|Stone Enjoy By IPA from Stone Brewing Co., enjoyed at Stone Brewing Co.'s Liberty Station Bistro|
Last weekend was the 5th Annual Beer Bloggers Conference, held down in San Diego. Which sounds all official and shiny, but is really a not-so-secret excuse to get together with some awesome peeps and nerd out on beer for a weekend. And nerd out we did! Some highlights in the form of pictures and words:
Friday night, we took over the tap room at the Karl Strauss brewery. If you're into cornhole, you can play a game surrounded by aging barrels of Karl Strauss specialty brews and a view of the brewery. Up there, my pal Justin Williams from Dogfish Head and Ryan Arnold from Sierra Nevada duke it out, head to head. Awesome fun times. Thanks, Karl Strauss and co!
Saturday was the day for panel discussions and workshops and Very Serious Blogger Talk. Don't worry, we still managed to have a good time:
Yes, this shot is the hotel conference room. Yes, we shared. That's the thing about a conference with a bunch of other beer-obsessed folks: beer is a given. Always. Bring your own sippy cup.
Lunch on Saturday was over at the San Diego Yard House, where they have over a hundred taps to choose from. Egads. Also, a little insider's secret: the Yard House's house beers at the San Diego location are actually contract brewed by Uinta Brewing and are not to be passed over.
Dinner at Stone Brewing Co.'s Liberty Station Bistro was the highlight of the whole weekend. That place (and by "place," I more truly mean "campus") is amazing. Gardens, bocce ball courts, several dining rooms, and taps around every corner. It's enough to make your head 'splode. If you're ever in San Diego, please make sure a stop here is on your agenda. (And P.S. it's within walking distance of the San Diego airport, so next time you get stranded during a layover, make sure it's here.)
|A version of Stone Brewing Co.'s Cali-Belgique, aged with sour cherries and marionberries. Wuddup.|
Stone tapped a few special kegs for us and basically let us have the run of the place. Good times were had by all. Thanks, Stone!
And back at the hotel, we commenced with perhaps my most favorite part of the Beer Bloggers Conference: the off-the-record room parties. Shhh...
Believe it or not, I actually survived the weekend mostly vertical! What a fun time. It's a conference, there's tons of beer, but really, for me, this event is a chance to get together with a group of people who I truly love and admire, and share good beers. A few shout-outs to some of my favorite peeps:
Hopefully I haven't forgotten anyone. Please scold me if I have.
And last but not least, a few beer highlights from the weekend:
Krieky Bones from Firestone Walker Brewing Company: This is a sour beer at the top of its game. Tart cherries, sour pucker without tearing your tongue apart, easy drinking.
Stone Enjoy By IPA from Stone Brewing Co.: This was my first time trying this beer, if you can believe it. It just shows how phenomenal fresh IPAs can really be. I will be seeking this one out more often, count on it.
Sour in the Rye (with Pineapple & Coconut) from The Bruery: Dear lord, I could use some time alone with this beer. It's another sour that hits all the right notes, plus a layer of pina colada goodness.
Black Tuesday from The Bruery: An imperial stout with a 19% ABV that goes down as smooth as chocolate. Yeah. This one will get you vertically-challenged in no time.
Devil's Kriek from Double Mountain Brewery: Another kriek that was hard to stop drinking. Sensing a theme? Yeah, the sours are the new IPA. Resistance is futile.
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing: Raisins and cherries and dark chocolate. So much goodness in one bottle.
There were more (so many more), but these were definitely the stand-outs of the weekend. I already can't wait for next year. Until then, nerd out with your pinkies out, y'all: