Look out Asheville. In just a few months a group of wild and rascally beer bloggers and writers will be making our way to your town. While we’re there we will do our best to drink through your local beer supply, and we’ll probably bog down your neighborhood Wi-Fi with our posts, tweets and Instagrams. In return we’ll be happy to spend our hard-earned cash on brewery tee shirts and beer, and most importantly, we will share our Asheville beer experiences with readers across the world.
The 2015 Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference will take place in Asheville, North Carolina on July 17-19, organized by Montana-based Zephyr Adventures. We’re thrilled attending the conference for our second year.
Last year when we signed up to go to San Diego, we had no idea what was in store for us. We felt like we were mediocre writers of a small-time blog, and weren’t sure we’d fit in with a group of real bloggers and writers. Fortunately our doubts and fears were unfounded. We had a fantastic time, met some great people, learned a helluva lot to make our blog better, and left more confident that bloggers like us play an important role in the craft beer community. If you are in our shoes, wondering if this conference is for you, consider this your sign: GO. You won’t regret it.
They are still finalizing some of the final details in this year’s conference agenda, but the events and speakers already lined up are pretty exciting. Below, in no particular order, are some of the topics and events we’re most looking forward to at BBC15:
Learning about Asheville’s Beer Scene
Asheville is a town synonymous with beer. But how did they get that way? The Asheville Brewers Alliance will bring together a panel of local beer experts to discuss the history and future of Asheville beer.
In addition to the educational sessions and guest speakers, there will be tours and information from several top breweries. We will be visiting the North Carolina Oskar Blues Brewery for a Taste the Taps event. We’ll also get visit the newly-opened Sierra Nevada Brewery in Mills River. There we will tour the premises, and enjoy dinner and beer tastings.
Live Beer Blogging
This is the premier event of the conference and a total blast to boot! Over a period of 50 minutes, 10 brewery representatives come around table-by-table. Each has 5 minutes to pour their beer, describe it, and answer questions – all while we blog or tweet about it live. It’s fast-paced, a little bit hectic, and incredibly fun. Last year we sent out tweets about each beer, but this year we’re going to try to write a blog post about the experience, as it happens. Wish us luck.
Beer, Beer & More Beer!
It would be a gross understatement to say that we enjoy a lot of beer at the conference. The Beer Social Expo and Trade Show brings brewery and non-brewery sponsors together, so we can enjoy beers while we mingle with brewery representatives and sponsors who are there to provide us information to improve our blog. It’s a fun time to mingle, network, and enjoy some great beers. If that isn’t enough, The Night of Many Bottles is the BBC version of a bottle share, with everyone bringing local favorites and rare beers to share with other conference attendees. It’s here were you can really try some beers that would otherwise be hard to get your hands on.
Keynote Speaker Kim Jordan
Kim Jordan, the co-founder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing, will be giving the 2015 conference keynote. New Belgium Brewing is one of top craft breweries in the country, known for a philosophy and history of philanthropy that is as incredible as their beer. We cannot wait to hear what she has to share with us about the history and future of New Belgium Brewing, and her thoughts on the booming craft beer industry.
Meeting our Fellow Bloggers
Most of our anxiety last year was because we didn’t know any of the bloggers attending. Yet immediately upon arriving, we felt like we were with friends. Seriously. Someone handed us a beer literally 2 minutes after we walked up, and we realized we were among our people. We got tips from some seasoned pros, made connections with countless other bloggers and industry people, and made some really great friends. We are looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at this year’s conference.
If you want to read more about our experiences at last year’s Beer Bloggers Conference, check out our these articles:
Sounds like an amazing time, right? We’re counting the days until Asheville, and cannot wait to bring you stories about the great beers, breweries and people we meet in North Carolina.