February 2019 Newsletter

Westgate Brewers

Club Newsletter

February 2019

Next Club meeting

Sunday 17 February 2019 

Footscray Park Bowling Club

February 2019

Set Recipe American Amber Ale 
Need to get a message or question to the committee?
Just email
and put the word "committee" in the subject line.
This month we have an interview with one of the veterans of Westgate Brewers, John Kingston. The interview with John is after the competition news from Neal.



Dear Westgaters,

Firstly a very big thanks to Dan and Peggy for making our free BBQ a possibility at last months meeting. In the past, we found that January was always a poorly attended meeting but it seems the offer of a free BBQ always brings in a few members. The meeting itself was a very low key affair but there was some very good beers to sample. As usual, thanks to the folk that also helped cook the BBQ (Peter T) and helped clean up. We did have a hick-up with the BBQ actually being booked, but I have sent an email to FPBC asking for them to give us a bit of advanced notice, should this happen again.

Whilst on the subject of FPBC, I have been made aware that the bowls club members are actually charged to hold an evening function and we were not for our Christmas function. I’m in contact with Mitch from FPBC and the committee members that I've spoken to agree that this situation needs to be rectified. We certainly don’t want to be seen as being given special treatment as we are members of their club and facilities.

This Sunday's meeting is the Mountain Goat set recipe competition. Apart from our own club competition, we hoped that anyone that brewed this beer, also put entries into Melbourne Brewers Beerfest. Entries for this have now closed but we would hope that Westgate are well represented in the American Amber Ale category. This is how the beer will be judged Sunday. Unfortunately, Ian Morgan is now away, but it looks like Josh from Mountain Goat will be along to help judge the competition.

Speaking of competitions, entries are also open for Yarra Valley brewers Belgian Beer competition for Saturday April 6th. As Michael Bowron will attest, this is a great little competition with some outstanding beers entered. Like Beerfest, they are seeking judges and stewards. Also seeking judges and stewards are Merri Mashers for their IPA competition. The bonus with Merri Mashers is that if you steward or judge, you will also get a meal, by way of thanks. Merri Mashers is Sunday March 24 at The Dan O'Connell midday for lunch, comp starts at 1 pm.

Claire has advised that club shirts are now available for order. Unfortunately, she hasn’t received a single order. Due to work commitments, she won’t be there Sunday but if anyone would like to make an order on the new shirts ($50), then please come and see me. Payment can be made into the club bank account.

After this months meeting, our next BOTY competition is in April. This is Belgian Ale. So if you’ve already got your entry made, please also enter it into Yarra Valleys Brewers competition. Our last competition is Strong Stout in June, which means you should have an entry for our own Stout Extravaganza in July.

Good Beer week is also coming up soon. Last year the club subsidised tickets to the Gala Showcase which is March 15. As its a Friday, I’m unable to attend but if anyone is interested in going, please speak to me. For the record, Good Beer Week is May 10 to 19th. At this stage, we haven’t heard anything about the SMASH challenge, which we’ve done the last three years. For this event, we will need beers and people with RSA’s. If you are interested in doing an RSA, Flemington-Kensington Bowls club are running a course on Monday February 25 at 6:30 pm. Cost is $40 (which we will re-reimburse) To register your attendance, email the club info@flemkenbowls.com.au

This is urgent, so do it now!

Beer and Brewer magazine have also been in touch. They plan on “upping” the content online in regards to Homebrew clubs and what is happening. Whilst we don’t have any more details about this, I’ve said that Westgate would be interested in getting involved.

The Beer & Bowls with FPBC is still also in consultation but i have no news . As i indictated to FPBC, we would need a couple of months notice, so that we can have some kegs ready to put on the Excalibar. Again, once we know more, I’ll let you know.

Anyway, that's enough from me, see you Sunday!




Competition Corner

This Sunday is our BOTY set recipe competition. Hopefully plenty of you have brewed the Mountain Goat Fancy Pants clone. A representative from Mountain Goat is coming on Sunday to help judge the beers and they are also going to supply some prizes! So not only can you score BOTY points, you can also win some stuff on the day too.

Melbourne Brewers Beerfest
Entries closed last Saturday and I hope that as many of you as possible have entered this year. We have won huge prizes for club of show at this comp in the past and hopefully we can win this again. We need more members entering competitions to keep up the good name of our club and show the other bigger clubs that we have some of the bets home brewers Victoria.

All brewing competitions take a lot of effort to organise and run. Please think about volunteering to help at any or all of the competitions throughout the year. Right now volunteers are needed for Melbourne Brewers Beerfest, Yarra Valley Brewers Belgian Beerfest and Merri Mashers IPA comp. Don't worry if you haven't done it before, there are lots of jobs that need to be done to help a competition run smoothly and the organisers usually appreciate any pair of willing hands.

See you all Sunday


Paul McLaurin caught up with club stalwart and life member John Kingston to talk Westgate history, competition success and drain pours.

Paul McLaurin (PM): I have wanted to do an interview with you for a while now in respect of the life membership that was bestowed on you at the AGM. Firstly, congratulations! I have been a member for a few years now, and when I arrived at the club, you were spoken about with a lot of reverence for your brewing ability, but also for your service to the club as a past president and long standing committee member. What are some of the things you’ve been most proud of?

John Kingston (JK): Yes, I was on the committee for a while and helped to kick the kitty up. We had a 21st celebration and needed a few dollars, so we started up the sausage sizzle at Grain and Grape and with the help of Tabby and Dawn and Robin and a couple of others we were able to get enough in 12 months to be able to do our 21st all catered. That was at Footscray/Yarraville bowls club and was good. 

PM: When did you join Westgate?

JK: In early 2000. I brewed kits before that in the 90’s, a little bit of extract. Then I was on a gourmet trail that took me to a cheese factory, a smokehouse and the Robin Hood Brewpub in Mirboo, where I discovered a beer called Gippsland Gold made by Grand Ridge. There I met some guys from Westgate who were there on a club day; I went along to a club meeting and I have been here ever since.

PM: It’s a simple question, but why do you brew?

JK: I enjoy the challenge of brewing. I like making beer that’s enjoyable to people and if I enter a competition and my beer is placed, then I feel as though I’ve beaten the system. I enjoy building the equipment too, it never stops; I have a three-pot HERMS (Heat Exchanged Recirculation Mash System) rig and I keep building onto it. I have a freestanding brew house with overhead water and electrics and a proper concrete floor that I am able to keep spic and span.

PM: So you’ve gone from kit and kilo and extract brewing to winning the “Competition Hero” competition, which is the award for the club member with the most external competition points. 

JK: That was a bit of a surprise actually, I didn’t know that was on. I make sure I have something to enter in all competitions, and that’s mainly because of the club’s standing. If we don’t support each other’s competitions, it’ll die. At the moment, it’s very, very good; more and more people are taking on the challenge of brewing their beer at home. We’ve come a long way from when club members used to share the one pot for brewing.

PM: In terms of your brewing journey, from kit and kilo to becoming one of the most decorated brewers to come through the club, what would you say has been the most important change, or thing you have incorporated to improve your beer?

JK: I think a quick chill through my system’s heat exchange where you can get a lager down to 10C in 20 minutes and you have pitched your yeast and are ready for your clean up. That’s the biggest advantage. It’s faster too; my old brew day was about 8 hours, now I can get it down to 6.5-7 for 55-60 Litres.

PM: Do you find it difficult to get through all the beer you brew?

JK: No, I bottle and keg, and bottle stubbies too. I mature my beers for about three months in the cupboard before I even chill them. There are some that you take the top off after that period of time to find that they’ve gone nowhere, they are winey or sweet and you just discard them. I don’t have any problem with that - my sink is very used to having beer thrown at it.
PM: OK, that’s interesting. I think it’s common when people to make beers that they don’t like that there’s an expectation that they will suck it up and drink them anyway. It’s interesting to hear someone with a pretty reasonable pedigree in terms of brewing success say they aren’t scared to tip one out if it’s no good.

JK: If I can’t drink it, I won’t give it to anybody else.
PM: I’ve tried an Atholl Brose (infusion of whiskey, oats and honey) that you made. I’ve had a mead that you made and a couple of sours - you have a very broad range of things that you make.

JK: Well, I like the sours. I’m about to start kettle souring soon – the souring agent that’s been brought out by Lallemand makes this easy. I’ve just made a mellomel again (a mead infused with fruit) and I always have something like that on the go. I pop it in a fermenter, leave it at the back of the couch and it goes through summer, autumn, winter and spring and then it might go through summer, autumn, winter and spring again. You taste it, if it’s alright: bottle it. If not, chuck it out.

PM: It’s a silly hypothetical question because hopefully it won’t come to this, but if you could only brew one beer, what would it be?

JK: (No hesitation) It’d be a low alcohol pilsner. One grain one hop – either a hallertau or a saaz or even spalt. I always have this on tap at home.

PM: Let’s come back to the club. You are coming up to be 20 years a member, which is a long time to belong to any organisation. If you were speaking to a new brewer now with so much information online, what would you tell them you get out of being a member of a brew club?

JK: In the early days it was about information, but I was helped enormously by the members of this club in improving my brewing, especially with my bigger beers. I think they are just as helpful to newer brewers now. In summary, be part of a brew club simply because it’s beneficial to your brewing.

PM: Thanks John, it’s been great chatting.

February 2019

Set Recipe


Contact Neal if needed


April 2019


15.1 - Saison

15.2 - Biere de Garde

15.3 - Trappist Single

15.4 - Belgian Blonde Ale 

15.4 - Belgian Blond Ale

15.5 - Belgian Dubbel

15.6 - Belgian Tripel

15.7 Belgian Golden Strong Ale

15.8 - Belgian Dark Strong Ale


June 2019


10.1 - Tropical Stout

10.2 - Foreign Extra Stout

10.3 - American Stout

10.4 - Imperial Stout

Competitor Placings
  August October November February May June Score
Dawn Van Bruchem 1st 3rd 3rd       5
Grant Morley 3rd 2nd         3
Chris Speck   1st         3
Fergus McGregor     1st       3
Dan Williams 2nd           2
Walter Medenbach     2nd       2
*Only paid up members receive points. Late payment will result in no points scored until after payment is received.
Printable version of the BOTY Schedule here
Westgate Brewers has a blog and a Facebook page.

You can keep up with news and developments in between newsletters through the two sites below.

Westgate Brewers Blog                                         Facebook

The Footscray Park Bowls Club is our home.

The club is located on Ballarat Road adjacent to Victoria University in the McCoy Reserve. The entrance is on Hoadley Court and we are allowed to use the members parking area.

The BBQ will be available to us and the BOTY competition will proceed as normal. 

Footscray Park Bowls Club
1 Hoadley Court Footscray

There is public transport nearby

For more information
Westgate Brewers facebook group

Footscray Park Bowls Club

Footscray Park Bowls Club Facebook

It’s time to get your Westgate on!

Ever wanted a Westgate Clock? or a travel mug? How about a duvet cover or a wall tapestry? 

The Westgate store is OPEN and you can grab yourself a range of clothing and homewares to decorate yourself, your house or your family!

Click on the link then click on "Available Products" to see the range.

Look here


The committee has decided to increase the single membership fee to $50 and the family membership fee to $60. In light of the increase in fees associated with membership of the Footscray Park Bowling Club (FPBC).

A family membership entitles the member to bring family to the AGM and Christmas party at no additional cost. Each single and family membership includes a single social club membership to the FPBC with the associated membership privileges.


Single membership $50

Family membership $60

Payable to the treasurer or to the club account:

Account name: Westgate Brewers Club Inc

BSB: 063240

A/c no: 10635967

Don’t forget to put your name in the Statement details so we know who has paid.

Brewer Of The Year Schedule 2018 - 2019

Style Guidelines 

AABC Style Guidelines:
2017 Australian Amateur Brewing Championship Style Guidelines (AABC)

BJCP Style Guidelines:
Beer Judge Certification Program 2015 Style Guidelines (BJCP)


Westgate Brewers also has a closed facebook group if you want to join - https://www.facebook.com/groups/westgatebrewers/
If you have a gmail account then you can add the Westgate Brewers Calendar to your Gmail Calendar and then you automatically see what events are happening
Club Contacts

Competition Coordinator
General Committee Members

Email Address

Fergus McGregor 0419 345 160
Clare Sheppard
Michael Fitzpatrick
Neal Kavanagh
Paul McLaurin and Courtney Hall

Peggy Newman, Dan 
Williams & Stuart Palmer

Copyright © 2019 Westgate Brewers Inc, All rights reserved.

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