What's a FABTS?

The FABTS is a club of homebrewers, beer aficionados, and anyone with an appreciation for the quality and diversity of great beer! As such, we are dedicated to the responsible enjoyment of beer as a alcohol containing quality food product, made to be shared with other people and other foods. The club was founded in 1996 by Lyle C. Brown, National Beer Judge.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Big FABTS update... Finally recovered from the Mead meeting in August.

It's been a while since the website was updated. After the August Mead meeting at Kybecca (and the two days it took to recover), we had an Octoberfest beers meeting at Virginia Wine Experience in September. I really liked the setup Edwin Wyant has upstairs for the tasting, it's like a cool little pub / bar scene. Nice and cozy. Lyle brought the last of his winning Sam Adams Long Shot First Place beer, Bamberg Hellerbock. We also had beers from Penn Brewing, Left Hand, Mendocino, Ayinger, Victory, Hacker-Pschorr, Starr Hill, Bethesda Rock Bottom, Sam Adams and Paulaner.

Our October meeting was held at Kybecca and the style of the month was Harvest beers. This was the first meeting I hadn't made in a while, so I don't have that much in the way of details. The members that were there enjoyed Dogfish Head Midas Touch, Redhook Late Harvest Ale, Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale and numerous Pumpkin Ales from Saranac, Cottonwood, Wild Goose, and Weyerbacher.

Lyle kept on his winning ways in October. His Rauch Heller-Bock, brewed with Star Hill Brewing for the Pro-Am competition at GABF, won a Silver Medal!! We have been treated to this beer numerous times at our meetings and everyone agrees it's a great beer. It would go perfect with any smoked-meats or barbeque. Lyle also won Best of Show at the Valhalla Mead Competition!

The Fredericksburg beer scene also got a great new hangout. The Capital Ale House finally opened downtown at 917 Caroline Street. It features an 80 ft. ice bar, a cold case at celler temperature down in the basement for public viewing, a private dining room and a place to hang out in the back to play games and darts. They print out their vast beer menu every Friday. There are 62 beers on Tap and 300 in the bottle. Monday nights are $1.00 hamburger / $1.50 cheeseburger night, Tuesday night is "Steal the Glass" night. There's a featured brewery and when you order their beer you can take home the logo glass. Wednesday night is Two for One Wings night. And finally, on Sunday for brunch it's American Micro day when the best of their domestic drafts goes for $3.00/pint until 5:00pm. The place has been packed since it opened. I hope it stays that way and they have great success. The FABTS group christened the place on Friday November 7, when Lyle's GABF Silver Medal beer, Smoke Out, was tapped.

Aaron Zaccagnino, aka Zacc, posted a great summary of the Fredericksburg Brewing Insiders (FBI) of their National Teach a friend to Home Brew Day at Blue and Gray Brewing Company. They had a respectable turn out; about 30 folks were interested in the displays and had loads of questions. Pat did a fabulous job with "Sample" table. He had bowls of the various grains that people could taste with information cards for them, and bowls of hops for people to smell to broaden their sensory appreciation. Outside the Brewery they made 6 gallons of wort for an American Blond Ale and had hot dogs for those who stuck around to watch them brew. Roxbury Farms and Garden had a great display of all things available for the beginner home brewer. They even had Kenny Hunter of Coffer Roasters of Fredericksburg Gourmet Coffee who had set up with samples as well. Sounds like they had a great time. If you're interested in brewing, in addition to FABTS, please look into attending an FBI meeting and visit their website at www.Fredhomebrew.org.

The November FABTS meeting featured beers that you would serve at Thanksgiving. This would included anything that goes well with the traditional foods of the day. Of course, there was much emphasis on turkey, but we didn't forget the pumpkin pie, stuffing, cranberries, mincemeat, and all the trimmings. There were a lot of Belgian-style Saisons and Biere de Gardes, as well as Tripels.

Phew! Lots of stuff happened since August. The one consistent thing I will leave you with is that all of us should do our best to support our local beer establisments and I will try to be better about keeping up with the posts.

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