John Foyston adds some detail:
Topical sessions begin on Thursday with a presentation by Denis Dekeukeleire, from the University of Ghent in Belgium, who is widely regarded as "the godfather of hops," according to Shellhammer. Dekeukeleire will speak on light-struck reactions in bottled beer in his presentation, "Beer Lightstruck Flavor: The Full Story" - a discussion of the factors and chemical reactions leading to "skunky" flavors in your beer....It's one of those kinds of industry events that don't have much interest among laypeople (Topic: "Nonvolatile Aspects to Hop Flavor"). But there's something satisfying about just knowing that they have come here, to the place where the results of the chemical analyses, experiments, and manipulations will be most appreciated.
This first conference of its kind in North America is timely in several ways, Shellhammer said. The hop season is in full swing, with the harvest only a month away. The Northwest produces about 30 percent of the world's hops, with prime growing areas in the Yakima Valley in Washington, and Oregon's Willamette Valley.
Welcome to the homeland, folks--
PHOTO: Erika Barnes.