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Homebrew Conference Day 2

By Joe Ruvel · June 21st, 2009 · 3 Comments

It is Sunday today – a day of rest. Boy do I need it!

rougue amber

Yesterday was lots of fun again. I went to a bunch of sessions. The best one for me was Ingredients 5-10 by Tomme Arthur. Tomme, from Port Brewing and Lost Abbey, is a great speaker and really shows his passion during his session. The topic was about going beyond the usual ingredients that make up beer and to talk about what makes beer really special. Some of the “ingredients” that he talked about were time, collaboration, techniques, and oak. Inspiring talk from one of the top brewers in America right now. Oh and he also gave us a bunch of beer – which is always a good way to work the crowd. We tasted the Brother Levonian Saison – one of the official conference beers made by Port Brewing. It was nice. Tomme told the crowd that the beer was dedicated to a San Diego area homebrewer who passed away recently – Dave Levonian. It was based on his recipe but still had something from Port Brewing – a collaboration of sorts. And it should age well too, Tomme said. Then two Lost Abbey beers – 10 commandments (a strong dark ale – darkened with raisins toasted by a flame thrower – yes, they bought an actual flame thrower) and Serpent’s Stout – jet black and very tasty. The other beer was Hot Rocks Lager – a collaboration beer made using the hot stone method. Fun to hear about their creative process.

tommy's session

Another great session was “Chocolate and Beer” with TCHO Chocolate. They talked a lot about the beer program they are starting. It sounds great and makes perfect sense – chocolate and beer are more and more often paired together or mixed and why not? It helps TCHO and hopefully helps us – the consumer. They got Rodger Davis from Triple Rock to brew some beers with their chocolate. The most interesting onewas chocolate kolsch – he did it mostly so that we could all really taste the chocolate and see what it did to the kolsch – he also gave us some to taste plain. Amazingly it was a pretty tasty beer.

tcho session

The rest of the day was kind of a blur. I was pretty beat but there were still lots of highlights. Matt Brynildson’s talk on the oak fermentation and aging at Firestone Walker was eye opening and makes me want to drive down there and see it first hand. The hospitality sweet was a good party after all the sessions were done. Tasted a great champagne like beer from a homebrewer named Drew (I think from the Maltose Falcons). I also enjoyed listening to the Brewing Network interview Rogue Ales Brewmaster John Maier and let him decide to see if one of the homebrewers could create a Dead Guy clone – I think he got it – so did John.

stacked malt

The dinner was a good time to just relax, eat some food, and, you guessed it, have some more beer. I sat with a bunch of the Bay Area Brew Crew. I might try and go to one of their meet-ups – fun group of guys. Sean, a member of BABC, cooked a great beer dinner for the huge crowd. The high point for me was definitely the pork that Sean marinated for two days in Rogue Charlie (I think Charlie 1981) – SO GOOD – really tender and great flavor – just wow. There was a fine asian salad with a Hef dressing that should be bottled and a very very rich chocolate mouse served with Tcho chocolate.

pork crack

There were winners too – check them all out.

And more pictures (and hopefully more soon).

What a great conference. Time to get homebrewing again soon.

Tags: Beerventures · Homebrewing

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jasmine // Jun 22, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Chocolate and beer…sounds like heaven. Was there cheese too?

  • 2 Joe Ruvel // Jun 23, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Amazingly not much about cheese. No session. Next year is in Minnesota so there might be one there.

    I did taste some awesome homemade swiss at club night.

  • 3 Jim L. // Jul 23, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Tcho chocolates! I was on the taster panel about a year ago when they were developing their formulas. Great stuff! One of the samples they sent me was a small pouch of nibs, which I thought would be perfect for brewing. At the time they didn’t offer nibs in bulk, so hopefully they will.