Howdy, Texas

I’m just under 39,000 feet above you right now, Texas. And even though I won’t land for another hour or so, I still can’t get this one song about you out of my mind. It’s been playing on a loop inside my head for weeks…

As you can tell, I’m super excited to be heading to Texas. I’ll be hanging out in and around Austin for the next several days for the 2021 Beer Now Conference. I’m not sure if that’s considered “deep in the heart” of the state or not, geography isn’t my forte. But I’m here for those big, bright stars and some of your finest Texas beer. It’s a long overdue, much needed getaway.

Confession Time

I have to admit, as much as I’m looking forward to my Texas adventure and seeing many of my Beer Now friends, I feel a bit guilty. Mostly it’s because a third of the equation that makes up Bottle Makes Three isn’t with me on this trip. Jeff is sitting out the conference this year to stay home and care for our geriatric kitty. She probably doesn’t need the around-the-clock care, but she’s done a good job of suckering us into thinking that she is old and frail and needs constant attention. So, Jeff is on cat sitting duty while I explore Texas in search of good beer. I promised to bring him back lots of great stories and some sweet Texas souvenirs.

The other reason I feel guilty is because I’m arriving for a beer writers conference after having written very little about beer in the recent days months years. Can I still even call myself a beer blogger? At what point do I need to start saying that we used to have a beer blog? Suffice it to say, it’s been too long since we’ve posted any real content.

In my defense, I’ve had trouble with consistency in a lot of other areas of my life, not just blogging. It started in 2020, when everything haywire. Everyone had a rough year, us included. But that was then. Now, the majority of 2021 is behind us, and things have only gotten moderately better. It’s been a challenge to get back to normal and find times for all the things we love. Including Bottle Makes Three.

But here’s the good news: I have high hopes that the next few days will change everything. Yessir, I’m fully expecting this visit to the Lone Star State to be the spark that ignites my creativity and gets me all fired up about blogging again. I plan on coming home bursting with stories, pictures, and lots of great Texas recommendations to share. No pressure, Texas. But if I don’t come home with my desire to blog again fully restored, then that’s on you.

Beer Now Agenda Highlights

Obviously, I’m kidding. But in reality, I should come home with plenty of stories to share. The Beer Now Conference promises several great experiences worthy of a few blog posts. Here are just a few of the Beer Now Conference events I’m looking forward to this week:

  • An Austin, Texas craft brewery crawl sponsored by Yes, please!
  • A visit to Shiner during Shiner Holiday Cheer season? Sign me up!
  • Live music at Oskar Blues in Austin? Hell, yeah! I love OBB and they always have the best music and beer.
  • Brews and Boats in San Marcos promises an afternoon great beer followed by a glass bottom boat tour. It sounds awesome.
  • Spending our conference days at Vista Brewing, a ranch in rural Texas, sounds a thousand times better than sitting in. a stuffy conference room. I look forward to the fresh air and beautiful fall weather.
  • Seeing friends from near and far presenting at the conference this year may be the thing I need most of all. I look forward their insights and experience. I know they’re going to be inspiring and send me home with lots of new ideas for the blog, and I cannot wait.
  • Last but not least, Buc-ees. I am way more excited than I should be to visit this store.

Sounds like fun, right? And that’s not even everything on the agenda. Beer Now 2021 is going to be a blast!

I should point out that this year’s Beer Now Conference agenda and attendee list are slightly lighter than previous years (thanks, COVID.) I know it’s not ideal for them, but I’m fine with the slightly scaled-back agenda this year. One of the lowlights of 2021 has been my non-stop work schedule. I’ve been a total failure achieving any type of work/life balance this year. Being “all work no play” for so long, I actually appreciate a low-key conference this year. I am looking forward to the rest & relaxation almost as much as I am the Texas brews & ‘ques. It’s going to be a great balance of fun experiences, learning sessions, and time to ourselves. I’m thrilled for all of it, in spite of the guilt and imposter syndrom.

It’s Austin Time

My Southwest flight is starting its initial descent into Austin, so I need to wrap this up. I’ll end with this:

I’m so happy to be heading to Texas for beercation. I’m even more excited to be back at a Beer Now Conference. Things may not be totally back to normal, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

Most of all, I’m excited to share the experiences with you again. Thanks for hanging around.