Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Beer Blogger Conference 2012 - Summary Part 4.

Time for Part 4 of my hazy story of the 2012 Beer Bloggers' Conference... pieced together by memory, Foursquare, and UnTappd. 

Sunday, July 15th:
09:30 AM: The first session of the day... yeah I kind of missed it again.  You see, the after-partying after Saturday night's NOMB got to me, and sure enough I was struggling. After a little extra sleep it was time to pack everything... and we somehow managed to get all the glassware, bottles of beer, and other souvenirs into the bags and check out of the hotel.  The conference wasn't over yet though, so we left our bags with the bellhop and rejoined the conference!

11:00 AM: We made it in time to catch the second half of the "Creating A Beer Event" session and I'm glad I did.  There was some really good info regarding logistics and we had two panelists who had operated on totally different levels.  One was working on small-scale tastings and such similar to the one I'm putting on at Roux Wine & Spirits this Thursday, and the other guy was organizing entire festivals.  Maybe one day I'll be at the level to organize an entire festival, but not yet! 

11:30 AM: Time for the ending keynote speech with Randy Mosher, a beer author and co-owner of a new Chicago brewery, 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, which does some latin-inspired beers.  In fact, this reminded me that I tried a few of his beers last night at the NOMB!  I believe it was the 5 Vulture and the 5 Lizard, but my memory is a little fuzzy and Untappd isn't helping either.  That's what happens when your phone dies at a conference like this and you have to rely on memory.  Randy was very entertaining though, and a lot off-beat.  The best part was when he showed some pictures of cauldrons, and just said something to the effect of, "cauldrons, aren't they cool?"  That doesn't sound too funny to you?  Well damn, I guess you had to be there, because it was.

12:30 PM: After plenty of fun, it was time to head home... so Jay and I grabbed the bags from the bellhop, and this time it was a 5' (barely) petite girl that had to go grab them from the back room.  I felt pretty bad for her since we had two duffelbags and Jay's Tony Chachere's soft ice chest stuffed full with beer.  We learned later that they averaged about 40 pounds each, so... well done petite blonde girl!  Apparently there was some sort of hotel shuttle available, but we had to walk a few blocks and then who knows when it was coming, so we took a look at those heavy bags and decided to grab a cab instead.

02:50 PM: We tried to arrange a quicker or easier route home, but it seemed like the planned Indy -> Orlando -> New Orleans trip was still the best bet... so we were on our way home.  No real crazy stories on the flights back... no teenage boys reading softcore porn or aborted landing attempts.  We made it onto our scheduled flights despite being standby passengers and our bags made it with us!

08:05 PM: Central Time again!  Yay!  It turns out we had at least one casualty on the flight, because Jay's bag came off the belt a little wet.  We found out later it was the Bull Jagger Portland Lager that I picked up as an extra during the NOMB.  Well that sucks, but it could have been worse.  

10:00 PM: Casualty number 2!  Of course everything but the one bottle made it through two flights and several baggage handlers fine, but as I was unpacking I dropped one of the Big Eddy snifter glasses, and it shattered into a million pieces.  I might be exaggerating slightly, but it really did shatter and there were pieces everywhere.  Oh well... such is life.

All in all it was a really good trip... the one thing I learned that I absolutely want to implement on my blog is to tell more of a story with each post.  And I want to focus on more local beers/breweries/events/festivals/etc.  So, in the upcoming weeks start looking for some more focus on the local breweries, that's my plan.  Cheers everyone, and here are a few good pictures that didn't make the last few posts!

Barrel aging at the Goose Island Brewpub

Haymarket Pub & Brewery

Another picture of Jay during his session


We found some more Louisiana beer!



The insane sorting / packaging system at Monarch