Congrats to Jim & Jason on 2nd place Best of Show for J & J Russian Imperial Stout

J&J Russian Imperial Stout, the first beer we tasted at the March Sudzers meeting, took 1st place among imperial stouts, and 2nd place in the Best of Show round out of 159 total entries in the Bridging the Gap competition sponsored by Greenbelt Brewers Association.

Cheers, gentlemen!

Sudzers participating in 2013 AHA Big Brew on May 4

MoreBeer in Los Altos and the Silicon Valley Sudzers will host a brewing demonstration on May 4, 2013, as part of the 16th Annual AHA Big Brew celebration of National Homebrew Day.

Organized by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), AHA Big Brew celebrates National Homebrew Day, honored on the first Saturday of May each year. AHA Big Brew brings together thousands of homebrewers from around the world, all brewing the same beers simultaneously. More than 5,000 homebrewers from North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and Australia are expected to participate this year.  

On May 4, friends and family gather to brew – the AHA provides three AHA Big Brew recipes, but the Sudzers will be brewing a clone of the world-renowned Pliny the Younger triple IPA. At noon Central time, homebrewers raise their glasses of homebrewed ales and lagers for a simultaneous toast to homebrewing, a hobby that hundreds of thousands of people around the world enjoy.

“AHA Big Brew isn’t just about beer—it’s about companionship, friendship and the shared love of flavorful beer. This is a special day for those homebrewers who have been crafting their brews for those whose company they enjoy and cherish,” said Gary Glass, AHA Director.

Special guest announced for June 7 Sudzers meeting – Marin Kasper from Shmaltz Brewing

We are delighted to announce that Marin Kasper, Western Regional Sales Manager for Shmaltz Brewing, will be a guest speaker for the June 7 Sudzers meeting. We do not know as of yet which Shmaltz brews she will be sharing with us, but stay tuned for updates as the meeting date gets closer.

Established in San Francisco in 1996 with the first batch of 100 cases of HE’BREW Beer® bottled, labeled, and delivered by hand, Shmaltz has sold more than ten million bottles of beer to date. Along with their acclaimed line of HE’BREW Beers®, Shmaltz introduced its new line of sideshow-inspired Coney Island Craft Lagers®.

From the outstanding Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA (98 on to their newest release, the Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel brewed with dates and figs, Shmaltz Brewing Company is dedicated to crafting delicious beer and delicious shtick… L’Chaim!


Homebrewing workshop at Gilroy Library, April 9, 7:00 pm

The third in a series of homebrewing workshops at local libraries will be presented by Derek Wolfgram of Sudzers and Andy Carroll of The Headquarters homebrew club at 7:00 pm on April 7 at the Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth Street in Gilroy. For the kids, there will be a soda-making program presented simultaneously by children’s librarians from Gilroy Library.

A download of the powerpoint presentation from the workshop is available: Backyard Brewing

April 5 Sudzers meeting notes

President Tyler shared the details of the upcoming April 14 BBQ Beer Competition event at SlowHand BBQ, featuring six Sudzers-brewed beers using malts smoked with BBQ meats. The day should be great for BBQ and beer lovers alike. Details are available on the event’s Facebook page.

Rather than hosting a spring brew day at someone’s house, we have decided to brew on the “death star” brew system at MoreBeer in Los Altos on Saturday, May 4 as an official event of the American Homebrewers Association “Big Brew” Day. Jim agreed to be the lead brewer for this event, and is considering a Pliny the Younger clone recipe as the beer to be brewed.

The Sudzers will also brew at MoreBeer during the ever-popular summer sale on Saturday, July 13. Nathan will take charge of this brew day.

Finally, the Sudzers will plan on doing a brewing demonstration on Saturday, August 3 during the first annual Silicon Valley Beer Week from July 28 – August 3, 2013, which will feature beer events throughout the South Bay.  Depending on how the organizers decide to structure events during the week, we may brew at MoreBeer or we may have the opportunity to have a demonstration booth at the KraftBrew fest in downtown San Jose. Details to come. Derek volunteered to head up this event.

The group decided to visit Steins Beer Garden in Mountain View for the April 18 Thirsty Third Thursday meetup.

Vern gave a very comprehensive presentation on sanitation, sharing some of his homemade tools and adapted musical instrument cleaning gear, as well as highlighting some pieces of brewery equipment that brewers sometimes forget to be attentive to. His presentation is available here.

Fourteen homebrews were shared by group members, including first-time attendee John who brought it big time with four beers!

The lineup:

Chris’s Angry Leprechaun Irish Red (one of the brews for the BBQ Beer Competition)

Joe’s J&J Cider

Austin’s HeyCat pale ale with HBC 342 hops

Vern’s IPAWD amber ale

John’s Calamity Jane Hefeweizen with lavender

John’s Pugilist Irish Red

Jim & Jason’s clone of Janet’s Brown Ale

John’s Dustbowl Oaked Stout

John’s Pony Express Coffee Oatmeal Stout

Doug H’s Whiskey Donut Stout with maple syrup

Anna & Fuad’s Double Date Belgian Dubbel, brewed with dates in place of candi sugar

Tyler’s experimental C2 stout with Cocoa nibs & coffee

Tyler’s experimental C2V stout with Cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and vanilla

Tyler’s Pliny the Onion Double IPA



Next Sudzers meeting is Friday, April 5

Hello Sudzers!  Just a quick reminder that our next meeting is this Friday, April 5 at 7pm at Nick’s house.  Need the address or directions?  Email

Agenda for this month’s meeting includes:

7:00 Social Time

7:15 Club Business

7:30 Homebrew evaluations

Reminder: Bring your recipe – club members will have lots of questions!

Sign your beer in on the whiteboard along with your name and statistics (IBU, ABV, etc. – optional, but helpful in determining tasting order)

After homebrew evaluations: more social time/informal commercial brew sharing

Always welcome: homebrews from any style to share.  Don’t have any homebrew on hand right now? Feel free to bring other interesting brews you’ve picked up. Don’t have a beer to bring? Please bring some snacks to share.

See you Friday! Next upcoming club meeting – Friday, May 3

Slow Hand / Sudzers BBQ Beer Competition, Sunday, April 14

Slow Hand BBQ and Silicon Valley Sudzers present:

The Slow Hand BBQ Beer Competition!

$35 admission includes BBQ meats & sides and the opportunity to judge six beers brewed with BBQ smoked malts:

  • Abbey Wit’ Smoke Witbier (w/chicken/bacon smoked malt)
  • Angry Leprechaun Irish Red Ale (w/ brisket smoked malt)
  • Lunch Meat Altbier (w/ rib smoked malt)
  • McSwinerson’s Scotch Ale (w/ rib smoked malt)
  • Smoke & Mirrors Porter (w/ brisket smoked malt)
  • Smokin’ Wheat American Wheat (w/ chicken/bacon smoked malt)

When: Sunday, April 14, 1 – 4 pm

Where: Slow Hand BBQ, 1941 Oak Park Blvd, Pleasant Hill



Pete Slosberg, best known for Pete’s Wicked Ale and Mavericks: Not Yet World Famous Session beers, joined a crew of homebrewers and pitmaster Dan Frengs on New Years Day to smoke malted barley along with various BBQ meats. Brewers from the Silicon Valley Sudzers homebrew club were invited to participate in a competition to brew beers using the smoked BBQ malt. Each brewer received three pounds of smoked malt per entry. While enjoying delicious BBQ, attendees will have the opportunity to judge which of the beers best pairs with the BBQ and which of the beers is “smokiest.”

Sudzers March meeting notes

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! Here are the notes from the March 1 Sudzers meeting.

Special guest speaker Tom Boheme talked about the San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub that is in the works. Individuals can buy into the co-op for $150 in order to receive member benefits, including a vote in selecting what is brewed, potentially dividends, and of course bragging rights. The plan is to serve a standard set of brews, with rotating seasonals created and brewed by co-op members. Critical mass to launch is 2000 investors, they have just over 100 now. The next board meeting of the co-op is March 23 – visit their meetup page for details. The membership application form and disclosure agreement are available for download for anyone interested.

Derek talked about the upcoming BBQ smoked beer competition event featuring six Sudzers-brewed beers incorporating BBQ smoked malts. The event will held on a Sunday in April at Slow Hand BBQ in Pleasant Hill (now set for April 14 – mark your calendars!) Stay tuned for more details. We are hopeful that The Brewing Network will be able to join us for the competition.

A gentleman whose name I can’t remember talked about an opportunity for Sudzers to have a brewing demo or other way to promote the club at the Palo Alto Concourse d’Elegance classic car show on June 30. If anyone is interested in doing so, let Derek know.

Steve Casselman and Keith McKay presented a session on how to use the categories of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) scoresheet to evaluate beers. As a follow up, we did a guided discussion on three of the evening’s beers, reviewing the Aroma, Appearance, Flavor, Mouthfeel, and Overall Impression of each.

The March Thirsty Third Thursday meetup will be held at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose on March 21. For the April 18 meetup, we’ll go to Harry’s Hofbrau Redwood City. Next club meeting will be 7 pm April 5 at Nick’s house.

The homebrews from the March meeting included:

Jim & Jay’s Russian Imperial Stout
Jim & Jay’s Hopollo 13 Imperial IPA featuring 13 different hops
Steve’s split batch Imperial Stout, with one batch including habanero & cocoa nibs
Charles’ Blind Pig clone
Derek’s Ryewine brewed with 50% rye, Wyeast Thames Valley yeast, and single-hopped with Belma
Dan’s Wheatwine rewed with 50% wheat, Wyeast Thames Valley yeast, and single-hopped with Belma
Raghu’s Blue Cornwine rewed with 50% corn, Wyeast Thames Valley yeast, and single-hopped with Belma
Dan’s Baltic Porter
Elan’s Jamaica Braggot
Jeff’s Milk Stout
Rob’s India Cream Ale
Rob’s Rye Malt Liquor
Kathy’s Mmm Bruges Belgian IPA

Los Altos Town Crier – Pass a St. Paddy’s pint: Locally brewed alternatives offer take on Irish tradition

Sudzers co-Chief Communications Officer Derek Wolfgram contributed four reviews of locally brewed porters and stouts to the Los Altos Town Crier’s monthly Food & Wine section. Read more:

Pass a St. Paddy’s pint: Locally brewed alternatives offer take on Irish tradition

Anchor Porter