July 2011 Hot Break

2011 Ninkasi Sponsor
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Visit Four Peaks Brewing Co.

In This Issue
From the President
2011 Club Only Competition
Local Brew News
NHC Highlights
ASHer Spotlight
July General Meeting

Upcoming Events 

Thursday, July 14, 5pm-8pm
@ Papago Brewing  

AzGPO Showing Beer Wars--Women Only
Thursday, July 14,
ASH Clubhouse (Rose Market)
2515 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ

  July 2011 General Meeting  

Tuesday, July 19, 7pm-9pm
ASH Clubhouse (Rose Market)
2515 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ

 BJCP Tasting Session
Wednesday, July 20, 6pm
Category 3 & 11
ASH Clubhouse (Rose Market)
2515 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ

  Flagstaff Bus Trip
Saturday, July 30
All Day, Leave 7 am from
ASH Clubhouse (Rose Market)
2515 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ

Member Benefit Corner  

Did you know ASH Members get:

$1 OFF pints all day, every day,

even during happy hour,

at Santan Brewing   

Click Here to See More ASH Membership Benefits  

Contest Standings  

2011 Homebrewer of the Year

 1 - Dennis Tsonis - 5 pts.

1 - Ken Saxe - 5 pts.

3 - Jon Badalamenti - 2 pts.

4 - Mike Tinker - 1 pt.

4 - Kevin Masaryk - 1 pt.

4 - Chris Sprague - 1 pt.



 2011 Club Only Competition Standings  

Quick Links

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Summer time is well upon us but despite the withering heat and epic haboobs (huhuhuh, you said...) our members are still out there kicking ass. There's a lot going on too. ASHers made an impressive showing at the National Homebrewers Conference in San Diego in June, new breweries are opening and old breweries are getting bigger, a road trip to Flagstaff is planned, people are learning about beer styles through our new BJCP tasting sessions, and we got new discounts for ASH members at Taste of Tops, Sun Devil and HB Hanrattys!

But there's more we can do. As our President will tell you soon, things haven't always been this good...

From the President
By Rob Fullmer
ASH President Rob Fullmer

It's pretty hazy memory right now. Not that long ago at all, but it was July. No doubt about that and it was hot. There was a parrot in this nightmare too. Some of you were there; sitting in a very warm room staring at the door; wondering and waiting. But nothing happened. No one came with the answer, though we all knew what it was. In fact some of us had the answer. How did this happen?



It really wasn't all that long ago.

We had great people in the club and we were large with good finances. We had committed officers. We had successful events and meetings and most everyone thought things were going well. Yet we still had a meeting with NO BEER.

Are things better now?

We still have great people in the club and we are the largest club in the nation with good finances. We still have committed officers. We had a great AZ Beer Week, Springfest and NHC. We have a wonderful place to meet. Most everyone would agree that things are going well.

Yet, with all of this, ASH can still have NO BEER moments.

NO BEER moments occur in this organization because we were always successful at getting things done without a plan or a means of putting our club resources and people into action.

  • When we didn't plan on not having beer that was a NO BEER moment.
  • When Del Sol failed to be a place to meet on a month-to-month agreement and we had no back-up, that was a NO BEER moment (and the beginning of our nomadic period).
  • When we don't get people involved in the leadership of the club during the year and we have the awkward November meeting where no one steps forward to run for an office that is a NO BEER moment.
  • When our plans never extended beyond the horizon; when everything begins in January and ends in December; when we burn people out because the extent of our planning is "putting a guy on it", that is a NO BEER moment.

Working with the board and a growing number of volunteers, we have taken great steps to avoid NO BEER moments. There is much more work to do. Please join me in identifying and preventing our NO BEER moments. We'll be talking about them through out the Summer. 





2011 Club Only Competition
by Barry Weeg 

From the American Homebrewer's Association (AHA) Website :

The Club-Only Competition (COC) program offers AHA-Registered Homebrew Clubs an opportunity to compete with other AHA-registered homebrew clubs. Each competition concentrates attention on a specific style of beer or mead, giving your club the opportunity to educate club members in these styles by focusing on them at club meetings or tasting events.


All AHA-registered homebrew clubs are eligible to host and to compete in the COC. Each club may only send one entry per competition.  Your club should determine the procedure for selecting your club's entry. Selection procedures can vary widely-some clubs choose an entry during an informal tasting, while larger clubs often run a formal competition. The club then sends the chosen entry to the appropriate judging site (see Schedule).

If your club's entry places in any of the six Club-Only Competitions that are held on an August to May cycle, your club earns points towards the AHA Homebrew Club of the Year award on a twelve-eight-four basis for first, second and third places respectively. Additional club points are earned on a six-four-two basis for first, second and third places respectively in the First and Final Rounds of the National Homebrew Competition.

Each Club-Only Competition covers one or more categories with one or more subcategories from the  BJCP Style Guidelines. To ensure your club's entry is appropriately evaluated, pay close attention to the categories and subcategories of the competition.

ASH has been participating in this series of competitions again this year. The entries are due at the general meetings according to the following schedule:

January - Bitters

March - Bock

April - Wood Aged Beer

July - Mead

September - Specialty/Experimental/Historical

November - Hefeweizen

Instructions for submitting entries
  1. Rubber-band a completed Bottle Identification Form  (PDF file) to each of three (3) brown or green glass, 10 to 14 ounce bottles of homebrew. One is needed for ASH to judge and two are needed by the AHA to judge. Clear-glass bottles and bottles smaller than or larger than 10-14 ounces will be disqualified. Bottles with raised glass lettering are discouraged, but not prohibited.
  2. Using a permanent black marker, obliterate any and all words or pictures on the caps.
  3. Fill out an Entry/Recipe Form Entry/Recipe Form (PDF file) completely, (you must fill in the category and subcategory you are entering!) and attach it to one of the bottles with a rubber band.
All entries are judged by an ASH committee of BJCP certified judges. Score sheets are returned to all participants at the next general meeting. The highest scoring entry is passed on to the AHA for judging. If your beer is chosen, we will need three additional bottles to send. So if you are not willing to part with four bottles of your beer, you probably should pass on this one.

January - Bitters (Won by Ken Forrey with an ESB)

March - Bock (Won by Ken Saxe with a Helles Bock)

April - Wood Aged Beer (Won by Tom Tomczyk with a Wooden Pail Ale)

ASH hasn't won anything so far, but we are starting to develop a reputation for good beer. So it's only a matter of time.

The next competition is for mead. Most of the panel that has been judging the past competitions probably will be entering this one. As such, we will need a few more experienced mead judges who are NOT entering this time to help us out with judging. Please contact Barry Weeg at competition@azhomebrewers.org if you are interested in helping us out. Thanks.

Local Brewery News    

by Tom Boggan

Phoenix Ale Brewery
A new brewery is set to open and distribute in Phoenix this summer. The Phoenix Ale Brewery is a project by former Deschutes southwest sales rep Gregory Fretz (Fretzy) and former Pyramid Breweries chairman George Hancock. The co-owners are bringing more experience form Pyramid with John Donehower who was the lead brewer at Pyramid Breweries and will be overseeing operations at the 20 bbl brewery in Phoenix.

The brewery is located along the Phoenix Metro Lightrail line at 3002 E Washington St. Phoenix Ale Brewery is 15,700 squre feet which includes space for the brewery, office and tasting room. Visitors to the brewery can sample beers on premise or get bottles, growlers or kegs to go. Phoenix Ale currently has one beer available, Fretzy's Unfiltered Ale, but plan to eventually have eight styles available along with seasonal and limited edition ales.

Fretzy's Unfiltered Ale has already been available at a few venues across the state including the Made in the Shade Festival in Flagstaff last month as well as at the MLB All Star Game in Phoenix. Papago Brewing in Scottsdale will be hosting the brewery for a tapping party Thursday, July 14, starting at 6pm. Gregory Fretz is also confirmed to be the featured guest at the ASH July general membership meeting Tuesday, July 19, starting at 7pm.

"I was a beer sales guy for fifteen years selling other people's beer, dreaming of my own brewery...Its going to be a lot of fun selling a beer with my own name on it" Gregory Fretz said in a press release on the Brewery's website.

For more information on the brewery, visit www.phoenixbrew.com.

More Kiltlifter
Expect more Four Peaks Kiltlifter on store shelves as the brewery has announced plans to open a production facility in Phoenix. The 60,000 square foot facility will produce Kiltlifter Scottish Style Ale and put our local brewery in better position to extend its distribution.

AB-Inbev wants Holds on Different Area Codes602 Bottle
Anheuser-Busch InBev has applied for trademarks on area codes throughout the country, including our own 602. Speculation in the beer community is that AB-InBev, which recently acquired Chicago craft brewery Goose Island, will produce a beer similar to Goose Island's 314 (their area code) then distribute and market the beer with local area codes. Check out Rob's story on the Beer PHXation blog. Look out for this on the shelves:

Got info on a local bar/brewery? Add it to Not So Secret Stuff!

Make Your Own Wine     

Special Offer from Peddlers Son

If you've been interested in, or already are, making wine, check out this info from Jill Allen at Peddlers Son Produce:


We have some Grape information for you vine heads

that we thought we'd pass down:


Peddler's Son Produce is a family and locally owned

wholesale distributor of produce that has been in the

valley for 22 years. Each fall, we celebrate an Italian

tradition of making homemade wine. Grapes and wine

juice arrive the beginning of September with orders

needing to be placed the end of August. Prices have

yet to be set to reflect the crop yield that is available

for distribution. We are planning to have the Napa Valley

grown grapes and juice ready for pick up or delivery

on or about the second Sunday of September, depending

on market conditions.


If you're interested in learning more about the grapes

and juice, please send your email address to

 wine@peddlersson.com. Additional information will be

sent the beginning of August.


The email addresses we collect will be used to contact our

customers regarding the wine grape and juice orders only.

We will not share or sell your email address with others.


Peddler's Son Produce

Distributors of Vintage Wine Grapes and Juice


National Homebrew Conference Highlights

ASHers at NHC
Photo by Jon Badalamenti

More photos here.

David Schollmeyer wins Gold for Belgian Strong Dark, aaaand loses it.

We found out ASH is the largest homebrew club in the country

We came in third for most kegs on Club Night (not bad considering 1st was a local club). We keep this up and we'll be 1st next year in Seattle.

What ASHers are saying about NHC:

Barry Tingleff

"Best speaker information had to be Ken Schramm on mead, I got a contact from Moonlight Meadery to try to get Alliance Beverage to handle their meads in AZ. The land of little to no mead.

The best buzz had to be Pro Brewer Night. I got a big buzz & got to try an amazing list of great beers. I can't remember which they were but they were good. With a safe cab ride home.

Best time had to be Club Night, what a great showing of ASH members. With the Randalized chili beers to the chili tinctures & the great assortment of ASH homebrew, we made ourselves be known.

And we blew 4 gal. of my prickly pear mead in 35 minutes & Ken Schramm said he had 2 glasses.

The rest is all a blur."


Jon Warren 


"I have always been told That Disney Land/World was the Happiest place on Earth. Who ever told me that was wrong. The NHC is the happiest place on earth. You are surrounded by thousand of brewers that are very helpful with any question you may ask them.The home-brew flows 16 + hours a day . The seminars are worth the extra money and very informative , I would recommend if you can take a day or 2 extra off of work just so you can brew suing the the new found information."

Jeremy Jones

"For those that missed NHC 2011, it was the best beer related event I've ever been to. The combination of homebrewers, classes, food, LOTS of beer, was fantastic! It was further confirmed in my head that homebrewers aren't the typical beer drinker. People spent 3 or 4 days drinking, all day long, and running on little sleep, and I still haven't heard of any fights. Try that at your local bar and see what happens.  I drank a lot of good beer at the club night event. I had an AMAZING Barrel Aged, Flanders Red, over tart Michigan cherries from a club called F.O.R.D.  (from Michigan). My favorite beer of the trip. I found myself sampling a lot of beer that night, but eventually came back to the ASH booth because most of our clubs beer was just better than what I was finding on the floor.  ASH's chili pepper infused beers were great. People couldn't get enough of t
 hem.Barry's prickly pear mead was the best mead of the whole event, the entire 5 gallon keg lasted less than 30 minutes. People would walk up and try it and run and grab their friends. Barry, please post up the recipe if you're willing to share.  Next year is all the way up in Seattle, start planning on being there now so you're not left behind. You won't regret going."

So, see you all in Seattle next year?

ASHer Spotlight 

This month we talked with Dennis Tsonis. Dennis has been working with the board, organizing, attending AZ Brewers Guild meetings and racking up points in the 2011 Homebrewer of the Year competition.   


Dennis Tsonis NHC 

Q.) When did you start brewing? Why did you start brewing?   

A.) I became hooked on flavorful imported beers while in college at Rutgers in New Jersey. After graduating I was given a copy of Charlie Papazian's Complete Joy of
Homebrewing and found a homebrew shop near my Philadelphia apartment. Not being able to afford the expensive imports (back then most American beers had no flavor) I decided to try and brew my own. After a few extract batches in 1987, brewing took a backseat to starting an insurance career which soon transferred me to Phoenix in 1989. Once settled in AZ, I started brewing again on an occasional basis. In 1990 I entered my first homebrew competition with Papazian's Holiday Cheer recipe, and won Best of Show - beginners luck! I brewed two beers for my wedding 20 years ago and then the
hobby once again took a back seat to my career and raising a family. 


Dennis Tsonis 20 years ago
Bottling my wedding brew 20 years ago.

Q.) What's your inspiration for brewing?
A.) Charlie Papazian's book and Zymurgy articles inspired me to start, but I learned early on
that brewing fulfilled the hidden craftsman buried beneath the desk-bound paper pushing
professional. To this day it gives me a great creative vehicle where I get to incorporate
art, science, and mechanics and produce a product I can proudly share with my friends.

Q.) When did you join ASH? Why?
A.) In 2008 I decided to get back to brewing on a more regular basis which meant it was time
to get serious and go all-grain. I purchased a homemade system on Craigslist and quickly realized that I could benefit from some feedback on my beer if I was going to get the all-grain process down. My wife hates beer, so she thought they were all bad. I joined ASH looking for some qualified constructive criticism. ASH provides me the feedback I'm looking for plus the added benefit of camaraderie with like minded brewers and beer

Q.) How involved are you with the club? What drives your involvement?
A.) Having participated in the leadership of my son's Boy Scout Troop for the prior 10 years, I learned that you get the most out of a volunteer organization by jumping in with both feet and actively participating. This is why I have agreed to serve on the ASH board as
one of the new director positions created by our recent by-law change. I try to attend as many ASH events as possible. I've met many great people in my short time with ASH and these friendships will drive my future involvement.

Q.) Brewing style (all grain,  

extract, partial)?
A.) When I was brewing extract I liked to experiment with unusual ingredients (ever had a
garlic beer?). Now that I'm all-grain brewing, I've been focusing on the classic styles
in order to refine my process. Thanks to ASH and the Brewing Network, I'm starting to
make some award winning beer. Brew Strong!

Q.) Any projects/equipment you've built or completed that you're proud of? Anything extraordinary that you wouldn't normally see on a homebrew forum?
A.) The biggest accomplishment I've had is solving the problem of adequately chilling to pitching temperature using AZ ground water and maintaining proper fermentation temperature in my garage. I built a Mr. Malty whirlpool immersion chiller that works like a charm. I've also been collecting used refrigerators/freezers and converting them to fermentation chambers by replacing the thermostat. Not extraordinary for most, but pretty good for an insurance agent!

Q.) What's your day job? Has it played a role in brewing or club activity?
A.) As a commercial insurance agent I was able to consult with the club in purchasing its first insurance policy. I've also brought my love of beer and homebrewing into my profession by organizing fundraising beer tastings and pub crawls for an industry association, where I am now known as the Brewmaster! I'm currently designing an insurance program
tailored to the needs of commercial breweries.


Q.) Favorite Recipe and why? Feel free to share the recipe.
A.) My favorite recipe is usually the last one I brewed. I've never brewed the same recipe
twice. I'd have to say the Robust Porter that made it to the second round of NHC is my favorite. You can find the recipe on page 156 of Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil

Q.) What are some fond memories of a club activity, homebrew related or craft beer related event?
A.) I have many found memories related to beer and homebrewing. In addition to brewing
for my wedding, I also brewed for the wedding of some good friends and last year was asked by my niece to make beer for her wedding in Flagstaff. I had just started all-grain brewing and this provided a great excuse to give the wife on why I had to spend so much time in the garage. I made 5 different beers for the wedding, and got to show off my craft to my family visiting from the east coast. 


Last summer I finally was able to take a trip to Europe that includedDennis Tsonis and Son with Beer, Traveling two weeks of
drinking beer in Germany, Holland and Belgium including Westvleteren. This was made
even more special as I got to introduce my son to some of the world's best beer.

Lastly, I need to mention what a wonderful experience it was attending my first National Homebrew Conference last month, which was made all the more special by the
enthusiasm and fellowship of my ASH brethren. Club night was awesome!


Thanks Dennis! 



Want to help shine the spotlight on someone? Send your nomination to editor@azhomebrewers.org.

July General Meeting Tuesday, July 19, 7pm-9pm

The ASH General meeting will be at the ASH Clubhouse, 2515 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85257.  We're in the storefront under the Rose Market sign.

Bring your mead for the 2011 Club Only Competition.

Our featured guest is Gregory Fretz of Phoenix Ale Brewery.
Always keep in mind, if you visit a new brewery, find a cool beer spot, had a life-changing brewing epiphany, have a great project you're working on, or anything else you'd like to mention on Hot Break, email me; editor@azhomebrewers.org. We want to see stories and photos from our members.


We'll see you at the General Meeting. Till then brew on and RDWHAHB






Your Club Board Members
ASH President Rob Fullmer
 - Rob Fullmer

Vice President - Ben Conner

 - Maureen Basenberg

Treasurer - David Schollmeyer

Communications - Tom Boggan

Dennis Tsonis

Operations Officer
- Dennis Tsonis

Mark Haugan
Projects Officer - Mark Haugan

Arizona Society of Homebrewers

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