There are approximately 400 “citizen” beer bloggers in North America, those not associated with a brewery, publication, or other business. Colorado has more than its fair share, with 14 active citizen beer bloggers (and another seven who write for the media.)
Two days ago I met with six of these bloggers at the Oskar Blues brewpub and brewery in Longmont, Colorado. We had several goals for the meeting. One was to provide a view into the new Oskar Blues Longmont brew pub. A second was to let the bloggers meet each other and start the process of making a more solid Colorado beer blogger community. A third was to discuss how we might jointly promote the upcoming Beer Bloggers Conference.
Chad, the marketing guy at Oskar Blues, provided a nice array of beers and food for the group, we were able to tour the brewery, and we even ran across the owner, Dale. See the Jenn and Beer and Ales for All blog writeups for complete information. While Oskar Blues is most famous for its premium canned beer, I was most impressed with the incredible enthusiasm the company has, above everything, for producing good beer. First goal achieved.
I think the six bloggers in attendance also had a great time meeting each other. Some were relatively new to beer blogging and others were three-year veterans. We had traditional written word bloggers, an audio blogger, and two video bloggers. Most importantly, though, everyone seemed to realize they are in this together and it helps to know others who are home, perhaps late at night, struggling through the same issues as you.
Finally, we discussed the upcoming Beer Bloggers Conference. We all agreed the conference will be good for beer bloggers and good for the Colorado beer industry. I asked for and received feedback on keynote speakers (more info coming soon). We talked about promoting the conference to beer bloggers across the nation (don’t be surprise if one of these Colorado bloggers contacts you), speaking to other bloggers about the conference while at the Great American Beer Festival, and having a Virtual Colorado Beer Tasting, which is on our agenda.
Lessons from the weekend? If you sometimes feel alone or discouraged as a beer blogger, remember you have others you can rely on. If you have not rallied with your local beer bloggers, you should consider it so everyone has a support group. And if you are not yet signed up for the November 5-7 Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, now is the time!