Author Topic: 2015 NHC Impressions  (Read 5803 times)

Offline toby

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2015, 07:44:15 PM »
What part were you in?  I always try to get a room in the Royal Palm tower and they're pretty good.
I booked as soon as I received the email that rooms were available and the only thing I was offered as an option were either regency tower or garden.  Royal Palm wasn't even an option.  Maybe that was just for celebrities.  ;)

He was probably in the Regency Tower like us. What a crappy place. Only one elevator worked (barely), the wallpaper was coming off the wall in places, no refrigerators, and the beds/pillows SUCKED. If it ever goes back to the Town and Country, I will be staying at a different hotel.
Yeah, I would stay at a different place and shuttle or Uber.  Elevator wasn't an issue for me since I was on the first floor right by the broken one.

Quote
- The BJCP judges reception was AMAZEBALLS. Drinking bottles of Utopian and Tart of Darkness was great. The presentations here were better than 80% of the actual NHC presentations.
My only 'complaint' was that they were way over time.  I had a tour group to join that I didn't want to miss, so I had to bail after Ted Hausotter.
Quote
- Am I the only one who thought the majority of Club Night beers were sub-par?? Sure, there were some awesome clubs who brought their A-game and some awesome mead makers there, but I had about 50% crappy beer until I just stuck around the clubs that had the good stuff. Like... butter bomb Pilsners, aectic ciders, sock-smelling gueuzes, acrid stouts, etc. I watered a lot of plants that night until I found the booths that had well made beers. I actually asked a couple of the clubs how they selected beers and the general consensus was "We asked for kegs and got kegs." No selection process? Dang.
No.  I ran into my judging partner from Thursday morning fairly early and we hit a lot of tables.  We were both amazed at the range (from fantastic to undrinkable).  Our club would have never served most of that.  Our standard isn't exactly unreachable, and can be summed up with "bring something to serve that you would be proud to serve to your friends".  We don't do a formal panel, but when testing the lines, anything that doesn't pass the 'smell test' will get pulled.

To be clear - not angry, but the judging/stewarding organization could have had much better communication.

Yeah, we finished the morning session early and neither of us were doing mini-BoS, so we headed out.  I got back between 12:30 and 1, and discovered that the lunch had been moved to 11:00-12:30 and the afternoon judging had already started without me.  Double-bummer because then I had missed Mitch Steele's IPA seminar.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 07:48:33 PM by toby »

Offline CentralCalBrewer

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2015, 09:12:14 PM »
1. All of the events were great. Most of the seminars were good if not just a bit simplistic.
2. Anyone that stayed in the Regency tower should get some kind of discount. That was a disgusting mess.
3. The banquet was a joke and the food did not match expectation and price. Will not ever do that again.

Offline jeffy

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2015, 09:29:34 PM »
Huh.  My meal at the banquet was fantastic.  The complexity of the salad course was impressive.

I would rather have had round tables though.

I also was one who was initially disappointed with beers at club night.  I think 3 out of 4 were not good enough to enjoy the whole sample.  Until I found the right club booths, that is.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2015, 09:55:04 PM »
Am I the only one who thought the majority of Club Night beers were sub-par??.

you already know I'm with you.  And that it's not new.  I loved the KCBM booth last year; your beers were on point, even when they were experimental.
I'll repeat that I love Pro Night because the avg quality is so high.  This year I couldn't follow my usual plan for Club Night, which is to show up late and find out what is great from other people.  The "brought their A-game" brewers/clubs really stick out.

I didn't mind being outside, though yes the lighting was sometimes an issue.  It did seem, however, that the outdoor stuff was sized for 2011's 2K attendees and not 2015's 3K attendees.  Pretty crowded.

Had a Garden room, first floor.  Unimpressive, awful bed, though I had among the shortest walk to stuff like Club Night so that worked out OK.  Only one night had a crowd of people outside my door at 1:45; the other nights were fairly quiet.  As a gardener, the grounds were a dream.

Not having my beers/meads/ciders there to share is probably my biggest regret.  I'll fix that for Baltimore; it just isn't as fun when I can't share with my OTHER family. 

The competition ran very smoothly  (and I'm so glad the leftover bottles were saved unlike '14!)  I personally witnessed Bruce getting people's contact info on Wednesday, and finding a place for them to judge (although, note that adding extra judges to an already-set schedule made flights shorter, which made people done earlier, which created the whole "lunch isn't ready yet" thing.  I would support making him permanent judge director; he has a good CEO quality and gets stuff done.  I don't think anyone who shows up the morning of a national competition expecting to help can really be upset with the organization of said competition if they are turned away.  The planning for this thing is incredible.

Next year I hope to win all 4 Major Awards and get booed louder than the Brewing Network for hogging all the hardware.  ;)

hope to see you next year--
--Michael

Offline brulosopher

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2015, 10:01:27 PM »

1. All of the events were great. Most of the seminars were good if not just a bit simplistic.
2. Anyone that stayed in the Regency tower should get some kind of discount. That was a disgusting mess.
3. The banquet was a joke and the food did not match expectation and price. Will not ever do that again.
1. Agreed.
2. Yeah, totally.
3. I reeeeeally liked the food... for good reason. I was pretty surprised by the lackluster beer pairing, despite loving Lagunitas.

Offline CentralCalBrewer

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2015, 10:06:11 PM »
3. I reeeeeally liked the food... for good reason. I was pretty surprised by the lackluster beer pairing, despite loving Lagunitas.

I knew there was something wrong with you! LOL

Honestly, leaving Sean Paxton out was a travesty. If he's not back in future years, I'll skip the banquet.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 10:08:08 PM by CentralCalBrewer »

Offline mike89t

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2015, 10:09:29 PM »
He was probably in the Regency Tower like us. What a crappy place. Only one elevator worked (barely), the wallpaper was coming off the wall in places, no refrigerators, and the beds/pillows SUCKED. If it ever goes back to the Town and Country, I will be staying at a different hotel.

- Am I the only one who thought the majority of Club Night beers were sub-par?? Sure, there were some awesome clubs who brought their A-game and some awesome mead makers there, but I had about 50% crappy beer until I just stuck around the clubs that had the good stuff. Like... butter bomb Pilsners, aectic ciders, sock-smelling gueuzes, acrid stouts, etc. I watered a lot of plants that night until I found the booths that had well made beers. I actually asked a couple of the clubs how they selected beers and the general consensus was "We asked for kegs and got kegs." No selection process? Dang.

We were in the same tower and yes it sucked!  Looked like it hadn't been updated since the 80s.  We were on the 4th floor right next to the one elevator that worked but decided to take the stairs way on the other side of the tower.  Beat waiting 10 minutes for the elevator.

I probably tossed about a third of my beers on club night.  Then again I had some amazing beers and meads as well.  I'm not a big mead fan but had one that was a prickly pear mead that was bright purple in color.  It was pretty amazing.  But yeah I helped the landscapers a lot that night.  Still it was my favorite night of the event.  Some of the clubs really went all out with their booths!

Offline udubdawg

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2015, 10:24:24 PM »
3. I reeeeeally liked the food... for good reason. I was pretty surprised by the lackluster beer pairing, despite loving Lagunitas.

I really enjoyed the main course and dessert, but I think all salad courses must be compared to the awesome 2014 banquet salad.

Heard several nearby lackluster comments re: pairing.  I'll be honest; I was floating on Alpine Duet when I walked in and only even tasted the last of the 4 beers.  That one was certainly lackluster.   

Offline CentralCalBrewer

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2015, 10:28:30 PM »

I really enjoyed the main course and dessert, but I think all salad courses must be compared to the awesome 2014 banquet salad.

Yeah - the dessert was acceptable. And maybe I just got the short end, but the main was boring and under seasoned. In that setting, how do you not bring your A game... Oh well... it happens I guess.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2015, 10:38:18 PM »
This thread and the BN COTY one are making me totally at ease with my decision to not go to Baltimore. I'm pretty sure I'll wait for when it's in Portland and just drive down for pro night and call it good.

Offline guido

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2015, 10:40:32 PM »
Great conference overall. Just some notes: My room was small and shabby, tho. The flight home was brutal. It took me about 30 hours to get home, but I knew what I was getting into. The NHC App was excellent, BTW. It was nice to have some public transportation, unlike Grand Rapids. Uber rocked. I wish there could have been a tour to Stone Liberty Garden (went there via Uber). The outdoor setting for the Welcome and Reception and Club Night was a good idea. It was crowded, but the noise was tolerable. I fear it will be too humid in Baltimore for an outdoor setting.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2015, 10:42:54 PM »


  I'll be honest; I was floating on Alpine Duet when I walked in and only even tasted the last of the 4 beers.  That one was certainly lackluster.   

And you were judging me for drinking a ton of Duet! Haha.

I gotta say, a great perk of being a BJCP judge is the beer at the events they put on at NHC. Utopian (plus 3 other Moonlight meads!) and Tart of Darkness on Wednesday, Duet on Saturday. Not too shabby.

Yeah, that last pairing was pretty poor. That beer was way too bitter for the dessert. I drank Pils with my dessert.

And for the record, I make better short ribs. ;) But... I certainly don't make them for 3000 people! Geez, could you imagine the plating team involved in that?

Amanda Burkemper
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Offline mike89t

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2015, 10:43:40 PM »
This thread and the BN COTY one are making me totally at ease with my decision to not go to Baltimore. I'm pretty sure I'll wait for when it's in Portland and just drive down for pro night and call it good.

Even though there were flaws it was still an amazing 4 days.  I just didn't spend much time in my room and avoided the nasty "resort" food by eating offsite.  98% of the people I ran into were fantastic.  You just ignore the 1 or 2 bad apples.

Offline SiameseMoose

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2015, 12:53:33 AM »
It is always good to reconnect with old friends, and make new ones. That's become my number one reason for attending. The forum meet-up was a good example of that.

This was my 12th conference, so some of my comments reflect comparisons with past experiences.
- I understand the reasons for returning to the Town and Country, but honestly, if it comes back there again I will choose to finally skip a conference. 6 hour wait to check in, finally getting into our rather shabby room at 7, massive price gouging on marginal food, noisy as hell (we were near the hotel laundry) - all reflect the same experience as the last time. Not again.
- I loved having the Welcome Reception and Club Night outdoors. I don't see how that can be repeated elsewhere, but I hope it can. Someone made a comment about how crowded it was - I thought it was much less of a zoo than any of the last few years.
- Club Night beer quality has been steadily declining for quite a few years. I have no idea about how to reverse that. Since I'm in Ohio we couldn't run our own booth (too far), but for next year we've already decided that all beers have to pass an independent evaluation before making the list.
- A lot of the presentations were sub-par, or near-total repeats of prior years. I hate that the AHA feels the need that all of the authors of new books get a spot. It seems to be all about book sales. Mitch Steele has great information, but his presentation was 99% the same as last year.
-Presentations I particularly liked included Andrew Mitchell's Brewing Session Beers, Phil Farrel's Does Your Fermenter Affect Your Beer?, and I laughed through Drew and Denny's Experiments (the experiment of having everyone try the two "different" beers was fun, though trying to do it with the big crowd meant few got the beers in similar condition - my first was warm and oxidized, the second cold and fresh).
- I've stopped judging at NHC, and this year confirmed that as a good idea for me A major reduction in the volume of alcohol consumed away from fun events greatly improved my well-being through the week-end.

Finally. I'm on the AHA Conference Sub-Committee, so please continue to make your comments, up or down. We are listening!
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Rob
I named my brewery after my cat, Moose. He's Siamese.

Offline brulosopher

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Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2015, 02:03:58 AM »

This thread and the BN COTY one are making me totally at ease with my decision to not go to Baltimore. I'm pretty sure I'll wait for when it's in Portland and just drive down for pro night and call it good.
Jim, it was SO much fun! People have a tendency to focus and talk about negative s***. Sure, maybe the banquet isn't worth it for some, but everything else was amazing, most specifically meeting all the rad homebrewers I got to. I hope to make every conference until I die.