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Home » Brews and News
Table of Contents
President : 1999 Brew Club of the Year
Tom Wolf : California Homebrewer the Year : Brew's Band to Play NoCal & SoCal Fests
This Month in Brews & News
Beer Style of the Month : Xmas Beers
Shop Brew : Falconsclaw
Minutes of Recent Meetings
Other Information
Competition Calendar

Decemember 1999 Issue
Don T. Knott, Editor
Kevin Baranowski, Tom Wolf, Brian Vessa,
Rich Schmittdiel, et al.
Contents Copyright 1999 The Maltose Falcons

Maltose Falcons Win Again.
by Kevin Baranowski
    By now, most of you have probably heard that the Falcons were chosen the winners of the California State homebrew Club of the Year. That means we're off to San Francisco for a bar-b-que and open bar at the Anchor Brewing Co. in Febrewary. We should thank all those active club members that helped make 1999 a great year for the Falcons. Everyone that came to meetings, events, taught classes and entered competitions, helped us to win again.
Winning State Homebrew Club of the Year, isn't because of one person, it's a group effort.
    BUT, I believe one big factor that helped influence the decision was the fact that Tom Wolf also won the California State Homebrewer of the Year Award. Tom did excellent with his entries this year and he deserves the win. A big THANK YOU to Tom and all that made this happen.
    So now I'm sure everyone wants to start making plans and needs some specifics. The date is set for Febrewary 12th, 2000, 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM at the brewery in San Francisco. We would like to do a bus trip up if we can get enough interest and paid commitments. The cost for a busload of 50 people would be around $60 per person roundtrip, with possible stops along the way. We are also checking into group rates at the Howard Johnsons at the Wharf again. There is a good chance that we will have limos or shuttles to and from the hotel and Anchor.
    The band is also considering playing possibly at "Jacks at the Cannery" after the Anchor party. More news as it becomes available. There will be a member & guest sign up sheet at the Dec., January, and February. It will also be at the Shop to signup in between meetings. So start planning now for the best party of the New Year!
    Also coming soon, don't forget about the Stuffed Sandwich holiday beer tasting Dec. 11th, 1:00 PM, San Gabriel. Sign up at the December meeting.
    And, the January 9th meeting will be held at BJ's Pizza, Grill & Brewery. Time is 1:00 PM. $15 per person includes (real pizza this time) and beer tasters, Woodland Hills Location, 6424 Canoga Ave. Alex Puchnet will give tours and talk about their brewing process. So plan top be there and see the system we brewed the Falcons' 25th Anniversary IPA on.
    Lots of activities planned for the next few months. Yeah, what a great club!

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Tom Wolf, California Homebrewer of the Year.
Falcon's "Brews Band" to Play NoCal & SoCal Fests
by Brian Vessa
    Tom Wolf is the California Homebrewer of the Year, and the Maltose Falcons are the Homebrew Club of the Year! Bruce Joseph said the club award was "a clear cut decision".
    Congrats to Tom, who well deserves the award!!! And of course, congrats to the Falcons for being victorious again, our fourth time!!!!
    I accepted ribbons and first place mugs for Tom Wolf and John Aitchison's brew team. When the Homebrewer award was announced, I gave a short speech about how incredible Tom's achievements have been since he joined the club and learned to brew. When the Homebrew Club award was announced, Bruce Brode and I toasted the club and Doug King, and drank the customary Steam Beer from the copper mug. What a night!!! We brought back the awards and the trophy. We should plan something for the December meeting to celebrate!!!
    I think, since Anchor can't have bands anymore, we should plan to rent the top room above Jack's Cannery bar, set the band up in the afternoon, and then after the Anchor dinner we should go there and party in style! More info to come on specific awards, etc. For now, WE ARE THE CALIFORNIA HOMEBREW CLUB OF THE YEAR!
    PS - The band is on for Southern California Homebrew Festival, the first weekend in May, and we found out yesterday that they want the band to play at Northern California Homebrew Festival next October 7th!!!

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This Month in Brews & News
by Don T. Knott
    It sure is a good thing that nobody actually reads this column. I've managed to misreport one date or another in each issues I've edited so far. So let's get it straight this time, OK?
    The first Sunday of the month of December is the 5th. The regular club meeting will take place at the usual time on that date, in the usual place. Bring a sweater.
    January 9th is not the first Sunday of the year 2000. It will, however, be the date of the first meeting of the year. It will not occur at the usual place nor will it be at the usual time. The meeting will commence at 1:00 PM at BJ's Pizza, Grill & Brewery, 6424 Canoga Ave, Woodland Hills. Lunch with taters of BJ's finest will be $15 per person. Reserve your ticket by mailing a check (Payable to Maltose Falcons) to Leo Barendse, 25010 Plaza Larios. Valencia, CA 913555
    Pay for it at the Dec. 5th meeting at the shop.
    In three short months the Falcons have gone from celebration to mourning and back to celebration, from the commemoration of a milestone anniversary to the loss of one of our most esteemed members to high honors for our club and our Grand Hydrometer Tom Wolf.
    Let's keep on doing what we do best, brewing the best brews and being the best ambassadors that the hobby has. Bring a friend to a meeting. Help a beginner get over the jutters and Just Brew It. Show a skeptic just how good homebrewed beer can be. Enter your brews in contests locally and nationally.
    Onward into the Future and Beyond!

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Beer Style of the Month : December :
Christmas Beer & Ales
by Falcons Grand Hydro, Tom Wolf
(805) 296-0872, WOLF1@IBM.NET
    The holiday season is upon us again and the holiday brews are on the shelves! Every year breweries around the world brew special products for their customers to celebrate the winter holidays. In keeping with tradtion we will have a selection of holiday beers for tasting at the December meeting.
    This is a good opportunity for me to plug the Falcons beer tasting that is scheduled for December 11th at the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel. Sam the proprietor of the "Sandwich" has a remarkable selection of beers as well as great food and always puts on a great tasting for the Falcons. Many of the selections are holiday beers. If you have never attended I would recommend it for the holidat beer, good food and great company.
    The expectation in a holiday beer is that it be especially good with perhaps a seasonal twist, brewed as a treat for customers. Holiday brews usually fall into two basic categories, the big full-bodied amber colored "winter warmer" alea and lagers and spiced ales and lagers. There are certainly exceptions. One example was Stella (star) Artois, a Belgian Pilsner, originally brewed as a Christmas beer in 1926. Stella went on to popularize Pilsner in Belgium. Anchor Liberty was originally brewed only at Christmas but due to popular demand Liberty is available year round. Scandinavia has a tradition of brewing many interesting Christmas lagers.
    Some examples of the "winter warmers" are :

    Samichlaus (Santa Clause, Switzerland) a huge high alcohol beer, no longer brewed, but many previous years are still available.
    Aass Jule Ol (Yule Ale, Norway), a rich Vienna style lager.
    Cuvee de Noell (France), a Biere de Garde.
    Affligem Noel (Belgium), deep amber, sweet malt, and spicy hops.
    Saison Regal Christmas Cuvee (Belgium), 8% full bodied.
    Scaldis Noel (Belgium), big amber color with a coriander and malt nose, wonderful!
    St Nikolaus Dunkles Starkbier (Germany), big malt, caramel, smoky/toasty.
    Dos Equis Noche Buena "Bock" (Mexico), A wonderful Vienna.
    Campbel's Christmas (England), complex intensely flavored, incredible!
    King and Barnes Christmas Ale (England), 8%, smooth long malty aftertaste.
    Sam Smith Winter Welcome (England), warm carmel taste, well hopped.
    Full Sail Wassail Winter Ale (USA), deep amber and dry hoppy finish.
    Sam Adams Winter Lager (USA), complex malt and hop.
    North Coast Christmas Ale (USA), toasty, alcoholic, well hopped.
    Pyramid Snow Cap (USA), big bodied, balanced, great beer.
    Catamount Christms (USA), huge, very good with a big hop finish.
    Rogue Santa's Private Reserve (USA), huge creamy rich with northwest hops to balance, great long finish!
    Sierra Nevada Celebration (USA), powerful with magnificent northwest hops!

    Examples of spiced holiday beers include:
    Coyote Christmas (USA), nutmeg, cloves, coriander, and cinnamon.
    Great Lakes Christmas Ale (USA), honey, ginger root, cinnamon.
    Anderson Valley Winter Solstice (USA), vanilla and cinnamon.
    Anchor - Our Special Ale (USA), ginger root, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
    Marrin Hoppy Holidaze Ale (USA), vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange flowers.
    Young's Christmas Ale (England), big smooth malty, spiced but well balanced, with English hops in the background and the currant taste associated with a Belgian Dubbel.

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A Year of Beer. (A complete list of Styles for the year)
by Tom Wolf
December Christmas Beers/Old Ales (Bring your spiced and special holiday beers)
January Imperial Stout:(Bring your Stouts and Porters)
February Barley Wine : (Bring your strong beers)
March India Pale Ale (Bring your big hoppy beers)
April American Lagers (Lawnmower beer month)
May Octoberfest/Marzen/Bock (Bring any type of German Lager)
June Lambic (Bring any fruit, specialty, or soured beer)
July American Wheat / Cream Ale (Bring your heat beers or light ales)
August Belgian Abbey Ales (Dubel and Strong Dark Ales) (Bring any big dark ale)
September Scottish and Irish Ales (Bring Bitters and Pale Ales)
October Wheat, Witbier / German Wheat : (Bring some German wheat beers)

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Shop Brew: Falconsclaws
by Kevin Baranowski
    On Sunday December 12th at the Shop, I am leading a shop brew to clone a Falcons favorite that is no longer made. Samiclaus, brewed by the Swiss, Hurlimann Brauerei in Zurich from 1979 to 1997, was listed as the world's strongest beer at 14 percent ABV. It was brewed every year on Devember 6th when the Swiss celebrate St. Nicholas, and was released on the same date one year later.
    The goal is to brew and bottle a five gallon batch this December, and to serve some at our December 2000 meeting, take a few bottles to Sam at the Stuffed Sandwich in Dec. 2000, and save some for the future Dead Palates gatherings. We plan to do a second running an come out with at least 5 gallons of a small beer. If you are interested in being involved, signup at the December meeting. All participants will get some bottles for themselves too.

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Minutes of Recent Meetings
by Rich Schmittdiel, Secretary
Club Meeting, November 6, 1999
    The Novemer meeting was held at the shop in Woodland Hills. There were about 35-40 persons attending. Heather and Jolene served a fine lunch of enchiladas ans spanish rice.
    Kevin called the meeting to order and we got down to the serious business of tasting the homebrews that had been brought for that purpose. A new feature is the written feedback on each beer by a volunteer panel, using a simple evaluation system that covers three categories: appearance, aroma, and taste. This month's volunteer panel was Rick Burnside and Jogn Aitchison.
    Drew Beechum brought a nice "Almost ESB" that was well received.
    Kevin Baranowski poured out samples of his Black Wit.
    Cullen Davis provided a fine English Porter.
    A Holiday Porter courtesy of Drew Beechum was nest on tap.
    Then Martin Carman poured his excellant Imperial Oatmel Stout. It was extremely well received by all who were fortunate enough to get a taste.
    A late entry was a Christmas Belgian, courtesy of Frank Antonowitz. This was brewed on the shop system back in 1997, and has improved with age.
    New business discussed included the upcoming Keg Night at Lucky Baldwin's on November 17th. Location : 17 S. Raymond Ave. in Pasadena.
    The annual Christmas beer tasting at the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel is to take place on Saturday, December 11. Anticipated fee is to be $15 to $18. (If you've never been to one, these are great fun, as Sam pours some very fine beers to taste.)
    The January club meeting will be at BJ's in Woodland Hills on Sunday, January 9, and will feature pizza to eat and a backstage, club-only tour of their brewery. Do not bring your own beer to this meeting, but plan to buy beers there.
    The February meeting will feature the annual chili cook-off.
    Kevin reintroduced the lunchtime technical demonstration. He showed various methods of build your own manifolds for a mash tun.
    Following lunch, the open forum provoked serious and considerable discussion of the need to define and enforce standards of appropriate behaviour at off site events. This was precipitated by some inconsiderate actions at the recent Octoberfest at Barbara Antler's house. There was agreement that the club image is defined by the lowest common denominator behaviour. We're remembered by the worst behhaviour, not the best, at any event.
    Brian Vessa stressed the need for early action and a decision on a time and place for this year's Sunfest. More spirited discussion, involving possible sites, including Catalina. Need to have a choice selected by the January meeting.
    Tom Wolf poured out two month's worth examples of Beer Style of the Month: California Common and Belgian Strong ales. In the first category, he provided samples of Anchor Steam Beer, his own clone of that fine beverage, and Red Seal Ale. For the latter category, he provided samples of Westmalle Trappist (Tripel) and La Chouffe Golden Ale. The trappist ale was indeed a fine one and is well worth looking for at a good liquor store.

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Maltose Falcons Board Meeting, 11/03/99
    The November board meeting was held at Kevin's house again. Attending were Kevin Baranowski, Steve Keppler, John Aitchison, Jim Moorman, Tom Wolf, John Rasmussen, Heather Houck, Jolene Brake, and Rich Schmittdiel.
    The meeting got underway about 7:30. This time I was prepared: I arrived hungry. Jolene and Heather fes us well, again. We had a wonderful potato soup and cornbread muffins.
    In the way of old business, Kevin inquired as to how many had attended the Octoberfest. Our only means of gaugin the attendance was the report of how many meal tickets had been sold: about 80.
    We made plans for the meeting schedule for the coming year, as well as the several special events in the near future.
    There will be a Falcons club night at Lucky Baldwin's in OPld Town, Pasadena on November 17. They will have a keg of Falcons Quarter Century IPA on tap that night.
    The next club meeting will be held at December 5 at the shop.
    Saturday, Dec. 11 was tentatively pegged as the date for the annual lunch and tasting session at the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel.
    We laid the schedule for the upcoming meetings for most of the rest of the year as well :
    • The January meeting will be held on Jan. 9 at BJ's in Woodland Hills.
    • The meeting on February 6 will be the annual chili cook-off, to be held at the shop.
    • The following meeting will be at the shop as well on March 5.
    • The Mayfaire is tentatively set for April 15, location TBA.
    • The date for the May meeting is still undecided, pending the date for the Southern California Homebrew Festival in Temecula.
    • June 4 will see us at the shop.
    • The July meeting will be at the shop on Jul. 9
    • The August meeting is open for debate, as it is usually the Sunfest. No location has yet been, choosen, although there was talk of Cataline.
    • The September meeting date is set for Sep. 10
    Kevin spoke of some of his goals for the upcoming year: these include more club sessions on the shop system (shop brews). Kevin plans to encourage leadership of these sessions by other, newer Falcons.
    Kevin wants to have more educational activities, including the revival of the lunchtime lesson (show and tell) at the monthly club meetings. He will take the first one, at the November club meeting. John Aitchison will do the next one at the December meeting.
    Considerable discussion took place over a way to provide meaningful, constructive feedback on the beers offered for tasting at club meetings. We finally decided to seek a volunteer panel of 2 or 3 experienced brewers who will rate each beer in three basic categories: appearance, aroma, and flavor, and provide written feedback to the brewer. Kevin will draft sample forms to be used.
    Steve Keppler described his plans as Public Relations Director, including a desire to have a new web page and our own URL.
    John Aitchison spoke about the idea of sponsoring a Doug King memorial event. Ideas disucssed included a club-only competition with a perpetual award or an annual shop brew.
    The meeting broke up about 9:30, all of the fine beers having been consumed by then.

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Events Calendar
    12/5/99 Falcons Club Meeting At the shop. The last meeting of the 1900's!

    12/11/99 1:00 PM Stuffed Sandwich Holiday Beer Tasting, San Gabriel. Sign up at the December meeting.

    12/12/99 Shop Brew Contact Kevin Baranowski (kavba@earthlink.net) for details.

    1/9/00 1:00 PM Club Meeting at BJ's Pizza, Grill & Brewer, 6424 Canoga Ave, Woodland Hills. $15 per person includes pizza and beer taster. Reserve your ticket by mailing a check (Payable to Maltose Falcons) to Leo Barendse, 25010 Plaza Larios, Valencia 913555 OR Pay for it at the Dec 5 meeting at the shop.

    Sundays, Keg Night at Lucky Baldwins 17 South Raymond Ave. Pasadena. First pint is $4.50, keep the glass, refills are $2.50 until the keg runs dry, for more information call (626) 795-0652.

    First Tuesday, BJ's Beer Appreciation, Brea Every month. From 7:30-9:30 PM. $10, includes 10-11 tasters. Call (714) 990-2095 for reservations and directions.

    First Saturday, BJ's Brewery Tour, Brea Every month. Includes tasters, pizza, and souvenir glass for $14. Call (714) 990-2095 for reservations and directions.

    First Wednesday, BJ's Beer Appreciation, Woodland Hills Hosted by Alex Puchner and David Mathis, time 7:30-9:00 PM. Admission: $14 per person includes all beer samples, handouts and a raffle ticket. The schedule for the next few months is as follows : 11/3 Local Microbrewers Night, 12/1 Domestic Winter Warmers.

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Want to make your own beer at home? Get started on the right foot. Check out the Falcon's sponsoring shop, The Home Beer, Wine, Cheesemaking Shop. John Daume, proprietor, has been serving the home brewing and winemaking needs of Angelenos since 1972, over 30 years! (Falcon Members receive a 10% discount on supplies)
Looking for older Falcons' information?, The Westval Maltose Falcons Webpage (Locally cached) (The Original Falcon's Roost, prior to 1999)
Looking for a home wine making club in the Los Angeles area? Check out our sister club, The Cellarmasters, over 30 and still stomping grapes.