by Mike Retzlaff
When the club first started, the newsletter was produced on a typewriter, mimeographed, and snail-mailed to the membership. In 1988, it went high-tech and was churned out on a PC. The technical articles morphed into the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) preparatory classes which had a run of over 10 years.
When I first joined the club, Monk Dauenhauer was editor and did a very credible job. He went around at meetings and twisted a few arms in soliciting fodder for our unique and multi-faceted newsletter. Monk had other irons in the fire and gave more than fair warning that he would leave this lucrative job with the club in order to pursue his dream of becoming a high end gigolo. He finished the year of 2016 as editor.
Carol Rice was next to sit beneath the sword of Damocles and put her graphic arts experience to work. She too had other interests which were suffering as the HopLine, if done right, really takes up some time. Her term ended with the December issue of 2017.
Next in line was Gerald Lester who added a few innovations to spruce up and inject our little monthly publication with his own personality. He gave up the editor’s job with the January 2019 issue.
The next quarry slave was Mike Biggs who added quite a bit to the newsletter but was finally beaten down by the rigors of being editor. Mike gave up the editor’s job after the February 2020 edition and passed the reigns over to Jack Horne, just in time for the Covid 19 pandemic. Jack is still at it.
The HopLine is not, and has never been, a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize, Hugo Award, or Nobel Prize in literature. It is (at least should be) an accumulation of ideas from the membership, articles written from experience, and a few articles found on the Internet in which the general membership might have some interest. There are a number of us who have written technical articles concerning all aspects of brewing and some pedagogical how-to articles. A few bizarre glimpses into our individual psychic distress have been offered. BTW, no thanks, I don’t wish to be treated for my sense of humor; no matter how obtuse it may seem to anyone else.
Cooking recipes were sporadic until Ricardo offered them on a fairly regular basis. Cooking and brewing recipes are perfectly in keeping with the cause. If you think of something, write it down and send it in. A short note about some little trick you’ve found to be helpful, a way to shorten your brewday, or an idea which serves some other useful purpose is all it needs to be.
You don’t have to be Ernest Hemmingway, Jack London, or Herman Melville to become a contributor to the HopLine. Please don’t be shy. Everyone has knowledge worth sharing. Remember, this is a newsletter; not literature of a scientific journal!