While we travel around this great Commonwealth a lot covering all of the craft beer in the state, once a year we get to meet up with the same crazy people who do the same thing in other parts of the country. That’s right, we are less than a month away from heading to the annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference. Last year, we invaded Asheville, North Carolina and it was like nothing else. Between the food, talks, commodity, and also just a little bit of beer, we had an experience of a lifetime. This year we are seasoned veterans, and we are heading down to Tampa Bay, Florida for 3 days for fun in the sun.
So now that this is our 2nd time through this event, what are we looking forward too? Here are the top 5 events we are going to be pumped about:
5. The Pre- and Post- Excursions. Because 3 days is not enough, we are tacking on trips on either side of the conference to visit more of the Florida Craft Beer seen. The Pre-Excursion has us in Jacksonville, FL on the ‘JAX Ale Trail’ where we will get to see and meet brewers from 8 different Jacksonville breweries including Pinglehead, Zeta, and Institution Ale Works. After the conference, we have a stop in St. Pete/Clearwater for a trip around 3 Daughters and Green Bench Brewing.
4. Speakers. You can’t have a conference without some conferencing, and some of the best people in the industry will be there to let us know what is going on in the world of craft beer, and how we as bloggers and writers can improve our message to everyone.
3. Live Beer Blogging/Progressive Dinner. You might have seen a muddled mess come out of us last year sometime Saturday afternoon. Well, the Live Beer Blogging is a chance to try and write about beers in a ‘speed dating’ format. It is a great opportunity for many local breweries to show off their best wares. Right after that we are whisked away to our Progressive Dinner featuring the heavy hitters from Tampa including Cigar City Brewing, Coppertail Brewing, and Ulele Springs Brewery.
2. Beer Social Expo/Night of Many Bottles. The Beer Social Expo is a showcase of not only breweries from the area, but the coolest stuff from everything else craft beer related. This leads right into the infamous Night of Many Bottles, where we try to outdo each other by bringing bottles from our respective areas and let others try them as well. Now I will say we have secured our beer for this year and we’ll let everyone know what we are bringing closer to the conference. (Hint: A lot of GABF winners in the group!)
1. ROAD TRIP!!!! Last year was a modestly quick in-and-out for us, but this year, we are packing up the roadster and taking a week off to visit some other places down south before the conference. Highlights will include a stay in Athens, GA and a tour of Terrapin Brewery and 4th of July on the river in Savannah, GA along with some local flavor as well.
Keep an eye out for our excursion July 1-11th as well will be covering it all from our social media platforms. See y’all in Tampa!