HomebrewCon 2019 - Recap

Another fantastic year at HomebrewCon came to a close last week, so I thought I would put together a recap post.

This was my fifth year attending and every year feels fresh. Endless opportunity to:
- Learn from dozens of seminars
- Collect swag/ingredients
- Network with homebrew industry suppliers
- Meet and chat (and maybe even share a meal) with your homebrew heroes
- Judge among the best BJCP judges at NHC Final Round
- Make new homebrew friends
- Taste incredible homebrewed beer (& mead/cider)
- Get inspired by other clubs at Club Night


- Make your voice heard at general meetings of the American Homebrewers Association and Beer Judge Certification Program
- and lots more!

Club night is always the highlight of the conference. This evening event brings over 50 different homebrew clubs together in one room, pouring 10 or more kegs of their best beers with thousands of Homebrew Con attendees. The variety and quality of beer is always outstanding, and the amount of detail and effort that clubs put into their booths is inspiring.

This year was my first time as a Speaker at the conference, and I loved it! I had the honor of representing Canada on the International Homebrew Panel. Slides from that are posted on the Canadian Homebrewers Association website. Hopefully I can get my act together enough to present again next year!

Another reason that HomebrewCon 2019 was so special is that our very own Mike Vandervoort became the first GTA Brews member to ever win a medal in the National Homebrew Competition! This is a huge accomplishment, since NHC is the worlds largest beer competition, period.

His recipe is posted here or you to try for yourself!

Eric and Rebecca were excited to be interviewed by James and Steve for the Club Night episode of Basic Brewing Radio and Basic Brewing Video. I wasn't expecting such in depth questions about my Doppelbock recipe! This iteration used Munich Lager yeast from Escarpment Labs, but in the excitement of the moment I got confused with an old version of the recipe and said WLP833. Oops 😔

I look forward to judging in the NHC Final Round every year. They usually require BJCP Certified rank or above, but others are welcome to steward. Judging in a room with hundreds of other judges is a sight to behold! The quality of beer is usually incredible, and this year I awarded a score over 40 to 3/6 American Wild Ales in my flight.

We ate lots of tasty seafood at Rocky Point Clam Shack and Hemenway's Restaurant. Also lots of tasty Italian food in Federal Hill at 95 yr old restaurant Angelo's Civita Farnese Restaurant and Andino's Restaurant.

We also discovered hot weiners at Olneyville New York System, so good! The celery salt makes it!

Our visit to Bottles Fine Wine, Providence RI was very fruitful.

I got to watch friends chino_brews (of /r/homebrewing) as well as Chris and Jonah of Escarpment Labs present their own seminars.

We had an expansive contingent of Canadians this year, proudly identified by the We The North tags on our conference badges: Kathy Yan Li, Malcolm MacKenzie, Rebecca Cousineau, Kevin DeBoer, Victor North, Zack Weinberg, Chris Saunders, Virginie Corneau, Jonah Greenbaum-Shinder, Jesse Reynolds, Darrell Kelly, Jeremy Visser, Trevor Armstrong, Joe Sym, Stephen Cameron, and more! Cheers to Kevin DeBoer from MoB in Ottawa for putting these tags together.

Looking forward to Nashville next year, hopefully we can grow the Canadian representation even more!