Blogging ‘bout beer at Beer Bloggers Conference.
This spot is where I’ll be posting short updates and pictures during the 2010 Beer Bloggers Conference Nov. 5-7 in Boulder, Colorado.
Alas, between sketchy Internet service and just too darn much going on, my attempt at live updating from BBC10 failed. I will be posting a wrap-up of the conference soon. Sorry to have let you down. In the meantime, here’s a link to some of my photos from the conference.
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout (2006): chocolately, yummy. Largest anticipated release of the year.
Great Lakes Brewing Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Most award winning porter in country.
Colorado Native Lager: AC Golden (Colorado) Not bad, no big tastes, but no bad tastes.
Widmer Brothers Brewing (Portland) Reserve Release #3 Barrel-aged Brrrbon. Winter seasonal Brrr aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels for four months. Woody, vaniall, dry hoppy. 9.4% abv.
Karl Strauss: San Diego. Full Suit Belgian Style Brown Ale. Notes of sweet coffee, nutty, peppery vanilla.
Rogue oatmeal chocolate Stout. Released in 2000, originally seasonal for valentine’s day. Base is Shakespeare stout, infused with liquid chocolate. 6.2% ABV, but can be aged. Brewery now making double chocolate stout, “an evolution of series.”
Great Divide (Denver). Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Big beer, 9.5% ABV. Yum. Seasonal from last quarter of the year, ages well. Vanilla, 75 IBUs.
Odell Brewing. Mountain Standard Double IPA. Being released in “eight minutes. Double black IPA. 9.5% IPA. Hop nose, malt background. Colorado hops.
Deschutes Hop Trip. (Bend, Ore.) Sixth largest craft brewery in U.S. Comes out once a year in 22 oz. Name refers to trip to harvest Crystal Hops. Three hours from vine to kettle. The freshness envelops the hops taste, making for a great trip down the esophagus.
New Belgium 2010 La Folie Sour Brown Ales (Lips of Faith series, aged for 1-3 years. Wow, it is sour. Lips of Faith brewed to appeal to a small audience. Closed vatted. Year round.
Breckenridge Brewery (Colorado). Christmas Ale. Caramel, mahogany in color, 7.4% . Reserve some kegs for “Christmas in July” at brewery’s five pubs in Colorado. Good to cellar. More chocolate comes through upon aging. Not overly spicy.
From sours to stoats: The rest of Day One
The first day went pretty much as scheduled. The educational sessions were all well-presented and imparted useful , and dinner at Oskar Blues was fantastic. I did join a group of other beer blogger for lunch at Avery Brewing here in Boulder, where we were treated to some samples of their fine products. We did a brief tour of the barrel room, where the brewmaster poured us some tastes of sour ales directly from the wooden vessels.
I’m beginning to have a new respect for that style.
The Bring Your Own Bottles night, well, I don’t know if I possess the words to describe it. Beers from all over the country, most that I had never tasted and some that I had heard of only as legend. Camaraderie and conversation with fellow beer bloggers peppered an evening the like of which has never been seen before in history. Which brings us to The End of History, the $750-a-bottle, 110-proof BrewDog beer that came nestled in the body of a taxidermied, road-killed stoat. The crew from Beer Tap TV opened a bottle of it live on their Web channel for tasting by a panel. (BTW, if you saw it live or watch it later on the site, my 7-year-0ld-daughter’s giraffe makes a cameo appearance next to the stoat).
I did get a tiny sip of it after the official tasting (Thanks, Erik), and … it was pretty horrible. Regardless, it’s a good feeling being one of the few in the world to have tasted it.
I’ve given up on trying to adjust my body to mountain time. Though I forced myself to stay up later than my EDT bedtime last night, that infernal internal clock of mine insisted that I get up at 5:30 a.m. The return to Standard Time in Sunday’s wee hours will help – or hurt – haven’t decided which. Since I’m not returning from Colorado for a few days after the conference ends, I would like to have some adjustment. Hooray for in-room coffeemakers.
Anyway, on to the Beer Bloggers Conference.
There has already been controversy, but befitting the theme of the conference, the controversy is taking place online. Andy Crouch of Andy Crouch’s BeerScribe.com, whose beer writings primarily publish in paper media, addresses some issues of beer blogging and beer bloggers, touching on motivation, ethics, marketing and monetization. A lively discussion ensued in the comment section. You can read it here.
Here’s the first day’s agenda from the BBC10 website.
Friday, November 5, 2010
12:00 PM Registration
2:00 PM Welcome and Conference Overview
2:15 PM Julia Herz from Brewers Association: “Why Beer Bloggers Further the Revolution”
2:40 PM Jessica Daynor from Draft Magazine: “Beer Journalism: Beer Bloggers & the Print Media”
3:30 PM Beer Blog Site Reviews with SEO Expert Dustin Woodard
4:30 PM The Science of Food and Beer Pairing
6:15 PM Buses depart for dinner at Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont
9:00 PM Bring Your Own Bottles Night
Sitting in my room at the Boulder Marriott the night before the kickoff of the inaugural Beer Bloggers Conference.
Since I did not have time to install a fancy live-blogging feature on Road Trips for Beer before I left, this spot is where I’ll be posting short updates and pictures during the conference. Or at least that’s my plan. Each will have a sub heading, and I’ll tweet when there’s a new one. You can follow on @roadtrips4 beer, if you don’t already, and find all the tweets from conference attendees by searching for the hashtag #BBC10.
Fairly long but uneventful flight from Orlando, followed by an adventurous shuttle ride from Denver International. The Super Shuttle service advertises that it will take you right to your door, and it stopped at several doors before arriving at the BBC10 hotel. Got an impromptu tour of some Boulder neighborhoods, though.
Chatted a bit with Chuck (hope I remembered your name right) from @WorldClassAZ, or World Class Beverages Arizona, a craft and specialty import distributor in that state. World Class Beverages, an association of U.S. beer distributors that are dedicated to the promotion of craft and specialty beers, is one of the conference sponsors.
The beer I brought from Florida to share Friday at the Bring Your Own Bottles Night made it safely, and I’ve already made a trip to the nearby liquor store to buy some Alaskan Winter Ale and one of my favorites, which I can’t by at home, Big Sky Brewing’s Moose Drool brown ale.
If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some beer to drink.