Psst! Yeah, You, Beer Blogger

BBC logoWithout a doubt, the best educational experience I’ve had in two and a half years of blogging on beer was attending my first Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference (BBC) in 2015. As soon as registration opened for the 2016 conference, I reupped. Ditto for 2017. If you write or blog on beer, register today, then get yourself to Milwaukee August 4-6. Unfortunately, at this point the $25 (no kidding) post-conference excursion to Grand Rapids, including Founders, is sold out.

I don’t know of a better or more fun way to up your beer writing game than the Beer Bloggers Conferences. Presentation topics range from beer knowledge to social media to industry trends. There are field trips with more beer and food than even the twenty-something guys can drink and eat. Where else can you drink beer and network with 130 fellow beer bloggers at one time?

And you can have this awesome experience for $145. Seriously. Yes, there are the additional expenses for travel and lodging, but it’s still a darn good deal, and you go home with a gaggle of new friends. Two years out from my first conference, I keep up via social media, blogs and the annual BBC with a lot of the people I met in 2015. I not only know which beers they like but which ones have had babies and whose cat died.

Enjoying good company and a pint of Armory XPA at the Portland Deschutes

Catching up with BBC15 alumnus Natasha Godard last November at Deschutes, Portland, Oregon

This year, Julia Herz from the Brewers Association, gets the conference rolling on Friday, August 4. Randy Mosher, author of books like Tasting Beer and Radical Brewing, talks about “Identifying and Describing Flavor, Smell, and Color.” Lunch will be at Pabst Brewing and dinner at MillerCoors, both with VIP tours, of course.

Here’s a story that demonstrates the caliber of one BBC17 presenter. In May 2016, at a meeting of the North American Guild of Beer Writers in Philadelphia, moderator Jay Brooks asked a guy seated in the back corner for his take on an question that had come up. The man gave such a thorough and eloquent answer that during the next break I went back and said, “Who are you because I want to follow you on Twitter.”

He turned out to be Ben Keene, editorial director of Beer Advocate. You can bet I’ll be at Ben’s breakout session on Saturday when he talks about professionalizing your blogging. Other Saturday sessions include a look at the future of craft beer with Lester Jones, Chief Economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Organization and spontaneous fermentation with Frank Boon of Brouwerij Boon.

Live beer blogging at BBC16 in Tampa, Florid

Live beer blogging at JJ Taylor Distributing, Tampa, Florida during BBC16

That afternoon features the always crazy fun live beer blogging. Ten brewery reps, often the brewers, have five minutes to present a beer, provide samples, answer questions and allow time for us to tweet about it. That day, four different breweries will host us for lunch, dinner, a reception and an evening party with—you guessed it—more tours and prime networking opportunities.

Sunday wraps up with a couple of morning sessions, giving folks a little more bang for their buck and still enough time to head home or join the post-excursion to Grand Rapids before going back to our next blog post.

Want more information? While this video is from the first BBC in 2010, the format and the fun are still pretty much unchanged.

Comments

  1. Great post! Was already excited to attend my first BBC – now even more so. Look forward to meeting you there!

  2. We missed BBC so much last year. We can’t wait for Milwaukee! See you there!

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