Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference has been an event I've wanted to attend since I first learned about it. This year the conference is practically in my backyard, Sterling Virginia. There are several reasons that I am excited about attending this conference.
First, the presentations. I am always interested in learning more about beer, the industry and its people of all facets.
The excursions are particularly of interest to me personally. One of the pre-conference excursions includes a tour of the new Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel (OGB&BH) just outside of Baltimore. I've been to the taproom to experience a Heavy Seas collab beer release but that has been all. This brewery probably more than any other in recent memory has caused more interest and even perhaps consternation to beer people across Maryland. There has been much activity in the Maryland legislature over the past two years, much of it to accommodate the new Guinness existence not only in Maryland but in this country. The Guinness excursion will actually take place over two consecutive days, one day will provide a VIP tour of the facility and a Guinness pairing dinner and on day two we will discuss and sample new Guinness beer innovations at OGB&BH with a Guinness brewer and have more free time to explore Guinness.
Another pre-conference excursion will be at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton Delaware. I've been to the Dogfish brewery many times and decided not to attend this excursion. But with your writers coming from all over the country — even the world — the Dogfish Head tour proved to be irresistible to many was early to sell out. And with Dogfish founder Sam Caligione being the keynote speaker at the conference that makes the tour even more exciting.
A post-conference excursion will take us to Richmond Virginia. I've not spent much time in Richmond sampling their beer but I have heard many great things and have discovered Hardywood brewing at the SAVOR event a couple years ago. They have been a favorite since and I pickup up their stuff whenever I can find it.
Richmon looks to be a full day of eating, drinking and tours, including lunch at Triple Crossing Brewing, tour of Stone Brewing, a tasting tour through Richmond’s Scott’s Addition neighborhood, home to many breweries including Ardent Craft Ales, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Isley Brewing Company, The Veil Brewing Company, and Vasen Brewing Company. The evening will end with a tasting and reception at Mekong, which has been voted America’s #1 Craft Beer Bar, followed by dinner at The Answer Brewpub.
Oh, and one more reason I'm excited about the conference – I'm going to be an ad hoc speaker. A section of the conference has been allotted to what they call lightning talks. This is a five-minute talk, with 20 slides, each slide changing every 15 seconds. So I signed up and was accepted. My talk will be entitled The Taverns of Our Youth.
Should be fun, full of learning and insights, new people and exploring beery places and topics.