There is less than a month before the 2016 Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference (BBC) storms the shore of Tampa Bay, much like the pirates who invade by ship each year during Gasparilla. If you’ve been to the conference before, we don’t have to tell you what a fun trip this will be. If you haven’t, well, we’ve written before about how incredible the BBC is and I’m sure this year will be no different. If you write about beer in any capacity, you should definitely be there. BBC is full of fun and unique experiences, but it’s so much more. We have always enjoyed the speakers and workshops created to share knowledge and inspire confidence in even the most unprofessional of writers… like us. Most of all, we love hanging out with our fellow bloggers from across the country. This conference is a 3-days of foamy bliss. We have the fondest memories of the past two conferences. We left totally spent but happy. Our suitcases were heavy with beer and swag. Best of all, we left each conference with new friends.
So you can imagine how sad we are that we can’t make it this year.
When they announced BBC16 would be in Tampa, it seemed like a no-brainer that we’d be there. Tampa is my hometown, my family still lives in the area. Any reason to visit is a good enough reason for me! Unfortunately things got in the way this year, and we just can’t make the trip. So for all of you who are going I have one request:
Have an absolute BLAST for us!
Jeff and I will be living vicariously through your tweets and Instagram pictures, so bring them on! We can’t wait to read the recaps about what you learned, where you went, and most importantly, what beers you drank. Yes, we’re going to be experiencing the worst case of FOMO ever, but your posts and stories are the next best thing to being there.
Personally, as a Tampa native, I also hope you take a little time to explore the city beyond the conference, too. Visit Ybor City and Channelside. Enjoy some great food, like a hot pressed Cuban sandwich. Or a grouper sandwich. Or some conch fritters and alligator nuggets. In fact, try them all! Make sure you buy a few cigars to bring home, too, so you can fully appreciate how Cigar City got its name. I’ve been living in Colorado for nearly 19 years now, but Tampa will always be my hometown, and I know how wonderful a place it is. That’s why missing this year is so hard. Take lots of photos for me!
Finally, if you really padded in some time to explore the state, remember you’re only an hour away from the town that Mickey Mouse built. Spend a day one of the theme parks, because you’re never too old to act like a kid again. Or just go show Orlando some love, because it’s been a rough month and they really need it.
So enjoy every minute of the 2016 Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference. We’re sorry we can’t be there with you, but we promise not to let this become a habit. We’ll see you all at BBC17…. wherever that may be! Until then…
Chris (and Jeff) Estes