The Rapidian Home

BeerCity, USA welcomes homebrewers from across country for annual conference

This month, various members of the American Homebrewer’s Association and homebrewing vendors came together to share recipes, tips, samples and helpful products to brew what they love to brew: beer.

Collaboration Beers Brewed for NHC

White Flame Brewing Company, Imperial white IPA

The B.O.B.'s House of Brews, Pumpernickel bread saison

Hopcat, American IPA 

Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Primetime pale ale, Imperial IPA


/Kendra Vanderlip

/Emilee Andrews

Grand Rapids hosted nearly 3,000 members of the Hombrewer’s Association for their annual National Homebrewers Conference (NHC) at DeVos Place. The conference took place over the course of four days, from Wednesday, June 11 to Saturday, June 14, 2014. Events included seminars given by respected professionals in the homebrewing field, book signings and the National Homebrew Competition Award Ceremony and sponsored demonstrations from vendors.

The conference is organized by the American Homebrewer’s Association, a division of the Brewer’s Association.

“It’s a great opportunity to get a group of us together,” says Eric Fouch, the president of Primetime Brewers, the oldest and biggest homebrew club in Grand Rapids, and Beer City Social Club volunteer. “We’ve grown a lot since I joined [the Association] in 1991.”

“We look forward to the event [every year],” says Barb Siciliano of Siciliano’s market, a popular homebrewing supply store located in Grand Rapids. “It’s been a very busy past couple of months for us.”

In addition to several local homebrew clubs, such as Primetime Brewers, 616 Homebrew, Rivertown Homebrewers, and the Grand Rapids Homebrewers Club, there were representatives from several local breweries as well. Grand Rapids Brewing Company and HopCat both had exhibition booths offering samples and information about their beers and brewing operations.

Some vendors, such as Synek Draft System, used the conference as an opportunity to show other brewers their specialized ideas for homebrewers and large breweries alike.

“Our containers and special technique for sealing them help keep beer fresher than in a growler. Typically, beer will only last a couple of days in a growler, but our system extends freshness several days beyond that,” says Michael Werner of Synek.

The conference gives brewers from around the country a chance to come together and learn more about how to hone their craft and make their beer even better for themselves and their customers.

Outside of the activities at the conference itself, several local breweries in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas held special opportunities for AHA members to visit their businesses and try their beer at reduced cost.

Attendees were also treated to commemorative brews put together by Founders Brewing Company, and Kalamazoo based Bell’s Brewery.

Experience Grand Rapids, local businesses and brewpubs really pulled together to make Grand Rapids shine, and every comment I heard indicated this was the best [National Homebrewer’s Conference] attendees had been to,” says Fouch.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.