|Homebrew Bloggers Rountable, I'm likely saying something stupid here but at least I'm into it!|
Photo Cred. Chip Walton
|Scott Janish's NEIPA|
|A not so exciting photo of us getting ready to record.|
I arrived at the Milk The Funk Meetup a few minutes late but it was clear everyone knew the drill. There had to have been 50-60 people outside in the hallway sharing beers and chatting, it was actually a little overwhelming. I got to try fantastic beers from Brian Hall, Matt Miller, Mike Tonsmeire, Jamey Barlow, Dave Jansen and many others that I can't even recall. But as a whole the quality of the beers at the share was a class all its own, I wish I could have tried even more of them. So good infact that I only open 2 of the 6 bottles I brought with me to the share, I was bummed to not be able to share with some folks but I was enjoying everyone else's immensely. If you weren't able to join us for the meetup fret not as Jeff Mello from Bootleg Biology collected dregs from folks that he plans to prop up and sell at some point. Jeff is a really awesome guy, when the crowds from the share died down I was able to hang with him and his wife to chat a bit. If you're not already looking at his strains and his local yeast project I urge you to keep him on your radar.
After the Meet up I had a nice buzz and bit of heartburn with some time to kill, so we walked the Expo floor for a minute then headed to Of Love and Regret for dinner and beers before Club Night. What started as a plan to just stop in devolved into a nearly three hour stay as we sat outside and enjoyed Farmhouse ales, great food, and a super relaxing atmosphere. We grabbed an Uber and arrived at Club Night later than planned but feeling good at 10pm.
|I hated leaving all of those nice empty bottles behind|
after the MTF share.
Club Night was a trip, If you have never been to the conference this is the night all of the clubs set up booths and pour their best beers. A really great event walking the floor chatting with clubs and people you might never meet. I poured HopWards and a blended version of An Ocean Between the Staves at the Philly Homebrew Club booth, it seemed people enjoyed both. I got to meet more great folks, and sample more fantastic beers that I wish I could remember. I might have sampled more beers throughout the night but Derek Springer kindly reminded me that we were set to speak the next morning at 9am! *Gulp*, so off to bed at around midnight.
I was up bright and early, ready to go on Saturday, met Marshall in the lobby and walked over to our room to get settled in. Surprisingly I was not nervous, I thought I would be being that I am not much of a public speaker, maybe the booze hadn't worn off yet but I was ready to go. We had a pretty light crowd for our talk, which didn't bother or surprise me much as it's a pretty specific topic. The four of us got a slow start but the conversation got flowing and remained pretty laid back and loose, just as we had planned. Chip Walton moderated for us, which was a great addition to the talk, and a highlight for me as I've always been a big Brewing TV and Chop and Brew fan over the years. I hope everyone enjoyed the banter, we didn't want to come across as know-it-all's especially with the real pro Michael Tonsmeire in the crowd, and I think we achieved that well.
|HopWards hits the taps on club night.|
After our talk I sat in on Malcom and Marshall's talk, which was really fun and informative. Afterwards I had a decision to make, I was feeling a little burnt out, and with my hotel roommate planning to split I decided to check out of the hotel room and not stay the night for the banquet. I had planned to then go to Tonsmeire's talk at 2pm but with the car loaded with all my kegs and bottles I decided to pull and Irish exit. So I apologize to all I didn't say good bye to, it sounds like everyone got along just fine at the Banquet without me.
It was a whirlwind conference and I had a seriously great time, learned a bunch and made more connections with folks than I had expected to. I tried to mention as many as the folks I hung with throughout the conference, sorry if I missed anyone, I was drinking. If you have never been to the conference you really have to go at least once, its a wild and unique beer experience thats unmatched anywhere that I have been. I'm hoping Minneapolis 2017 will be in the cards for me, because this years conference was really one to remember I can only imagine next year will be more of the same.