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Balwmer, Murlan - Nathan
June 18th, 2005
12:06 am
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Balwmer, Murlan
I'm in Baltimore at the 2005 American Homebrewer's Association national conference. It's a blast. Good seminars, good beer, good people. I have become known as "the guy who takes notes", though the way the badges are printed leads people to address you by first name a lot, as if they know you, so I've spent a bunch of time trying to determine if people addressing me have or haven't met me before (last year, or at Boston festivals, like the woman from Rogue who is pictured on the chocolate stout ). The venue is a lot more crowded than last year - in Vegas, a 700-person convention is in the noise (we were about 20% the size of the adjacent casino-chip collectors conference); at the Holiday Inn here, it's a real problem. As usual, the conference makes me feel very young and costal (since so many of the attendees are middle-aged and midwestern); in addition, Baltimore makes me feel very white. It's interesting. The panhandlers here in the Inner Harbor are almost, but not quite, as aggressive as the ones in San Francisco.

Yesterday and today I went to seminars on Brettanomyces, brewer/government relations, yeast flocculation, dry hopping ("Randall is Pliny's bitch"), farmhouse ales, and an 18-way vertical tasting - the same wort fermented with 18 different (Belgian-style) yeasts. Last night had the professional/craft brewer's festival, which was okay but not as over-the-top as last year. The highlight was some two-year-old World Wide Stout from Dogfish Head. After the pro night there was a bus tour to a couple of local microbreweries, includign Brewer's Art, which was an interesting blend of a brewpub, upscale restaurant, and hot basement dance club. The bus never arrived to take us back, so I ended up walking back to the hotel with the guys from Wyeast.

Tonight had the homebrew club festival. The club festival was totally insane, packed to the gills, and full of weird beer. The most exciting setup was that of the Maryland Ale and Lager Technicians (MALT), who had a pale ale on tap by itself, and then the same pale ale forced through four different kinds of hops (Amarillo, Simcoe, Fuggles, and Hallertauer). Randall the Enamel Animal has clearly left its mark on the beer scene.

The art/schwag auction was dominated by the Flying Dog memorial beer for Hunter S. Thompson signed by Ralph Steadman. I bowed out at about $200, and it eventually sold for $300. Someone could probably make a nice profit by flipping that on eBay, but I would think it's just too cool to sell.

The beers of the evening were:

  1. Hop Barley and the Alers - Saison
  2. Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers (TRASH) - Ordinary bitter
  3. Maryland Ale and Lager Technicians (MALT) - APA and APA+Simcoe
  4. Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP) - Rauchbier
  5. Beer, Beer and More Beer/DuClaw/White Labs - 10th Anniversary vanilla bourbon stout
  6. Blotarian Brewers - Mild
  7. Cincinnati Malt Infusers - IPA
  8. Colonial AleSmiths and Keggers (CASK) - "Bogberry wheat" (cranberry)
  9. James River Brewers - River Hop Hoppers + infused hops (Randall-style)
  10. Brew Free or Die (BFD) - IPA
  11. BURP Kellerbier
  12. MALT APA + Fuggles

Some pictures:

Would someone like to tell me what "Also makes 2 3-ways" means on the cans of chili? I mean, I like chili as much as the next guy...

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(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
Vanilla Burboun Stout?!?!


This sounds like it was pretty fun. :)
[User Picture]
Date:June 18th, 2005 08:53 am (UTC)
... and there's an entire day of sessions and the grand awards banquet to go!
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