National Beer Bloggers Conference 2013: Day One

Last weekend, July 26-28, was the National Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston. Three days of socializing, tweeting, beer tasting and education. There is a lot to cover, so I am going to break it down by day. If any beer bloggers are interested in possibly attending a conference in the future, this can give you an idea of what to expect.

Day One, Friday, July 26:

A Beer Bloggers Conference welcome sign
A Beer Bloggers Conference welcome sign

Friday afternoon, bloggers checked into the conference at the Park Plaza Hotel in downtown Boston. Hydro Flask, a partner of the conference, greeted each attendee with a 64 oz. stainless steel flask (perfect for growler fills!), which was a wonderful surprise. Then it was time to mingle, eat some Cabot cheese, and sample some beers! And there was definitely plenty for everyone, with beer from Smuttynose, Boulevard, Woodchuck, Heavy Seas, Sierra Nevada, an assortment of regional beers provided by the Brewers Association, and more.

Utopias with Jim Koch
Utopias with Jim Koch

Next we loaded onto charter buses and set out for The Boston Beer Company where a can of Samuel Adams Boston Lager awaited all bloggers at their seats. Julia Herz of the Brewers Association gave an introductory speech and was followed by Jim Koch, the keynote speaker. After the speeches it was time to eat and drink. I tried a new Sam Adams beer that I really enjoyed, Independence IPA. I had some delicious cheeses and various other finger foods while I waited for my group’s turn to enter the barrel room. I knew it would be a unique experience, but imagine my surprise when I walked in to find Jim Koch himself, pouring 2012 Utopias for everyone! I was not expecting that. It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. And, with that, the evening was complete. But it was still early, so we headed back to the city for a little more drinking.

We arrived at Stoddard’s Food and Ale for a Pyrates, Pints, & Poets party provided by Heavy Seas Beer of Halethorpe, MD. I loved all their beers I tried: Loose Cannon IPA, Peg Leg Imperial Stout, and Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate Stout. Heavy Seas is a quality brewery; I wish they distributed in Colorado. But they don’t, so I had to be sure and get my fill while I could!

By then it was late and time to rest up for a full day of beer education ahead.


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