The NHC that probably won’t be

The year 2020 was very busy for me, until all of a sudden it wasn’t. Followers of my Facebook page might have seen that I have made trips to Denver, California, Chicago, New Hampshire, Maine, and a vacation in Florida so far this year.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been brewing so far in 2020. I may as well use this time to update the blog with some of my recent brews. One of my brew year’s resolutions that went out the window pretty quickly was to enter more competitions. I paid entry fees for two competitions, but never managed to bottle and ship my entries.

I’ll have to wait until 2021 to try and win another one of these.

The one competition I did enter and get my entries in was the National Homebrew Competition (NHC). I applied for and received six entries. One entry ended up being Welcome as You Are. I brewed a bunch of other beers for the competition. One batch was frozen, yes frozen. Two were problematic. One of the problematic beers ended up being one of my entries for the simple reason that I had already paid for the entry, and didn’t have any other beers ready to go.

I did manage to brew four fresh beers for NHC that I was happy with. I just managed to bottle off all six of my entries and get them in by the entry deadline. After having one of my beers advance to the final round last year, I was excited to potentially improve on 2019. I was particularly excited for the new Backbeat Brewing Company to be the Boston site for the first round of judging.

At time of posting the First Round of NHC has been cancelled due to Coronavirus. The American Homebrewers Association is still optimistic that they can still have a modified, single-site NHC at HomebrewCon in June. Hopefully there still is a HomebrewCon which is scheduled for June.

All of the suffering caused by the virus puts the importance of a homebrew competition, and a hobby like homebrewing for that matter, into perspective. That doesn’t make it any less disappointing for those of us who look forward to it every year.

Muntons has banned all business travel. Until this blows over I am working from home. Even if I could go out and make sales calls, bringing in new suppliers is probably the last thing brewers want to think about. The brewers I work with that sell most of their beer over the bar at their taprooms are scrambling to fill cans, crowlers and growlers.

Who knows when life will be going back to normal, but this is as good of a time as any to brew. The homebrew industry tends to do well when the economy is struggling. People who are out of work and at home all of a sudden have time to brew. My sense is that homebrew retailers are seeing an uptick in sales as business are closing and people stay home.

If there ever was a good time to be stuck at home, it is when you have four fresh kegs of beer that you are proud of and enjoy drinking. With my keezer full, the last thing I need is more beer any time soon. If I am going to use this newfound free time at home to brew, it makes sense to make beers that require extended aging.

Time to fire up the kettle!

Follow me on Twitter @JChalifour
Like The Would-be Brewmaster on Facebook

from Blogger