Who Are The Falcons?
We're a dedicated loony bunch of beer drinkers and brewers constantly looking for that next great beer.
We brew beer and we'll teach you too! - (Beginner's Extract Classes and Group All-Grain sessions every month)
We throw parties! (3 of them every year)
We judge beer and run competitions to provide anonymous feedback on your brewing process
We tour professional breweries.
If it has something to do with beer, you can pretty much bet we're involved.
Maltose Falcons' History
(Excerpted from the Club History written for the 25th Anniversery)
The Founding Board of the Maltose Falcons (1974): Merlin Elhardt, Don Buchannon, Rick Hoppe, John, Unknown and Jim Gustanski Thanks to Don for finding this photo.
The Maltose Falcons were founded in 1974 by Merlin Elhardt. He had an interest in producing pale delicate German-style lager beers at home, and was doing all-grain brewing and yeast culturing before most home brewers knew of such techniques.
The club is sponsored by John Daume (also affectionately known as "Long John" and "Old John" in the newsletters) who for the last 35 years has ran a home winemaking shop. The Falcon's have met in all the various incarnations of John's shop. Today we have a special clubhouse in the rear of John's shop.
The club was active in 1978 in efforts to legalize homebrewing and were invited to the initial signing of the Bates bill to legalize homebrewing in California. The bill was eventually signed by Governor Brown on July 19, 1978. They were also instrumental in working with California Senator Alan Cranston to submit his bill to legalize homebrewing throughout the U.S.
In April of 1979, the Falcons held their first yearly Springfest competition which in 1987 was moved to May and renamed the Mayfaire.
As the 80's rolled around the Falcons started to diversify. The Falcons ran a strong yeast bank in the times prior to pure liquid yeast cultures and were winning awards, include the 1984 and 1985's Best Club at the HWBTA. We were hosting beer brewing demonstrations and beer competitions in Marina Del Rey and the San Fernando Valley Fair. In 1988 we hosted the first Annual LA County Fair with 91 entries.
By the end of the 1980's the club was in high gear. They had won California Homebrew Club of the Year for the first time 1989 and a bus trip to Anchor was organized along with a pub crawl to various brewpubs. The Anchor band played, the Falcon Blues Band was born, and they were so loud the neighbors called the cops on Anchor! A few months later the 1990 AHA Convention is held in Oakland. The Falcons hosted a hospitality room, took home two first place ribbons and placed third in the National Hombrew Club of the Year competitions. David Sherfey begins the big mead project and Stuffed Sandwich hosts the first annual Christmas beer tasting. Gerry Stoker takes on the herculean task of organizing the first Southern California Homebrewers Festival in 1991. The all-grain pilot brewery is built, The Chief Steward is written to manage the beer competitions, and paid membership exceeds 200. In the late 1990's the club becomes more focused on beer judge training with more featured articles on beer Styles, off-flavors. More members are making mead thanks to the first mead tasting in 1992.
The club developed a tradition of staging three fests each year: the Mayfaire (originally the Springfest) in the springtime, the Sunfest in the summer, and of course the Oktoberfest in the fall, in addition to holding monthly meetings and circulating a monthly newsletter, Brews and News. Its members have organized two yearly regional homebrewing competitions since 1988, the Maltose Falcons Mayfaire Competition and the Los Angeles County Fair Home Brewed Beer Competition.
Other traditions include the yearly Mead Tasting (beginning in 1992, sometimes held twice-yearly), and the start of the Maltose Falcons Brews Band in February of 1990 at the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco during a celebration of the Falcons as Anchor's California Brew Club of the Year for 1989 (subsequently awarded for 1994 and 1996 as well). The band has played its unique blend of blues, rock and roll, R & B, oldies and original brew tunes at every Falcons fest since about 1991, and at the first eight Southern California Homebrewers Festivals; it will celebrate its own tenth anniversary early next year.
The "Dead Palates Society", now famous at feasts and adopted by many other clubs, was born at a Falcon's Oktoberfest. This society consists of brewers who have been sampling homebrew all day, and by late in the evening can only taste the strongest, rastiest beers available due to their dead palates.
Numerous club members have gone on to become professional brewers. The Falcon's Hall of Fame reads like the who's who in the brewing industry. The current club continues to be recognized as one of the premier homebrewing clubs in the US and produce outstanding quality beer. The newsletter has become a valuable resource for both its members and other clubs.
The Falcons have been Anchor Brewing's California Homebrew Club of the Year 8 times - 1989, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2014!
We also won the AHA's Radesgast Award in 2015 (National Competition for Club Awesomeness)
- Merlin Elhardt Founded club
- John Daume Club sponsor
- Brent Wilson BJCP judging training
- Paul Camusi Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
- Steve Grossman Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
- Rodney Morris Inventor of RIMS system; author, yeast bank for Falcons, 1980 BOS HWBTA competition.
- Rodger Haynes 1981 BOS HWBTA competition, 1981 AHA Meadmaker of the Year.
- Marty Velas BJCP representative, German Brewing School graduate, Alpine Village, American Craftbrewers Academy, Smoky Bear Brewing, Gatlinburg, TN
- John Maier 1988 AHA Homebrewer of the Year; Siebel grad. Alaskan Brewery & Rogue Ales
- Chuck Bennett Falcons logo's, Sierra Nevada Label, Under the Oak Brewery, Ojai, CA.
- Ron Guentzler BJCP judge certification training, Homebrewing class instructor
- Jay Anekeny Author, beginning brewing articles & Easy Beer book, pioneered Mentoring Program
- Steve Casselman AHA Board of Advisors; author, invited speaker. homebrewing classes instructor, Great Beer Company.
- Jim Post 1991 AHA Homebrewer of the Year
- R. Bruce Prochal Organized beer for 1990 AHA convention, AHA National BOS judge
- Maureen Nye BOS Judge AHA Nationals.
- Darryl Richman First Place Bock 1990 AHA Nationals; author of Bock book; BJCP judge certification training, Crafty Fox Brewing Software,brewing water expert.
- Jeff Mellem Brewer's Resource & BrewTek line of products, Homebrewing classes instructor
- Dennis Bartell Homebrewing class instructor
- Gerry Stoker Founder of Southern California Homebrewers Festival
- Cindy & Dennis 1989 AHA "Hail to Ale" National Club Competition, Arvidson yeast bank for Falcons
- Bruce Brode BJCP judge certification training, Falcon's band, Southern California Homebrewers Festival
- Mark Van Leeuwen Santa Clarita Brewing Co.
- Ward Pond Author of the Chief Sterward Computer Program for Beer Competitions
- Brian Vessa BJCP judge certification training, Falcon's band leader
- Alex Puchner Huntington Beach Brewing Co. & BJ's Brewery
- David Sherfey First Place Steam Beer, 1990 AHA Nationals; BJCP training classes, the original mead man
- Dennis Fink Founder of Dead Palates Society, started trouble shooters corner, original grand hydrometer.
- Maribeth Raines Great Beer Company, brewing consultant, Developed the yeast starter kit, author, invited speaker, AHA National BOS judge.
- Mark Jilg Craftsman Brewing Co.
- Rusty Reece Homebrewing class instructor
- Skip Virgilio Alesmith Brewing Co.
- Dean Lynn Great Beer Company
- Doug King BOS California State Fair, successfully cloned and improved on Budwieser aka Dougweiser.
- Michael Bowe Sierra Nevada Homebrewer of the Year two years in a row; Angel City Brewing Co.
- Fred Waltman Culver City Homebrew Supplies
- Steve LaBrie Culver City Homebrew Supplies J
- John Aitchison Tavern Services
- Brandy McKay Weber's Place
- Bill Kimbrell Bayhawk Ales
- Mike Wissell Mallzee's Stuft Pizza & Brewery
- Tom Wolf First Place AHA Club Only Competition, runner-up Sierra Nevada Homebrewer of the Year, and Sierra Nevada Homebrewer of the Year. Winner of the MCAB Finals
- Todd Etzel Falcons Recipe book
- Drew Beechum - Author Everything Homebrewing Book, Everything Hard Cider and Experimental Homebrewing and columnist for BeerAdvocate the Magazine
Brewer's Support Network
These knowledgable and experienced Falcon brewers are part of our new support network. They are available to help you with any brewing related questions you might have, so please feel free to contact them.
Jay Ankeny, firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Beechum, email@example.com
Bruce Brode, firstname.lastname@example.org
Todd Etzel, toddE10534@aol.com
Jerry Macala, Falcon@greatbytes.com
M.B. Raines-Casselman, email@example.com
Gary Rich, firstname.lastname@example.org
Biff Tate, email@example.com
Brian Vessa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Wolf, email@example.com