Boot Camp

San Diego Boot Camp Speakers

2018 San Diego BYO Boot Camp Speakers

  John Blichmann is is the President of Blichmann Engineering and has been an avid homebrewer and winemaker since 1991. He earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1988 from Iowa State University and worked at Caterpillar for 15 years. He founded Blichmann Engineering in 2001 in his garage and focused on providing homebrewers top notch quality and innovative designs to help homebrewers and winemakers enjoy their hobby and to help them make amazing home beverages. Let equipment guru John Blichmann take you hands-on through the full all-grain process from milling, mashing, and sparging before going into the boil. You’ll get to know the equipment, techniques, and ingredients first-hand and learn all-grain “brewing by doing” in a small-class environment in the “All-Grain Brewing Essentials” Boot Camp on Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3. Please note due to many requests we are repeating this same Boot Camp topic from Friday again on Saturday.

  Aaron Hyde started homebrewing in 1997 upon the discovery of brewing equipment, as well as The Complete Joy of Homebrewing in his parent’s basement.  In 2009 he took his hobby “pro” by opening Brewstock, a homebrew supply shop in New Orleans.  After 5 years he sold the business, and joined Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. and is currently the Director of Homebrew.  Aaron has a bachelor’s degree in Music Business, and finds the current brewing industry not too dissimilar from the music industry.  He has certificates from the Institute of Brewing & Distilling in both Malting and Brewing, and is also a BJCP Beer Judge and Certified Cicerone. Join BYO Columnist Aaron Hyde of Briess Malt  Saturday, Feb. 3 in “Beer Sensory Evaluation” as you educate your beer evaluation palate and explore how to properly taste your homebrew critically and use that knowledge to make better beer.

  Ashton Lewis started working for Brew Your Own before the premier edition hit the market in 1995 and has filled the role of Mr. Wizard and Technical Editor over the last 21 years.  In 1997 he joined the Paul Mueller Company as part of their brewery equipment group and as the Master Brewer at the Springfield Brewing Company, a showcase brewery built by Mueller that same year.  He is still the Master Brewer at Springfield Brewing Company and one of the partners in the business following its sale in 2011 and continues working full-time for Mueller as the company’s Staff Master Brewer and Brewing Market Manager.  Ashton completed his M.S. in food/brewing science from UC Davis in 1994 and his B.S. in food science from Virginia Tech in 1991.  His non-brewing interests include scuba diving, cycling and food. Ashton will lead “Troubleshooting Homebrew Faults and Fixes” Boot Camp on Friday, February 2 to help you troubleshoot and fix your own homebrews.  On Saturday, February 3 Ashton will break down what you need to know the basics of brewing chemistry and why you need to know it in the “Brew Chem 101” Boot Camp.

  John Palmer is the author of How to Brew and co-author of Water – A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers and serves as the Publications Director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. He is also a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists and the Brewers Association. As an engineer, John is keenly interested in the nuts and bolts of the brewing process and he frequently travels to conferences all over the world to share what he has learned. He lives near Pasadena, California. On Friday, February 2, join John in “All-Grain Brewing Essentials” Boot Camp designed for intermediate to beginner homebrewers getting into all-grain brewing, this full-day workshop will cover all you need to know to successfully make great homebrews using all-grain brewing both with traditional and newer techniques.

  Steve Parkes is the owner of Drop-In Brewing Company and also owner and lead instructor of the American Brewers Guild in Middlebury, Vermont. He holds a degree in Brewing Science from the prestigious brewing school at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.  One of the breweries Steve operated in the UK required that he build a working brewing system from old dairy equipment in a short amount of time; Steve learned improvisational skills that would serve him well in his new venture. After 6 years honing his brewing skills in the UK, winning awards and gaining valuable management experience, Steve took up the challenge of starting a new brewery in the USA. Friday, February 2 begins his two-day “Turning Pro & Commercial Brewery Start-Up” Boot Camp that continues into the next day in which you will hear Steve’s expertise on planning decisions, and keys you need to know if you want to open a successful commercial craft brewery. When you register for this class you will attend it for both Friday and Saturday unlike our other offerings.

  Dr. Brad Smith is the author of BeerSmith beer software and its founder.  He has written over 300 articles on brewing beer including magazines such as Brew Your Own and Zymurgy as well as a book. Brad is the host of the BeerSmith home brewing podcast, created (currently over 400,000 recipes),, created the BeerXML recipe standard, appeared in a How to Brew video series with John Palmer and regularly speaks at national and international events on brewing beer. He is also a retired Air Force Colonel and a former lab and satellite Commander. Brad will guide you through your own recipes, techniques and understanding your own brewing in “Recipe Formulation” Boot Camp on Friday, February 2 and again Saturday, February 3. Please note due to many requests we are repeating this same Boot Camp topic from Friday again on Saturday.

 Mitch Steele is a true renaissance man — widely respected for his award-winning talent brewing great, innovative beer for just the right time (and times). Authoring IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale and the “Hoptripper” blog, he has been invited to judge many national and international beer festivals. He studied the craft and art of brewing science at the University of California Davis. Studying turned into homebrewing and in 1988, he made his passion a profession and eventually worked his way up to the title of brewmaster. Join the former Brewmaster for Stone Brewing Co., Mitch Steele as he explores when and how to add hops to create awesome hop-forward beers. You’ll cover timing and techniques of hop usage including mash hopping, boil hopping, whirlpool/knockout hop stand additions, and dry hopping. You’ll cover hop varietal choices, hop pairing/blending, evaluating hops including hop rubbing and sensory training, water adjustments & much more to get the most out of your hops and into your glass. Please note due to many requests we are repeating this same Boot Camp topic from Friday again on Saturday.

  Gordon Strong is the President and highest ranking judge of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), the organization that certifies beer judges for homebrew competitions and also registers qualifying homebrew competitions. In addition to his Grand Master Level V judge status, Gordon is a three-time winner of the National Homebrew Competition Ninkasi Award and the author of Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers (Brewers Publications, 2011). He frequently contributes to Brew Your Own, including taking over the “Style Profile” column in early 2015.  On Friday, February 2, learn how to master mashing techniques along with controlling your all-grain wort production in Gordon’s “Advanced All-Grain Techniques” Boot Camp. It is being offered again on Saturday, February 3. Please note due to many requests we are repeating this same Boot Camp topic from Friday again on Saturday.

  Michael Tonsmeire is an award-winning homebrewer, certified beer judge, and all-around sour beer nerd. He blogs as The Mad Fermentationist, writes the Brew Your Own Advanced Brewing column, and authored American Sour Beers (Brewers Publications, 2014). Michael is co-founder and co-head brewer for Sapwood Cellars, scheduled to open in November/December 2017. Tonsmeire has consulted and collaborated with a dozen of America’s best craft breweries including Modern Times Beer Co., and Commonwealth Brewing Co. He has presented at the last three AHA National Homebrewers Conferences, as well as homebrewing conferences in Norway and Brazil. Tonsmeire resides in Washington, D.C. Learn how to choose, use and maintain oak barrels – and barrel-alternatives – for homebrewing at the “Barrels and Wood-Aging” Boot Camp on Friday, February 2. The next day, Michael will demonstrate the unique skill set needed to create your own delicious sour beers including wort productions, growing alternative microbes, blending, aging on fruit, and sanitation in the “Sour Beer Techniques” Boot Camp on Saturday, February 3.

  Dr. Chris White lives in San Diego, Calif., USA, where he serves as President and CEO of White Labs Inc. Chris founded White Labs in 1995 to manufacture yeast cultures and provide fermentation services to the brewing, wine, and distilling industries. Chris has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis. While at Davis, Chris interned at Genentech Inc., the world’s first biotechnology company. White is coauthor of Yeast: The Practical Guide To Beer Fermentation, co-designer of BrewMaster: The Craft Beer Game, and has published numerous articles on yeast, beer, and fermentation. Chris White was a lecturer in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at U.C. San Diego from 1999-2007, and is currently teaching in the Brewing Certificate Program at U.C. San Diego Extension.  Chris was awarded the 2013 Recognition Award from the American Homebrewers Association. In “Advanced Yeast Techniques” Boot Camp on Friday, February 2, Chris will lead you in mastering different yeast-related techniques in order to get the most from your yeast.

Peter Zien is the owner of AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego and holds a BA in Political Science and JD in Law from the University of San Diego. Prior to owning AleSmith, Peter was an award winning homebrewer and president of the local homebrew club QUAFF. His amateur beers won over 400 medals and honors, and he led QUAFF to its first California and National Homebrew Club of the Year trophies. Peter is a Grand Master level one beer judge with the Beer Judge Certification Program and is the highest ranking beer judge in San Diego County. Join Peter on Friday, Feb. 2 as our keynote speaker during the BYO Boot Camp lunch.

BYO Boot Camp