WARE WINE & BEER CIRCLE
THIS YEAR'S MEETINGS

2018
April: AGM followed by the First Semi-Final of the Countries Wine Challenge
15 members attended the meeting. The minutes of last year’s AGM were accepted following a brief run-down of the major issues by Peter R. after he realised that he had printed the 2015 AGM minutes by mistake. Kevin presented the Chairman’s report which outlined club successes throughout the 2017/18 year including the Dickensian evening despite initial difficulty with the boiler which may have caused total failure.
Peter R. presented the Treasurer’s report stating a balance of circa £1260 i.e. a very small loss for the year. However, Peter did point out that had the boiler problem at the Dickensian evening not been resolved, the financial status of the club would have been very different. Peter commented that the club’s annual subscriptions will remain unchanged.
It was proposed and seconded that all committee members remain in post for the coming year.
Outgoing President John congratulated David as having been elected the new President.
Other business included a reminder that the June outing would be afternoon tea at Pearces. Following considerable discussion regarding the belated Xmas meal in March and various proposals for the venue for the 40th anniversary meal in the coming November, it was concluded that more investigation was required and that the subject would be resolved at future club meetings.
The AGM was concluded by Chris announcing that Kevin had won the Founder’s Trophy which had been a closely run contest being decided by points gained at the March cherry wine competition.
The Countries for the Wine Challenge semi-final were Spain and Eastern Europe. Six bottles of wine had been purchased from Tesco and Majestic Wines (2 white & 4 red) within the price range £2.61 (on a clearance offer from £4) to £8.00. Attendees sampled each wine and a vote was taken to establish the preferred wines. On this occasion, the winning country was Spain. Although the votes for the white wines were close, the reds were decisive.

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Sunday 25th March 2018; Belated Xmas Meal
The Christmas meal planned for December 2017 had been cancelled due to poor weather conditions making travel difficult for many members. This rearranged meal at the Three Lakes Restaurant, Westmill Farm, Ware was attended by twenty members and guests. The change of date brought about a wider choice of menu than the set Xmas roast and the members did well to remember their individual orders assisted by charts placed along the table by Kevin! At the end of the meal our president John stood and proposed thanks to Kevin for his efforts in arranging the gathering and also brought attention to the clubs successes at the National show.

March: Internal Competition, and guest speaker
Twelve members attended the meeting. Kevin introduced John Wing for a brief update on the Southern Maltings project.
Elections at East Herts had brought about a major reshuffle of councillors and with it a significant change of attitude towards the Maltings future. John reported such issues as roof refurbishment, resolving external floor level problems, removal of floors and insertion of a steel frame. Waggers bar had been reinstated and the number of events increasing throughout 2017. Two months had been lost due to the wait for Building Control to be satisfied that concrete floors provided adequate fire resistance. This resulted in an additional ceiling to be installed. The upstairs is to be art studios with sprung floors to reduce noise levels and downstairs will be a large performance area for up to 250 people, together with a café, bar, shop, new restaurant and reception area. At the end of the building where WWBC currently meet will be teaching, ceramics and printing studios.
Kevin moved the meeting on to the Cherry Wine competition. There were 7 entries which were each sampled and marked for bouquet and flavour by the attendees. All were worthy entries however the results were as follows. 1st Kevin and Joint 2nd Robert, Chris and a 50/50 blend of Robert & Chris’ wines. Founders cup points were awarded Kevin 4, Robert 2, Chris 2.
Kevin gave attendees a sample of his 3 week blueberry wine which achieved a second at the National and Peter and Elaine passed around a National 3rd dry white sparkling.
Kevin thanked John Wing for the update and closed the meeting.
Kevin reminded the meeting that the April meeting would be on Monday 16th and was the AGM.

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March: National Show at Royal Court Hotel, Coventry

Peter and Elaine R, Kevin, Robert and Susan, and Chris and Carol went to the 60th Anniversary National show at Coventry. See the NAWB website for the full results and photos.
Ware Wine & Beer Circle and its members were among the 6 federations, 11 circles and 71 individual entrants at the National Association of Wine & Beer Makers (Amateur) Annual Show in Coventry on Saturday 17th March 2018. A total of 1524 bottles and 9 photos were entered across the show’s 94 classes.
Ware Circle and its members gained 22 first and 138 other places and as a result retained their position at the top of the National Club Points League Table and the Amateur Winemakers Shield, for the fourth year in succession. In addition, Ware Circle won the NAWB Beer Trophy and The Sweet ‘N’ Dry Cup. Ware Chairman Kevin Martin and Treasurer Peter Robinson shared the NAWB Master Trophy - something that has not been achieved for 32 years!. Kevin won the The Temple Tankard and the Hill Cup; Elaine was awarded the Lady Winemaker Trophy, and Peter won the Bournemouth Master Winemakers Cup; Chris won the Brian Keer Trophy. Ware Circle and its members won a total of 23 trophies.
The Show was a weekend event and included a presentation of home brew beers and wines. The highlight of the weekend was Saturday evening’s formal dinner followed by the presentation of major trophies and musical entertainment.
This year Robert took some of Peter and Elaine's trophies home!

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--> February: New River Brewery talk and tasting
15 members and 1 ex-member attended the talk and tasting by Jeremy and John from the New River Brewery in Hoddesdon.
Jeremy explained how the brewery started in 2015. Neither Jeremy nor John come from a brewing background, apart from doing some home-brewing. They took over an old building in Hoddesdon in 2014 and had to do a lot of work to make the building usable, including levelling the floor, before they could start brewing. They are now selling to over 200 pubs and clubs throughout Hertfordshire, as far north as Cambridge, and also some in London. Jeremy stated that although they source the water for brewing from the same source as the New River, they are not allowed to take water directly from the New River due to a bye-law dating back to James I!
They brought along three beers for the members to taste, as follows:
  • Twin Spring - a mellow golden ale at 4%, which uses the Wai-iti New Zealand hops; it is caramel-infused, with mandarin, lemon and lime zest aromas
  • Five Inch Drop - an IPA at 4.7%; refreshing citrus, pine needle flavours
  • Blind Poet - a porter at 4.5%; smoked liquorice and chocolate flavours
Kevin and Peter R also brought along two beers to taste -
  • Kevin - Exmoor Gold - (Beds & Herts recipe) 5.5%
  • Peter - Old Burton Ale - a Durden Park recipe 7%
Unfortunately the brewery does not yet do tours of the brewery, but there is a pleasant walk along the New River to get to the brewery.

President John thanked Kevin for organising the evening.

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January: Favourite Wines
17 members attended the meeting which was opened by Kevin informing everybody that John, who was in attendance, had recently suffered a fall and wished him well. Chris reminded the room of March’s internal competition for Cherry Wine and of the Annual Show with speciality class being the fresh grape recipe.
Several members had brought a bottle of home made wine for all to taste and discuss under the heading “Our Favourite Wine”.
  • Kevin– A parsnip wine recipe fermented using an empty airlock to gain Sherry characteristics.
  • Elaine – citrus aperitif which was the NAWB orange marmalade recipe which had improved with age and achieved several first places.
  • Kevin – An Avanti Petiano red grape wine which was stated to be a little “rough” when first made but had mellowed to a pleasing wine.
  • Mary – Kiwi wine, Mary’s first attempt being a medium sweet wine which Mary and the meeting found very pleasant.
  • Robert – A blueberry wine made from blueberry and grape juice. The wine had only been bottled one day however it proved very palatable.
  • Chris – A social red medium sweet wine made from a base of frozen red mixed summer fruits.
  • Peter R. – Red after dinner wine which Kevin “judged” to be in need of more fruit & alcohol! Peter read an article about the club in 1983 i.e. the year that he and Elaine had joined.
  • Kevin – last, but not least, a liqueur made from whiskey and oranges.

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Last updated: 30/04/18
Copyright: 2001 WWBC