Our marketing team of Benjamin Weiss and Cambria Griffith headed down to San Diego last weekend not for Comic-Con, nor for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship series, and not even for BronyCon. We went to beer blogger paradise at this year's Beer Bloggers Conference, a three day journey through time and space with beer fans and writers from all over the nation.
The party began late on Thursday night with a very private hang out session in our barrel warehouse at the future home of Bruery Terreux.
We whipped up some fancy snacks and pulled out all the weird beers a blogger's heart could desire, including a single barrel, unblended sample of Sour in the Rye, straight from the barrel.
We had a chance to relax with some of our favorite writers upon our arrival in San Diego on Friday afternoon after a pit stop to see our friends at Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, who fed and hydrated us like a loving mama bear.
While some of the panels carried on that afternoon, we took the opportunity to conjur up the first ever Bruery scavenger hunt on the grounds of our hotel. As the first brewery to use Snapchat to carry out a social media campaign, we found a wee learning curve challenge for bloggers using the app, but we were very surprised how quickly everyone responded to the hunt once the challenge was all set. Our announcement on Instagram was our most "liked" and commented-on post we've ever had to date.
Highlights include our friends Duke Geren & Greg Nagel playing musical chairs as each hint was revealed throughout the day, and Nancy & Liz from Chicago completing the hunt with lightning speed. Duke was the ultimate winner that day, but those who did not find the prized bottle of Black Tuesday found directions to the super secret Bruery bottle share that took place that evening. Well done everyone.
Before the bottle share commenced, we had a day of visits about San Diego on the itinerary. We found some Bruery beers on tap in downtown San Diego, and toured the seemingly endless campus of Stone Liberty Station as the sun (and umbrellas) started going down. A paradise of lush greenery, walkways, and one "Dr." Bill, provided a huge array of unique cask and draft beers to sample from Stone Brewing Co. and their many distributed brands.
To cap off the evening, our scavenger hunt cronies (and even Tiffany) found the secret bottle share location and enjoyed some of the rarest and most spectacular Bruery beers we could find in our archives. As Ben declared the party was moving downstairs, we brought our wares down for the rest of our blogging friends to sample through the evening.
After an night of big barrel aged beers, Ben shared his insights on our marketing trials & triumphs on the Marketing Panel shared with Warsteiner & the SDSU Brewing Extension program. Some takeaways were just about as unforgettable as his superb outfit.
Ben and I got our jollies meeting so many beer fans from all walks of life in one place. At last, a conference where we could focus solely on spending time with you guys, in contrast to other events where we have divided attention. Thank you for choosing to spend your time with us, and if you ever find yourself back in SoCal please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We'd be happy to show you around, talk shop, hang out, ride bikes, kiss puppies, smell barrels, and all that good stuff. It was our pleasure to have a chance to have a beer with new and old friends.
Thank you new friends Nora McGunnigle from New Orleans, LA; Carol Dekkers from Tampa Bay, FL; Kendall & June Joseph from Nashville TN; Nancy & Liz Garibay from Chicago, IL; Adam & Emily Duerfeldt from Camas, WA; Tiffany from Seattle, WA; Ryan Newhouse from Missoula, MT; Abby Dickinson & Karen from Wicked Weed Brewing, Adam Martinez from The Lost Abbey, and Ron Watt from our own backyard of Orange County, CA.
Another round of thanks to our golden oldies of Emma Christensen from TheKitchn, Justin Williams from Dogfish Head, Jemma Wilson from Firestone Walker, Ryan Adams from Sierra Nevada, Ryan Ross from Red Door Media, Duke from Bison Organic Beer, Julia Herz & Andy Sparhawk from CraftBeer.com, Nic Turiciano from New Belgium, David Bardallis from Ann Arbor, MI; Sheldon Kaplan from San Diego, CA (err, South Africa); Jay Brooks from Marin, CA; Craig Hendry from Jackson, MS; Amber & Ryan Jansen from Salisbury, MA; and of course our local cohorts Sean Inman, Randy Clemens, and John & Julie Verive from Los Angeles and Greg Nagel from Orange County.
Until we meet again, may you enjoy many a craft beer and the company it brings.
Read last year's recap of the Beer Bloggers Conference 2013:
Bonding with our Blogger Buddies at BBC13