Homebrew Con Seminars

Homebrew Con is an annual event hosted by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). The conference includes dozens of seminars on beer, mead, and cider. Join the AHA to gain access to Homebrew Con seminars dating back to 2012. You won’t find a resource like this anywhere else!

Hexes, Hops, and Herstory: A Call to Action

  • Speaker: Shannon Heneghan Jutras
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

“Hexes, Hops, and Herstory” is a brewing project and a call to action! Inspired by history, this movement engages women beer lovers to become beer brewers in the modern day. Learn more about the history of women in beer and their association with the iconography of witches, as well as …More

Homebrewing Microcomputers and Microbrewing Homebrew: Smithsonian Research on Homebrewing and Craft Beer History

  • Speaker: Theresa McCulla
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

This session will provide an introduction to the research and collecting work of the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The initiative, which is supported by the Brewers Association, is building a new archive of the histories of American homebrewing and craft beer. Curator …More

Imperial Stout: 300 Years in the Making

  • Speaker: Toby Johnson & Casey Welsch
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Beginning with the development of porter in the early 1700s, imperial stout has gone through many transformations over the last 300 years. Come join our dynamic duo of time-traveling homebrewer historians as we explore the evolution, near death, and rebirth of one of the strongest beers out there!

Macbeth! The Brutal Truth about Scottish Beer

  • Speaker: Ronald Pattinson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Join beer historian Ronald Pattinson as he highlights the last two centuries of Scottish beer history and debunks many myths that have sprung up around Scottish brewing. Ron will discuss ingredients, brewing techniques, beers styles, and how each of these has developed and evolved over the years.

Medieval Gruit Ales Reconstructed: New Theories about Old Beverages

  • Speaker: Susan Verberg
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2019
  • Providence, RI

Gruit as a product changed throughout its history. From a beer additive revered for its fermenting powers, it evolved into a beer with a reputation for powerful headache-causing herbals. The exact nature of gruit was once thought to be lost, but available sources paint an interesting picture of gruit, not …More

Adambier: Another Historical Beer Style That Almost Died Out

  • Speakers: John AitchisonToby Johnson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This journey in time from 16th-century Germany to modern-day America explores the history of Adambier and the cultural and scientific changes that brought about its downfall—until now!

Hot Hot Hot! Brewing a Stein Bier

  • Speaker: Annie Johnson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Stein bier is the result of a 10,000-year-old Germanic method of brewing with hot granite stones. Most common in Alpine regions of Europe, stein bier is all about a brewing method, not about a style—any beer can be a stein beer! Learn how to brew one safely in this red-hot …More

Imbibing in Ancient Iberia: Celtic to Flemish Brewing and Beyond

  • Speaker: Travis Rupp
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

At the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Homebrew Cons, we examined the world of brewing in the ancient Near East, Mediterranean, and Europe. This year we move to ancient Iberia and examine the development of caelia, an ancient beer that predated the Roman conquest of Spain in 206 BCE. As an …More

Understanding National Tradition

  • Speaker: Jeff Alworth
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

Have you ever wondered how a Czech brewer thinks about brewing? How about a Belgian or a German? Chances are, they think about brewing very differently than Americans do. Beer styles are downstream consequences of particular ways of thinking about beer. In this seminar, we will explore the way styles …More

Without It This Conference Would Have Never Come to Exist: The Story of German Bier

  • Speaker: Carl Sakari
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2018
  • Portland, OR

This humorous and entertaining overview of the history of German beer includes the development of beer styles (with proper pronunciation), technological advancements, German drinking traditions and culture, and the immigration of German brewing to the Pacific Northwest in the 19th century. A look at recent trends in German beer, including …More

Homebrew Disrupts American Beer: A Live Interview with Charlie Papazian

  • Speakers: Charlie PapazianChip WaltonTom Dalldorf
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Join Charlie Papazian as he reveals the events and ideas in his life that helped immerse millions of homebrewers in the disruptive revolution of homebrewing. Homebrewing changed how the world views beer and will continue to be the leading edge of beer’s evolution. Tom Dalldorf and Chip Walton will join …More

Liquid Time Capsules

  • Speakers: Dr. Patrick McGovernKen Schramm
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

In this two-part seminar, Patrick McGovern and Ken Schramm take us on a fascinating, fermented journey through time. Dr. McGovern brings the past alive with spicy, fruity, and malty aromas and flavors unearthed in his new book, Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created. Then Ken explains why we are living in …More

Saluting the Ancient Purveyors and Preservers of Beer! Brewing on the Borders of Greek and Roman Dominion

  • Speaker: Travis Rupp
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

Ancient sources discuss beer as an invention of the barbarians of Northern Europe and the savages of the Near East. This presentation explores those peoples of Northern Europe known to have produced and preserved beer culture under Roman and Greek oppression. Travis Rupp will explore ancient brewing conventions of British, …More

The Dinosaur in My Beer: 250 Million Years of Homebrewing History

  • Speaker: Dr. Andrew Farke
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2017
  • Minneapolis, MN

You probably know the historical origins of brewing in early human civilization, but our favorite ingredients also plant their roots back in the Age of Dinosaurs. Paleontologist Andy Farke will time travel with seminar participants, munching hops with Triceratops, tracing the connections between malting and bird evolution, and more! You …More

Brewing Grisette and Saison: Insight from Historical Records and Modern Producers

  • Speaker: David Janssen
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

This presentation will look at historical information, focusing on the industrial revolution to modern times, to better understand the history of grisettes (a historical beer style which disappeared in the mid-1900s) and saisons. We will discuss historical production methods, characteristics of historical versions, similarities and differences between these two beers, …More

Contemporary Experiments in Ancient Brewing

  • Speakers: Ben FreundSteve Hulbert
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Contemporary Experiments in Ancient Brewing is a study on ancient brewing techniques in ceramic vessels. Steve Hulbert, Baltibrew member and Baltimore Clayworks trustee, and Ben Freund, resident artist at Baltimore Clayworks, have been brewing beer in handmade ceramic vessels since early 2015. The experiments have spanned many phases of the …More

Craft Lager: What’s Old is New Again

  • Speaker: Joshua Hubner
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Florida has seen a renaissance of brewing and beer styles over the past 10 years, though the surprisingly rich history of Prohibition-era lagers has faded away. This seminar is focused on the tradition of brewing in Miami, from business and advertising to process and ingredients. Craft lagers are making a …More

History of Baltimore Brewing

  • Speaker: Rob Kasper
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

A history of Baltimore breweries from 1748 to the present day, given by Rob Kasper, author of Baltimore Beer: A Satisfying History of Charm City Brewing.

Homebrewing History: A Photographic Tour with Charlie

  • Speaker: Charlie Papazian
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

American homebrewers form the foundation of America’s craft brewing journey. Join Charlie as he revisits American homebrewing milestones, highlighting several of the early pioneers, explorers, clubs, contributors and beer industry friends of homebrewers who helped turned the tide of American brewing. This visual presentation will be sourced from more than …More

The Dark Ages: Baltic, Munich or Kulmbach?

  • Speakers: Michael SteinPeter Jones
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Baltic, Munich and Kulmbacher: this presentation travels through European and American lands to get a better understanding of dark lager. Learn how German, Czech and Baltic Porter styles were appropriated by American breweries before, during and after Prohibition. These styles barely resurfaced after “the great experiment” but they are alive …More

Ur-Buzz: The Advent of Human-Controlled Fermentation

  • Speakers: Dr. Patrick McGovernKen Schramm
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2016
  • Baltimore, MD

Ken Schramm, Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania (author of Uncorking the Past and Ancient Wine) and other panel members discuss the advent of human-controlled fermentation: the ingredients, processes, species domestication, implements and human knowledge that went into the earliest human attempts at and successes in fermentation.

(Almost) Everything You Know About Brewing History Is Wrong

  • Speaker: Randy Mosher
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

Modern brewers are inspired by the past to create their own interpretations of the classics. But what if it turns out a lot of our ideas about past beers are just not right? This is the case with far too many classic styles. Often, the truth is even more interesting …More

The Beginnings of Beer in the Ancient World

  • Speaker: Travis Rupp
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2015
  • San Diego, CA

This presentation will examine the beginnings of beer production in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. Specifically, it will survey the domestication of barley and wheat in ancient Sumeria and Egypt, which was conceived for early beer production. It will then examine the impact on later Greek and Roman beer …More

Keeping It Simple: What Monks Can Teach Us About Brewing

  • Speaker: Stan Hieronymus
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

When Brother Antoine was in charge of brewing at Rochefort, he said: “Two of the pale malts, two of the sugars, two hop varieties, two yeast strains . . . two of this and two of that . . . we like to keep it simple.” That approach produces amazingly …More

Obscure and Ancient Beers

  • Speakers: Geoff GroffMark Pangle
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Do you want to know what Finnish Sahti is and how it is made? Are you familiar with Steinbeer, a German method of brewing beer with heated stones? Join homebrewers Geoff Groff and Mark Pangle as they discuss some of the more obscure as well as older beer styles and …More

The Homebrewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer

  • Speakers: Paul LanglieRon Pattinson
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Raise a glass to vintage beer! Treat yourself to a tour through time with beer historian/author Ron Pattinson of the blog Shut Up about Barclay Perkins. Ron will share brewing history and representative recipes from 1800 to 1950, from his new book, The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer. Ron …More

The Malt Nerds History Hour

  • Speakers: Andrea StanleyJohn Mallett
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2014
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Humans have been malting grains for use in brewing for many thousands of years. In relative terms, large-scale, industrial operations are recent developments. Prior to the 20th century, most malt was hand made by artisans—often unencumbered with science—who mainly assessed and controlled this natural process by touch, taste and smell. …More

Beers of Our Founding Fathers

  • Speaker: Frank Clark
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

What were our founding fathers drinking? Learn about the beers and brewing methods of the 18th century. Join food and beer historian Frank Clark of Colonial Williamsburg for a fascinating look back at old beer styles and some of the pleasures and pitfalls of trying to recreate historic beers.

Colonial Brewing Practices and Beers with Historical British Influences

  • Speaker: Bob Grossman
  • Track: Historical
  • Homebrew Con 2013
  • Philadelphia, PA

The freedom-seeking settlers were influenced by their dependency on fermented beverages, a necessary alternative to the tainted water supplies in England. They brought with them a great appreciation for alcoholic beverages, a perspective derived from a long brewing tradition founded in folk wisdom, herbal pharmacopoeia and lore, political leadership and …More