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Continuing education by day, beer fest by night, the National Homebrewers Conference is like a homebrewer's Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween crammed into a long weekend. This year 1,850 homebrew dabblers, tinkerers, geeks, and aspiring pro brewers descended on Bellevue, Washington for three days of seminars, inspiration, competition, and exhibition. Among many other things, attendees learned the real history of IPA, discovered the secrets to making a great Berliner Weisse and fresh hop beer, and tasted new hop varieties in development.
Highlights included a Pacific Northwest-heavy Pro Brewers night, where brewers poured their own special limited edition beers. Club Night filled the Hyatt Regency Bellevue's ballroom with the themed booths of homebrew clubs from around the country. With hundreds if not thousands of home-crafted and commercial beers available throughout the conference, there was no way I could taste them all, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Click through for 17 of my favorite sips from this year's NHC.