I met some of the members of the Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization (COHO) here in Bend, Oregon over a year ago, and have meant to go check out a meeting for some time. Well, Wednesday was about damned time. I looked up when the meeting was going to take place, and they had it posted that it took place between 6:30 and 9:00. Unfortunately I had another meeting to make at 8:00, but figured some time would be better than none. Have to say it was a good time.
I drove up to the new Homebrew shop (which is at the old homebrew shop location on Division) which is a by-product of opened Tyler selling off that portion of the Silver Moon brewery’s business. I walked in to see a table set up with all kinds of things including ounce bags of hops, small bags of pre-measured grain, individual beers from Dick’s Brewing Company, and other items. I didn’t know it, but they were going to raffle this stuff off. Cool idea. There was pizza from Cibelli’s in the back and a bunch of different beers, some on tap … some in bottles that were within site. Everyone had a beer, and everyone was talking about anything and everything under the brewing sun. Gravity, brewing at altitude, IBUs, competitions, other homebrew clubs, previous trips, group brews … it was great.
I walked in, and several people came up to me and introduced themselves. They quickly directed me to the beers, where I started on my journey for the evening. This was my first homebrew club meeting ever, and it was like what I hear all homebrew club meetings are like in one regard: lots of homebrew. I had two different IPAs, a Rauch-Porter (no it wasn’t too smoky), a Belgian Strong, and a couple of different meads. Now that’s just what I had. Other choices were available, but I wanted to be coherent when I met up with my buddy at 8:00.
Their site had indicated that they were going to cover making a stir plate, and using it to make yeast starters. I know how to make a yeast starter, but I’ve really wanted to make a stir plate, so this was one of the topics that drew me in. I was kind of bummed that that didn’t take place in the time that I was there, and I don’t think that they covered it after I left. They hadn’t done the raffle yet, but who knows.
All in all everyone in the group appears to like one another. Like any group, there are people who are more outspoken than others, and that’s natural. It is good to see that no one is afraid to ask questions, and no one is afraid to be the sage providing the answer. I think that there’s definitely a knowledge dynamic present at homebrew clubs that presents numerous learning opportunities for its members.
It was a good time, and I’ll gladly attend another COHO meeting.