I'm finally recovering from the road trip (8 days AZ to Michigan w/ three per night brewery/brewpub stops) and the great time I had at NHC 2014. It was my first, but definitely not my last! People in Grand Rapids were great, and hats off to all the local AHA members in Grand Rapids as well as the AHA in Boulder for putting on a great show for us.
What I liked ... well just about everything, but my highlights were ... Rubbing elbows with some of the well know brewers and names in homebrewing. The training sessions; "no I have no desire to start licking certain parts of my body, but I will definitely try a decoction mash very soon". Those who attended the Long Live Lager session and Debunking Decoction session know what I mean. Being a steward at the competition was a great experience for me, and thanks for the previous comments thanking us that do steward! We actually really enjoy helping out. Club night, Club night, Club night! And finally, the banquet and the anticipation of them calling my name for a medal in Euro Amber Lagers. It didn't happen this year, but it was quite a ride getting a gold in the first round and the possibility for medal in the final round. My goals have been reset for San Diego.
Most of what I didn't like has already been posted, but I might add the following. It would have been nice to have a little more ventilation running in some of the larger attended sessions. Maybe it was post club night, or lunch, or just getting burnt out( 8 day road trip), but Gordon Strong and Randy Mosher were putting out some great info Saturday afternoon, but I swear, I was nodding off and missed something. When do those recorded sessions come out?
Can't wait for 2015 and San Diego, it probably won't be a 8 day road trip next year, but just as much fun.
Oh and did I mention the Ninkasi winner, Jeremy Voeltz, was from our club in AZ, Arizona Society of Homebrewers,(ASH). Talk about a great time, we from ASH loved it! We will try for a repeat next year!!!