Virginia is booming with craft beer activity and this is the blog that will keep you updated on local beer news. Look for behind-the-scenes peeks, news, recipes, interviews and local happenings. The blog is run by Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky. If you have suggestions for stories, or would like to contribute, drop us an email. You her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guest post: Attending the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver
Here’s our first guest post. It’s written by the guys at Rusty Beaver Brewery.
We started visiting breweries as soon as we got off the plane, hitting Jagged Mountain, Great Divide and others in Downtown Denver. We stopped at Biker Jims dogs, a landmark in the Denver street food scene! they have recently opened a brick and mortar space and they did not disappoint. They specialize in wild game dogs masterfully crafted with amazing toppings and caramelized onions. We got to visit over ten different breweries throughout the week. Our second day began with checking in at the convention center for badges and swag bag including a commemorative tasting glass that would get a workout over the next 4 days. Then we crashed a sold out brewery tour following the tour bus to Hogshead Brewery for a 9 AM breakfast pint. We then decided to take a side trip to climb to the top of Pikes Peak and hit some other breweries away from town. This was of course a business trip to learn as much as possible about brewing. We were told by the ranger after handing her the $30 fee for the 3 of us “to keep it in 1st gear and usually the brakes are shot on the dodge mini vans by the end” huh? I said you mean first gear on the way up? No on the way down she said with a smile. Well since it’s a rental lets do it! If your ever close and in a rental I highly recommend this couple hour trip the views were amazing!
On the way back to the hotel, we first stopped at Denver Brewing Company. Then to Strange Brewing where we ran into Neil and Mike from Strangeways, along with an RVA economic development team, the Strangeways guys were just finishing off a collaboration effort with Strange in celebration of settling their trademark dispute with Strange Brew Home Brew Shop. Tuesday evening was capped off with a Brewers Welcome Reception at Mile High Stadium with over 65 breweries serving several beers each all over the stadium including the sidelines.
Wednesday was the first day of seminars with different tracks, Brewers, brewery owners, marketing, brew pubs and sustainable brewing practices and also some for farm breweries. We split up and went to as many seminars as possible over the next 2 days. The trade show floor was immense. It was an education on its own with well over 200 companies represented all with more swag, t-shirts etc than I had seen at any conference or trade show. The brewing industry is obviously booming from the size and spend of the vendors that we saw. The evening was topped off with a private balcony concert hosted by Dogfish Head at the Ogden Theater. We were treated to all Dogfish Head releases that kept flowing far too long. Thursday was another great seminar day, funny that the first one was at 9am and everyone was complaining about it being so early, a few weeks before I was at the Restaurant Leadership Conference and they started at 7am with no moaning. Different lifestyle between these two groups! Thursday night was topped off with another show sponsored by Left Hand and Lagunitas brewing owners at the famous Fillmore Auditorium, again with the taps flowing. It was a difficult week, hah, hard to write that without snickering, with so much learning mixed with awesome live music and a ton of sampling to get the taste buds tuned in of course.
By the end of the week we had tried hundreds of different local craft beers, meet and learn from brewers and industry members from all over the country, and came back ready to brew.
-Patrick, Rick and Austin
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