April Showers / May Flowers. You Know the Drill…

Well that nice, long rainy season dumped a lot of snow up north, and watered the weeds in my backyard. I knew I should have done a pre-emergent… Spring 2023 allergies are killing me. Everything is in bloom now. I lost my voice over the weekend, due to a post-nasal drip from all the allergens. I am on three medications – and nothing is working. Oh, well. At least the Cactus Classic Judging is behind us. I doubt I’d smell the nuances of a well crafted IPA at this point. I’m a full on mouth breather, now.

The Cactus Classic competition was one of (if not the) largest competitions that ASH has ever done in our history. 32 judges scored 325 entries in three days. This is a tremendous feat, and I would like to personally thank our Competition Director – Tyler Miller, all the members of the Competition Committee (our largest, with 10 active, and 7 part-timers), our competition Sponsors –¬† and all of our judges and stewards for making this happen.

SpringFest is our first major party of the year, and it is but 5 days away – Saturday, April 15th, at Kiwanis Park. I hope many of you can come out. The weather is supposed to be perfect – sunny with a high of 84. ASH member, Chet McBroom, will be slow cooking up some BBQ for us, and we will have the Mobile 8 and some ice to keep the homebrew cold. Please bring your tasty homebrew to share with the other ASHers in attendance – but please remember – there are NO GLASS containers allowed at Kiwanis Park – so please be sure to only bring metal growlers, plastic bottles, and kegs, only.

The other event that is coming up that I would really like to see some participation in is National Homebrew Day (Big Brew). On Saturday, May 6th, we will be hosting perhaps our final brewout at the clubhouse until the weather turns nice again this Fall. I will be brewing on our club’s system what will now be referred to as the “Big ASHY”. Big ASHY is a sweet, Blichmann Top Tier / Tower of Power Brewstand that was graciously donated to us by former member Sam Patterson. It is a propane fired, 10 gallon system, that we can invite other members to brew on at our brewouts in the future. I’d love to see this system used to show the all grain brewing fundamentals to ASH members that have not taken the plunge to all grain yet. There is an official “Big Brew” recipe that is suggested to make on the AHA website. This year, it happens to be a nice, crisp Pale Ale. A great summer drinker. I will be splitting the batch with the first ASH member who wants to learn about all grain brewing and be my co-brewer. Email me, for your chance to take home 5 gallons of wort! There are talks about making a few all grain kits of the Big Brew available to limited number of ASH members that are participating in Big Brew, from our great sponsor – Sinagua Malting Company. See the article in the current Hot Break, or email John Rudolph for more details.

Unfortunately, I will be out of town for SpringFest. But I hope you all show up and celebrate ASH with some great fermented libations, some great food, and some great friends. I hope to see many of you at Big Brew – whether brewing, sharing homebrew, or just stirring the pot with the rest of us. Prost!

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