Sharing fabulous beers with friends is always great and last weekend at the annual Beer Bloggers Conference (BBC) was no exception. Writers, photographers, videographers, and podcasters came together in the name of craft beer and while we started as strangers we ended as friends.
We kicked off our BBC weekend with a fantastic brewery tour hosted by A Plus Limos. Michael and Ramon were excellent hosts and oriented us to the San Diego brewery scene. A few of the tasting rooms we visited: Societe, White Labs and AleSmith.
As a first time visitor to the conference it was enlightening, inspiring and sometimes surprising! San Diego was the host city so the weather was gorgeous, the beer delicious and the schedule absolutely packed. We visited Karl Strauss’ Brewery (enjoying street tacos in their beer garden), the Yard House in the Gaslamp Quarter, and Stone’s new brewery at Liberty Station. Inspiring words came from craft beer greats including Chris Cramer from Karl Strauss, Ken Grossman from Sierra Nevada, Tomme Arthur from The Lost Abbey, Chuck Silva from Green Flash and Peter Zien from AleSmith.
Best of all--the beer! The beer was the star of the show. We tried vast quantities of really stunning beers, but my favorites were the ones that really surprised us. We tasted some amazingly different flavors from Lagunitas Brewing Company including “Cruising with Ruben and the Jets”, an imperial stout aged six years; followed by a Mandaraison with a saison brewed with all kinds of citrus including lime peels! And all this was highlighted at their after-party with a totally chill live band and hop-vaping station---very Lagunitas. We tasted a not-yet-released collaboration by Chris Banker/Stone/Insurgente. Called Xocoveza Mocha Stout, it tasted like Mexican coffee and churros--absolutely delicious!
While I loved the beers and the friends we made the highlight was definitely meeting these craft beer pioneers. They were down-to-earth, friendly and approachable--true laid-back beer leaders!