This is one of my favorite articles every year. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my kids equally, but when I get to put fingers to keyboard for this one, I genuinely get excited. Why? Because it means that the annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference is right around the corner. And as we are only a mere week away from the festivities, I am already getting pumped.
This year, we travel to Milwaukee, which is Algonquin for “the good land.” It also marks our 3rd appearance at the conference, which started back in 2010. VBR has been to the Asheville and Tampa versions of the event, and you don’t keep coming back unless it is a blast. Well, they roll out the red carpet for us again, and on that carpet is food, speakers, tours, and possibly a beer or three.
Milwaukee has a pretty tall task in front of them to compare to some insane events in the past. So what are we most looking forward to? Here are our Top 5 “experiences” we are gearing up for!
5. Lunch with the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery. There is no way you can hit up Milwaukee without a trip to Pabst. It is an interesting story about the family and brewery, who have now set up operation in a converted church. It’s a mix of old and new brews along with some great food.
4. Speakers. It still is a conference, and the speakers are a key part of the experience. Always great is Julia Herz from the Brewers Association, who kicks things off, and the Keynote Speaker this year is Susan Evans, Director of the Smithsonian Food History Programs at the National Museum of American History. But one that should not be overlooked is The Art of Spontaneous Fermentation with Frank Boon of Brouwerij. The Belgian contingency puts on a great show!
3. Live Beer Blogging. It’s beer reviews meet speed Tindering. Ten beers, 5 minutes each. Some local, some a little farther out. We show you the final tally sheet when it is all over. Last year we crowned an IPA from Saltwater Brewery champ. Who will take home the title of Best In Show this year?
2. Beer Expo. Beer and Swag. So much fun to attend this event which is basically booths upon booths of everything beer related. It leads into dinner on Friday and is one of the premier socializing events.
1. Dinners. The key to having this conference in different places is that you get to go out to different local beer establishments. And with really no other free time to explore, the dinners are a good way to experience the brewery scene in town. Friday will be hosted by MillerCoors, and before you start the hate mail, Frederick Miller was a person who wanted to brew beer, and history lessons are always good. Saturday night we dip into the premier content, with Lakefront Brewery, Good City Brewing, and Brenner Brewing on tap. Food, friends, fun, and some great craft beer.
The Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from August 3-6, and we’ll be covering it all from our social media platforms using the hashtag #BBC17. See y’all in Milwaukee!