BBC16 Recap

The 2016 Beer Bloggers & Writers conference has passed and though we are now focusing on a great event for 2017, we want to recap and thank everyone who was with us in Tampa!!

This year, BBC16 was grateful to be invited to Tampa Bay, Fl and our partner and sponsor, Visit Tampa Bay did not disappoint in any way.  With a spectacular host hotel, 127 craft beer bloggers, writers, and other participants descended upon the sunshine state to see what this “up and coming” beer town had to show us.

Zephyr Conferences works hard to put on an event that has a good balance of beer and content…and as you can imagine, that is not always easy.  We had great speakers for BBC this year and were very lucky to secure top notch presenters to  bring important craft beer economic information, plus new tactics and new content strategies for writers coming in for #BBC16 from over 30 states.  We look forward to sharing those presentations with our 2016 attendees next week.

Adding to the balance of putting on a good writing conference is the location. Tampa Bay, Florida threw their hat into the craft beer writing gauntlet and came out shining.  Every single brewery and event that was presented to writers to was a hit.  Tampa gave us a great showing of locally-brewed beers, featuring some rare and even near-impossible-to-get brews for bloggers to enjoy.  I think our 2016 attendees would agree with Julia Herz from CraftBeer.com when she tweeted,  “you have arrived”

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Event Highlights – The  first nights progressive dinner, organized and put on by the Tampa Marriott Waterside, set the bar high.  Perfect, small bites, paired with beers from Coppertail, Funky Buddha (holy smokes on the French Toast Double Brown), Green Bench, and Cigar City was amazing.   On day two, attendees were treated to a short trip to a four-course beer pairing lunch at World of Beer with MillerCoors.  Next up, the fun and speedy event of Live Beer Blogging was well put together by our gracious friends over at JJ Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc.  Finally, our Tampa experience was topped off with a beautiful beerventure organized and hosted by Visit Tampa Bay where all attendees got to drink and dine at all three of these local, grass roots, and hugely successful breweries: Ulele, Coppertail and Cigar City Brewing.  To all locations that hosted BBC16 attendees this year, thank you for having us…you put on quite a spread!

We look forward to reading all attendees’ blog posts about the conference, events, beers, breweries and experience.  Please post them in the comments below or throw them up on our blog tracker so we can see and re-share your content for you!

A special thanks to everyone who attended as we could not be doing THIS, without YOU.

Please follow @beerbloggers on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page.  Attendees and alumni can also request to join our alumni group to network and share information.

See you all in 2017!

Ray Daniels of the Cicerone Certification Program Confirmed as Keynote Speaker for BBC13 – Boston

BBC13 Keynote Speaker Ray DanielsThe 2013 Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston this July is turning out to be quite an event. In addition to an outstanding agenda of beer and social media related content, we are pleased to announce that founder and director of the Cicerone Certification Program, Ray Daniels, is now confirmed as our 2nd event Keynote Speaker.

Ray Daniels is joining beer legend, Jim Koch from Boston Beer Company in the Keynote seat, and we are thrilled to have him be a part of the conference.

In the beer world, Ray Daniels simply has done it all. In addition to the Cicerone Certification Program, Daniels is also a Senior Faculty of the Siebel Institute of Technology – America’s oldest brewing school. Since learning how to homebrew in 1989, Ray Daniels’ resume is quite impressive:

  • 2 time Midwest Homebrewer of the Year
  • Contributor to Zymurgy, All About Beer, American Brewer, Beer and Tavern Chronicle, Brewing Techniques, DRINK , and Malt Advocate
  • Online contributor to allaboutbeer.com, drink.com, and Michael Jackson’s beerhunter.com
  • Creator & organizer of beer tasting events, including the Real Ale Festival in Chicago
  • Editor of The New Brewer and Zymurgy & Publisher of Brewers Publications
  • Founder and former Director of the Craft Beer Marketing program at the Brewers Association
  • Author or publisher of over two dozen books on beer & winner of “Beer Writer of the Year” by the North American Guild of Beer Writers
  • Certified Beer Judge

Given that bio, we can expect Mr. Daniels to have quite a bit to talk about during #BBC13. When asked about speaking to our conference attendees, Mr. Daniels replied

Twenty years ago if you could write, it was pretty easy to get a big audience, but a lot harder to find your own voice due to the filters and noise inherent in the process and the medium. Today, it seems it’s easier to speak with your own voice but a lot harder to get a big audience. Despite the differences, the core values of writing are still essential to success–and still hard to achieve. In addition to sharing some of my thinking on beer today, I’ll share some of the surprising things that made me a better writer and some of the traps I encountered to writing well.

In addition to his thoughts on beer writing and the evolution and future of blogging, Mr. Daniels had a few opinions to share on the subject of on & off-premise establishments. The quotes below are examples of the kind of discussion you can expect to find initiated by Ray Daniels at the 2013 Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston this July

I’m depressed by the entry of monied operators into the on-premises sector who proclaim themselves as Meccas of beer but clearly can’t meet basic quality standards or minimal server training levels with the number of taps they are building.

I find off-premises retailers who organize their beer offerings by style to be maddening. I think the approach is undertaken without a real understanding of how consumers think about beer and seems inspired mostly by the common categorization methods for wine.  There’s a lesson here that most of us learned long ago: beer is not wine. Efforts to treat it like wine will ultimately result in disappointment.

About the 2013 Beer Bloggers Conference

July 26-28, 2013 Boston, MA – which to many is the home of the craft beer explosion due largely in part to the efforts of Jim Koch and the introduction of Samuel Adams Beer.

Registration is open for the conference, and pricing begins at just $95.00 for citizen bloggers. Please check out our America page for complete conference details.

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Friday Night Party at Stewart Brewing Scheduled for EBBC13

stewartOn the night of Friday, July 12th, after a beer riddled feast (details coming), attendees of #EBBC13 will embark on an evening excursion to Stewart Brewing Company.

Founded in 2004 by Steve & Jo Stewart, Stewart Brewing has grown to be one of Scotland’s most successful and loved breweries. Steve Stewart’s brewing “career” started at an early age of 16 when given a homebrew kit. He went on to study Brewing & Distilling at Herlot Watt University in Edinburgh, and later earned his Master Brewer’s certificate from the Institute of Brewings – one of the most difficult exams in the Brewing World. Before founding Stewart Brewing with his wife, Steve worked at Bass and also with Harpoon Brewery of Boston.

Stewart Brewing Company has grown humbly over the last 8 years and now employs 9+ full time brewery staff members. The brewery is expanding to a new 30-barrel facility that is still under construction, and it is at this soon-to-be completed facility that our Friday night party shenanigans will take place!

Here’s a quote on Stewart Brewing Company from Rich Taylor, blogger at The Beer Cast:

Having just celebrated their eighth birthday (by brewing an 8% Belgian tripel), Stewart Brewing are a local brand going from strength to strength. Construction is underway on their new 30bbl facility, just round the corner from their current home in Loanhead. Steve, Jo and the team have become one of Scotland’s real success stories – winning countless awards, and continually strengthening their core range with inventive beers such as Radical Road, Coconut Porter, and a fantastic Black IPA.

And from Steve Stewart himself on the pending visit of #EBBC13 bloggers to his new facility:

You are about to be one of the first to visit our brand new brewery, currently under construction on the Southside of Edinburgh.  Come sample our regular, special and one offs from our range of Scottish Beers.  We can’t guarantee that the place will be neat and tidy, but it will be interesting and tasty, especially if we have managed to install and fire up the 1 Hectolitre trial plant…

So pack your hard-hat, register now for #EBBC13 and we’ll see you in July!

beers

Beer Bloggers Conference Call for Content Suggestions

Now that both the North America and European Beer Bloggers’ Conference dates have been announced, it is time for us to start planning the detailed content for both conferences. To form the content, we first seek input from the beer blogging community and take suggestions on possible topics, sessions, and speakers. Once we get a handful of quality suggestions, we will send out a survey on those suggestions and formatting the content around the topics with the most interest.

The following are areas where we are looking for suggestions:

General Sessions: Here is your chance to hear from experts in the field, be it blogging, writing, technology, or beer. Do you have suggestions for general sessions and speakers? Past topics have ranged from a panel on the three-tier system, to a session on blog monetization, to a tasting seminar.

Blogger Discussions: Do you want a community discussion about issues of interest to beer bloggers? If so, what topics would you like to discuss with your fellow beer bloggers and what bloggers would you like to see leading these discussions?

Block Session: Do you desire longer sessions (2.5 hours) so that you can really sink your teeth into a certain topic? With planning, we can organize this. Possible block sessions could include an introductory course on how to prepare to become a “beer sommelier”, an intensive tasting, or a sensory class. What would you like to see here?

Keynote Suggestions: We are thrilled to already have Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company as a keynote speaker in Boston this year. Who else would you like to hear from, and bloggers attending EBBC, who are your keynote suggestions this year?

To provide suggestions, please either comment on this blog post or email conference organizer Cindy Molchany at cindy@ZephyrAdventures.com. Please be specific as to the conference you are referring to (US or Europe), topic and whether you are recommending a general session, blogger discussion, or block session. If suggesting a Keynote, please provide any relevant info that may be helpful to us (contact info, past speaking events, etc). If you are recommending yourself as a presenter, you should be prepared to attend the conference.

We will take suggestions over the next few weeks and then conduct a public vote to determine which potential topics are most popular. Thanks for your input!

Call for Content at the 2011 Beer Bloggers Conferences

The Beer Bloggers Conferences – in both Portland and London – are designed to be as much as possible by and for beer bloggers. We the organizers work hard to make sure bloggers have a say in the conference location, the content, and the keynote speakers.

As part of this effort, we are calling for content suggestions for both the May 20-22 conference in London and the August 19-21 conference in Portland. To suggest a content session, please either comment on this blog post or email us directly (info@beerbloggersconference dot org).

Guidelines for submitting content:

1. Please tell us if you are recommending a suggestion for the US or European conference.

2. Please tell us if this is a session you would like to lead, a session you would like us to find an expert to lead, or a panel. We will have blogger-led, expert-led, and panel sessions. Blogger-led sessions can be topics related to beer blogging such as working with your local brewery, creating beer dinners in your community, etc. If you recommend yourself as a presenter, you should be prepared to attend! Expert-led topics can be things such as how to use WordPress better, how to integrate video into your blog, or how to work with PR firms. Panels are generally comprised of beer industry folks discussing general topics such as Women & Craft Beer, Can Large Brewers Make Craft Beer, etc. We generally don’t provide free conference passes to one-session speakers.

3. We might also offer content for breweries at our 2011 conferences. This will depend on the demand but content would include topics such as how to use social media to promote your brewery, how to work with bloggers, and why a blog on your brewery site will help with your Search Engine Optimization.

4. Please note this is not a call for keynote speakers. We will do that next!