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My Top 7 Sessions for #BBC17

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As #BBC17 quickly approaches, I am sure all my fellow attendees are getting as super-excited as I am.

Due to various circumstances I was unable to attend last year in Tampa (as well as the previous outings in Boston and San Diego). I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder?

I am sitting here drinking a Carton Brewing IDIPA while Sheryl and Mikey are both fast asleep, and all I can think about, other than stocking up on New Glarus, Lakefront and other area offerings, are some of the amazing sessions we will have.

 

Introduction: Julia Herz of the Brewers Association

I don’t think I would feel at home unless Julia was there kicking us off. Not only are her remarks insightful and full of amazing industry data from the BA, but most importantly they remind all of us WHY we write and/or record our own passions in this medium. Given the various changes and moves in the past few months, I am sure she will share much to discuss and deliberate throughout the entire conference and well beyond.

 

The Beer Industry in Milwaukee and Wisconsin

I mean, their baseball IS The Brewers for crying out loud. Beer history has been a persistent theme in all of the past BBC destinations and in all of our collective travels, so it will be no different here. Our expert panelists will no doubt showcase the evolution Wisconsin has had as a major American beer center, and ruminate on the amazing growth that is yet to come. I look forward most to some really astounding and/or shocking stories that will be great fodder for an upcoming post.

 

Identifying and Describing Flavor, Smell, and Color

Randy Mosher is one of the best of many beer authors whose work resides on our shelves. I previously had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with him during the “Night of Many Bottles”. While I often refer to myself as an “equal opportunity taster”, I am excited to learn how to enhance my tastings with integrity, better descriptors and cognitively-manage my various biases. The featured beers will be from Stone Brewing Company, so how can we not have fun while we are educating ourselves?

 

Keynote Speaker Susan Evans

Be honest: When you saw the posting for the job as “Director of Smithsonian Food History Programs at the National Museum of American History”, you honestly thought about submitting an application. While the allure of the job was great, most of us clearly do not have the chops and cred to trailblaze a new position like Susan Evans. Beer is such an integral part of America, and I am glad our Keynote Speaker is someone who recognizes and keeps this at the forefront for one of our most prized cultural institutions.

 

What’s Next for the Beer Industry?

So I bet you’re beginning to see a pattern here. Industry, history, tasting. When I was working in retail finance, I would often do what I could to read the articles of the chief economist at my institution. Not just because they were well-written, but it helped paint a better picture of what I could not easily see just by reading the paper. Dovetailing from Julia’s introduction and other sessions, I think this talk with NBWA and other distributors will no doubt provide unique perspectives and analysis in our ever-changing market for our beloved beverage.

 

The Art of Spontaneous Fermentation with Frank Boon of Brouwerij Boon

We have had many heavy hitters from the brewing world and even a few from the “sour realm”, so having Frank Boon speak on the history of lambic and the art of spontaneous fermentation is an even bigger treat. I am truly curious to see how much we really know about this wild subject from a guru of geuze. Oh, and of course I am hoping for samples to taste while we listen.

 

Reception at Lakefront Brewery

Lakefront is one of many area breweries which I wish were in my own backyard. Sipping their brews at the source, taking a tour and chomping on some cheese curds sounds like a perfect way to spend some time with fellow bloggers.

 

I have to say I had a really tough time cutting down the number of events I wanted to cover. It’s a testament to @ZephyrAdventures and the whole Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference crew for their tireless effort to not only provide us with top-notch programming, but enable us to experience and embrace our host city’s beer culture. That being said, I most look forward to connecting with new bloggers and reconnecting with ol’ peeps. There has been way too much time between hangouts, and I hope to catch up and/or share our first brew together.

Cheers and remember:

Life’s a tap…drink up ’til it’s dry.

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