Athens Homebrew Community
Before I get into the local scene, I just want to mention the global scene. Though not entirely homebrew related, it is beer related. Every year there is a Beer Blogger’s Conference. This year being held in Indianapolis makes it closer to home, but in our current situation, I still don’t see me attending. The reason I mention this is because I was recently added to the long list of ‘citizen’ blogs. I’ve scanned through some of this, mainly the WordPress ones, and found sadly that some are dead or rarely updated.
As for the local scene a few of us made a visit to the Athens Homebrewers Club meeting last night. Held the 3rd Tuesday of each month, ALEZ (Athens League of Extraordinary Zymurgists) meets at the Unitarian Church on Timothy Road. The small group of around 20 – 25 people in attendance last night voted on the committee for this year. Then people began to pass around bottles of their latest brews for others sampling pleasure. It seamed that at least half of those there keg there beer, as most were poured from flip top 32oz growlers. I had a couple of samples that seemed nice, but it was hard to put a taste to a style as none were labeled. I did appreciate those that brought there’s around personally and talked about there beers. I almost feel bad that Denver, Brian and myself were in such tight conversation for most of the meeting. It kept us from talking to the others. The club hopes to have presentations at each meeting on various subjects. I heard volunteers throw out upcoming topics such as a beer style and another being brewing salts and water PH. They also have club only competitions from time to time. The next will be judged in April and the only requirement is an original gravity of 1.050 or less. That sounds easy until you realize that there are some veteran brewers here that know a lot. So to brew something with that low of an OG and have huge flavor will be a challenge. One that I’ve already tackled by piecing together a new small 3 gallon batch recipe in intervals today.
One of the biggest advantages this group has, is that one of the members is the owner of the local homebrew shop, Blockader. Evan Smith is an active member and after last night, may even be on the committee. Evan’s point of why he should be on the committee was as easy as, “I own the local homebrew shop many of you visit.” I think that pretty much sold it. Blockader is seeing some nice changes of late. He’s recently upgraded his grain mill to a large wooden feeder tray. Blockader has a new website and can be followed on twitter, @Blockader.
While ALEZ may not be as large as some other clubs, it seems to fit the size and feel of Athens just right. They ranked 5th I believe in last years Peach State Brew Off and sounds as though they will have even more entries this year. While I’m not a paying member of the club, yet. I may just associated my entries with the club. There are no negatives for me at all, and only positives for both if I do happen to place. Good luck to all who have entered. For those that haven’t, sorry, it’s already full.
So here’s to the community and passion to brew good beer here in Athens. Cheers!