Monday, October 10, 2011

Beer bloggers vote for 2012 conference location

Beer Bloggers Conference 2012Where would you want to travel to for a beer blogger conference? Do images of Las Vegas, Orlando or Southern California come to mind? Well put those thoughts aside bucko, we're talking about REAL destinations like North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri and Texas. Say What?!

You heard right. Beer Bloggers from this year's 2011 Beer Bloggers Conference in both London and Portland submitted proposals for which city would be best for hosting the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference in July. Of the dozen or more cities that were suggested, only four U.S. cities emerged as final candidates for hosting the 3rd annual conference next year.

-- Asheville, North Carolina
-- Austin, Texas
-- Indianapolis, Indiana
-- St. Louis, Missouri

OK, so at least one of these towns I know have plenty of craft breweries around, like Asheville, NC. They've got: Highland Brewing, Green Man Brewing, Asheville Pizza and Brewing, Asheville Brewing Company, French Broad Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Wedge Brewing, OysterHouse Brewing, Craggie Brewing and Lexington Avenue Brewery (plus perhaps more). They've often been nominated as the best craft beer city in the USA.

Saint Louis has at least one big multinational brewery conglomerate that we all know about, and they've got Schlafly, Six Row Brewing and Square One Brewery there. Plus a few more I'm not familiar with.

I don't know much about Austin, Texas either, but I know of several beer bloggers from around that area like (Craft Austin, I Love Beer), so they must have something going for them. Austin is home to such breweries as North by Northwest, Austin Beerworks, and Uncle Billy's Brew & Que, all of which earned GABF medals in 2011. Choosing this option would move the conference to April from July due to the heat.

Indianapolis is probably the oddest nominee, but apparently has a lot of backers (like Hoosier Beer Geek and Girls Pint Out) and places willing to host events for the conference and home of Sun King, winner of 8 GABF medals this year. Plus: Bier Brewery, Flat12 Bierwerks, Brugge Brasserie, Upland Brewing.

Surprisingly absent from this list is Philadelphia, PA. Talk on Twitter right after the Portland BBC event this year put Philadelphia out there as one of the front runner cities to host #BBC12. Surprisingly, they didn't make the final list, and that's too bad. A city that puts on Philly Beer Week really should have made a bid.

So while we contemplate which city would be our best choice to host the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference, I'll give my plug as to which cities I considered prior to casting my vote.

The BBC has already been to Colorado and Oregon for the first two years, so obviously something further east was warranted. Asheville may be a great beer town, but it's near the East coast and would require the furthest journey for me and would probably require an additional commuter plane hop from Charlotte to get to.

Saint Louis and Indianapolis are centrally located and would shorten travel times for the majority of the attendees including myself.

Austin, is in the south central US and about the same distance away as St. Louis, but would probably have to be hosted during the Spring or Fall when it's not so damn hot there. If it would be in summer then we'll need a lot of cold beer to keep us cool.

Personally, I like either Indianapolis or Austin as I have relatives close to Indianapolis I could visit at the tail end of my journey. Austin has some appeal for me as I'm familiar with some breweries there. I could go either place. I won't rule out St. Louis but probably wouldn't go if it were in Asheville.

I am hoping to arrange it so that I can attend my first BBC in 2012. I missed out in the 2009 conference in Boulder just an hour away, but I was too dang busy to attend. Same went for Portland, it just wasn't in the cards for me. 2012 may be my best chance, we'll see.

How about some of you other beer bloggers. Which town would you vote for? And, are you planning to attend the Beer Bloggers Conference in 2012? Hoping to see everyone there next year.

You can follow the voting discussion on Twitter with hashtag #BBC12. Voting for beer bloggers only, is available on SurveyMonkey for a limited time.

Update 10/31/2011: The official conference site just announced that Indianapolis won the right to host the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference on July 13-15, 2012. Side pre-conference activities also to be held in the Chicago, Illinois area on July 12th. See official site for details.

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