February 2016

Message from the President

Happy February everyone!

Our monthly meeting is the second Friday of February, February 12th.  Club business starts at 7:30 PM but come by early, drop a beer off with the SNAFU Help Desk if you need to, and enjoy a beer and dinner from our great hosts, Aces and Ales, Nellis (3740 S. Nellis Blvd., Las Vegas).

Included in this month’s newsletter:

  • SNAFU Officer Election Results
  • A new Keeper of the SNAFU Bar!
  • SNAFU Help Desk
  • February Send Off
  • AHA National Homebrewer Competition
  • AHA National Homebrewer’s Conference
  • SNAFU Winterfest Competition
  • SNAFU Brewing Awards
  • Upcoming Local Beer Festivals
  • BJCP Beer Judging Exam
  • February East Side Tasting
  • The Gauntlets
  • SNAFU Bottle Exchange
  • Travel Column (oops, ran out of time this month, no travel column)

Bill on Brewing

Registration for the AHA National Homebrew Competition opens this week (February1st – 7th, see below for more details).  For the last seven months SNAFU has been driving at the goal of bringing something home from the competition and AHA National Homebrewer’s Conference this year in the form of either an individual award or club award.

This is the chance to put your best beer forward.  We’ve been garnering our members increased feedback on their homebrews through the SNAFU Send Offs, SNAFU Help Desk and SNAFU Gauntlets.

Now let’s take what we’ve learned, make our best beer, and show America the great brewers we have here in the Las Vegas valley by entering our best in the AHA National Homebrew Competition.

I’m modifying our Send Off rules slightly this month for two reasons.  First, we had breakage in one of our boxes shipped to the Minnesota Mashout.  UPS didn’t deliver the package but never informed me of the issue until I checked the tracking number a week ago, too late to re-send the entries if I could figure out who’s they were.  We had the same issue with the Pacific Brewer’s Cup Send Off in September but the organizers in Los Angles were kind enough to accept delivery, re-package the unbroken bottles and returned them to us (way above and beyond and I appreciated their service).

From that shipment, I was able to determine that the breakage was one brewer’s bottles and it was just those bottles that broke.  I suspected the bottles exploded rather than broke from rough handling or poor packaging (I’ve been using leftover boxes from my beer of the month club and I’ve never had a bottle broken in shipment).

To prevent similar incidents in the future, I’m asking that each SNAFU member sending entries to NHC (or any other Send Off that SNAFU sponsors) pack and ship their own entries and notify SNAFU Treasurer Ms. Shirley Cron (shirley.cron@yahoo.com) of the shipment, cost, and the scanned receipt for the shipping cost.  SNAFU will reimburse each full member for their shipping costs to the selected homebrew competition.

This will be slightly more expensive for the club but will eliminate the chance that multiple members entries will be lost, damaged or not accepted for delivery.

SNAFU Officer Elections

At the January SNAFU meeting we held our annual Officer elections. The officers from 2015 were all re-nominated and ran unopposed.  All were unanimously reelected to another term for 2016.

I hope this continuity in leadership keeps our club on a path to serve our members even better in 2016.

Keeper of the SNAFU Bar

SNAFU member John Salerno has assumed the duties as Keeper of the Bar.  John’s friend, and SNAFU member, Greg Hahn has volunteered his truck to help transport the bar so now our bar will be getting the care and attention it deserves.

Thanks goes out to James Gurdison for taking temporary custody of the bar during the transition period.

SNAFU Help Desk

Myself, and one other SNAFU BJCP judge will be available an hour (6:30 PM) prior to our monthly meetings at Aces and Ales, Nellis.

This is a service for members who’d like objective feedback on their beer but can’t make it to a Gauntlet and don’t want to spend the money on entering a competition.

At the Help Desk (two judges sitting at a table at Aces) we’ll analyze your homebrew using the standard BJCP score sheet and talk to you afterwards about what we perceived and how to improve it if possible.

February Send Off

Our January Send Off was to the Minnesota Mashout in St. Paul, MN.  SNAFU shipped 30 entries from 11 brewers to this event (results will be in the March SNAFU newsletter).  Unfortunately one box was damaged in shipping but I have no idea whose entries were in the box (see above for changes to the Send Off shipping policy).

Our next Send Off is to the preliminary rounds of the AHA National Homebrew Competition in April.  Shipping dates for the first round are in late February.

American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA) National Homebrew Competition (NHC)

Dates for the American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA) National Homebrew Competition (NHC), forever after referred to in this publication as NHC, were recently announced.  This year’s competition will use a modified version of the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, referred to as the National Homebrew Competition 2016 Style Guidelines (National Homebrew Competition 2016 Style Guidelines).  Download this document and figure out what category best fits your beer.

The registration window opens on February 1st and closes February 7th.  Remember, you must be an AHA member to register.  Entry fees this year are $14 per entry.  Under the new SNAFU Send Off policy, SNAFU members will ship their own entries and get reimbursed by the club.

The shipping dates for the competition are February 29th through March 9th.

James and I have collaborated to determine the best judging location to enter specific style beers.  Let’s face it, the San Diego judging center gets a huge number of IPAs so I’m going to recommend we ship our IPA entries to Indianapolis or New York.  I noted last year that QUAFF the local San Diego club that runs the preliminary judging round in San Diego, shipped many of their Mead entries to the mid-west.  I’m going to recommend that SNAFU ship Mead entries to St. Paul, Austin or Nashville.

Finally, Miss Janice and I will be traveling to San Diego on April 8th and 9th to judge the Southwest Regional round of the NHC.  If you’re interested in joining us, let me know.

AHA National Homebrewer’s Conference

SNAFU had a huge presence at last year’s AHA National Homebrewer’s Conference in San Diego.  This year’s conference is in Baltimore, Maryland, June 9 – 11th.

Registration for the conference will open March 8th.  In the past two years the conference has not sold out but I recommend registering early if you plan to attend to guarantee your spot.

The conference is one of the best learning opportunities in the homebrewing community.  There will be a huge number of seminar subjects and a you’ll have chance to meet homebrewers from all over the world.

Miss Janice and I will be attending and I hope a few more SNAFU members can find the time and resources to do so as well.

To learn more, follow the link to the AHA web page: 2016 AHA National Homebrewer’s Conference.


The 2016 SNAFU Winterfest Homebrew Competition will be held on March 18th and 19th, 2016.  The entry deadline will be March 11th.  The competition will be open to all recognized BJCP styles and all homebrewers.  Registration will open February 1st!

The competition will be organized similar to the AHA NHC competition using the 2015 guidelines.  Unfortunately the BOCM&E software has been organized based on the 2015 Guidelines so just enter your beer in the appropriate category and James will organize the competition based on the number of entries we get for each category.

We’ll need lots of judges and stewards so please sign up if you can make it.  As an incentive, all judges and stewards will receive a free Winterfest 2016 commemorative t-shirt.

If you’re planning to take the BJCP tasting exam in August, you will receive detention at one of the prep sessions if you don’t judge Winterfest!

To register, follow this link: 2016 SNAFU Winterfest.

SNAFU Brewing Awards

If you or someone you know wins an award at a homebrew competition, e-mail Bill Moreland at killrwv7703@yahoo.com and let him know.  Recent SNAFU winners:

Member                  Name of Competition                   Beer Style              Place

John Griffith   Fermentationland Homebrew Comp     21A Fruit Beer     2nd

Local Beer Festivals for 2016

Boulder City Beer Festival

This year’s Boulder City Beerfest is on Saturday, March 26th in Wilbur Square Park in Boulder City.  This year SNAFU will set up the SNAFU bar and serve as well as present homebrewing demonstrations.  I’d like to have at least 10 kegs available to serve, from our 8 taps so if you can donate a keg or serve (TAM (Alcohol Education) card required), please let me know.

Lee’s Beer and Tequila Tasting

Lee’s Beer and Tequila Tasting will take place on Saturday, May 7th at Sunset Station in Henderson (the past five previous events have been at the old Las Vegas Hilton on Paradise, this is a big venue change).

SNAFU has already got a space reserved and we’ll be pouring homebrew and teaching beer fans about the homebrewing hobby.  May 7th is also the date of National Homebrew day so this will be our National Homebrew Day event this year.  Sadly, I doubt the fire marshal will approve of us brewing indoors at the event unless somebody has an electric system they’d like to bring out.

As always, this event benefits the Lee’s Helping Hand foundation.

Lake Las Vegas Beerfest

The Lake Las Vegas Beerfest will take place on June 4th this year.  More details to follow but Lake Las Vegas is probably my favorite venue in the valley for a beer festival.

Spring Brews Best

This spring’s Brews Best festival will likely be in April but no longer at Towne Square.  The organizers are still trying to coordinate a venue but please keep this event in mind when you consider your brewing schedule.

BJCP Beer Judging Exam

We’ve placed another BJCP Beer Tasting Exam on the calendar for Saturday August 27th, 2016.   If you’re interested in taking the tasting exam in 2016, contact me with your name and email and I’ll get you on the list.  The list is full with 12 examinees plus two on the waiting list but we had quite a few people cancel late last time so don’t hesitate to get your name on the waiting list and start studying and take the BJCP on-line exam.

We’ll begin exam prep classes on February 13, 2016 at Wild Bill’s house (7820 Summer Harvest Lane, Las Vegas, NV).  After that, the venue will move to Aces and Ales, Tenaya (2801 N. Tenaya Way, Las Vegas, NV)  every Sunday at 2 PM.

I’ll try to put together a rough schedule for the prep sessions so club members will know what categories we’re reviewing each week.  Also note, the club Single Category competitions will continue with the prep session group judging the entries.  The next Club Only, Single Category competition will be for Stouts (2015 Categories 15C (Irish Extra Stout), 16 (Dark British Beer) and 20B and C (American and Imperial Stout).  These beers will be judged on Sunday, March 13th.

To sit for the exam you’ll need to pass the online BJCP Judge exam first at least 2 months prior to the tasting exam.  Both exams will be based on the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines so download your copy today and start reviewing.

February Tasting Session

Hosted by “Wild” Bill Koenig

The February SNAFU homebrew tasting experience will occur on February 24th, 7 PM at Aces and Ales West (Tenaya Way).

The Gauntlets

The last Gauntlet was on Saturday, January 23rd.  Miss Janice and I hosted and we judged the Czech lagers (Category 3 in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines) entered in the club only, single category competition as well as other beers members brought for feedback (we only one Czech Lager entry, my rather fruity version that needs improvement).

From now until August 27th, the Gauntlets will be replaced by the weekly BJCP Beer Tasting Exam prep sessions (See BJCP Beer Judging Exam above).  Anyone is welcome to attend any or all of the prep sessions whether you’re signed up to take the exam or just want to learn more about beer and homebrewing.  Watch your email box for weekly announcements concerning the time and what category we’ll be reviewing each week.  We usually ask for a $5 donation to help offset the cost of the beer.

SNAFU Bottle Exchange

SNAFU Vice President Wild Bill Koenig has agreed to host our next bottle exchange on Saturday, February 13th  at 1 PM.

Bill has a large quantity of Imperial Stouts and other styles he’d like to share and asks people who plan to attend to NOT bring any beer so he can empty his closet.  Bill’s house is located at 7820 Summer Harvest Lane, Las Vegas.

This event will also be our first BJCP Beer Judge exam training session.  All subsequent prep sessions will be held at Aces and Ales, Tenaya, 2 PM every Sunday.

Every Little Girl Needs Braids

SNAFU member Doc Hawkins will collecting hair clips, braids and cash to benefit his daughter, Kaitlyn’s project, Every Little Girl Needs Braids at the February SNAFU meeting.  Here’s Kaitlyn’s story:

Story Behind “Every Little Girl Needs Braids”

   When I was eleven years old I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I was told invasive surgery was my one and only option. I was told Shriners Hospitals could help! For the first time since being diagnosed I didn’t feel hopeless after meeting a surgeon at Shriners Hospitals at their Los Angeles hospital. There are 22 Shriners Hospitals across the U.S., including one in Canada and Mexico. Shriners Hospitals helps children from all over the world with four wide ranged specialities; Burns, Orthopedic conditions, cleft lip and palate, and spinal cord injury. Shriners Hospitals does all this despite a family’s ability to pay.

After having to cancel and reschedule my operation, it was decided that I should go to Shriners Hospital in Sacramento instead of Los Angeles to reschedule as quickly as possible. At Shriners Hospital in Sacramento I met a new surgeon, who specialized in rare, severe, cases of scoliosis like mine. In November 2010, at twelve years old, I underwent two seven hour surgeries a week apart.

During my hospital stay, I didn’t get out of bed at all for the first three days in the ICU. My hair was styled into a high ponytail which became very tangled. One the fourth day I was out of the ICU and my mom spent three hours brushing and detangling my hair. After that she styled my hair into two braids. At twelve years old I thought I was too old for braids. That day I also met my favorite nurse. His name is LC. He commented that he liked my hair, and said “Every little girl needs braids.”

LC and I are still in contact today, five years later, and is helping me raise awareness for this fundraiser. I am so excited to see how many lives, in a specially difficult time, we can improve.

Kaitlyn Hawkins – Founder of “Every Little Girl Needs Braids”

Please toss something your cooler or bag for Kaitlyn when you come out this month.

Travel Column

by Bill Moreland

Sorry, ran out of time this month!