Capitol Brewers

capitol_kh_725061Saturday night I went to my first meeting of the Capitol Brewers, and I wish I had had a camera with me. Capitol Brewers is a homebrew club in Salem. So why would I want a camera? Were the people there so attractive that I’d like to take a picture? Well here’s some perspective on why I needed a camera.

For awhile I’d been flirting with the idea of attending a meeting and had finally broke down and got the address from Doug Faynor at Homebrew Heaven. Doug had told me the meetings are potluck style, and people usually bring some beer also, but not to worry since I wasn’t a member and was just checking it out. I thought I’d be cool though and bring my new CPB stout for people to try… See what I did wrong there? I thought I’d be cool…. Anyway I showed up with a sixer and was told the meeting was downstairs and that the beer went around the corner. Well once I got around the corner my jaw dropped.

Capitol Brewers were the ones who put on the Homebrew Classic at the Oregon Gardens Brew Fest. They did the prizes, handled the bottles and storage, did the administrative work for it, and provided several judges for the event. As they were the ones in charge of storing the bottles before the competition they were also in charge of storing the leftover full bottles afterwords. So when I walked around that corner with my measly sixer there were like 7 or 8 good size coolers full to the tops with beer. So much for bringing beer for people to try eh? Not only did they have the coolers though, but when I turned around I noticed a bar at the opposite end every square inch taken up with beer bottles.

Now tell me, is there a greater form of nirvana for a beer lover then entering a room full of homebrew, in like 26 different categories and like 150 styles mind you, and being told to feel free to sample and drink all you’d like? I mean it was like being a kid in a candy shop. I just read and reread the category list trying to decide what style I wanted first. After I’d decided I bounced around and sampled three different styles, only filling my glass full once (with my own Bombay CPB). Then there was the meeting, bla bla bla, and then more beer!

So what was the general impression of the club, other then they had alot of beer at that meeting? The club didn’t seem very organized or structured. In fact it mostly just seemed like a hangout for brewers. This could be because with all the samples people kept drifting out of the room for more beer though. I had a good time discussing brewing, and relearned an important thing about brewing. You’ll never find someone who knows everything, and even then, just cause it works for them doesn’t make it right for you. In fact I couldn’t find anyone with experience in the kind of funky beers I like to brew. The people were knowledgeable and friendly though, and I had alot of fun sharing a few beers with them. At $24 dollars a year in dues I may just end up joining for the camaraderie.

Since I forgot my camera, please enjoy this video of beer bottle dominoes

Oh yeah,

In case my mother or someone reads this post I did stay sober. After all I was on a bike, and drinking too much would have been bad news with only two wheels to balance.

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3 Responses to “Capitol Brewers”

  1. Qui Sait? says:

    Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Scott S says:

    I’ve often thought about going to a Capitol Brewers meeting, but how you described it is how other people have described it to me as well. Not that it’s a bad thing to hang out with brewers and share some good beer, but I would love to see something more organized maybe. Of course I probably should get to a meeting sometime….

  3. Jared says:

    I agree Scott

    I personally would love something more organized with presentations by brewers, recipe swaps, mini judgement panels, brew nights, and all those club things. The thing is once I showed up and got to know the brewers I realized they are free with information and help, and they just really want to hang out. Also I’ve been in clubs for other things and the organization and the politics can get to be a bit much. It was nice to have someone say “hey, anyone want to organize a beer festival” and then watch 4 or so people volunteer without votes, motions, politics and the like. Once the guys had volunteered there was no further discussion, case closed. It was a breath of fresh air to be honost.

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