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It’s not long now until the third Australian National Homebrewing Conference kicks off in Melbourne. A veritable feast of all things brewing and beer, featuring everything from international star guests to in-depth seminars, lessons in brewing to degustations, it’s by far the biggest ANHC yet. And while most of its attendees will be pretty experienced in the world of home brewing, this time around the organisers have been keen to ensure there’s plenty for those taking their first steps in brewing.
There’s a whole day dedicated to beginners, featuring Beginner’s Sessions and the Beginner’s Experience. The aim is to offer an accelerator pad for people keen to brew better beer. Or, as Dan Walker from the ANHC committee puts it, to turn people from a Barry into a brewer:
“Dave sat with his head bowed staring forlornly at the, well… thing, he held in his hands. Some evil grey scum served as head, Yarra water looked clear and pristine by comparison and it smelled a bit like a combination of a new tennis shoe and the supposedly eco friendly fuel he’d been putting in his car recently (lack of power, strange knocking sounds) … there even appeared to be small greenish chunks floating in it.
“His best friend Barry called it beer, Dave wasn’t so sure. Beer made him happy, beer made him think of summer time and BBQs; Dave liked beer! The glass Barry put on the table in front of him, did none of these things.
“And summer really was on the way. Bringing with it the terrifying prospect that every time he wanted to burn some sausages or watch the cricket – which he invariably did in the company of Barry – he’d not only be forced to drink more of this evil swill, but he’d have to pretend that he liked it.
“And the worst part was: it was his own damn fault. It seemed like such a great Christmas present. Barry loved to make stuff – he made his own bread, owned a wood fired pizza oven, turned his home grown tomatoes into sauce and chutney that everyone loved – a home-brewing kit was perfect. Barry’s smile had been a mile wide!
“A fat, slow moving bubble floated to the surface of the glass and popped, releasing a tiny burst of the slightly farty smell that Barry insisted on calling ‘aroma’. Dave wasn’t sure he was gonna be able to take a whole summer’s worth of this. What the hell was he going to do? He listened to Barry rummaging around in the ‘beer cellar’ he’d created under the verandah and contemplated pushing him into the pool, holding him under till he stopped thrashing; but he’d miss the bastard’s company he supposed. There should be a support group for people who’s mates became bad home-brewers! Surely somewhere, somehow, there had to be someone who could help……..”
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