Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

Archive for August, 2014

#BBC14 in a NY minute… plus more

Picture if you will: 150 craft beer drinkers with a writing problem getting together for a weekend of lectures on brewing history, branding, photography, blogging, and especially beer. Got it?  That’s the essence of the 5th annual #BBC14 (Beer Bloggers Conference 2014) in San Diego, CA.

#BBC14 in a NY minute…

Who blogs about Beer?

Drawing a picture of the typical beer blogger (there are several thousand) isn’t something I can easily do, but I can say that our #BBC14 microcosm would fit in at a tasting room on a Friday night: beer geeks… young to seasoned, novices and pros, industry reps and enthusiasts. And like a typical Friday night, we arrived to sample great brews and at closing time, we really didn’t want to leave.  Through the course of 48+ hours, California and its craft brews stole a piece of my heart.

What’s #BBC about?

#BBC14 was 1/3 beer pilgrimage, 1/3 tasting adventure, 1/3 techniques/blogging… all of it amazing!

We rubbed shoulders with and heard stories from the greats of the craft brewing and blogging industries, visited tasting rooms, and sampled some of the finest brews available (and not) on the market.

From the first sip of Cigar City’s Invasion IPA at the airport in LA on Thursday to the last drops of WA state shared brew on Sunday morning in San Diego, it was a memorable (and to some, exhausting) weekend.  Along the way, I met friends and we shared pints, laughed (a lot) and bonded through our passion for beer. Some of us even registered and made road trip plans for next year’s #BBC15 in Asheville, NC.

For me,  craft beer is all about building a creative, fun-loving, grassroots community that supports the craft brewing industry and loves beer. Finding others who are equally passionate and who are leaders in the industry is simply, at the risk of sounding trite, pure bliss.

As I scribe this post en route from LAX to Tampa, I am grateful to CA brewers, fellow bloggers,  strangers, organizers, and friends whose generosity and hospitality enriched my life.

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THANK YOU

From my hometown breweries in Tampa Bay, I’d like to give a shout out to a few people who gave me swag or beer to share the Florida beer love in San Diego including:

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To so many who donated time, energy, beer, food, hospitality and friendship to make our CA beer experience so incredible, including (a full list of sponsors are listed at beerbloggersconference.org):

2014-08-23 12.36.23Happy and safe imbibing!  Hope to see you at a beer fest in Florida or around the country, and until then… wishing you health and happiness and…

 

P.s. Here’s a few of my colleagues/friend’s blog reports from #BBC14:

THANKS Fcindy and meOR THE MEMORIES!
Carol Dekkers

The Bloggers Check In: Day 6 in San Diego

Beer blogging around the country is as diverse as the people who pen the blogs. I love this summary by Astrid Cook, the self-appointed Brooklyn Beer Bitch.

Safe travels home Astrid, or was great to hang out with you!

Brooklyn Beer Bitch

While a lot of participants at the Beer Bloggers Conference typically bail on Sunday morning (owing to too much beer or early transportation taking them out early), one of the more interesting features of the conference is the blogger reports from various writers around the country that wraps the conference every year. It’s a quick (each blogger has five minutes) check-in on the greater beer blogging community, and the reports range from funny to serious, informative to supportive. (Note: The titles are mine, but they sum up each of the seven presentations.)

First up this year, Emily Sauter of CT beer review blog Pints & Panels: Responsible Beer Reviewing

Clip art courtesy Layout Sparks. Clip art courtesy Layout Sparks.

Like many of the bloggers, Emily posts beer reviews on her site, and she has three basic practices she tries to follow in her beer reviews that she shared with the attendees. These were:

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Arts and Beers and Crafts oh my… Toto, …we’re not in Kansas anymore

No, Dorothy, you’re in craft beer heaven – Tampa Bay, Florida!

(And with hurricane and tornado season upon us, it’s going to be a lot more tasty to have hurricane parties with great locals suds!)

Even though it gets “Hotter than Hell(es)” here in the summer,

Tampa Bay is emerging as a craft beer destination with hundreds of festivals, sports, art shows, and entertainment events FEATURING local craft beers!

Let me give you a quick update, Dorothy… and dispel a few stereotypes you might have about Arts and Beers and Crafts – oh my!

Less than six months ago when I published the post “From God’s Waiting Room to God’s Tasting Room – the Brewformation of St  Petersburg,”  there’s been a literal plethora (translation: onslaught!!!) of craft beer inspirations and events on both sides of the bay.

It’s been a crazy six months, and here’s a short list of what’s been happening:

  • Proclamations from both St Petersburg and Tampa City Councils recognizing Tampa Bay Beer Week;
  • Both the Lightning hockey arena in Tampa and Rays baseball stadium in St Petersburg now feature an array of local craft beers on tap;
  • Localtopia (Keep St Petersburg Local huge downtown community festival), 5 Events for 5 Years – Celebration of I love the Burg,
  • Forbes travel guide featured months ago The Beer Project by the Museum of Fine Arts,
  • local craft beer on tap, new brewpubs and brewery openings, and wonderful new tap houses and restaurants and beach bars featuring local craft brews,
  • The Beer Project by the St Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts – a home brewing competition, public tasting, professional beer launches, and beer “crafts” featuring an author and crafts-person from Seattle, WA,
  • More and more national attention on the emerging Florida brewing scene.

In the coming weeks, additional art and beer events are scheduled – some include marketplaces for purchasing beer-inspired products; while others feature rare brews (the TBBW Halfway There Rare Beer Festival on Sept 6, and the Ale & the Witch’s Rare Beer and Music Festival on Sept 13) or a music slant.  We keep expanding and growing in the Tampa Bay area – we’re becoming a beer tourism mecca – just don’t tell the FL senate (they would never believe you!)

Happy and safe imbibing!

Carol

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