Manchester & the Mountain Brewers Alliance | MAMBA BREWtality
The Manchester and the Mountains Brewers Alliance (MAMBA) is a homebrew club based out of Manchester, Vermont that was founded in August of 2014. MAMBA has around 70 followers on Facebook and they usually see 9 to 15 homebrewers in attendance at each of their gatherings. They're a pretty casual club with no dues or officers, but despite their laid-back style they still managed to meet every month for the past four years. One thing that makes the club unique is the club’s home base is the offices (and bocce court) of Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine – the largest circulation homebrewing magazine in the world – which is also based out of Manchester, Vermont. MAMBA may be located in a small remote town in southwestern Vermont, but their membership comes from quite diverse backgrounds with members who have moved to Vermont from Texas, Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, and even Amsterdam, Netherlands!
Some club meetings are just about getting together at the BYO offices to share their recent brews and talk beer and homebrewing, but several times a year they plan field trips and special events. Being located in the great beer state of Vermont, where there are 68 breweries for a state population of just 660,000 people, there is no shortage of beer-related things to do. MAMBA has toured the craft maltsters Peterson Quality Malt in Monkton, Vermont and Argyle Craft Malts in the (ironically) dry town of Argyle, New York. They pour their homebrews at the 4 Corners North Homebrew Fest every August and at the Winter Wings & Homebrew Fest every March in Bennington, Vermont. Quite a few of the beers poured where entered (some even medaled!)in local and national homebrew competitions including Make The Cut and the Greg Noonan Memorial Homebrew Competition here in Vermont, and the Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews in New York.
The club hosts annual events throughout the year intertwining food and beer such as an annual club brew and barbecue outside at Hapgood Pond in Peru, Vermont. Every fall, MAMBA does an apple cider pressing at the BYO offices with every member bringing an assortment of funky heirloom Vermont cider apples for a custom club blend. At the end of the year, they have a holiday potluck in which everyone makes a dish using beer, or beer ingredients, to share along with their homebrews to finish out the year. The next event this year will be a brewery tour along Route 9 which crosses the state of Vermont from Bennington to Brattleboro, with stops planned at Meulemans’ Craft Draughts (Rawsonville, Vermont), J’Ville Brewing (West Dover, Vermont), Beer Naked Brewing (Marlboro, Vermont), Whetstone Station (Brattleboro, Vermont), and Hermit Thrush Brewery (Brattleboro, Vermont).
Vermont is home to many hazy IPAs including a recent darling, Cloud Drop, a Double IPA from Upper Pass Beer Company based in Tunbridge, Vermont. Upper Pass doesn’t even have a brewery or tasting room you can visit yet but their can releases of Cloud Drop vanish within hours of hitting package store shelves. Suds Duds Society has the homebrew clone recipe for Cloud Drop so we are sponsoring the MAMBA club to brew the clone recipe. After the brewday, who knows, for a future meeting they should do a side-by-side tasting of the Cloud Drop clones versus the real thing!