Pilgrimage to Homebrew Con

Homebrew Con, formerly known as the National Homebrewers Conference (NHC) is the American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) largest event of the year. Spanning three days of seminars, exhibitions, and trade shows Homebrew Con is truly an epic event.

When I first learned of the NHC it didn’t sound like something I would be interested in. Traveling to another city for a conference felt a little stuffy. I wasn’t advanced enough in my brewing that I would want to sit down and listen to highly technical seminars about beer I might not understand. From reading Brulosophy and other blogs, and the BeerSmith podcast it became clear the NHC was not what I thought it was. Other brewers felt the same way which was why the AHA rebranded the NHC as Homebrew Con.

As soon as I saw that Homebrew Con 2016 would be in Baltimore I decided we had to go. I spent the summer of 2004 in the area and looked forward to going back. Baltimore is a manageable eight hour drive which made attending more affordable. The AHA lined up discounted rates at numerous hotels within walking distance of the convention. We were able to book a suite a ten minute walk away for less than $200 a night. When I saw how much it would be to park my car at the hotel we decided to take Bolt Bus down.

In addition to Homebrew Con itself, there were numerous other events going on in Baltimore during convention week. The final round of judging for the National Homebrewing Competition coincides with Homebrew Con week. Additionally the Beer Judge Certification Program organizes several events of its own.

When we decided to go I wanted to do everything! Who knows if I would ever be able to attend another Homebrew Con? The convention was in Baltimore this year and it will not likely be back on the East Coast again for several years. I wanted to make the most of the entire experience.

The week went by so quickly. For two days after it was over I was actually, literally sad. There’s a lot to cover. Check this space for all the details this week!

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