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Only 323 days until the next Beer Bloggers Conference

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 3:48pm

In a taxi to the San Diego airport after the 2014 Beer Bloggers Conference, the driver apologized for the unseasonably hot and humid weather. 

It was in the low-80s. And breezy. All week. 

There’s no doubt about it: If you’re a writer who happens to love beer, it doesn’t get much better than the Beer Bloggers Conference. And if the conference goes down in the endlessly sunny and beer-soaked city of San Diego, well, no complaints here.

angelAngel City's Avocado Ale, from the pre-game trip in L.A.

This was my second BBC, as it’s known, and although I missed some once-in-a-lifetime events back at the brewery – NASCAR great Jeff Gordon stopping in for a tour and tasting and a Guided by Voices show – I was happy to be among some of the most passionate people in the beer world. Some highlights:

  • * Kicking off the pre-conference excursion in Los Angeles with the first taste of Golden Road’s brand new crisp and slightly floral Might as Well IPL, fresh off the canning line.
  • * The Art Deco vibe of Angel City, which has to be one of the coolest urban breweries in the country … not to mention the citrusy and bright Avocado Ale.
  • The Bruery’s Sour In the Rye, a strong contender for My Favorite Beer of All Time, straight from the barrel! (That's me thanking one of The Bruery's marketing gurus, Ben Weiss, up top.) 
  • * The mix of passion, pride and exhaustion at the family-run Smog City. (Top-notch coffee porter!) 
  • * The feisty conference introduction from Julia Herz of the Brewers Association: “We all represent not just ourselves, but also beer.”
  • * Vaping hops at the Lagunitas party … so wrong, yet so dank.
  • * Fried olives – among many other treats – at Stone's absolutely sprawling, 700-seat Liberty Station. 
  • * Getting the scoop on Beer Camp from Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman. Quote of the conference: “Asses are not easy to corral.”
  • * Did I mention Sour in the Rye straight from the barrel?

Beer, breweries and perfect weather aside, the real highlight of #BBC14 was the bloggers. We poured an IPA vertical, our summer seasonal Festina Peche and Saison du BUFF (our 3-way collab with Stone and Victory) at Saturday night’s Beer Social, and getting to know folks like Toby Williams from Beer Coasters, Owen Ogletree from Brewtopia, Liz Garibay from History on Tap, Emma Christensen from The Kitchn and Mike Besser, the infamous BrewDad, is what keeps us coming back for more. (Check out the whole gang here.)

So … will we see you in Asheville next July for #BBC15

Single-barrel Sour in the Rye. Boom.Single-barrel Sour in the Rye. Boom.