For a third year in a row, the annual AHA National Homebrewers Conference attendance skyrocketed with a record 852 homebrewers, professional craft brewers and beer enthusiasts gathering in Baltimore June 16 - 18 to renew their ties with fellow homebrewers and the homebrewing hobby.
"The excitement and energy felt at this conference for the homebrewing hobby, flavorful homebrew and craft beer and camaraderie was by far the best its been yet," stated Paul Gatza, American Homebrewers Association Director. "Homebrewers came out in full force this year, showing yet again that homebrewing is here to stay."
The AHA National Homebrewers Conference provided homebrewers the opportunity to attend daily educational seminars on beer and brewing presented by professional brewers and other highly experienced homebrewers. Evening events included the Star Spangled Brew Fest with professional brewers from the local area offering up the finest of their microbrews for homebrewers to sample. The conference’s most popular event, Club Night, drew more than 600 attendees to sample homebrew and regional foods from homebrew clubs nationwide. More than 25 clubs from Hawaii to New York participated serving plenty of their best homemade brews, culinary concoctions made with beer and displaying a host of unusual costumes.
"The passion and the enthusiasm of the world’s best homebrewers was self-evident. Several homebrewers, turned professional brewers were on hand to sample a plethora of homebrewed ales, lagers and meads, and share their ideas with the hundreds of homebrewers in attendence," says Sebbie Buhler of Rogue Ales. "It was fun to see Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery marvel at a homebrewers adaptation of Dogfish’s infamous Randall--the hop transducer--and hear Steve Brandt boast about the KC-Biermiesters crusade for better beer in the heartland!"
Presentations at this year’s conference covered a wide range of topics including brewing, beer culture and beer history. In addition to the traditional seminars on specific beer styles and brewing techniques (Lambics, Flanders red and brown beers and farmhouse ales), a special tasting of a recreation of a 9,000 year old ancient Chinese beer produced by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery was offered, along with sessions on scotch and bourbon and commercial meads.
The culmination of the conference was the Grand Banquet and National Homebrew Competition Awards Ceremony held Saturday evening with a crowd of 500 anxious homebrewers. Winners in 29 style categories were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals. 4,128 homebrews were entered into the competition. The National Homebrew Competition winners list follows in a separate news release and is available on www.beertown.org.
Two homebrewers from Virginia ran away with the national title - Homebrewer of the Year at this year’s American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) National Homebrew Competition. David and Becky Pyle’s Straight Lambic, a Belgian-style sour ale, was chosen Best-of-Show beer garnering them the most coveted title in homebrewing. The AHA also presented gold, silver and bronze medals in 29 style categories to more than 87 homebrewers, June 18 in Baltimore, MD in front of 500 fellow homebrewers at the 27th annual AHA National Homebrewers Conference Grand Banquet and Awards Ceremony.
The 2005 National Homebrew Competition is the world’s largest beer competition with 4,128 homemade brews from 975 homebrewers in 47 states and six Canadian provinces. The National Homebrew Competition is larger than the world’s largest competition for commercial brewers, the Great American Beer Festival Competition, which evaluated 2,016 entries in 2004.
The competition also presented five major awards. Homebrewers won the following titles:
Ninkasi Award (Winningest Brewer) sponsored by Boston Beer Co. - Paul Long of Newberg, Ore., Strange Brew Homebrew Club
Homebrewer of the Year (Best-of-Show Beer) sponsored by Muntons P.L.C. - David and Becky Pyle of Springfield, Va., Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP)
Meadmaker of the Year (Best-of-Show Mead) sponsored by Redstone Meadery - Curt and Kathy Stock of St. Paul, Minn., St. Paul Homebrewers Club
Cidermaker of the Year (Best-of-Show Cider) sponsored by Vinoka c/o Oregon Specialty - Eric Dawson of Rochester, N.Y., Upstate New York Homebrewers Guild
Homebrew Club of the Year sponsored by Coopers Brew Products - Quality Ales and Fermentation Fraternity (QUAFF) of San Diego, Calif. (5th year in a row!)
Over its 27-year history the National Homebrew Competition has evaluated 53,802 brews. The first competition held in 1979 in Boulder, Colo., judged 34 beers.
The American Homebrewers Association is a division of the Brewers Association. In 1979, 200 people attended the first AHA National Homebrewers Conference held in Boulder, Colo. Today, the conference is recognized as the world’s largest-attended conference devoted to homebrewers and homebrewing.
The organizing committee includes the Free State Homebrew Club Guild from Baltimore, Maryland, Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP) from the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. area and the Wort Hogs from northern Virginia.
2005 Sponsors include: Rogue Ales, www.rogueales.com; Beer, Beer, & More Beer, www.morebeer.com; Northern Brewer, www.northernbrewer.com; Zymurgy magazine, www.beertown.org; beerheads.com, www.beerheads.com; Ale Street News, www.alestreetnews.com; Wyeast Laboratories, Inc., www.wyeastlab.com; Quoin/Party Pig, www.partypig.com; Forbis Homebrew, Inc.; www.forbishomebrew.com; The Brewer’s Art, www.thebrewersart.com; Clipper City Brewing Co., www.clippercitybeer.com.
Based in Boulder, Colo., U.S.A., the Brewers Association (BA) is a not-for-profit trade and educational association for small and craft brewers. The Brewers Association was established in 2005 by a merger of the Association of Brewers and the Brewers’ Association of America. Visit the website: www.beertown.org to learn more. The Brewers Association has an additional membership division of 9,000+ homebrewers: American Homebrewers Association.
The association’s activities include events and publishing: World Beer Cup®; Great American Beer Festival®; NBWA/BREWERS Joint Legislative Conference, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®; National Homebrewers Conference; National Homebrew Competition; American Beer Month (July); Zymurgy magazine; The New Brewer magazine; and books on beer and brewing.