Got a killer pilsner you’ve been brewing for barbecues? A stovetop stout that you’re dying to share with the masses? Next month is your chance to step out of your basement brewery and see how your homebrew measures up.
On June 15-17, the 39th annual National Homebrewers Convention will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center, welcoming an estimated 3,000 hobby brewers to share techniques, wisdom, and, most importantly, beer. Organized by the American Homebrewers Association, HomebrewCon is the nation’s largest nerd-out for brewing obsessives.
This year, hometown hero and Surly founder Omar Ansari will give the conference’s keynote address, kicking off a weekend of panels that cover everything from branding to mead-making to yeast strain selection. Dangerous Man founder Rob Miller will also be speaking on a panel about recipe development.
But of course, the main draw of the extravaganza is the National Homebrew Competition, which will be judged over the con’s three days, ultimately crowning a novice king at the close of the weekend.
Though nearly 8,000 people entered the judging last year, Minnesotans have a proud history of taking medaling. Two Minnesota homebrewers took home first place prizes in 2016 -- perennial favorite Steve Fletty of Falcon Heights and Tom Berg of St. Louis Park -- and dozens of North Star Staters (including Urban Growler’s Deb Loch in 2013 and Star Tribune columnist Michael Agnew in 2010) have gone home carrying gold in the competition’s 34-year history.
Registration for HomeBrew con is currently open, with passes ranging from $225-$330.