"Beer in Colorado" is dedicated to that divine elixir born of the marriage of water, malt, hops, and yeast as interpreted
by those living in Colorado. Follow the author as he visits every brewery in the state, creates experimental homebrews,
attends beer festivals, tries interesting beers from around the world, and spreads the good word of beer. Prost!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beer Bloggers Conference: Part 2

We just completed a long, long day of driving and drinking (in that order, mind you; no drunk driving) in Indy and the next day was to be even more action-packed.  Luckily, the Beer Bloggers Conference didn’t start until 3pm so Nicole and I had plenty of time to sleep in, get a scrumptious breakfast at Café Patachou, and nap even more.

3pm eventually rolled by, though, so we packed up our bombers for Night of Many Bottles (you’ll hear about that in the next post) and headed down to the hotel conference room where we met Elle Potter, one of the conference organizers.  We found our name tags, dropped off our bombers, and entered the pre-conference trade show where sponsors hocked their wares to giddy beer geeks.

Milling about at the trade show
There are a couple of stand-out memories from the trade show.  First—and I hope I’m not getting anybody in trouble by saying this—I must dole out this nugget of advice to anybody who owns/operates/manages a brewery and is not also the headbrewer: Listen.  To.  Your.  Brewer.  He (or she) knows beer and how it should be served e.g. not in a flavor-killing frosted mug.  Your business’s foundation is built on beer, why must you insistently ignore the headbrewer and continue to ruin his (or her) creation with sub-zero temperatures?  I won’t tell you the brewery’s name but I’ll give you a crossword-style hint: With “the,” a ewe’s partner. 

Upland Brewing Co. was there, too, with Raspberry Lambic which, in my opinion, is the best American lambic on the market (not that I’m the lambic expert, I just really liked this one).  Then again, Upland has seven other lambics I didn’t try—all showcasing a different fruit—so maybe one of those is the best.  Whatever your opinion is on the subject, any sour beer wimps looking to try this beer ought to be warned: this beer puckers you up so much you think you’ll kiss your own uvula.

Not related to beer in any way but worth mentioning is Heluva Good, a sour cream dip company and sponsor of the event.  Their Jalapeño Cheddar dip got me through many a hung-over morning during the conference.

We schmoozed about a little more, networking with sponsors and fellow attendees, before it was time for the official start of the conference.  We walked one room over, had a seat, and waited for it to commence.

We began with a speech from Julia Herz of the Brewers Association who basically gave us a run-down of the current state of affairs in the world of craft beer.  In short, we’re booming!  Craft beer is on a steady rise and, while it will plateau at some point, that point is not in sight.  Brewers and beer bloggers alike will be quite busy in the coming years.

Next up was our keynote speech from Brooklyn Brewery headbrewer Garrett Oliver.  I admit I was preconditioned to be a bit standoffish in the presence of Oliver; I have a friend who’s volunteered at the Great American Beer Festival many years and has had encounters with the brewer in question that were not entirely positive.  Words such as “arrogant” and “prick” were thrown around (I remind you that these were not my words) and what turned out to be a dead-on voice impersonation of Oliver was performed.  

Garrett Oliver
After hearing Oliver speak, I won’t say I agree with my friend but I will say that I can see how Oliver might be perceived as a jerk.  His speech did begin with a story on how the NYPD kissed his ass when they found out he brewed for Brooklyn but any beer geek in America might say it’s about time brewers got the rockstar treatment.  Then there’s his take on beer bloggers making suggestions on what to brew next. I paraphrase: “brewers are like artists or musicians; we don’t make what people want, people want what we make” which sounds tool-ish but is also completely true.  If brewers only made what people asked then they’d be sellouts with about as much artistic credibility as Carly Rae Jepsen.  Plus, we as American consumers really don’t know what we want; we never knew we liked hoppy/malty/sour/barrel-aged/whatever beers until somebody up and made one out of the blue.  So, I guess I agree with Oliver completely.  It’s a case of “it’s not what you said; it’s how you said it.”  Oliver’s East Coast egotism just doesn’t mesh with my friend and I’s Middle-American modesty, that’s all.

Then came the staple event of the Beer Bloggers Conference: the live beer blogging session.  Brewery reps from all over the country (including Colorado’s own New Belgium Brewing and Boulder Beer) had five minutes to talk to a table of bloggers about their beer and provide samples.  We, the bloggers, then wrote quick reviews on Twitter.  It was a fast-paced environment and, as such, my memory of it is a blur.  I do remember the Schlafly rep throwing pretension to the wind by arriving in a Surly Duff-esque costume, though.  To get an idea of what all went down, read the following (unmodified) tweets which, when written with #beerbloggers, appeared on the giant, projected Twitter feed at the front of the room:

Blogging with  now.

Hazed and Infused from . Being entered to  as a session beer this year.

 wants Hazed and Infused to be a "no bells and whistles" beer.

 "brewers make money off of beers people buy more than once" 

 Wreck alley smells great and isn't overly thick.

 love the Surly McDuff-esque costume

 IPA is very clear, smells piney. Good, assertive bitterness.

 Damien Belgian. Smells spicy. Saphir hops. Banana-like.

 Bohemian Pils w/ hallertau. Tastes like a pretzel. Very refreshing. Yeast-forward.

I keep forgetting to put the  hashtag on my live beer blog tweets. I guess you'll just have to follow me.

 and  are similar in that they are reviving neighborhoods.

 Pogue's Run Porter first bottle run.

 Pogue's Run like mellow coffee. 

I didn't notice the big screen at the front of the room until now.

 Mag Amber is robust amber. Reverse osmosis the water. Malt-forward. Fairly viscous. 

Been to many  breweries bu I still need to get to. Good stuff. 

My spelling is going to crap thanks to live beer blogging

 Panzer Wolf will wreck your palate but in a good way

 Panzer Wolf is mega hoppy on the nose. 

 Shift. Had it before but I'm glad I'm having it again.

 Shift is blue can to represent the blue collar worker and is only canned because it's the new toy at the brewery

 End Game RIS smells like a smoke-house with a dark coffee flavor 

 Can't wait to try the Brown Recluse 

 the brown recluse was awesome! 

After the debauchery of live beer blogging, the whole crew walked to the Tomlinson Tap Room for more beer and a buffet-style dinner.  Nicole and I chatted with the folks who’re starting up a new Indy brewery called Indiana City Brewing Company (support them on Kickstarter.com) as well as reps from Heineken.  Meanwhile, I was flipping out because I couldn’t find my ID.  We walked all the way to the hotel to look for it before Nicole realized I had simply placed it in a pocket of my wallet in which I don’t normally put my ID.  Hey, stop snickering at me; I’ve had a few beers by that point so lay off!

Beer bloggers take to the streets of Indy
The night wasn’t quite over.  After Tomlinson Taproom Nicole and I rendezvoused with James, my sister-in-law’s cousin’s husband and Indiana craft beer contact, at MacNiven’s Scottish-American Restaurant & Bar—one of the stops on the conference’s DIY pub crawl put together by Indy-based Girls Pint Out—to talk beer and drink specialty-releases from Sun King Brewery like Java Mac and Bitchin’ Camaro

Then, finally, it was time to rest.  We were exhausted and only a half-day into the conference.  Sleep was a commodity we could not eschew for we had more drinking, mingling, and conferencing to attend to in the morning.  Stay tuned for the next installment in Nicole and I’s Beer Bloggers adventure.



As we made our way to Indy I checked to see if the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team was in town. I was excited to see that there was indeed a game and that they were playing COL. In my mind COL, meant they were playing the Colorado Springs Sky Sox but, in reality, COL stood for the Columbus Clippers. While both are Triple-A affiliates for major league teams, they are not in the same league for minor league play. Nevertheless, we went to the game ready for beer and hotdogs. Chris was hoping to find Sun King’s Popcorn Pilsner but we struck out for the second year in row.

The next morning we enjoyed breakfast at Café Patachou where they serve local beers from Sun King Brewery. For the Beer Bloggers Conference, they were also serving beermosas made with Avery Brewing's White Rascal. As I look back over their menu I find myself drooling and making a mental note to visit when we are in Indy next May for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.
After a quick nap, we made our way to the hotel’s conference rooms, picked up our official name tags, and started meeting other beer bloggers. I have to admit that I had a lot of thoughts running through my head as to what the other bloggers would be like. I wondered if there were other couples that were bloggers (the answer: yes; the Hoperatives from the Cincinnati area, for example) and how many other women bloggers there were (about 20).

Once we started the live beer blogging, I started to realize that I really don’t understand how Twitter works. When do you use @ and when do you use #? It slowly started to make sense but I left much of the tweeting to Chris while I used Instagram to take some pictures of the beer. Another blogger told me about another photo editing app called Hipstamatic.  Hipstamatic is an app for the iPhone so I will have to wait until the programming geniuses make it compatible with Android.

The Beer Bloggers Conference isn’t only about making the most of your blog, it’s also about using diverse forms of technology to beef up said blog. Thus, I tried to stay updated on the beers we were drinking on Untappd but, due to the fact that a new beer was being poured in my glass every five minutes, this was a tall order.  

Is that enough technology for one day?  I think so.  By the end of the live beer blogging session my phone battery was dead from all the updating and my mind was a little blurry from all the beer.



  1. Someday I'll have to post an album of the pictures I took at the beer bloggers conference. I took so many that my camera batteries died and I didn't have my charger with me - bad move.

    Had a great time meeting with you both. Will like to go again sometime.

  2. I had plenty of battery life but I took so many photos that I maxed out my memory at a point in the trip where I couldn't access my computer.

    Great meeting you to, Dave. I'm excited to see where they hold it next year; it may determine whether or not I attend. I'm pulling for Boston.

  3. A lot of people drink beer everyday. When people want beer they demand it. If theirs no beer they will go crazy. Why people think it makes such a difference in what beer they get. It all taste nasty. How could some people like the taste? What is your favorite thing about beer?Why should it be such a huge part of society. People get killed from drunk driving?

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