View Full Version : Shut up about Barclay Perkins - Grand Rapids day three

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30-06-2014, 08:55
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My breakfast date is earlier today, 7:45. We need to be at the convention centre by 8:30.

I stick to convention and have bacon, egg and those potato things. With toast coffee and orange juice, of course. Sugar, caffeine and fat: all the major food groups. Paul unwisely sticks to oatmeal. Very unhealthy.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ds0GDVJp3XY/U6sONHjNrII/AAAAAAAAT7o/c7UFUpTl7Zg/s1600/Grand_Rapids_conference_hall.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ds0GDVJp3XY/U6sONHjNrII/AAAAAAAAT7o/c7UFUpTl7Zg/s1600/Grand_Rapids_conference_hall.jpg)

This time we're in a larger hall, ballroom D. It's not quite as weirdly arranged as testerday, meaning I can actually see the slides on the screen. The crowd is bigger, but more subdued. It's being filmed, which has its up and down sides. Good that there will be a recording, shame it wasn't done yesterday when both me and the crowd were livelier.

Annoyingly, Stan Hieronymous was scheduled at the same time. Which means I've missed his talk. Bit of a bummer, that. A price you have to pay for being a participant rather than a punter.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ak_kRFypn5k/U6sO_iP0lgI/AAAAAAAAT7w/n1bcOxHnkNw/s1600/Grand_Rapids_conference_homebrew.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ak_kRFypn5k/U6sO_iP0lgI/AAAAAAAAT7w/n1bcOxHnkNw/s1600/Grand_Rapids_conference_homebrew.jpg)

I do a bit more wandering around the hall and get accosted several times while I'm on my eternal search for beer. I guess people know what I look like now. It's quite pleasant getting to chat for a few minutes with various people. I'm a sociable chap at heart.

I've a book signing scheduled at the, er, book stall. Stan is on before me and has a huge queue waiting for him. Mine is rather more modest. Queue, I mean. Impressive when you think Stan has already been at it for over an hour. I'm surprised when I'm handed examples of my self-published books to sign. I guess a few must have escaped over the Atlantic.

I make sure to get myself a big beer before I start. Someone has given me the glass from the ball park do last night. It's at least double the size of the conference glass. Using it is a pretty obvious choice.

I'm the last author scheduled for the morning signing sessions. So no-one on immediately after me. I hang around for a while after my allotted time for any stragglers, a few of which do show up.

The afternoon sees the seminar I most want to attend: John Mallett (of Bell's (http://bellsbeer.com/)) and Andrea Stanley (of Valley Malt (http://valleymalt.com/)) talking about making blown malt. Couldn't be more perfect for me. I'm dead jealous when I see that they're both in costume. I should do that myself.

The talk is as informative as I had hoped. And I get to chew some malt and drink beer brewed with it. Hard to think of a better use of an hour. I get chatting to John and Andrea when they've finished talking. They ask me out for dinner. Cool.

But before that I've a second seminar to attend. Jason Oliver (of Devil's Backbone (http://www.dbbrewingcompany.com/)) is giving a talk on Lager brewing. He knows a thing or two about the topic, having won several awards for bottom-fermenting beers. I had the pleasure of brewing a Barclay Perkins Dark Lager with him a couple of years ago.

I'd like to chat with Jason but unfortunately don't have time.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--6mwnFelUCs/U6sPs6_LLtI/AAAAAAAAT74/zVvXaHmKjio/s1600/Grand_Rapids_Grove.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--6mwnFelUCs/U6sPs6_LLtI/AAAAAAAAT74/zVvXaHmKjio/s1600/Grand_Rapids_Grove.jpg)

Dinner is at Grove, a foodie sort of restaurant. We all get a three-course tasting menu. What can I say, other than that the food is knockout. They've a decent beer list, too. The conversation, which roams around various historical topics, malting technicques and barley varieties, is totally fascinating. I rarely get to have beer chats of this quality.

That's not the end of the evening. Back in the town centre we nip into Hop Cat for a beer or two. And who should be standing at the bar but Jason Oliver.Isn't that a happy coincidence. He's chatting with Neil Spake, a longtime blog reader of mine. It's the perfect finsh to a great day, as I get to talk Lager for a while.

Just one day of the conference to go. Unfortunately I'll miss the banquet. I'll be on my way to Chicago then.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p-K4Nuzu9RU/UvJKCsXUszI/AAAAAAAAS98/6cnV5PBFerc/s1600/Vintage_Beer_cover_new.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/Home-Brewers-Guide-Vintage-Beer/dp/1592538827)
How many different ways can I say "Buy my book, you bastard"? I think we're going to find out over the next few weeks. Aggression this time. Perhaps intimidation next. Let's see what works.

The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer (http://www.amazon.com/Home-Brewers-Guide-Vintage-Beer/dp/1592538827).

Grove (http://www.groverestaurant.com/)
919 Cherry St SE,
Grand Rapids,
MI 49506.
Tel: 616 454 1000

HopCat (http://www.hopcat.com/)
25 Ionia Ave SW #100,
Grand Rapids,
MI 49503.
Tel: 616 451 4677

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