Brewing with Bigfoot – trip report and video

Yesterday we announced that the 2012 American Homebrewers Association selected Bellevue, WA as the location for its 2012 National Homebrewers Conference. The video teaser that the Washington Homebrewers Association (WAHA) produced about the upcoming event is informative and funny. I’ve included it at the end of this post.

Today we offer a trip report from Nate Muller, our Sr. Homebrew Corespondent, who just returned from this year’s conference in San Diego. With a dinner catered by Sean Paxton and guest speakers like Tomme Arthur and Vinny Cilurzo (the genius behind Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger and others), you can understand why all beer geeks and not just homebrew geeks should be happy that this conference is coming to town.

National Homebrew Conference San Diego Trip Report

by Nate Muller – Washington Beer Blog Sr. Homebrew Correspondent

I just got back from the National Homebrewers Conference (NHC) in San Diego and it did not disappoint. I have been listening to glowing reports from NHC for years now, but haven’t been able to make the trip due to other obligations.The real stinger was when I was actually in Oakland during the Oakland festival two years ago, but had other obligations that kept me from enjoying the festival. Finally, just last weekend, I got to spend three fantastic days enjoying the largest homebrewing event in the country.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with NHC, here’s the scoop. It’s a three-day conference full of homebrew sampling and guest lectures on all things brewing. Guest speakers this year included Tomme Arthur from Lost Abbey/Port Brewing, Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker Brewing Co., and some of you may have heard of Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Company just to name a few. The event finishes with a banquet catered by Sean Paxton, the homebrew chef, and the presentation of the National Homebrew Awards.

Personally, I focused on the lectures this year. Being my first time, I wanted to absorb as much information as humanly possible. I’ll spare you the details, but I learned a ton and got to meet a lot of my brewing heroes in person. One of my favorite speakers was Ken Schramm who is the master of all things mead.  He was funny, informative, and most importantly—he poured a ton of mead during his talk. I’m amazed that I found my way out the door after that talk.

Homebrew correspondent Nate Muller and fellow homebrewers participate in a podcast from the 2011 AHA National Homebrew Conference.

The biggest news to come out of the San Diego conference is what we already announced on the Washington Beer Blog: 2012 will be in Seattle! Ok, technically, it’s in Bellevue, but close enough. We are super excited to be hosting next year. A number of people from Washington Homebrewers Association have already put in a ton of hours preparing for this event. I particularly like the teaser video (below) they put together for the NHC Seattle. You can check out the Brewing with Bigfoot website for more details as the conference develops.  It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of people to make this event a success. Keep an eye out for more posts from me to learn how you can be involved. I’m looking forward to volunteering next year, the volunteers this year seemed to be having as much if not more fun than the participants.

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