February 2023 - Lincoln Lagers Homebrew Club - Lincoln, Nebraska -  Est. 1993
FeBREWary meeting at Cosmic Eye

When: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Six o’clock for socializing, brief business at 7 o’clock, beer education to follow. 
Where: Cosmic Eye, 6800 P St #300, Lincoln, NE, 68505, 531.500.2739

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY! Check your shadow! It may be time to Punxsutawney “Phil” your steins for six more weeks of winter warmers. In the meantime, join us at Cosmic Eye Brewing for the monthly meeting and the return of the FIVE & FIVE TASTE-BUD CHALLENGE. What's the FIVE & FIVE TASTE-BUD CHALLENGE? It's a little exercise to sharpen your palate. In round 1, you will receive five samples of beer in the same style. Have a taste and make a few tasting notes. For round 2, the same brews again, only this time labeled as A-E and in a different order. Your job -- and THE CHALLENGE -- match up the second round with the first.   

ELECTIONS: The results are in! Your officers for 2023 are as follows: Scott Levandar, president (see Scott's story below); Craig Samek, vice president (see Craig's photo below and his story about the BJCP group), Kim Theesen, Brewsletter editor, secretary and webmaster; Terry Schwimmer, treasurer; Adam Thalken, membership coordinator. 

IT'S TIME TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Dues for 2023 are currently $25 for the calendar year. Remember, this is considered a family membership. You and your S.O. are both considered Lincoln Lagers. If you want to renew online, the 2023 link on the website is active. You can click here to go straight to the renewal. (Note: It may say something like "2020 membership," but we know it's 2023. Technicians are working 'round the clock to fix it.)

THIRTY YEARS: The new year will mark the 30th year of the Lincoln Lagers Homebrew Club. In honor of our milestone, a subcommittee of Kim Theesen, Doug Finke and Steve Olsen is working with Tim Thomssen of Boiler Brewing Co. to do a 30th-anniversary collaboration beer. We're shooting for a tapping and release party in June. More details to come soon.

NIGHT AT THE STARS: We had 15 in attendance at the Lincoln Stars hockey game. A great time was had by all and we enjoyed lots of Empyrean ales. Oh, yes, the Stars lost to Sioux City, 2 to 4. Oh well...


From the President

Hello all! My name is Scott Levander and I will be serving as the Lagers’ president for the 2023 calendar year. As most of you probably know, this marks the 30th year of the Lincoln Lagers Homebrew Club! I am relatively new to the club, but in the short time I have been involved I have come to appreciate just how special it is. The job description says that, in part, the president’s job is to "lead the club and set the direction for the year." Overall the direction isn’t changing much, but we are going to put a special focus on enhancing group activities. We will have a brewing/tasting/education activity at every club meeting and will help facilitate collaborative brewing events. Be on the lookout as we explore
new opportunities to have fun together and become more connected with the Lincoln community and culture!

Beyond that, I believe the role of the club’s officers is to manage the administrative duties of the club so the rest of the members can enjoy the perks of membership without concern for club operation and with confidence in the club’s future. To that end, I would like to shore up the documentation around club responsibilities, collateral and activities, while helping to coordinate activities in support of club membership, participation and brewing-based FUN!
BJCP Study Group Update

What? Join a few fellow Lincoln Lagers in meeting periodically throughout the winter and spring to go through the BJCP style guidelines and study for the judging exam to be proctored in Lincoln this spring. 

Why? To advance your knowledge of beer styles, ingredients, flavor profiles, brewing techniques, off-flavors and how they originate and be prevented. Passing the exam will allow you to be recognized as a judge for sanctioned competitions and advance your status within the homebrewing community. Even new brewers or beer fans in general will find the class useful in appreciating and learning nuances of beer styles and brewing techniques.

Who? Anyone interested in advancing their beer and knowledge or wanting to take the hobby to the next level by testing their mettle and palate against the BJCP exam.

Where? I will volunteer to host at my home in northeast Lincoln as the default meeting location, but we will certainly be flexible if others want to host or locate a central meeting location.

When? TBD based on the schedules of group members. Monday or Tuesday once or twice per month seemed feasible to most interested parties.
We'll be following the BJCP Study Guide outlines, including blind tastings of commercial and homebrew examples of similar styles during each session, discussing flavor profiles, reviewing ingredients and brewing processes, and filling out score sheets as you would for a homebrew competition.
Contact Craig Samek (pictured) at 712.389.4597 or email him at


The 2023 Nebraska Shoot-Out 

In 2023, this annual contest among the state's brew clubs will be in Lincoln, hosted by your Lincoln Lagers. The exact date has yet to be set, but it will probably be sometime in the summer; last year's comp was in late July. As the host club, we have set the styles/categories. They are listed below along with their BJCP style reference numbers and links to style details. The specialty category - No-Hop Beers - is linked to a Wikipedia article on gruit ale.
Please note these specific styles and consider them in your brewing plans for 2023. We will bring the bragging rights back to Lincoln and the Lincoln Lagers!
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 2, at Cosmic Eye!

Local Beer Brewing Odds 'n' Ends 
  • On Saturdays, Cosmic Eye will be featuring a playlist from an episode of Headbangers Ball!!! New ‘episode’ featured every week!  
    Starting things off with the very first episode from April 18, 1987 (minus Aerosmith because we can’t stand Aerosmith). You know you used to rush home on Saturday nights to catch this.
  • Patriot Homebrew Supply will teach a few brewing classes: Homebrewing 101 (Sat., March 4), Brew in a Bag (Sat., Feb. 25) and 3-Vessel Brewing (TBD). For details on times and costs, check out the brewing classes page. Check them out at 2929 N. 204th Street, #107, Elkhorn, NE 68022. Call them at 402.991.6655. Closed on Mondays.
  • The Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild's calendar page lists several events for FeBREWary: Big Chill Beer & Cheese Festival (Norfolk, Febr. 4), HiBeerNation (Grand Island, Febr. 11), Omaha Beer Week - (Omaha, Febr. 18-26), Firkin Fest (Omaha, Febr. 18), Ultimate Beer Fest (Omaha, Febr. 25).
Beer and Homebrew in the News

Nonalcohol Craft Beer is Ready to Take Off!
Detroit Free Press writer, Brian Manzullo, does Dry January but is doing it with non-alcoholic (NA) beer. This new segment of craft beer is in the early stages of a potential boom. Is the quality of NA beer now on par with its alcoholic counterpart? Click here and read more about what's happening in Michigan. 

Another story on the "fast-growing, unexpectedly delicious world of nonalcoholic beer" popped up in my social media feed. This one is from According to this story, "no facet of beer culture ... has enjoyed more wild growth in cultural footprint over the past five years." Check out the recent history and the Athletic Brewing Company's entry into the drinking marketplace. Athletic is currently the "26th fastest growing company in America." Read about the other entries into the NA game by clicking right here.

Speaking of NA beer, an Omaha nonprofit is speaking out against a Nebraska bill to remove "near beer" from the alcohol list. According to Omaha's 6 News WOWT, "Members of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission asked the governor and state lawmakers, in addition to near-beer, to give the commission the authority to regulate non-alcoholic spirits and wine because of their increasing popularity." Nebraska's LB258 would remove NA beer from what is considered alcohol if passed. The whole story and Channel 6 video can be found at this link.

San Diego to Host 2023 Homebrew Con
Many years ago, several of us Lagers attended the National Homebrewers Conference the last time it was in San Diego. If you haven't been to one, please consider attending. There are lots of sessions and lots of beer. Plus, the evening events are a blast. It's scheduled to take place June 22-24. Here's the local story link and here's the link to the AHA website. Registration opens on March 7, 2023, at 11 a.m.

Kansas City Bier Meisters Annual Competition
The 40th Annual Kansas City Bier Meisters homebrew competition is full! From the competition website: "The paid entry limit has been reached. The limit of 600 paid entries has been reached. No further entries will be accepted. Entry registration is closed. A total of 633 entries were added to the system." Judging sessions are scheduled for Feb. 17 & 18, 2023. Check out the details on this competition website at this link.



Mark Beatty • Brian Cooper • Zach Fenton • Doug Finke • Dave Hoage • Scott Levander • Patrick McCabe • Jason McLaughlin • Lacy Phillipe • Craig Samek • Terry Schwimmer • Roger Stortenbecker • Kim Theesen

Remember to renew your club membership! New T-shirts in 2023! Click here to renew via PayPal or bring cash or check to the meeting on Thursday.

The Trub Zone - Kim Theesen, Brewsletter Editor

The Future is Now

BREWING SANS HOPS & THE SHOOTOUT: Well, it's almost FeBREWary of 2023. I do have one beer in the fermentor and it's ready for the keg. It's the base for what's going to be a coffee stout. I found this stout recipe -- Mugwort Anti-imperial Stout -- from (Note: I just went to look at that website and it appears to be in a minor state of disrepair, at least for the recipe section. Damn. Well, I do have the recipe downloaded from previous brewing.) Anyway, I plan to build my next ancient-style gruit (a.k.a. no-hopped beer) on top of this stout yeast. I also have a couple more ideas I want to get brewed before this summer's Nebraska Shootout. (Another website that needs attention.) If somebody out there wants to collaborate and brew some experimental non-hopped beer, let me know. I have a few recipes to try and the combinations of herbs are virtually unlimited. Please review the above Shootout styles and brew one or two of them. Maybe the club could come up with some incentives (e.g., ingredients? prizes?) for those that move on from the club level to compete in the Shootout. Let's get some brews going out there.

LET'S LEARN TOGETHER: I'm excited about the new officers and how they're going to affect the club and its activities. These sorts of organizations tend to ebb and flow over the years ... and that little pandemic certainly didn't help much. Then combine that with our members' other personable responsibilities (kids, jobs, etc.), the explosion of craft brew available seemingly everywhere, the rise of NA beer (check those story links above), and many homebrewers just not making the time to brew. (Have you seen all of the used equipment out there? It's nuts!) With the new guys pitching in to help steer the Lincoln Lagers' mash paddle (that's a better analogy than steering the ship, right?) I see the future for our club as bright as a light American lager (another beer metaphor). Anyway, new blood brings new ideas. I'm optimistic.

When I first got involved in the club, some 20 or so years ago, a few members were bitchin' because the group was more or less turning into a drinking club. Now, for what it's worth, a drinking club is not necessarily bad, it's just that many wanted to learn about how to brew better beer. They wanted to take advantage of the knowledge within the Lagers and learn more about brewing. Hey! You! Yeah, YOU! Is there something about brewing beer that you want to know? Are you a bottler and want to shift to kegging? What about fermentation temperature control? How do you calculate brewing efficiency? What do you need to know about water treatment? How good is Lincoln's water? Let's discuss what you want to know and get a few topics lined up for future BE (beer education). We're going to start on Feb. 2. Please let us know if you want to take part in the 5 'n' 5 Taste-bud Challenge. It's fun and will challenge your, um, taste buds, bud. For future meetings, at a minimum, we should at least do some sort of "Mystery Beer," which could be a homebrew, one of Sam's Cosmic Eye brews, or a commercial beer. Taste it blind and figure out the style. Challenge and educate your palate. A drinking club is one thing. A club where we're drinking and learning is another. Let's drink and learn.

30 YEARS: It's still early in the year and I hope the excitement will build for our 30th anniversary. A special beer is in the early stages with Boiler Brewing. Hopefully, we can get some of our founding/lapsed members who are still around locally to attend the tapping, which is tentatively scheduled for June. More on that as we work our way through 2023. I am planning on having fun, learning more, and drinking some good beer! 


K!M T.
Random Beer Quote: “Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer,” W.C. Fields.
THE LINCOLN LAGERS LOG: The Local Beer Calendar
2... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Meeting - Cosmic Eye Brewing

16... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Social - Bierhaus Maisschäler

2... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Meeting - Cosmic Eye Brewing
18 or 19... Sat or Sun... 3 p.m... Monthly Social - Stone Hollow Brewing, Beatrice 

6... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Meeting - Cosmic Eye 
20... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Social - TBD

4... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Meeting - Cosmic Eye 
18... Thurs... 6 p.m... Monthly Social - TBD

(Disclaimer: Dates and details are subject to change at the last minute. Confirm with the organizers that these are accurate and still happening. Sometimes things are out of our control, you know? Check the website and Facebook when in doubt, OK? Cool. Thanks!)
Copyright © 2023 Lincoln Lagers - Lincoln's Homebrew Club, All rights reserved.

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