Sunday, June 21, 2009

National Homebrewers Conference

I just got back late last night from the National Homebrewers Conference in Oakland, three days and nights of beer talks, beer seminars, beer tastings, beer samplings, and beer drinking.

Commemorative beers brewed specially for the occasion, and distributed as
gifts to those attending the conference upon registering on-site


Clockwise from upper left: John Palmer (author, Brewing Classic Styles) on proteins and
head retention; Bob Hansed (Briess) on specialty malts and color in beer; Michael Ferguson
(BJ's Restaurants) on brewing German lagers; Tomme Arthur (The Lost Abbey) on
"ingredients 5 - 10".

The talks and lectures were pretty interesting though not always immediately relevant to me as an extract brewer. Nonetheless I did learn and found them all informative and, by and large, entertaining.

One of the best was the talk given by Tomme Arthur of The Lost Abbey. Not only was he a fun speaker, but he was very gracious and earnest in anwering all manner of questions from the floor. To make matters even better, he had a number of samples of Lost Abbey beers on hand.

Some of those were pretty potent and by the end of the talk we were all a bit loopy, which made it even more amusing that the session was punctuated by corks flying through the air preceded by loud POP!s as the bottles were uncorked!


Clockwise from upper left: More Beer!'s table at the Hospitality Suite; Rogue Brewery's table;
Cellarmaster Mike McDole and Randy enjoying a well-earned break in the HS; the Brewing Network
crew pouring their beers in the HS, on the Maltose Falcons' awesome portable bar.


From L to R: A part of DOZE's offerings on Club Night; Dick and Nate in the DOZE
tent; Aaron and I manning the DOZE food table.

With Charlie Papazian.
The lady who snapped the picture for me somehow managed
to capture the precise instant in which we both blinked!


The Conference closed with an awards ceremony and a banquet directed by DOZE's own Sean Paxton, a.k.a. The Homebrew Chef. Sean designed a menu for us in which every dish was paired to a beer from Rogue Brewery, and that beer was used in the preparation of the dish itself. These included an Asian-inspired salad, a choice of roast pork or chicken, and a delicious chocolate mousse dessert made with Tcho brand chocolates and a surprisingly awesome chocolate-infused imperial stout which, we were told, is brewed under contract by Rogue for sale abroad and, other than at our tables, was unavailable in the US.


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