Homebrewer Extraordinaire Takes to the National Homebrewers Conference

national homebrewers conference
Costume night at the National Homebrewers Conference.
Costume night at the National Homebrewers Conference.
Costume night at the National Homebrewers Conference.

The Great Lake State’s “Beer City, USA” is going to be up to their hops in homebrewers soon.

The 36th Annual National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan kicks off officially on June 12 and runs through June 14.

The 2014 NHC will see thousands of American Homebrewers Association members converge on the western side of Michigan for seminars, speakers, suds and swag.

The AHA – a division of the Brewers Association – has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community since 1978 and celebrates a membership of more than 43,000 homebrewers and beer enthusiasts.

The event began in 1979 in Boulder, Colorado with 200 homebrewers and has expanded to 3,400 paid members for the 2013 edition in Philadelphia. The conference is now recognized as the world’s most largely-attended conference devoted to amateur brewers.

“The NHC is a fun, educational gathering designed to enhance homebrewers’ brewing skills and knowledge and increase homebrewing camaraderie,” the website states. “Special seminars and events cater to beer enthusiasts and amateur brewers of every level.”

The last time Michigan hosted the event was in 2000 in suburban Detroit.

Also in the hoopla is the world’s largest homebrewing contest. More than 2,000 brewers entered this year’s competition, which help regionals throughout the country. The top beers advance to the nationals, which will be held during the event in Grand Rapids.

Last year, more than 7,700 beers were judged with 894 moving on to the national finals.

Mine won’t be one of the ones in the national competition, but I was happy with my score for my Strong Scotch Ale and I got some great feedback from the regional judges. More incentive to brew a better beer for next year!

My homebrew club, the Glass City Mashers, were fortunate enough to have a few move on to the finals. So it will be exciting to see how that turns out for them.

Along with the contest, Friday night will be a treat as Club Night gives clubs from all over the country to share their creations…all while dressed up goofy and being loud.

“Club Night is “The Party” not to be missed,” the NHC website states. “Club Night … has a history of showcasing some of the finest homebrews from our amazing community of homebrewers.
“Many clubs develop their booth around a theme. Most bar owners would drool over these tap systems, and the costumes are not to be missed.”

Registration is still open. Sounds like it will be worth the drive!

Raise one up!


Fermenter: Strong Scotch Ale (will be kegged for Club Night)

Secondary: none. But I have picked up a few extra secondary vessels. Means I can up my production. I have been lacking.

Bottled: Hard Lemonade Ale. The 2nd batch in fact. My wife is enjoying the sugary/sour goodness.

Up next: A dark ale made from whatever I have left in my storage area (mostly black patent, molasses, and flaked corn) as I prepare to head to Grand Rapids!

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