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Best brewers converge on Canberra for Australian National Homebrewing Conference

Canberra will be awash with the nation's best homebrewed beer this week, as brewers come to compete, learn and drink in a unique three days.

And much of the amber liquid is here already, stored in a dozen homes or with organisations around the capital.

Kevin Hingston, left, and Canberra Brewers president Mark Bilbrough help get ready for the Australian Amateur Brewing ...
Kevin Hingston, left, and Canberra Brewers president Mark Bilbrough help get ready for the Australian Amateur Brewing Championships and national brewing conference this week. Photo by: Jamila Toderas 

Brewers will compete in 20 different categories at the Australian Amateur Brewing Championships on Thursday, before being treated to speakers from as far afield as the United States and England at the Australian National Homebrewing Conference on Friday and Saturday. 

Canberra Brewers Club president Mark Bilbrough, one of the conference organisers, said he was proud and excited to be involved in hosting the conference, its first time out of Melbourne.  

Kevin Hingston, left, and Canberra Brewers president Mark Bilbrough help get ready for the Australian Amateur Brewing ...
Kevin Hingston, left, and Canberra Brewers president Mark Bilbrough help get ready for the Australian Amateur Brewing Championships and national brewing conference this week. Photo by: Jamila Toderas 

"We get to showcase Canberra to international and national beer (and mead) rock stars, and make accessible world class brewing education to our members as well as visitors from interstate and overseas."

In addition to beer from 14 commerical breweries - including Canberra's BentSpoke Brewing Co and the Wig and Pen - Mr Bilbrough said more than 50 cornie kegs (20 litres) would arrive from homebrew clubs for the conference. 

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"Litres wise, it will be somewhere between 1000-2000," he said. 

"Beer is scattered around Canberra at the moment."

More than 250 people were set to take part in the two-day conference at University House, with topics covered to include beer styles and ingredients to advanced brewing science, plus an address on sensory evaluation from a Carlton & United Brewery expert.

Awards from the championships, including the champion state, will be presented on the Friday night at the conference's gala dinner at the National Museum of Australia.

Fellow conference organiser Kevin Hingston, who has 10 entries in the championships, said he hoped a medal or two would come his way. 

"But it is the best of the best," he said.