Best of the Bay Results

The winners have been posted and awards handed out!  See for the full listing.

chrisCongratulations to Chris McClanahan for taking Best of Show with his Old Ale!!  I was very excited to see the champion trophy stay in Bellingham, and Chris is both a great brewer and a great guy. Rounding out the Best of Show was Mark Tanner from Oak Harbor with a Scottish Heavy 70/- taking second and James and Jessica Martini of Sedro-Woolley taking third with a Strawberry Blonde.

Our club officers dominated the People’s Choice voting during the award fest (actually it was very very close), with awards going to myself, Justin, and Chris. Way to represent gentlemen!

Giving shout-outs to local Whatcom Country winners (including both club members and hopefully future club members), congratulations to Jeremy Reeves, Fred Larsen, Adam Blanquart, and McLean Johnson.  We had 13 medals go to Whatcom County brewers this year!

BHG/Aslan Summer Collaboration

Only a couple months after opening their doors, Aslan Brewing was willing to get together with the BHG to brew their first collaboration together.  This is the first time the club has gotten to collaborate with a local brewery, so kudos to Aslan’s head brewer Frank Trosset for wanting to stay connected to the homebrew community!

Club officers Todd, Chris, Justin, and Jon kicked around several different ideas for a summer seasonal and taking into consideration some limitations imposed by only using organic ingredients, and with Frank we settled on one of craft beers hippest up and coming styles – Berliner Weisse.



A week and a half before brew day we started growing a starter culture of lactobacillus from a couple cups of base malt in 6 gallons of low gravity wort held at close to 100*F.  Saturday June 28th was brew day part 1.  We mashed 32% wheat and 68% pilsner (both Weyermann) at 148*F for 90 minutes before mashing out and sparging.  We were targeting around 18.5 barrels of ~1.040 wort, and came up a little short on volume but hit our gravity.  After a short pasteurization rest at 185*F we chilled the wort back down to 105*F in the kettle before pitching in the lacto starter and letting it sour.  After 36 hours it’d dropped ~4 gravity points, the pH had dropped from 6 to 3.2, and it had lovely layer of foam on top along with a sweet/sour bready aroma.  Two pounds of Hallertauer went into the short 15 minute boil before chilling and running into the fermenter with a pitch of good ol’ 1056 American Ale yeast.


I’m super excited to see this on tap in mid to late July, it’s going to be a great low alcohol, light, tart, refreshing warm weather beer.  And Aslan’s kitchen is planning on whipping up some flavored syrups to offer as an option as well.  We still need a name for this beer though!  Submit ideas to the Google Group, and if we pick yours you’ll get a free growler of Berliner!

More pics at


June Club Meeting

The club June meeting is June 12 and will be at Aslan Brewing (1330 N Forest St). We’ll be in the brewery space, so please enter from Magnolia rather than the restaurant. We’ll be doing a style calibration on Light Hybrids in preparation for next month’s club comp (still time to brew for that!).

Doors open at 6pm, club business at 6:30, please bring something to share – homebrew, commercial beer, or snacks. See you there!

May Club Meeting

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the BHG, we’ll be returning to the location of the very first meeting – Chuckanut Brewery!  Dig a bottle or two of something special out of your beer cellar and join us on Chuckanut’s back covered patio area to celebrate 5 years.

We’ll also be tasting beers for this month’s Club Comp – session beers.  It’s the latest craft beer trend!  Remember, participation in club comps earn points toward the BHG’s Homebrewer of the Year.

AHA Big Brew 2014


It’s that time of year again, when local homebrewers drag their equipment over to Chris’s driveway for some social brewing. Anyone is welcome to setup and brew a batch, everyone is welcome to drop by for any length of time and check out the systems, ask questions, and enjoy the camaraderie. The club will be providing donuts and coffee in the morning, and brats and chips for lunch. Hope to see you there!

April Meeting

BHG monthly meeting is April 10 at Chris Brehm’s house (2617 Cedarwood Ave).  Doors open at 6pm, business will be discussed at 6:30, homebrew sampling will occur until it’s gone.  If you received and brewed with the New Zealand Pacific Jade or Moteuka, remember to bring that beer and we’ll see how those hops stack up.  See you there!

New Zealand Hops