GRAND RAPIDS — The name of this year’s National Homebrewers Conference is ‘Mashing in Michigan’, paying homage to our Great Beer State. We pride ourselves on working hard, creating something new, reinventing and rebuilding what it means to be ‘Michigan’.

We’ve earned that cold drink. And Thursday saw plenty.



The Michigan Brewers Guild kicked off the conference right, with a brand new-to-the-show welcome reception Thursday evening. Beers from local craft brewers and appetizers provided by the DeVos Conference Center were available during the final, official conference event of day one. An official (though hard to hear) group toast was made by AHA Director Gary Glass, citing the impact of BeerCity USA and how Grand Rapids was a perfect location for this conference.

With practically everyone in the same space, this reception provided an opportunity to meet and mingle, taste some beers you may have never tasted before (or missed earlier in the day) and track down your Northern Brewer number match, damnit.

Featured beers included Kuhnhenn’s DRIPA, Travesty’s Elimer — a Tripel with Ginger and Sorachi Ace, Founders’ staples like All Day IPA and a range of strange offerings from Short’s — like its Earl of Brixon, an English Dark Mild. These, plus so many more were featured during the reception. Coupled with the delicious, one of a kind homebrews that are available at the Beer City Social Club (more about that tomorrow) made for a tasty Thursday.

We’ve made our impact, Michigan, and the rest of the nation is listening. On to day two!