Lazy Brewer Photo Galleries

Lazy Brewer Photo Galleries

A photo gallery from the Lazy Brewer’s San Diego adventure has been posted.  Enjoy:)

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NHC 2011 Wrap-Up

On June 22, 2011, in Family and Friends, Homebrewing, Travel, by Mark Ranes
Table 30 at the Awards Ceremony

Table 30, with my favorite people, at the Awards Ceremony

We returned from NHC to blistering heat (over 100 degrees) in the San Joaquin Valley.  On top of that, our air conditioner crapped out, and we spent a very hot, restless night before a repair dude made it to our house yesterday.  All is good again!

The trip home for NHC was long, but uneventful.  After a couple days to detoxify my liver, I’ve had time to reflect on some of the things I learned at NHC 2011.

I learned that I can attended a three day beer conference and not over-imbibe, even though beer is available from 9:00 am to 2:00 am.  Never once did I have next-day blues from alcohol.  Every day, I had next-day blues from lack of sleep. The NHC conference is definitely a marathon event:)

My Bronze Medal for the American Barleywine

My Bronze Medal for the American Barleywine

I learned what pride is.  Pride is being on a stage, receiving a medal for your brewing accomplishments, in front of the people who love you the most.  Nine of the ten people at my Grand Banquet and Awards Ceremony table were actively rooting for my ales, maybe even more than I was.  The look in their faces when my name was called meant more than the actual bronze medal.  They were proud and happy for me like they themselves had actually won!  I love you guys:)

I learned the power of social media.  The kudos I received via Twitter and Facebook were amazing.  Some of my Twitter buddies could be heard cheering from other places in the banquet room.  That was cool!

We are already planning on attending next year’s NHC in Seattle.  Family in Oregon that we can visit, the huge beer culture in Oregon, and the fact that I haven’t been to Seattle since I was a child, are all huge draws.  I’m planning on setting up a brewing schedule, that favors competition entries for next year’s NHC, in the next couple weeks. Additionally, I’m going to bottle some of the winning barleywine and see how it matures over the year.  It would be interesting to submit it again next year and see how it scores.

If you are a homebrewer, and you’ve never been to a National Homebrewers Conference, start saving your pennies now!  Next year’s conference in Seattle should be killer!

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NHC 2011 Day 3 – Winning!

On June 19, 2011, in Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes
Me and Gary Glass

Me and Gary Glass

Holy crap!  I won a bronze medal at the 2011 National Homebrewers Conference for my American barleywine!  I was so excited!  It was wonderful to have so many of my good friends around when it happened:)  And most importantly, it put The Central Valley Brewers Guild on the map.   I think I’m proudest of that:)

Many thanks to those of you who have reached out to me with congratulations!

Mr. and Mrs. Lazy Brewer

Mr. and Mrs. Lazy Brewer

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My NHC Support Group, Steve, Me and Stephen!

My NHC Support Group, Steve, Me and Stephen!

Day three, the last day of NHC, has been amazing.  I attended four sessions led by brewing legends and another about homebrew club management and organization.  Today I attended the following breakout sessions:

Homebrew Club Organization Panel moderated by Drew Beechum

High Gravity Brewing with Patrick Rue of The Bruery

Recipe Building and Competition Tips with Gordon Strong

Collaboration Beers with Greg Koch of Stone Brewing

Workshop on American Hops with Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker Brewing

The homebrew club panel was informative.  We’re looking for this kind of info as our club, The Central Valley Brewers Guild, grows.  Steve and I attended and we pulled a few good nuggets out of the session.  There was talk of having a pre-NHC workshop for homebrew club leaders at next years NHC in Seattle.  I’m definitely up for that:)

Greg Koch of Stone Brewing with his eyes covered!

Greg Koch of Stone Brewing with his eyes covered!

Simply put, Greg Koch, of Stone Brewing, is an manic, crazy genius!  He body surfed our session and I’m proud to say that at one point I supported his left buttock as he passed over head.  It was a lively session with much info and frivolity.  My first NHC quote of the day came from the session.  During the Q&A session, someone asked if there was a chance of Double Bastard becoming a year-round Stone offering, rather than becoming available at the beginning of the holiday season in early November.  Greg quickly replied that it is offered at the “Beginning of Double Bastard season.” A great off the cuff line:)

The best session of the day was led by Matt Brynildson.  He is so much the “every man” brewer and relates incredibly well to the homebrewing community.  His session on American hops was full of useful information and statistics on American hops and their use in brewing craft and homebrewed beers.  He also offered up the best ale selection of any session I attended at NHC this year, and German style hefeweizen, Hemp Ale, Union Jack and Double Jack.  Thankfully I had saved my daily alcohol allotment for this session:)

Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker Brewing

Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker Brewing

The second quote of the day came from this session during the pouring of Matt’s ales.  One of the NHC pouring volunteers, with (good) attitude, said to us, “I’ve got a lot of beer back there. You guys have got to hurry the hell up!” in our sampling drinking:)

We’re off to the Grand Banquet and Awards Ceremony in a bit.  Hopefully my barleywine and vanilla porter will bring home the gold!  Cross your fingers for me!

Me, Matt, and Stephen - taken by Dr. Tommy's son!

Me, Matt, and Stephen - taken by Dr. Tommy's son!

Cheers to Matt!  Thanks for the awesome ales!

Cheers to Matt! Thanks for the awesome ales!

The volunteers make this conference as good as it is!  Thanks!

The volunteers make this conference as good as it is! Thanks!

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