Beer Bloggers Conference – Day Two

Day two of the 2013 Beer Bloggers Conference officially started at 9:30am. The morning was dedicated to some good information and education, geared toward me and my fellow beer bloggers. We learned everything from current beer blogging statistics to the mechanics of pouring beer. Good stuff, but probably too boring to the non-beer bloggers for me to explain in depth.

At 12:30pm, we went upstairs to have lunch. Of course, because of the beer-centric crowd, this was no ordinary lunch. It was a 4-course meal that paired each course with a beer, and it was put on by the National Beer Wholesalers Association. The run-down of the meal went like this:

  1. Gazpacho paired with Rogue Brutal IPA
  2. Crab cake and fennel salad paired with Stillwater Stateside Saison
  3. Barbecue skirt steak and roasted sweet potatoes with Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot
  4. Boston cream pie with Allagash Black

The food and brews were pretty much all delicious (this was my first time eating gazpacho, and I don’t think I’ll be joining that fanclub). My favorite pick of the 4 pairings was the crab cake and saison, hands down.

After lunch, there was one more educational session regarding social media best practices, then we jumped on a bus and rode to our next destination: live beer blogging at Burke Distributing/Massachusetts Beverage Alliance.

Live beer blogging is something they’ve done at this conference before, but was totally new for me. It’s the beer blogging equivalent of speed dating. Breweries rotate from table to table visiting beer bloggers. Two staffers from each brewery get five minutes at each table to tell you about their business and pour and describe their beer to you. All while that’s happening, you (the beer blogger) has to either post to your blog, facebook, or twitter, etc, before it’s the next brewery’s turn. It was crazy fast and intense. This being my first time, I decided to post to Untappd, which I also have set up to feed into my twitter account. That was a lot of fun.

After the craziness that was live beer blogging, the buses took us to Harpoon Brewery. They had given us beer bloggers months of advance notice and allowed us to vote on a beer style that they would brew specifically for our visit. The style that won? An imperial white IPA. As we walked into the brewery, they were handing out samples of that beer. It was really, awesomely good. Then we walked through the brewery until we arrived at the beer hall, where we were treated to a beer and cheese pairing and delectable dinner. Once again, this would have been a great way to end the night, except that it wasn’t over!

The buses brought us back to the hotel, where we began the very first “Beer Social” in this conference’s history. Basically, it was bunch of breweries pouring samples while us beer bloggers geeked out and used all available forms of social media to talk beer. They had a live broadcast of the BBC13 hashtag projected on the wall for all to see as we chatted, tweeted, facebooked, and instagramed.

Wow, that was a fun, busy day. I crashed hard that night…

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