Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beer Bloggers flock to Indy for 2012 conference

Beer Bloggers ConferenceIt's finally time for the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference. Wait what? There's a conference for that sort of thing? Yup, and it's the 3rd such gathering of bloggers. This time, the event is being held in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, near the convention center.

I, along with a hundred or so other beer bloggers, am making the trek to the capital of Hoosier-land to meet and greet, share stories, share beers and listen to some awesome industry reps talk about everything beer and blogging. We'll be studying about the brewing business, the 3-tier system, and connecting beer consumers to the web, experimenting with beer and glassware, visiting breweries and distribution warehouses, attending beer dinners, pub crawls, and even the big Indiana Microbrewers Festival. Oh ya, maybe catch a few winks of sleep in between too.

The first Beer Bloggers Conference happened back in 2010 in Boulder, CO. Since then, cities, breweries and local sponsors aggressively competed for the rights to host the next conference which is steadily growing in attendance. Portland, Oregon hosted the 2011 conference and Indianapolis won out over several other cities this year. Who knows where it will be next year. Philly or Boston have been mentioned as candidates. Even the Europeans had a conference in Leeds, UK back in May of this year.

At first I thought, why Indiana? Then after I read up about all of the awesome breweries in that state, not to mention some great sponsors from nearby states, I was sold. Indianapolis, it seems, is a mini-mecca of breweries. There are about 15 breweries in the metro area and nearly 40 state-wide. Some include Three Floyds of Dark Lord fame, and Sun King Brewery which won a ton of medals at the GABF last year. Several breweries from out of state are even attending as well.

How does one justify the expense of attending a beer bloggers convention? That's a good question. For me, it was a matter of making some connections and getting some sponsors. I was very fortunate to have several great sponsors on my blog that helped me fund my way to the conference. They include:

- The Mayor of Old Town (Fort Collins, CO)
- Foothills Commercial Builders (Denver, CO)
- Craft Lager and Small Batch Festival (Manitou Springs, CO)
- Hops and Pie (Denver, CO)
- High Gravity Homebrewing (Tulsa, OK)
- Crabtree Brewing Company (Greeley, CO) - shipping beer!
- Google AdSense (Mountain View, CA)

Without these sponsors, I doubt I would have been able to go otherwise. Besides, I told my wife that I'd pay for everything through my blog and not touch our checkbook.

I plan to do a bit of remote live blogging during my trip. Watch for updates on Twitter (@ChipperDave) with the hashtag of #beerbloggers, on Facebook on the Fermentedly Challenged page, and on Untappd, FourSquare, and of course my blog. I may end up saving my notes for a full trip report on the blog after I return and use the other social media sites for quick updates.

Listen for me to do a live remote radio update via phone on the Colorado Craft Beer Show (AM 760 Denver) from the conference sometime around 12:50pm Saturday during their broadcast from 12pm to 2pm.

I hope to meet a lot of cool beer bloggers and taste a few (or more) tasty brews during the weekend. I fear I probably won't get much sleep. And starting my travel day out at 3:00AM tomorrow won't help either. Darn those 6:00AM flights!

Wish me luck, I'll need it to survive this weekend. Hope to have a lot of good things to report on while I'm there and once I get back. And oh yes, tons of pictures too!

Indy or Bust

Related articles:
- Beer bloggers get full treatment in Indy. (Part 1)
- Beer bloggers do more than drink beer at the conference. (Part 2)

This article came from - a Colorado beer blog.
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