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.
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:
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):
- Our Pre-conference excursion Los Angeles area breweries:
Happy 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 FOR THE MEMORIES!