Welcome to the Official Tri-County Fermenters Club Website.
Our Mission: To bring like-minded homebrewers, home wine vintners, and home mead/cider makers from the borderline counties of Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan together in the pursuit and enjoyment of all things fermented.
We typically meet at members homes in the Beecher/Florence/Iron Mountain region monthly to socialize and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Our #1 goal is to educate you to promote greater knowledge and appreciation of fermented beverages.
TCF promotes responsible drinking encourages the use of a designated driver. Please stay safe so that you can live to ferment another day!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Renew for 2013

Hi everyone,
I am slowly working on improving the club website and have now added a couple of new and exciting features.  You can now pay your membership dues via paypal and also email the club czar from the site.  Please see the columns on the right side of the webpage for details.
I have had some compatibility issues with the version of Word that I use that caused difficulty for some of you to get our membership renewal form.  Now you can bypass this form and pay directly.
I will also be putting together some event info for 2013 soon including January 19th Club Brew, Feb 2nd Dead of Winter Stout Competition and Chili Cook-Off at the Elks Club in Iron Mountain, March 9th Brew Masters Competition, and Club T-Shirt sales.
Please renew your membership soon to continue receiving your discounts in Spread Eagle and Green Bay.
Thank you very much and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2013!

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 29th Christmas Party

To avoid the busy Holiday season, TCF will be holding their annual Christmas Party/Secret Santa Bomber Giveway a bit early this year.   We will meet next week Thursday, November 29th at the Elks Club in Iron Mountain at 6pm.
The Elks is across the street from Walgreens and will have a spaghetti supper for only $8.
We are allowed to bring in samples as long as we follow the Michigan law for limited samples to 3 ounces (beer) and 2 ounces (wine/mead/cider) as long as we patronize the club. 
For those of you the are not familiar with our Christmas tradition, each member brings a bomber of beer (or other fermented beverage) and wraps it for a blind exchange. 
Please make room on your schedule and join us for a night of fun!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Summer Wheat Beer Criteria

Hi all,
Here are the guidelines for our Summer Wheat Beer Competition being held on October 20th at MaxSells Restaurant in Florence, prior to the Beer Dinner Pairing:

AROMA: Please rate (5) Smells good and enhances the drinking experience (3) Acceptable, but unremarkable (1) Not so good, detracts from the drinking appearance
COLOR: Please rate (1) Looks like beer to me (-1) Wait a second, did you enter Berry Weiss?! CLARITY: Please rate (1) This beer is cloudy, which I would expect from wheat beer (1) excellent clarity for a wheat beer
HEAD (Retention, color, texture) : Please rate (1) Appropriate. (0) Lacking.
FLAVOR: Please rate (10) This was excellent flavor with good use of wheat and other ingredients that play nice together (8) This is better than average, but may lack slightly on the wheat flavor (6) This is about average, nothing really stands out. (4) Acceptable, but flavors do not seem to blend well together.  May be one-dimensional. (3) This beer has minor flaws that detract from the flavor (1) Fair to Poor, Off flavor detected suggesting a possible infection.
DRINKABILITY: Please rate your overall drinking pleasure (7) Extraordinary Could easily down a sixer (5) Excellent Would certainly have a few (3) Very Good Would ask for a 2nd (2) Acceptable Would stop at one (1) Deficient
CREATIVITY: Please rate the overall level of creativity of this entry (2) Good demonstration of creativity while maintaining the theme (1) This is a fairly typically beer

Please let me know if you are planning on entering.  There will be no entry forms.
I will accept growlers(1), bombers (1), or 12 ounce bottles (2).
I am also looking for 5 judges.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Florence County Fair

TCF will be serving at this year's Florence County Fair on Saturday, August 25th from 3-6pm.
Here is what we'll have now:
Tap #1 Star Spangled American Stout brewed by Clark Torma, Norway
Tap #2 Storm Warrior Ale brewed by Gary Lindow, Florence
Tap #3 Hairband Brown, a Northern English Brown, brewed by Edward Mathis, Beecher
Tap #4 Afternoon at the Edbury, A Belgian Golden Strong Ale, brewed by Edward Mathis, Beecher
Tap #5 Wimpy Russian, a party-gyle stout (2nd runnings) from a Russian Imperial Stout, brewed by Rob Hibbard, Iron Mountain
Thanks to the brewers and I look forward to seeing everyone Saturday!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Upcoming Events

Hi all, After a bit of a summer lull, we are back with a few events.
1.August 4th (Saturday) is National Mead Day and I will be hosting a club brew and mead sampling. I'll start brewing at 10am with out usual meeting sometime after 3pm There is some road construction on County Road L (the road to get to my home) so I will provide potential alternate directions as we approach the date (my address in N16564 Vinger Lane in case you want to map it)
2.August 25th (Saturday) TCF will be serving at the Florence County Fair at the Fairgrounds in Florence on County N just south of town. The club has a 5 tap system to serve off ball lock cornies and I am looking for a few people to volunteer to serve there finest homebrew. This will be the first year that we can legally serve at the Fair (previously, we had limited samples after the Brew Masters Competition.) We will also have an informal "People's Choice" Awards. We plant to serve from 2-6 pm after the completion of the 1pm start beer run. Please email me if you would like to serve. We will give you free 2013 membership if you do donate a keg (though I doubt we'll come close to running anyone dry as we will limit samples to 2 oz.)
3. October 6 (Saturday) Two great events! First is the return (likely for the last time though you never know) of Border Worts! It turns out that I still have one set of ribbons to award. So, after hearing that the Bay de Noc Brewers were kicking around possibly doing a summer wheat beer competition (Thank you Josh and Mike for the idea) I thought I take the task on. It will be a different format to what we previously did. The concept is simple: This is the antithesis of Dead of Winter Stout. Your task (should you choose to accept it) is to make a wheat beer that would be the perfect answer to the summer heat. You can make a traditional style or in the spirit of DOW make a creative entry. What you decide is up to you. We will judge the beer based on drinkability on a hot summer day in a Best of Show format, so you will not get any formal comments. This competition is free and to kick it up a notch we have challenged the Brewing Innovators and Enthusiasts of Rhinelander and Bay de Noc Brewers. We will hold the comp at Maxsells Restaurant in Florence at 3pm and we will need judges that like to drink summer wheat beers (Let me twist your arm!) this fun event will be followed by the return of:
The Beer Pairing Dinner! Thanks to the re-legalization of homebrew transport outside of your home/farm/place of residence in Wisconsin, we will return to Maxsells with sittings at 5:30pm and 8pm. More info to come, but here is the tentative menu (Please remember that this is subject to change)
Course #1 Crabcakes with Belgian Saison
Course #2 White Chicken Chili with a Fresh-Hopped Pale Ale
Course #3 Caesar Salad with Witbier 
Course #4 Steak with Brown Ale
Course #5 Dessert with Stout
I have not completely set the brewers for this event so I won't announce anything until I have a firm lineup. But if it goes as planned this is an all-star lineup and a can't miss event.
4. Other Announcements: *Our summer special is on. For $17 you can renew your membership for 2012 and extend it to 2013. If you haven't re-upped yet, take advantage of this offer *The club is looking for hosts for November, December, and January meetings. *I have tentatively scheduled Dead of Winter for Feb 2nd and Brew Masters Competition for March 9th. Please plan your brewing schedules accordingly.
5. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2012 Brew Masters Competition Results!

7th Annual Brew Masters Competition Results
March 29-31, 2012
Florence, Wisconsin
43 entries
13 entrants from 6 states

Pale Ales and Pilsners
Mike Harvanek, Glen Ellyn, IL
"Amarillo by Morning"
American Pale Ale
Mike Harvanek, Glen Ellyn, IL
"Mr. Nice Rye"
Rye Pale Ale
Clark Torma, TCF, Norway, MI
"2nd Chance"
Standard/Ordinary Bitter

Irish, Scottish, Stouts, and Dark Lagers
Ross Ziegenthaler, Muskegon Ottawa Brewers,
Spring Lake, MI
"Willows Old Nessy
Scottish Export 80/-
Casey Zima, Green Bay, WI
"Eejit Red"
Irish Red Ale
Jonathan Bowker, Brew Free or Die, Weare, NH
"Toasted Sweet Stout"
Sweet Stout

IPAs and American Stouts
Clark Torma, TCF, Noway, MI
Black IPA
Michael Thorpe, Alexandria, VA
Imperial IPA
Clark Torma, TCF, Norway, MI
"Black Ice Shoulder Buster"
Black IPA

Belgians & Wheats
Michael Thorpe, Alexandria, VA
"Sorachi Lime Saison"
Rye Saison with Sorachi Ace hops, lime zest, and Brett. Claussenni
Rob Hibbard, TCF, Iron Mountain, MI
"Border Wheat"
American Wheat
Edward Mathis, Beecher, WI & Jon Coyne, Iron Mountain, MI; TCF
"Welcome to Sour Paradise"
Flanders Red Ale

Fruit & Spice Beers
Mike Miller, TCF, Escanaba, MI
"Norwegian Wood"
Other Smoked Beer with Juniper
Jonathan Bowker, Brew Free or Die, Weare, NH
"Strawberry Blonde Ale"
Strawberry Blonde
Clark Torma, TCF, Norway, MI
"Oh Christmas Tree"
Spruce Beer with sweet orange peel

Ross Ziegenthaler
Scottish Export 80/-

Clark Torma
Black IPA

Best beer at or under 1.045 OG
Clark Torma
Standard/Ordinary Bitter

Dennis Byington & Brian Hughes
Chula Vista, California
2264 miles

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Entry form back online

The entry form for the upcoming Brew Masters Competition is open again. Feel free to enter.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Entry Deadline for the Brew Masters Competition: March 27th

Please click on the link on the right for rules and entry info.
Don't miss out on a chance to get your beer judged!
The Best of Show Winner is named "The Kaiser" and gets their name engraved on our traveling trophy, forever becoming part of club lore.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Dead of Winter Stout Competition RESULTS

Here are the results of our 4th DOW Stout Competition
Total Entries: 19
1ST PLACE: Al Ewan, Rhinelander, TCF/BIER
Banana Rye Stout
2ND PLACE: John Rugotzke, Rhinelander, TCF/BIER
Sour-mashed Stout with Indian Sarsaparilla
3RD PLACE:John Rugotzke, Rhinelander TCF/BIER
Smoked Imperial Stout with double bacon
Rob Hibbard, Iron Moutain, TCF
Whiskey Old Fashioned Stout*
Rob Hibbard, Iron Mountain, TCF
Hazelnut Coffee Stout*
Edward Mathis, Beecher, TCF
Imperial Stout with Rosemary and Juniper*
John Beck, Escanaba, BdNB
Candy Cane Stout
Brandon Kolbe, Appleton, ALEs
Chocolate Rye Stout
Cindy Kolbe, Appleton, ALEs
Sweet Stout with slight vanilla/coffee
Sweet Imperial Stout with hints of caramel and vanilla
Sam Hennessee, Mensha, ALEs
Toasted Pumpkin seed Stout
Milk Stout with semi-sweet chocolate
Gary Lindow, Homestead, TCF
Chocolate raspberry stout
Stout with maple syrup
Bacon Stout
John Parsons, Green Bay, Rackers
Irish Stout with Cherries and bourbon cherry bounce soaked oak
John Rugotzke, Rhinelander, TCF/BIER
Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
Crème Brulee Sweet Stout
Clark Torma, Norway, TCF
Tropical Foreign Extra Stout with onion infused
*Advanced to Best of Show Round

I would like to thank all of the entrants for making this our most competitive field yet. The Best of Show panel of Josh Marenger, Cindy Kolbe, Lorena Evans, and Brian Mitchell had a very difficult time picking this year's winners. Thanks also to our other judges: Gary Lindow, Ryan Jacobson, Sam Hennessee, Tim McGuire, Trenton Rankin, and Leon Schiavo; our stewards Victoria Hennessee and Brandon Kolbe; and finally our host: Scott McGuire who yet again missed the competition!
Overall, the field was very creative this year and I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with next year.