BBC14 – Review & Photos


Now that some time has passed since the 2014 Beer Bloggers Conference finished it is time to post a full review of the event itself.  Some items you may gleaned from the daily recaps but I would be remiss if I didn’t both explain further and add my two cents on how to improve next year’s version in Asheville, North Carolina.

(To break the tedium, I will add some photos in between points.)

Above is a real Stone brewer and his photo. Which is which?

On to the conference review, Stone brought their game as did Lagunitas (to an even larger extent). I expected that. But for a conference placed in San Diego, I wonder why Lagunitas was featured. AleSmith. Ballast Point. Pick a brewery. And that is my largest complaint. Why have an event in a city if you don’t show off that city to the max? And this is no slight to the generosity of Lagunitas. It was the highlight of my trip. And it is no slight to Yard House which, in my mind, occupies an important part of the craft beer food chain. But, in my opinion, if the Asheville planning doesn’t include more North Carolina specific locales then I would hesitate to attend.

The only Vaping, I would ever do.

Also on the needs work tab is the scheduling. Too many events could have been improved by being in better time slots. The 8 blogger 5 minute presentations would have made a bigger impact earlier in the conference and not on Sunday morning when the majority of attendees were either hung or tired or both. Same for a couple of blogging technical seminars that were placed between big names like and dinner. I would seriously consider just having a breakfast with coffee beers on Sunday morning and nothing else. Also the Bottle Share HAS to be earlier in the evening. It would have drawn more people and been more appreciated if people weren’t (take a guess) hung or dead tired.

A new and soon to come beer with licorice from Goose Island

That being said. I enjoyed the conference tremendously. It is great to see old faces and meet new ones. The quality and amount of beer is beyond the pale and the hotel and pace of the conference is well done. And to have David Walker, Ken Grossman, Peter Zien, Tomme Arthur and Chuck Silva (who sat at our table for a bit) around is awesome. The generosity abounds and not enough thank you’s will suffice.  I wouldn’t go three out of five times if it was a poor.  I learned about the history of San Diego brewing.  I learned some new tricks and had old ones validated.  Most of all I saw the passion of other bloggers and that always energizes me.  I think that part of the reason why I needed a month off from beer blogging last year was due to not being at the conference for two years running.  That speaks volumes to the quality.