and lagers.  Many of these cocktails have never been offered by SBC before, so it should be worth checking out.

Finally, Cathedral Square’s Ave Maria is in Springfield and should be available this week.  Bottles will be at the Wine Center and Macadoodles for sure, and maybe in a few other places this Friday.  The Mud Lounge will have it on tap at some point, but no word yet on when.  Ave Maria is a Double Abbey Ale aged in Elijah Craig barrels with morello cherries.  A very unique beer, and worth checking out.  Very limited quantities, I would imagine.

In news related to last week’s Rundown, I’ve seen the Santa Fe Oktoberfest out and about in their pretty little cans.  They are pretty cool looking cans, and the rumor has it they contain some very drinkable lager.  Crisp maltiness and bavarian hops make a helluva balance, and I love the Oktoberfest style.

Watch out for What’s on Tap, which should post a little later on today.

What’s your favorite Fall Seasonal beer?  Let us know in the comments below.

What’s on Tap! 08/01/2014

Happy First Friday, Beer Buzzers.  We have a pretty solid list of things for you to do while you drink, but we’ll start with where you should be TONIGHT.

Get your butts down to Mother’s for the First Firkin Friday.  Tonight, they’ll have a Blueberry Mandarin Summer With with your name on it.  They start pouring the gravity-fed deliciousness at 6, but their tasting room opens in 15, so get busy getting there so you don’t miss a drop.

Tonight, you can catch an Springfield BRewing Company sampling at Arts & Letters as part of First Friday Art Walk.  They will be exhibiting art by Shay Rainey and pouring delicious local beer.  Win.  Starts at 7pm and runs until 10 pm at 214 S Campbell ave in downtown Springfield.

Tuesday, August 12th is the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Tasting at the Brown Derby Wine Center.  The price is $20 per person and it will be a one-time opportunity to try several amazing beers you will not have another chance to try locally.  Show starts at 6:30 in the Wine Center Tasting Room.  RSVP at 417-883-4066 and tell them we sent you.  We get nothing out of it, but it will confuse them when you tell them.

The list of beers includes:

  • 3 Floyds Brewing Company Chico King Pale Ale
  • Allagash Brewing Company Myron’s Walk Belgian Style Pale
  • Asheville Brewer’s Alliance Tater Ridge Scottish Ale
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company Electric Ray India Pale Lager
  • Bell’s Brewing Company Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale
  • Cigar City Brewing Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock
  • Firestone Walker Torpedo Hoppy Pilsner
  • Oskar Blues Brewery CANfusion Rye Bock
  • New Glarus Brewing Company There & Back ESB
  • Ninaski Brewing Company Double-Latte Coffee Imperial Stout
  • Russian River Brewing Company Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blond
  • Victory Brewing Company Alt Route Altbier

The largest local homebrew club, The Zymurgists of the Ozarks (The Homebrew ZOO) has their monthly meeting on August 19th at 7:30 pm at The Homebrewery in Ozark, Missouri.  This month, we’ll be discussing Session Beers, which is a topic near and dear to my heart.  Come on out and meet some very avid beer-sharers.

This month is Boulevard’s month to make your mouth water.  They’re sponsoring 417 Magazine’s Restaurant Month, which promotes… well… restaurants in 417.  The kick-off party is Thursday, August 7th at Metropolitan Farmer, but they’re getting started August 3rd at participating restaurants.  For tickets to the kickoff party, call 417-720-1665, or click here for the menu and details.

Get out there and get drinking.  Tag your photos with #SGFBeer or send them to us at @sgfbeerbuzz (on Twitter and Instagram).  Let’s make this social media thing social.

The Homebrewer’s Corner – Make a Plan

“I love it when a plan comes together.”
John “Hannibal” Smith, The A-Team

When I was not yet married and brewing was my plan for the day, I could spend 10 or more hours in my garage piddling around, drinking beer, and making even more beer.  Now, though, I don’t have as much liberty with my time and am compelled to shorten the time I spend “goofing off” in the garage.  Over time, my brew days have gotten significantly shorter, and I am always looking for good ways to shorten them without sacrificing the quality of the brew.

Whether you have to shorten your brew day out of necessity or you want to squeeze a brew day into a smaller window so you can brew more often, the best way to shorten your brew day is through proper planning. Not only will planning shorten your brew day, it will also help you to make better and more consistent beer.

Here are a few tips for shortening (and improving) your brew day through effective planning:

Continue reading The Homebrewer’s Corner – Make a Plan

The Homebrewer’s Corner – Evaluating a Hop

I like hops.  I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

When I find a new hop, I love trying it out to find out what it can do.  There are a lot of really good ways to try hops out, but my favorite method is brewing the same pale ale recipe and using the hope throughout the entire brew.  Not only do I get five gallons of delicious brew out of it, I also get to see what the hop does throughout the brewing process.

For a primer on how hop additions work, let’s talk about timing.  There are a lot of times when a brewer can add hops to brew.  Typically, bittering hops go in at the beginning of the boil, flavor hop go somewhere in the middle, and aroma hops go in at the very end (or as dry hops in secondary fermentation).

When I get a new hop variety to try out, I brew a very simple pale ale that uses the hop at each of these stages, including dry-hopping.  This will let me evaluate the following:

Bittering addition: Is the bitterness of the hop harsh or mellow?  Most of the time, there’s not much difference in perception for hops added early, as all of the volatile aroma and flavor substances tend to be vaporized by long boiling, but I always include the hop at this stage so I can get a full picture of what the hop is like.

Flavor addition: Using a flavor addition in the middle of the boil allows you to get a better picture of what the hop tastes like.  Keep in mind that you’ll also pick up some aroma and bitterness in this addition, so be sure to include it in your calculations.

Aroma addition (flameout): Just as you’re killing the heat to your kettle, you stir this one in.  This is the aroma addition in the boil.  It is very similar to making a hop tea, as you’re essentially steeping the hops without boiling off the volatile compounds.

Aroma addition (dry-hopping): This is more like cold-brewing your coffee than making a hop tea.  This preserves more of the delicate hop aromas, which provide that “fresh” hop character you can pick up in locally-brewed IPAs (shipping and storage tend to oxidize these compounds somewhat).

Using a hop at each one of these stages in a brew is a very good way to getting a full picture as to how you’d like to use that hop in the future.  I recommend finding a pale ale recipe that you really like and can brew consistently.  It will allow you to compare the hop varieties against each other without other changes in recipe affecting your perception.

Because this is a written article and no longer on the radio, here is a recipe that I use to brew my Single Hop experiments.

Evaluation Experimentation Ale

Grain Bill
8.5 lbs 2-row pale malt
1.5 lbs Crystal 20L
.5 lb CaraPils

Hops
7.5 AAU Hop* for 60 minutes
.5 oz Hop for 15 minutes (flavor addition – some people prefer 30 minutes)
.5 oz Hop at flameout
1 oz Hop in secondary (5-7 days)

Other Ingredients
Irish Moss (1 tsp at 15 minutes until end of boil)

Yeast
Fermentis Safale US-05, Wyeast 1056, or White Labs WLP001

Mash at 152 degrees until all of the starches are converted, mash out at 170 degrees.  Bring it to a boil and add the first addition.  After 45 minutes, add the second hop addition and the Irish Moss.  As the hour runs out, turn off the heat and add the last hops.  Whirlpool, chill, and ferment.  Rack to secondary after fermentation stops and add the 1 oz of dry hops.  After 5-7 days, bottle or keg and sample.  Best served fresh.

Extract Version:

Replace the 2-row base malt with 5.1 lbs of Light Dry Malt Extract.  Steep the other grains in a cheesecloth sack at 152 degrees for 20 minutes, then remove them, allowing them to drip back into your kettle.  Add your malt extract and bring to a boil. Proceed from the first hop addition as above.