Quick Takes from Day 1 of Homebrew Con 2017

I’m here in the Twin Cities! I’ve got my swag bag, got my conference beers, and got my taster glass. I sat through three seminars, wandered the exhibit hall, and enjoyed the kick-off night.

Highlights of the day…

  • The best presentation/seminar of the day was from Axel Jany of Weyermann Malting…he talked about some of their specialty malts, and gave a very interesting and entertaining presentation on some of the recent developments from Weyermann. The talk nicely addressed philosophies behind recipe development, as well as providing some good technical info on their malts. As a bonus, I managed to snag a (free) 10 lb. bag of their new Barke Pilsner Malt, made from a “rare” barley variety. This will definitely be going into a future beer!
  • I got to sing along with Denny Conn (and a gazillion other homebrewers) as Denny played the ukelele. Fun!
  • Lots of free stuff–including some experimental hops from Yakima’s 2014 crop. They’re a bit old, I suppose, but look to be nicely packed and good candidates for a future pale ale.
  • Omar Ansari of Surly Brewing gave a fun keynote on his history with brewing.
  • There were a ton of great beers at the kickoff event tonight. I of course enjoyed sampling beers from Funkwerks (including the original Raspberry Provincial, which I had only sampled in my own cloned form–following my session, I realized that I gotta up the acid in this, and thus go with a dedicated kettle sour rather than trying to use acid malt as in the clone recipe).
  • Bald Man Brewing had a great logo that looked kinda like me (bald men unite!)…and some interesting beers!
  • For me, the absolute highlight of beers this evening were those from Utepils. They had an altbier and kolsch that were absolutely on point. And their Bohemian pilsner…divine! I will be dreaming about this beer. The malt, hops, water, and yeast combined into perhaps the most perfect example of this beer that I have ever sampled in my life!

The Bohemian Pilsner from Utepils…wow, what a beer!