Denny Conn

Experimental brewer, Mad Scientist, BJCP National Beer Judge, Ukulele Player

I started playing in rock’n’roll bands when I was 12 years old. By the time I hit college, I’d had so much free Bud in the bars we played that the discovery of Heineken was a major breakthrough. After I moved to Oregon, I had a Henry Weinhard epiphany and I knew my Bud days were over for good. That was about when the craft beer/brewpub revolution began, and I dove right in. I became an IPA addict and when my business partner showed me how to brew beer I realized that I’d found something that combined my loves of cooking and science.

In 1998, my wife bought me a kit of ingredients and equipment for my birthday. The first extract/specialty grain APA I did rocked. I still remember feeling like I’d done something magical when I popped the cap, heard the “sssshhhhh” of the carbonation and the aroma of those Cascade hops wafted up to my nose. I never looked back…

There was just one thing… I’m lazy… er, let’s call it “pragmatic”…yeah, I like that better. I don’t mind doing anything it takes to make great beer, but I want to know that the results are worth the effort. That began my love of experimenting and playing with beer. I started testing different techniques, like first wort hopping and decoction, to see if the payoff justified the work. My conclusions pissed off a lot of people who thought that the more work you do, the better beer you make. Tough. Until YOU do the experiments for yourself, you really don’t know. So, get your brew on and find out!

Back to speakers

Denny's Sessions

The New Zealand Home-brewers’ Conference 2018

This is the main event. A day of amazing workshops, speakers and networking with other brewers. Bring your brain, pen and note-pad, and learn to #makebetterbeer



Founders Park

Welcome to MarchFest, Nelson and New Zealand’s beer flavoured festival – a celebration of music, food, fun and of course, proper beer. Our NZHC VIPs will be at the MarchFest brew-zone too. See our experts brewing, and come along to our “ask me anything” sessions running during the afternoon—your chance to put some curly questions […]