This is where current events and messages will go.  We will of course also send out email to the group and post on CT Beer Trail anything that is of mass interest.

August 2016 Meeting Recap

posted Sep 23, 2016, 8:34 AM by Chris Eisbach

Middlesex Malters

August 2016 Meeting Recap

I didn’t make it to the August meeting, but Paul was gracious enough to give me some notes and pics.  Thanks, Paul!  

Brian H was nice enough to host the August meeting and the style of the month was… IPA.  




Looks like it was a good turnout despite being pretty far away from our typical venues.

The style of the month was IPA and it looks like there were a good number of homebrewed versions.  Forgive me if I get any of this wrong as I’m mostly going by Paul M’s drunk notes.

Looks like Jonathan brought his Traci’s Summer ale.

Brian A served his Matrimony DIPA, which I thought he wouldn’t have any of left.

Mike brough a ton: an IPA, a smoked beer??, a Russian Imperial Stout, and a sour.

Steve G had his “I need a name for it” IPA and his Black Eye-PA(get it??).  I’m liking those names, Steve.

Chris E shared his Jasmine IPA and his “Kolsch-tastic” beer, which I assume is a more properly aged version of his 3-day Kolsch from last month.  I also see a scribbled note about a “lite” version of this beer.

Paul M brought his Ron Mexico IPA and a French saison.  I’m personally hoping he brings the Ron Mexico IPA if there’s any left after Labor Day to the next meeting as I really wanted to try it.

September Meeting

Our September meeting will be at Paul M’s house in Meriden.  The address is 62 White St, Meriden, CT.   Knowing Paul’s house, this will be in the backyard, so go around the left side of the house and look for the crowd and the meat smoker.  I’m really resisting making a joke there.  There will probably be a fire too, like this one last Sept:


I plan on drinking and intend to use Uber, which works well in Meriden.  If you want to get a free ride up to $15 if you are a new user, use my promo code,  

The style for September is sour with the alternative sugar Belgian Blonde ale experiment being the quarterly experiment.  This is going to be a good one.

October Meeting

The October meeting will feature a timely style: pumpkin/gourd/squash. I’m a little torn on this one as I’m already pumpkin’d-out after some Pumking and Rosemary’s Baby last week(I didn’t buy that one!)  We are still looking for a location, so if you know of one, please let one of us know.

November Meeting

The November meeting will be a good one with the style being cider and will be held at New England Cider in Wallingford.  I just had their fresh blend and wild ciders today and they were delicious.

Also, our November meeting quarterly experiment is wild harvest yeast.  Now is the time to try to harvest some wild yeast from your backyard.  Check out Bootleg Biology.  It’d be great to get some local zip codes into their bank.  You don’t need anything too fancy… just a mason jar of wort with some cheesecloth over the top.  See if it gets you something that’s not mold and brew a 1gal batch on your stovetop.

December Meeting

The December meeting’s style will be barleywine.  These usually take a while to ferment, so get cracking.  I have a holiday barleywine I brewed in 2014 that may last until then.

Other stuff

Club Insurance

The club was faced with a deadline on renewing our club insurance through the AHA/West Insurance program before September 1st.  I provided a roster to the insurance carrier of approximately 23 people and paid the premium on Aug 31st.  That works out to about $3.50/person.  I would ask if you attend, that you throw me a few bucks to cover the club.  If by chance there is anything over what I paid, I will put it towards beer for the club to enjoy.  If anyone would like a copy of our certificate of insurance(COI), I can provide - just let me know.

Hop & Brew School

I recently went to the YCHhops(Yakima Chief Hop Union) Hop & Brew School in Yakima, WA, where 70% of the hops in the U.S. are grown.  There were some great presentations and even better hands on tours.  If you have the chance, I highly recommend attending as not only was it really cool, but I met a ton of great people including a homebrew club in Calgary and a pro-brewer to be from Chile.  I have a bale core of some Cascade I brought back that was literally picked the day I got it - I’ll be bringing the bale core to the September meeting to demonstrate how hop selection is done.  Feel free to ask me more about it.


Homegrown Hops

I hope all of you home hop growers out there have harvested.  I missed my window as I was in Yakima, WA and Montana for vacation.  Mine have started to wilt a bit and are beginning to get that onion/garlic smell.  I still have some 2015 left so I’ll be bringing some to the September meeting to check out though.  The CTZ I planted at my mother’s house went crazy this year and those ones don’t seem ripe yet, but I’ll try to bring some of those to check out too.

The Rest Of The Year

If you are ever wondering what’s coming up for the rest of the year, you can always check the club homepage at

As always, relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew

July 2016 Meeting Recap

posted Sep 23, 2016, 8:33 AM by Chris Eisbach

Middlesex Malters

July 2016 Meeting Recap

Better late than never - sorry for the tardiness of the July meeting recap.  The Middlesex Malters July meeting was graciously held at member Bill’s home in Meriden.  Bill and Jim, in a sheer stroke of genius, decided they would combine a night brewing session along with the July meeting.  Unfortunately, the attention required of a brew somewhat took away from Bill and Jim’s enjoyment of the meeting.


We had a fairly good turnout for a July meeting with Paul, Steve, Chris, Dave, Bill, Jim, Bryan, Joe, John, Brian, Jesse and Ryan’s guest Anna.  

Our July style of the month was… Kolsch.  We had few homebrewed kolsch beers with Chris’ super-quick 3 day(yes, you read that right, 3 day Kolsch) being amazing for only 3 days.  Perhaps he’ll bring a lagered version for our August meeting.  Jesse brought a hopped up Kolsch or perhaps it was an IPA fermented with Kolsch yeast.  Jim shared a Goose summer kolsch.  John brought a wheat beer that had a bit of a solvent-y character and it spurred some quick cell-phone research and excellent debate on what may be the cause of that.  

We were anarchists and abandoned any and all procedure to just enjoy our beers and each other’s company.  

Brian shared a super interesting Funky Buddha Lemon Meringue beer, which surprisingly tasted just like lemon meringue.  

Paul busted out his homebrew carbomb stout with Jameson and vanilla.

Marty did bring his homebrew Kiss My Nuts porter, a recreation of Jamil Z’s chocolate hazelnut porter.

Ryan brought his homebrew…. Wait for it…. Vienna Lager.

Brian shared the remainder of his homebrew MASH IPA experiment beer made with Target hops.  I didn’t know they had hops at Target these days. ;)

The new guy Steve brought his homebrew IPA, which I believe was his first or second homebrew.  Nice start, Steve.

Chris E. brought a growler of Firefly Hollow’s Luciferin IPA.

Brian A shared some Building 8 The IPA

Jesse shared Abandoned Building The Other End Imperial IPA

Jesse shared some Founders reDANKulous.

Joe also had some Abandoned Building Brewery’s Odin Quadruple.

Chris E brought the tried and true Boon Geuze Mariage Parfait.

Joe brought some Shmaltz He'Brew R.I.P.A. On Rye.

John brought his other wheat ale homebrew.

Bill P. pulled some Hop Stimulator by Funky Buddha out of his stash acquired on his recent Florida trip.  We should have had a Funky Buddha organized theme, but it was all coincidental.

Jesse shared his Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter.

Brian A shared some Prairie Artisan Ales’  Prairie & Friends Trve Edition.

Bill also picked up some Cigar City Jai Alai in Florida he shared.

And lastly, Brian A busted out some Garden of Grass by Brewmaster Jack.

I’m sure there were more, but that was plenty to have documented.

Processed with MOLDIV

August Meeting

Brian H has graciously volunteered his home for our August 26th meeting.  The address is 123 Country View Dr, South Windsor, CT.  Thanks, Brian!  Hopefully Bill and Jim’s beer is done and tasting great.

September Meeting

The September meeting style is sour beer, which is always a favorite.  Hope you have something fermenting.

Other stuff

The Rest Of The Year

If you are ever wondering what’s coming up for the rest of the year, you can always check the club homepage at

Eli’s Beerfest

At the Eli Cannon’s beerfest on Aug 1st, in addition to all the great commercial brews from CT and around the nation, there was also a homebrew competition in which both Ryan C and Jesse P participated.  Neither won the competition, but had some good brews on tap.  Also participating at the brewfest was a new CT brewery with close ties to our club opening up in Berlin within the next year named Concentric Brewing.  Be sure to check them out.

Oh, and I can finally feel my knee after the drunk digger walking out the back door of Bill’s house.  

As always, relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew

June 2016 meeting recap

posted Sep 23, 2016, 8:32 AM by Chris Eisbach

Middlesex Malters

June 2016 Meeting Recap

June’s meeting of the Middlesex Malters was a good one.  The meeting was at Mac650 on Main St in Middletown.  Thanks to Bill for making sure all went well.  Our hosts gave us the key and said to lock up when we were done.  Attendance was light with about 10 members + a few extra friends at the end(my wife/ride home.)  Once most members were there, we learned from the past meeting and decided to lock the door - much easier to not let stragglers in than kick them out.




Hurry up and pass the beer, Paul


Cayer showed up & Jim rocking out

Our June style of the month was… Cream Ale.  We had 1 homebrewed cream ale from Tim, which was his non-hoppy version.  There might be another version that’s hoppy out in the wild called Global Warming and I might have have ½ growler of it left in my fridge[edit-nope, not any more.]

Since we had no more homebrewed cream ales, we moved onto the our quarterly experiment.  This quarter’s experiment was the same grain bill using Brian A’s recipe, but a single different hop for each one.

  • Bill - Mosaic:  Bill used what’s been called the “slutty hop”, Mosaic.  It really is a great hop and Bill’s smelled very nice.

  • Tim - Azzaca: Tim’s hop of choice was Azzaca and it was yet another nice beer.  

  • Jesse - Australian Ella: I used a hop that Foundation uses for their Epiphany IPA.  

  • Paul - Cascade: For me the surprise of the experiment.  Cascade is relatively cheap, easily available, and been around for ever, so it tends to not be viewed as new or modern, but Paul’s Cascade IPA was very good with a nice, light spice to it.

  • Brian A - Equinox: Brian’s beers are always excellent and this was no exception.

The surprise for me with all of these was I expected way more aroma from all of them except Cascade.  The other big surprise we realized when we were going through the entries was that no one picked what is arguably the hottest hop out there right now, Citra.  

Speaking of Citra, we then opened up Jim’s excellent, excellent homebrewed Citra/Mosaic IPA.  My personal favorite beer of the evening.  Awesome job, Jim.  And since we’re talking about Jim, we should note he did a stellar job of providing the group with some musical entertainment.  He was in the zone.


Jim rockin out

We then sampled Al’s delicious ginger apple cider, which did seem like a nice mix of ginger ale and cider.  I(Jesse) shared the crazy milk wine I made after trying Ron’s a few months ago.  Jim then served his oaked porter.  Bill pulled out his Wyeast 3203 De Bom apricot sour he’s been aging for about a year now.  I sampled this last year and would say the De Bom yeast did most of the work within the first 30 days.  

We then moved onto sample commercial beers.

  • Processed with MOLDIVAl shared Heavy Seas IPA

  • I(Jesse) busted out some Carton SS Cream Ale, which I forgot I brought our would have had with the other cream ales.

  • Chris K shared his Noda Hop Cakes

  • Chris E shared some Jester King Le Petit Prince

  • Chris E also shared some Saint Somewhere Lectio Devina

  • Jesse shared some Kane Brewing Head High IPA

  • Ryan C shared his Lost Nation Gose

  • Brian shared some Idle Hands Triplication

  • Jesse shared a few cans of Heady Topper

  • Chris K shared some Rock Art Limited Access

All in all, we had a great time.  There are rumors that the party continued afterwards at Krust and Eli’s.  I hear through the grapevine that Ryan C at 3 pizza’s himself at Krust.

July Meeting

The July meeting will be a great one.  It will be held at 159 Oak St, Meriden on July 22nd.  Our style of the month will be a great summer beer with Kolsch.  If you haven’t started, there’s still time to brew one this weekend as a Kosch will ferment out quickly, it’s just the lagering to clear it that takes time.  

August Meeting

Brian H has graciously volunteered his home for our August meeting.  We are still finalizing details and will have an update next month.

September Meeting

The September meeting style is sour beer, which is always a favorite.  If you are still thinking of making something for it, there is a bit of time if you try something like De Bom(mentioned above) or kettle souring.  

Other stuff

The Rest Of The Year

If you are ever wondering what’s coming up for the rest of the year, you can always check the club homepage at

2016 National Homebrewers Conference

Tim, Al & I had a fantastic time at 2016 National Homebrewers Conference/HomebrewCon in Baltimore.  We all met up with various beer celebrities.  I met Justin, Beevo, & Mike “Tasty” McDole from The Brewing Network again.  Met John Blichmann, Denny Conn, Drew Beechum, Michael Tonsmire, Annie Johnson, James Spencer, and John Palmer.  The seminars were very good.  If you are a Homebrewers Association member, you can download/listen to them all here under the 2016 header.  I highly recommend the Mashall Schott and Malcolm Frazer seminar.

Next year’s conference will be held in Minneapolis in June.

BYO Bootcamp in Burlington, VT

My wife & I love taking long weekend trips to Vermont, but this year I found something special.  BYO magazine is holding day-long seminars with noted beer “celebrities” in the beginning of November.  I’ve signed up for “Advanced Hopping Techniques” by Sean Lawson.  There are still some incredible seminars open with speakers like Michael Tonsmire and Chris White.  If you’ve never been to Burlington or even Vermont, think about giving it a shot.  Burlington is about a 4 hour drive from Central Connecticut. And the Alchemist Brewery opened up last weekend, so you can actually get some Heady Topper on the way to Burlington.

As always, relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew

November Recap

posted Dec 7, 2014, 5:25 AM by Brian Aida

Due to extenuating circumstances, there are no notes from the November meeting.  All we know is that we had 23 attendees with 5 newcomers and a whole lot of homebrew. With the Thanksgiving holiday still fresh in our minds, we must give special thanks to Neal for hosting our group as well as to all who came out early for dinner to support the New England Emporium.

The December holiday meeting is confirmed for Friday, the 19th in Cheshire, look for the email invite.  December’s style: Winter Warmer

Quarterly Experiment: Bee Cave Brewery Robust Porter Base Malt Experiment

Yankee Swap: Please bring a gift of about $10 if you would like to participate.

Bottle Share: Please bring 6 beers (doesn’t have to be a 6-pack) of commercial or homebrew if you would like to participate, these will be put on a table together.  We will go in reverse order of the yankee swap numbers choosing 1 beer from the table until everyone has a unique 6-pack to take home.

Brew on!

October Recap

posted Nov 24, 2014, 5:07 AM by Brian Aida

It was already the best meeting ever and we didn't even sample any homebrew! This is thanks to Paul's s kick-ass smoker and the delicious rum ham, ribs and bacon-wrapped chickens stuffed with jalapeño peppers that Ryan and Steve tended to all day long. It even attracted 2 new members!  Can’t deny some initial apprehension having a meeting ‘outside’ on a late October night on a day that featured wind and rain a good part of the day.  It had stopped raining and the wind died down...somehow it turned out fun...go figure!

Chris started off Tripel night with a young, homebrewed tripel.  Being the only one to brew this month’s style, there was still no shortage of tripels.  Tim brought  Beer’d imperial trouble belgian tripel, Chris also brought a St. Bernardus tripel, an Adelbert’s Tripel B and a Smuttynose tripel, Sean brought a River horse tripel and a Val-Du Triple from Brasserie de l’Abbaye du Val-Dieu, Joe shared a Relic Belgian Tripel and Jesse shared a Port Jeff Brewing Company Tripel H and a Boulevard Long Strange Tripel

Of course we had a variety of other homebrews to sample as well.  John shared his Caribou Slobber, Chris brought his Harvest Brown made with what is believed to be Cascade wet hops and Marty’s Oktoberfest.  Colin brought a pale ale.  Dave and Brian brought the Belgian wit pale ale yeast experiment and another IPA.  Steve brought Eric Morse’s lower corner IPA. Tim only brought an amber. Bill brought an IPA, Jesse brought a 15 minute American pale ale.  

The November meeting is confirmed for Friday, the 21st in Middletown, look for the email invite.  November’s style: Dopplebock

Brew on!

September Recap

posted Oct 28, 2014, 2:53 PM by Brian Aida   [ updated Oct 28, 2014, 2:55 PM ]

All was quiet at the speakeasy...until about 7 o’clock when it filled with enthusiastic homebrewers who could hardly wait to sample the oktoberfest and tea-inspired beers to be featured that night.  With 18 in attendance, including 5 newcomers, Wayne and Matt were the only one’s to bring a homebrewed oktoberfest, Wayne’s being a blended oktoberfest and Matt’s was an imperial oktoberfest.  There was no shortage of oktoberfest’s however as we shared a few of the classic examples as listed in the BJCP including Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen, BBC and Sam Adams Octoberfest beers.

The tea experiment followed the brief oktoberfest sampling with quite a diverse array of beers.  Dave and Brian made a brett-fermented saison with matcha green tea, Chris used jasmine in an IPA, Ryan also went with green tea but made a braggot, Matt brought back his black tea and blueberry beer and Jesse went all-out in true experiment fashion by bringing a control beer with 5 variations of using a blend of teas (you’ll have to ask him how he did it, but we voted #3 as the best).

Aside from oktoberfest and tea beers, there was a fantastic array of commercial and homebrewed beers to sample.  Newcomer Wes brought a Munich IPA, Dave and Brian brought a smores beer (stout), Jeff and Brian shared a Saison aged on blackberries, Sean had a German hefeweizen, Bob brought “Ale”, Bill had an IPA and who could forget Tim’s Awesomesauce 2.0 and Ectoplasm .  On the commercial side, Chris brought 2 bottles of beer that we couldn’t pronounce or spell even while looking at the bottle, Paul brought a Gandhi-bot and our gracious host Ryan generously shared his 4 homebrews, a cider, a “Bovarian” pale ale, a pale with San Diego yeast and a pale ale with S-05.  Lastly, we cannot forget to Thank Ryan (and his wife Meredith) for snacks to help get us thru the night.

The October meeting is confirmed for Friday, the 24th in Meriden at a member’s home (there will be rum ham), look for the email invite.  October’s style: Belgian Tripel.

Brew on!

August Recap

posted Sep 13, 2014, 4:09 PM by Brian Aida

It was the season for Saisons, and clearly the Middlesex Malters were excited. We had 11 attendees this time including yet another new member (Welcome Jesse) and a fantastic showing of saisons, both commercial and homebrewed. Thank you Bill (and Becca) for hosting again and providing the life-saving snacks and homemade pickles. If anyone can fix Bill’s window, he’ll gladly pay you in beer (I think).

Wayne kicked off the saison meeting with 3 of his homebrews each with a slight variation, they were all quite good. Dave and Brian shared their Act Natural Saison as well as Kentucky’s second iteration of Dead Guy in the Attic Saison, and Jeff and Brian brought their Saison Blanc. On the commercial side, Jesse was kind to share his Hill Farmstead Arthur as well as Jack D’Or from Pretty Things, Brian and Dave brought Saison Various from Harpoons 100 Barrel Series, Chris E. brought a Saison Dupont and an Allagash Hennepin and Jeff and Brian brought Le Merle from North Coast Brewing.

Following the marathon of saisons, we were ready to move on. Jesse had a very nice Equinox IPA and Chris had 2 versions of his IPA, one carbed in the keg and the other in a growler, Paul had his cider and a stout?, Brian and Dave brought their award-winning Tribute to Silenus IPA, Chris shared a Jack’s Abbey Jabby Brau and Bob (“Mr I can’t take all these Saisons, can we open some IPAs?”) shared a Captain Lawrence IPA. These paired very well will Bill’s homemade pickles and we had the rare opportunity to be entertained by Christie (Bill’s co-worker...we’ll leave it at that), but 2:30am rolls around pretty quickly, marking the end of the August meeting.

The September meeting is confirmed for Friday, September 26th in Middletown  at the Speakeasy, look for the email invite.  September’s style: Oktoberfest and the Tea experiment.

Brew on!

July Recap

posted Aug 30, 2014, 6:32 AM by Brian Aida

Who said our meetings have to start at 7 and end at 9? ...or even that we have to have a meeting at all?...probably the wives of the club who wear the pants and make sure Marty and Ryan are pampered at home while the rest of us continue our dedication to great homebrew...some have to do it I guess.  We cleaned this up a lot!...your ears must have been burning guys. :-)  All seriousness aside, the notes got a little bit sloppy for some strange reason, but we tried to gather the events of the July (August 1st) meeting.  Brian & Dave hosted and made pulled pork for sandwiches to help get through the large amount of various beers.

As expected, there was an excellent showing of both homebrewed and commercial IPA’s.  Wayne was eager to share his delicious IPA hopped with Centennial and Simcoe, Dave and Brian shared their Independence Day IPA as well as a clone of Cigar City’s Humidor IPA, , Chris brought an IPA with Columbus, Cascade and Centennial, dry hopped with Cascade and Centennial, Jim brought a Citra IPA as well as the same IPA dry hopped with Motueka, Matt shared an interesting Quinoa and Yam IPA, and Mike brought a DIPA with Cascade hops.  On the commercial side there was Vegemite Sandwich from Beer’d brewing company, a Mango IPA from Breaker Brewing Company, Hercules DIPA from Great Divide, Toxic sludge from Blue Point, and Summer Ale from Back East.  Needless to say our palates were shot at this point...of course that doesn’t stop us from trying to taste.

    13 malters (including one more new face joining in... Welcome Kevin) made the journey to Middletown for this meeting and shared quite a variety of other beers including a Bier de garde Anosteke from Wayne, A Pilsner and a Saison from Bill, a coffee porter from Jim, a Swedish imperial stout, and a Hoften Dormaal amber belgian ale from Thad, an Apple pie and a sour mash beer from Matt and Jeff brought a New Holland White Hatter Belgian white pale ale.

June Recap

posted Jul 22, 2014, 4:55 PM by Brian Aida

We had another great turnout for our June meeting hosted by Marty.  We also got a look at his newly up and running electric brew system...very cool!  Thanks again to Marty and his lovely wife for the delicious palate-cleansing snacks.

The meeting kicked off with the Pale Ale yeast experiment tasting.  We had 9 variations of Josh’s award-winning pale ale recipe with a different yeast for each: Thames Valley, Belgian Wit, Pacman (2 variations), American Ale Yeast 2, Nottingham, S-05, San Diego Super Yeast, and Kolsch, which really drove home the importance of yeast selection.  

We had 14 malters in attendance including another new face (Matt aka “think outside the box Matt”) that joined us in sharing homebrews including Marty’s 2 German Pilsners with ale and lager yeasts, 2 ciders, Josh’s IPA  and a coffee porter/stout, Matt’s Black Tea dry-hopped with Blueberries, a 3-bean beer, and Dave and Brian’s IPA.  A few commercial beers were also shared including Broad Brook’s Pink Dragon Wit and an Italian beer called Raphael.

July’s meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 1st, watch for the email invite soon.  July’s style: IPA.  

Brew on!

May Recap

posted Jun 24, 2014, 4:01 AM by David Peichert

Once again, huge thanks go to Neal and the New England Emporium staff for accommodating and contributing to our group. The meeting kicked off with the Maibock tasting including homebrewed Maibock’s from Chris, Brian and Dave, Bill and Ryan, and Wayne as well as several commercial examples including a Hellerbock, BBC Maibock lager and Two Roads Maibock

    It was another great turnout with about 16 malters and another new face joined us in sharing homebrews including a Kolsch, Pale Ale, Berlinerweisse, Ginger wheat ale, Pineapple wheat ale, Smoked Bacon red ale and a Chocolate Milk Stout.  This is the 3rd month in a row a female was in attendance, of course, they have been a member’s girlfriend and some do in fact brew.  It’s awesome that they put up with us, although, not one has ever returned...yet!

    The first session of the off-flavor workshop at Firefly Hollow took place on June 11th and was quite an interesting learning experience.  Thanks to Dana for sharing his knowledge and expertise for each of the 8 flavors we sampled and hosting us.

    June’s meeting is scheduled for Friday the 27th in Cheshire, watch for the email invite soon.  June’s style: Pale Ale (Yeast experiment).  This should be interesting as we should have about 9 different yeasts represented in our club experiment!

    Brew on!

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