FAQs

Homebrew Con is an amazing confluence of incredible beer, knowledge and community. Most of your questions are answered below!

Registration, Hotel & Travel

Registration is only open to AHA members. Join now!

Hotel rooms are negotiated at a lower rate for Homebrew Con attendees. Use the links on the Hotel page to access room blocks and discounts.

Find the local airport, transportation options, and driving directions on the Travel page.

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General Conference Tips

Check out The (Mostly) Complete Guide to Homebrew Con by Dave Carpenter!

Will glassware be provided?
Yes. A commemorative glass provided for each attendee. Bring your glass with you everywhere you go – plastic cups ruin the flavor of your homebrew, and you never know when someone is going to crack a bottle of Brut. And that person standing next to you you’ve never seen before? Probably an awesome homebrewer with a bottle of tripel in their pocket looking for someone to share it with.

Will I need a car?
Not during the conference. The majority of the people attending this conference say it is like a time warp – you go in Wednesday night and don’t come out till Saturday evening.

Hold onto your badge.
Your conference badge must be worn around your neck at every official conference event. This includes sessions, Homebrew Expo, Social Club and the Award Ceremony. No badge, no entry, no exceptions.

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Conference Week Events

Local breweries, sponsors and friends of the AHA plan a number of special tappings, brewery tours, and pub crawls that happen a few days before or during conference week and are not part of conference registration. These events are a fun way to meet people and get into the local culture. Be sure to book your travel plans to accommodate events early in the week.

Visit the Week Events page to learn more.

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National Homebrew Competition

The largest homebrew competition around, hosted the first half of the week before Homebrew Con commences, winnows down the survivors of the judging gauntlet. This competition is fast and furious, holding the fate of the homebrewing world in its hands.

Watch your old and new friends win awards at the largest amateur beer competition in the world.

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Homebrew Expo & Social Club

The Homebrew Expo & Social Club is a magical wonderland of vendors, stuff to pick up and sniff and drool over. Oh and there’s plenty of homebrew on tap from local (and not so local) clubs!

What is it?
The Homebrew Expo & Social Club is a great place to meet friends old and new. Social Club is a beer garden oasis within Homebrew Expo where bars are set up to allow clubs to serve their awesome homebrew to all attendees.

During the expo, grab a beer from one of the clubs pouring brew at the Social Club, drool over the latest gadgets from retailers and manufacturers, and see the world’s tallest microbiologist. Do be careful what (or who) you drool on, though. See all the participating companies for Expo before you go.

How can my club pour our beer in the Social Club?
Sign up for a slot—in advance, please.

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Sessions

The conference talks are presented by names you know and up and comers.

Will there be an option to attend virtually?
The 2022 Homebrew Con will be held IRL in-person in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. If you’re not able to join us, all the session recordings will be available to AHA members following the conference.

Did you bring your glass?
No? Why not? Go get your glass!

Will there be beer?
Some of the talks will have beer/mead/cider included. Be polite when taking samples and don’t take full glasses or those in the row behind you might attack if they don’t get any.

Since most sessions don’t offer beer, grab one from Homebrew Expo & Social Club before the talk.

Do I need to sign up?
If by sign up you mean “Do I have to walk into a room?”, then yes. If you mean do you have to choose one and put your name down somewhere, then no. There are multiple sessions running simultaneously during each time slot. You can attend any one you want until the room fills up. Get there early to secure your seat.

I’ve been brewing for 0-50 years, will I learn anything at the talks?
We’ve attempted to create talks aimed at all levels of brewing.

New brewers will learn lots at the talks.
Even celebrated authors like John Palmer learn things at the talks.

There are two speakers I want to see at the same time!
Us too! Relax, don’t worry, we now record all of the sessions and put the presentation recordings on the website for attendees following the conference.

Check out past HBC presentations files. (open to AHA members only)

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Book Signings

If there is a speaker who has written a book that you are contemplating purchasing, it will likely be available for sale at the conference and there is a good chance you could get it signed – just saying, if that is something you might like to add to the ‘ole library.

If you already own a copy, feel free to bring it–the more beat up the better. Authors love adding their illegible scrawls and pithy bon mots to books, and many will be there in the flesh, as long as they remembered to register in time.

Check the website or in the conference program for the book signing schedule.

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Keynote Address & Toast

Conference attendees will enjoy a keynote address from a beer industry icon on Thursday afternoon. AHA Executive Director Julia Herz will officially kick-off the conference with a toast.

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Welcome Reception

Although this is a homebrewers conference, you will see professional beer and brewers in sessions, Homebrew Expo, Welcome Reception, during the Keynote and at the Knockout Party.

Show them some love as they share their hard work with you. Oh, yeah, and drink their beer.

Did you bring your glass?
No? Why not? Go get your glass!

see General Tips

Many stations will have a brewer available to chat and ask questions. Be kind to your fellow conference attendee and don’t hold up the line, there are probably thirsty homebrewers behind you. See a list of participating breweries.

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Club Night

Club Night is the happiest homebrew gathering on the planet. Marvel at the booths, the ingenuity and the creativity. This is the BIG ONE. Wear a silly hat if you have one.

Many clubs don’t just pour beer, they go all out with a theme, costumes, and beer serving gadgets. You may have to lift a dog’s tail to get a beer, or try your luck with a beer dispensing slot machine! See a list of participating clubs.

There are far more beers at Club Night than any one person could possibly sample, so don’t try! Remember to savor the flavor.

While light snacks are provided, please have a full dinner before coming to Club Night. You don’t want all of the great homebrew going straight to your head!

see General Tips

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Award Ceremony

The awards ceremony is a stand-alone event which all Homebrew Con attendees are encouraged to check-out. Watch your old and new friends win awards at the largest amateur beer competition in the world.

How do I save a seat?
This year’s auditorium is big! There’s plenty of room for everyone. Meet up with your friends at the door so you can all sit together.

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Knockout Party

Attendees will wrap up the conference on Saturday evening with a medal-winning-brewers parade, live entertainment, photo recap of the event, award announcements and a top-notch appetizer menu designed by Brewers Association Executive Chef Adam Dulye. Oh, and there will be beer too. You’ll have access to award-winning homebrew and local indie craft beer too. Close the weekend off with a bang and a “see you next year” to your new besties.

General Tips

We know you’re an expert, but bear with us. There will be a lot of beer, do not try to drink it all at once. Seriously, pace yourself. During some of the sessions limited samples are offered, but when you add up what is available from mid-morning until late at night, you don’t want to over indulge at the risk of missing some cool events.

Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water. The conference is not a sprint, it’s not a marathon, it’s Iron Brewer.

Also in the veteran conference attendees medicine bag: Gatorade, Propel (available in easy just-add-water packets for those who fly), aspirin, milk thistle, multi-vitamins, emergen-c.

As delicious as it is, beer is not really food. Don’t get carried away with your conversation on hop glycosides and hot side aeration and forget to eat.

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Beer at the Conference

Beer brought for Club Night or Social Club
If you are bringing beer for your club’s Club Night booth or Social Club shift, be sure to label it in advance and drop it off at an appointed time and proper location. Labels will be provided. Check out Beer Services.

Is it OK to randomly share beer?
Yes!
Can you think of a better venue to share, get feedback and hear comments about what is in your bottle?

How do I get my kegs of beer?
If your keg has been properly labeled, it will be delivered to the appropriate place at the appropriate time. If your keg has been improperly labeled it will be considered a donation to the cellar crew. They have a tough job. Check out Beer Services.

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Food

We’re not your parents, but trust us, eat something more substantial than a hotel mint before any of the big evening parties. You’ll thank us.

In order to keep registration fees low, we limit catered food to appetizers during the Kickoff Party, Club Night and the Knockout Party. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available for purchase.

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Social Tips

Seriously, homebrewers are the best. You will make new friends at this conference. Talk to people; “brewing gods” are approachable. Just walk up and say hi.

What to say? Hey, start by asking them what the best beer they had was.

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The “Attire”

It’s homebrewing, so we’re fairly relaxed. Think beer shirts, Hawaiian shirts, t-shirts, flip flops, casual clothes. Get comfy!

Commemorative Homebrew Con t-shirts will be available for presale during registration and for sale at the conference. Plan on picking up your pre-ordered shirt or buying one during registration–it’s one less item you need to pack for the conference.

Do I have to wear shoes?
Yes.

Can I wear a kilt?
No, kilts may not be worn. People don’t wear kilts, kilts wear people. If your kilt would like to wear you to the conference, great. There will be many kilts wearing people there, probably a kaftan, too.

What about outrageous costumes?
More outrageous than old-timey bathing suits, turkey costumes, or the cast of Saved by the Bell? Yes. Costumes are encouraged, especially on Club Night.

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Thank You!

Thank you for attending Homebrew Con. We hope it’s the best time you have all year!

This sure-to-be-amazing event is also put together by a local committee and dedicated AHA staff, and has been in the planning for at least two years. Don’t forget to thank everybody who has worked so hard to make this happen. Your gratitude will be appreciated by the fine folks who work for the AHA, and hug a local volunteer as well – they deserve it!

See you there!

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