Club of the Week: Meisters of the Brewniverse
Name: Meisters of the Brewniverse
Location: Orange County, Calif.
Mailing Address: 37 Vistamar, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (preferred) message us on Facebook
Website/Social Media: MOBBrew.com, Facebook
Membership Dues: $25 per year
Who we are and how we got started/why we got started.
The club began from a small group of neighborhood brewing friends and some remnants of another club who wanted to start on their own. For the most part, our group consists of experienced brewers, one of which has opened a brewery this year.
Though known on our Facebook page as "The angry MOB of South Orange County home brewers," we have some members in central OC and the Los Angeles area as well.
While no lab coats are worn (that anyone has reported), there is a whole lot of collective experience and creative beer geek-ness in any room the club is gathered in. We expect honest, constructive feedback while evaluating each others' beers and have members with BJCP credentials ranging from Recognized to National. This is not to imply that we're totally serious, there is often spontaneous ribbing, laughter and humility is never in short supply.
An early goal was to keep the club small enough for a member to host a meeting at their home. As we have experienced gradual growth, we usually meet at founding member Brian Schroepfer's brewery Valiant Brewing in Orange, Calif.
Monthly meetings have a style study theme. We've been through 23 styles of the BJCP guidelines and will be revisiting sub-styles in a random fashion in the future. Normally we discuss the style-of-the-month and have a few commercial examples and often a member-brewed sample. We place a priority on the homebrew tasting and evaluation, but we also like to share and evaluate commercial beers.
A recent activity has been to open the meeting with the "mystery beer." We have at least one person volunteer to bring a commercial beer that we pour blind samples of and we try to guess the style, with extra points for the brewery and actual product name. This analysis is accompanied by descriptors of what each member is tasting.
We have several award-winning brewers that typically medal in local competitions. In the past, we have done well in the National Homebrew Competition First Round and have at least one medal at the National Homebrew Competition Final Round.
Our more recent and most fun competition activity has been to hold our own intra-club competition every few months. So far, members have been challenged to brew a robust porter, Scotch & Irish ale, a SMaSH beer and a session beer. These friendly competitions have turned out to be quite educational for everyone, not to mention create some great drinking beer.
In addition to club brew days, Octoberfest gatherings and pub meetings, we were thrilled to be able to participate in Club Night at the 2011 National Homebrew Conference in San Diego. The conference was a highlight for all the members that were able to join in on the festivities. We are currently in discussions for hosting a booth at the 2014 Southern California Homebrews Festival.