Looking Back 2012
Another busy, varied, and successful year for the MCB. In no particular order I am starting with a major review of the membership. The old list was rather out-of-date and the revised list is focused on “active members”. A fair number of new members joined in 2012 and as at the end of February 2013, we totalled 69.
A new development this year was the provision of workshops. Two were held, with the second being a repeat of the first. The topic was yeast saving and propagation and were held in the home of Allan and Sandra. The tutors were Peter F and Alan Q. Both sessions were fully booked and there was much complimentary feedback. A huge thanks to the tutors for making the sessions both scholarly and accessible and to Allan and Sandra for their excellent hospitality. All the monies collected for the fine lunches they provided were generously donated to their local hospice. Notes are on our website
There were two socials; a Summer Social in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and a Christmas Social in Sheffield. This is the first year that we have had two socials and both were well supported. An account of both these socials is to be found on our web site.
We had a brewery visit to the Sarah Hughes Brewery in Sedgley and what a fascinating event this was. Simon, the brewer, made us very welcome and during a conducted tour explained how the modernised, but still recognisably, Victorian tower brewery worked. There were a number of interesting and basic techniques in use and showed that a high-tech brewery is not necessary to produce top quality beer. All three beers from the brewery were in top form. I must thank Phil S for providing the photos of the brewery, A fuller account is on our website.
A bonus for most of us was visiting some other pubs in the area after the tour. The first was the Criterion, not far away in Upper Gornal. This is a two-roomed pub with an excellent selection of beers. Across the road, and a little further down the hill, is the Britannia; a Bathams pub. It has three rooms, the locals are very friendly, and the quality of the Batham’s bitter and mild very high. Our last call was in the Great Western, close to the Wolverhampton railway station. Three rooms, proper fires, good food, excellent beer; a very good end to a fine day out.
Six regular meetings were held, in Loughborough, Nuneaton (for the first time), Derby, Nottingham, Burton-on-Trent, and Leicester, chaired and organised by Alan Q, David S, Peter F, Simon J, Ron A, and Ray C, respectively. Thanks to all those who led the meetings, and came along; more members attended in total this year than any other.
The number of, and participation in, bottle swaps fell off, and these will be reviewed in 2013.
Finally, a number of members entered various competitions during the year with considerable success. Details, from two major events, are provided below.
UK National Homebrew Competition, Bristol 15 September 2012
Best of Show
2nd Steve Syson; Debaser 14C: (Imperial IPA)
Belgian Strong Ales (28 entries)
2nd Steve Syson Tripel Trubbel (Belgian Tripel)
3rd Ron Allison Kiwi Dubbel (Belgian Dubbel)
English Pale Ales (57 entries)
1st Steve Osborne English Pale Ale (Special/Best/Premium Bitter)
2nd Ron Allison Golden Bitter (Standard/Ordinary Bitter)
IPA (58 entries)
1st Steve Syson Debaser (Imperial IPA)
2nd Steve Syson Stoned IPA (American IPA)
3rd Ron Allison Classic Pale Ale (English IPA)
New Zealand Pale Ale (11 entries)
1st Steve Syson Kiwi Pale Ale (New Zealand Pale Ale)
3rd Ron Allison Kiwi Gold (New Zealand Pale Ale)
Light Lager, Pilsner, European Amber Lager, Dark Lager (15 entries)
3rd Steve Syson Goodnight Vienna (Vienna Lager)
HM Steve Syson Schwarze Engel (Schwarzbier)
English Brown Ale (5 entries)
2nd Ian Ross-Bain Three Rivers (Northern English Brown Ale)
London And South East Craft Brewing Competition, Sutton 11.11.12
Best of Show (127 entries)
Allan G 1st George’s Nectar
Steve S 2nd Debaser
IPA & Strong Ales (17 entries)
Steve S 1st Debaser
Stouts (15 entries)
Steve S 2nd Tomahawk
American and other Pale Ales (13 entries)
Allan G 1st George’s Nectar
Steve S 2nd South Pacific IPA
Belgian & French Ale (13 entries)
Steve S 3rd La Fleche Wallone
Amber & Hybrid Beers (6 entries)
Steve S 1st American Gothic
Steve S 2nd Goodnight Vienna
Steve S HM California Dreamin
Finally, it should be remembered that some of our very best brewers seldom, if ever, enter competitions so the strength of the MCB is rather understated in the above results..