The Great Northern Brewers Club
The Prez Sez, by John Trapp - January, 2017

Greetings, brewers!

Happy New Year! For current club members that have joined in the last 10 years, you may not know that I was a past president of the club in 2004 and 2005. I had such a good time then that I just couldn’t stay in retirement; I had to jump back into the mix. I’m excited to return in this capacity to serve you members and our fine homebrew club.

First things first, I want to thank the outgoing president - Kevin Sobolesky - for a job well done. He’s not really going anywhere, just stepped down from President to Vice President. Regardless, I appreciate the hard work and contributions that our officers and board members make for GNBC. Remember, this is a volunteer organization and I encourage everyone to run for a seat; it’s a worthwhile position and a great experience.

Here’s the 3 month calendar of events:

AK Beer Week! This year, AK Beer Week runs between January 13 and January 22. I can’t list everything but many events are happening, so pay attention. Your best source of information is the AK Beer Week website: Events are created throughout the time frame so visit this site often to find out what’s going on

January GNBC Meeting/Beer Industry Reception: Our monthly meeting in January is scheduled for Thursday, January 19th. This is the GNBC sponsored meeting at 49th Sate Brewing Company in Anchorage starting at 7:00 p.m. Please read the article on this event and plan on helping out wherever you can.

February GNBC Meeting: This meeting is scheduled for Tuesday February 21st. It will take place at 49th State Brewing Company at 7:00 p.m.

Annual Fur Rendezvous Homebrew Competition: I’m not sure on the date, but I’ll get that to you when the event is finalized.

March GNBC Meeting: Our monthly meeting in March will be at 49th State Brewing Company starting at 7:00 p.m.

Talkeetna Beer Tripping Weekend: This epic annual event is slated for the March 24 – 26 weekend. You might want to start thinking about accommodations in Talkeetna; lodging goes quick when the event’s announced.

Equinox Mead Competition: This annual competition is sponsored by Celestial Meads and will take place in Talkeetna this year and takes place on March 25. It’s conveniently scheduled in the middle of the Talkeetna Beer Tripping Weekend.

Let’s talk beer - more specifically, about brewing beer. Most of us GNBC’rs are here because we started out as home brewers and found a common love of great quality beer that’s hard to find in other places or venues. This club has some of the best home brewers in the country and we prove that in local and national competitions yearly. In the last six or seven years, a fairly high number of great home brewers have stopped brewing beer. Some of this is because it’s become so easy to get great beer at our local breweries and liquor stores. I am just as guilty as everyone else in this tragedy; I take my kegs down to King Street, Midnight Sun, 49th State or the Brewhouse and have them fill it up with my choice. Or, I’ll walk into La Bodega or Brown Jug and pick up a bottle of something nice. It’s just too easy and convenient, and before you know it, a year or two has gone by and you haven’t brewed a thing.

So here’s my promise. I promise to brew at least two batches of beer a year. That’s right; I’ll get back to my beer loving roots and brew a minimum of two batches. I’m throwing out a challenge: I want all the brewers of yesteryear to make a similar promise. Promise the club you’ll brew at least one batch a year. That’s not a lot to ask and I think it will remind you of how much you loved the activity and miss it. I know that we’re all busy – I’m quoting Fermento when I write “the most expensive ingredient in beer is time" - but three to six hours a year is not a lot to sacrifice, so make it happen

I’m introducing a new Newsletter piece called “Meet Your Local”. It will feature a few paragraphs on someone in the beer industry that has an impact on our beer drinking pleasure. Hopefully it will introduce, or re-introduce you to the people that help make beer so great in this state. This month’s article is featuring John Burket of ODOM Corporation.

I look forward to an awesome 2017 that’s filled with great beer and fun activities. Remember, be safe and drink responsibly when out and about and keep those carboys filled.

Until next month, Cheers.
-John Trapp

Hops Wreath

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January 2017 Newsletter



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