The Beer Bloggers’ Conference is in Beer City (AKA Portland Oregon) this year. You would THINK that it would make it super easy for a Washington beer blogger to get there and enjoy it to the fullest but the Beer Gods were not smiling upon me yesterday. Don’t worry this is not a tale of woe. Great beer, fresh hops from the field and a sense of humor can really turn your day around!
Unfortunately epic traffic and car woes meant that I missed the first three hours of the Beer Bloggers Conference 2011. The first good news is that I made it in time to catch most of the Erica Shea and Stephen Valand, co-founders and owners of the Brooklyn Brew Shop presentation How to Brew on Your Stovetop (While Blogging on Your Laptop). How can you not love a presentation that includes Craigslist listings for “top” and “bottom” yeasts? Great use of creativity, graphics and a sense of humor to illustrate the benefits of home brewing experience for beer bloggers.
Beers on the Bus
The traffic demons followed me onto the Tour bus to Glockenspiel Hop Farm. If you have to be stuck in horrendous Friday afternoon traffic for 2.5 hours, you really want to be riding on an air conditioned bus with four brewers pouring beer. I was on beer bus 1 with the Ben brewers (Three our of the four brewers named Ben!)
- Breakside Brewery Oude Noire Black Saison
- Deschutes Brewery Stoic Belgian Quad
- Lucky Labrador Brewery Black Sheep IPA
- Hopworks Galactic Imperial Red Ale
The Black Sheep IPA (AKA Cascadian Dark Ale) seemed to be the most popular but the Stoic was my favorite. This Belgian Quad is brewed with pomegranate molasses and aged in pinot noir barrels. It was spicy sweet, reminding me of Pike Place Market Spice tea. I gave my best smile to Eric Frank from Deschutes to get another glass of that glorious brew. I had never had a Black Saison before and the Breakside Oude Noire was a great introduction to this beer style. The Galactic Imperial Red Ale is a BIG beer with big alcohol and big hops. It was a sipper for me and made the crawl through traffic much more bearable.
I have wandered a lot of hop fields but I have never attended a hop harvest. It was the second day of the hop harvest and we were treated to a tour. The aromas was AMAZING. I was standing in one of the process buildings being showered by hop particles. Lisa Zimmer tweeted that she wished she could share her video with “smell-o-vision” I will have to wait until I get home to edit my own video of the hop harvest that follows the hop vines from the tractor to the drying building, but I am excited to share it with you later.
Ebony loves the smell of hops so she was in heaven. Check out some more of the hop fashionistas (AKA beer bloggers showing their hop love) at A Trip to Hop Heaven.
The Beer Bloggers Conference is a great opportunity to share a favorite beer with fellow beer lovers. The evening concluded with the Night of Many Bottles, where bloggers and brewers share their favorite beers with each other. Read other blog accounts to get the down and dirty about what you and I both missed, alas the I succumbed to fatigue. I did get to enjoy conversations on the bus with brewers and bloggers about their favorite beers.
More BBC11 Day One Reviews
Read about the parts that I missed on these blog posts: