Are the NHC meetings normally in "big" beer cities? Forgive me for asking, but what's in Baltimore outside of Stillwater and DuClaw?
-Vote for Tampa in 2017!
What's in Tampa other than Cigar City and that chain restaurant bar?
Glad you asked. First, I'm not affiliated with the AHA, but I'd say that conference is held in cities that meet all of the following:
a) Have craft beer bars/brewpubs/breweries.
b) Have a big convention center and international airport
c) Have enough non-beer related activities for family.
c) Have active homebrewing clubs that volunteer to help and have submitted a bid for the conference.
Is it always in a "big" beer city? Maybe, maybe not, depending on your definition of big, I suppose.
However: the conference was in Baltimore twice before, and they were both a really good time (at least, I know the second one was personally). There's a lot of beer happenings in the area because craft beer and homebrewing has been popular for a while -- definitely before the first craft beer bubble in the late 90s. Some good ones from the first boom didn't survive, but the city and the greater metro area has plenty of breweries as mentioned above, old and new, as well as the nearby Delaware and south-central PA areas.
Other things to note:
- 16 homebrew clubs in central maryland.
- The Brewer's Art, a brewpub in a sprawling Victorian townhouse that's been making Belgian-style beer in America long enough to be the original owner of the domain "belgianbeer.com ".(https://web.archive.org/web/19980417235256/http://www.belgianbeer.com/
- Oliver's, at the Pratt Street Alehouse, making English ales since 1993 with ringwood, open fermenters, and a true 7 barrel Peter Austin system in the basement.
- Max's Taphouse (http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1189/
), all around great beer bar with 145 taps and host of the best Belgian festival in the US every year, according to the Good Beer Guide to Belgium.
- And, uh, the birthplace of the bottle cap (have to mention it, since it's our club logo). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_cork