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Old 02-17-2011, 04:14 AM   #1
LarryC
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Default Thinking of going to the National Homebrewers Conference

It's here in San Diego so no travel required (other than getting to the conference hall). But, there are a couple of things slowing me down - 1st is the cost of attending which if I do the early bird thing would be between $135 and $190. 2nd thing is I'm not a big socializer so the idea of being with a thousand people doesn't really thrill me (even if they are fellow homebrewers)

So here's a few questions - if I go for the "Social" level, it's $175 and I get access to
* Pro-Brewers Night
* Club Night
* Keynote Address
* Grand Banquet/Awards Ceremony
* Hospitality Suite Access
I've read through the info on the website but I'd like to know from folks who have been there, exactly what all goes on in these events. I read the previous couple years worth of speaker presentations and they sound interesting. Does this level of entry entitle me to sit in on those presentations?

I love to brew and I like learning how to brew better but... money is really tight in our house (brewing and drinking good beer don't help this) - is it worth it? I've attended a lot of conferences for work some are good and some not so much. I'd hate to spend a couple hundred bucks and walk away with just a few tasters.

Go, no go? Wait for the ala carte tickets and just pic a couple presentations?
What would you do?


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Old 02-17-2011, 04:37 AM   #2
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Pro night is a beer fest with very short lines and big pours all in a hotel ballroom.
Club night cannot be described but its much better than pro night.
The banquet is a pretty good meal and the awards.
Hospitality is a room with a club pouring beer and during part of the conference vendors exhibiting (lots of drawings and schwag). It is open until the evening event starts every day and for a while after.

I recommend it very highly. I went last year for the first time and I can tell you I will not miss one without a fantastic reason in the future.

To be clear you will be surrounded by more beer than you could ever drink. Generous pours, you can go back for more, lines are short to not existent.

For the banquet you should get some beer but you may want to bring some in.


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Old 02-17-2011, 04:38 AM   #3
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Also the presentations are okay to very good and worthwhile if you want to learn. If you need to conserve funds the social package will be a more memorable experience. I certainly would suggest doing the whole enchilada if you can swing it.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post
Also the presentations are okay to very good and worthwhile if you want to learn. If you need to conserve funds the social package will be a more memorable experience. I certainly would suggest doing the whole enchilada if you can swing it.
I agree, except I am not wild about the banquet. Oh, it's nice and they announce the winners of the homebrew competition, but it's not a $40 meal. I've done it twice, and the fun comes with sitting with my HBT friends and talking. If money is tight, it'd be an easy skip for me.

I wouldn't skip the presentations, unless you have to. There are some very good ones, some "ok" ones, but you have some good choices. You get to "rub elbows" more with fellow homebrewers, and ask questions of some of the authors of the books you've bought. It's pretty cool, and also some good information comes out of each seminar.

Pro-Brewers night is a blast, but club night is the best.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:50 AM   #5
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Yooper, a Snow Bird???? I can't believe it!

So has anyone gone for the ala carte option and if so are the presentations available that way?

SWMBO is encouraging me to spend the bucks and go for the full deal minus the banquet. She has a co-worker who is a brewer for Rock Bottom Brewery and I guess she has been talking about all the cool stuff being planed. Maybe if our taxes don't bite too bad I can swing it - damn I wish I wasn't so cheap!


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