Sunday, June 24, 2012

National Homebrewers Conference 2012, Day Two

Quick Trip to Spokane

We started Day Two, the first full day of homebrewing seminars, with a trip to Spokane for Grandma Fishburn’s funeral. I didn’t take any pictures, because it seemed somehow irreverent to snap some shots during the service. Suffice it to say that the Catholic mass concelebrated by Father Nigro and one other clergy member was temporally appropriate (read, “thankfully short”) for the circumstances. My cousin Chazzz wrote a particularly poignant recap of the event at It’s worth your time to check it out and read it.
It was a quick over-and-back trip, and I wish I’d had more time to spend with friends and family, but I won’t get another chance to attend the NHC in my own backyard for some time, I’m sure. Hopefully they all understand.  When I was younger, I always thought funerals were a way of honoring the dead. That may be true to some extent, but now I believe they’re more about giving the living a chance to honor their memories of the dead. Everyone grieves in their own way. Funerals are not my way.

Club Night

After grabbing a quick bite at our perennial favorite, Dick’s Hamburgers in Spokane, we headed back to Bellevue. We arrived back at the Conference at 8:30, and Club Night was in full swing. Club Night at the NHC is incredibly fun. All the clubs have an opportunity to represent themselves. Those in attendance can bring as many beers and people as they can transport. They get to decorate their booths, and themselves, any way they want. There were some great booth decorations and some even better costumes.
Gary Glass (left, Director of the AHA), Charlie Papazian (center), and me at the AHA booth
I tried really hard to remember to write a beer review, but I failed. However, the highlight of the evening—and of the conference—for me was having Charlie Papazian in the South Sound Suds Society’s booth, trying my beer. The father of the modern homebrewing movement in America, the founder of the AHA, and the man responsible for existence of the National Homebrewers Conference. In our booth. Drinking my beer. In-completely-amazingly-effing-credible!

Again, I was struck by the camaraderie and fellowship among homebrewers. That a simple hobby can bring so many people together, from so many walks of life, is nothing short of amazing.
P6220012This baby girl was at The Brewing Network’s party the night before the conference started. Mom hauled her around Club Night, too, and we never heard a peep out of her. Mom works for The Brewing Network, and I was really impressed she took Baby to the festivities. I was more impressed with Baby. She is living evidence of my long-held belief that kids can and will adapt to whatever we throw at them. As far as that goes, the I think the same is true regardless of age. We are amazing creatures.
My homebrew buddy, Peter Twigg. This man was responsible for the organization of the beer competition. He was also the guy who selected and bought the beers for my BJCP exam classes. P6220014
Some of my favorite pics from Club night.
KatIe Brown (Finance Assistant, AHA), Jill Redding (Zymurgy Editor, AHA), Barbara Fusco (Sales & Marketing Director, AHA)
AHA staff members, from left, Katie Brown (Finance Assistant), Jill Redding (Editor of Zymurgy), Barbara Fusco (Sales & Marketing Director)
Drinkbusters. Who ya gonna call?
Hop-upy NHC—”Less cops, more hops.”
Drinking for a cause…
From left, Steve Wilkes of Basic Brewing with South Sound Suds Society club members Clay Hanson, Garrett Milam, and Dave Losh. Garrett scored an interview with Steve. We hope to see it in an upcoming episode of Basic Brewing.
Greater Everett Brewers League’s campaign to get on the cover of BYO Magazine.
Steve and his wife. Steve is a member of WAHA and does a ton to support homebrewing in our state.
Some fellow Intel employees who were visiting from Chandler.
One of the more creative booths. I can’t remember where this club was from.

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