Categorized under: beer

Highlights from the 2018 Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference

The 2018 Beer Bloggers and Writers conference was held this past weekend in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Prior to the conference starting on Thursday August 9th, there were a couple of pre-excursions

  • Trip to Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House 
  • Trip to Dogfish Head
  • Crooked Run Brewing Lunch, Tour & Tasting.

The conference agenda.

Thursday’s Agenda: 

Kickoff Party at Farm Brew Live sponsored by Visit Prince William, VA.  Take a Sip of History in Prince William, Virginia: Prince William, Virginia is home to historic battlefields and amazing craft breweries. Come out for a one-of-a-kind kick-off celebration at Farm Brew Live / 2 Silos Brewing Company to experience a dedicated 8-acre craft brewery destination. Enjoy hand crafted beer, food, and cocktails as you enjoy LIVE music in DC’s Countryside – Prince William, Virginia. Sponsored by the Prince William County Office of Tourism, the Steins, Vines & Moonshine Trail and Farm Brew Live / 2 Silos Brewing Company. For details on Farm Brew Live, visit www.FarmBrewLive.com. For details on Visit Prince William, Virginia visit

Friday’s Agenda

  • Introduction by Julia Herz of the Brewers Association
  • Diversity in Beer – Julie Verratti (Chair of Brewers Association Diversity Committee / Founder, Denizens Brewing), Bev Armstrong, Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham (BA’s Diversity Ambassador), Carla Jean Lauter (moderator). Hear from the advocates who are sparking conversations and moving the needle to promote more diversity in the craft beer industry.
  • Presentation by the National Beer Wholesalers Association: Changes in the Beer Market: Past, Present and Future:The beer industry has changed dramatically in just one year. Brewers, distributors and retailers continue to react to consumers’ demand for craft beer.
  • Food Truck Lunch & Expo
  • Keynote presented by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery
  • Tasting Lagers: The Flavors and Complexities of Beers Brewed Slow by Nature (Presentation by Devils Backbone Brewing Company): Devils Backbone Brewmaster Josh French and Anheuser-Busch Master Cicerone Max Bakker.
  • Beer Expo: The Beer Expo is your opportunity to taste beers and meet representatives from all our sponsors, such as: CraftBeer.com, Devils Backbone Brewing Co., Dogfish Head, Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House, Rogue Ales, and Terrapin Beer Co.
  • Loudoun County Reception & Dinner: Taste beers from Loudoun County’s 24 breweries in this off-site reception and dinner at Vanish Farmwoods Brewery.

Saturday’s Schedule

  • Breakout Sessions One:
    • Blogging Fundamentals: Design, Photography, and Voice – Join Advanced Cicerone® and founder of The Brew Enthusiast, Chris McClellan, for a workshop on web design, photography, and voicing best practices for your blog.
    • Podcasting | Panel Discussion – Brian Aldrich, Liz Murphy, moderated by Sean Jansen | Have a beer podcast or thinking about starting one? Listen to those who have laid down some sound-waves before you. Includes pros/cons, technical set-up, costs, and tips for success!
  • Breakout Sessions Two:
    • The Art of Negative Feedback | Paige Latham Didora | Beer blogging involves the responsibility and enthusiasm to propel the industry forward. This session will focus on writing about beer in less-than-ideal circumstances, and the best ways to offer constructive criticism from a professional standpoint.
    • Learning to Grow Hops Commercially Again in New York – One Farm’s Story | Laura Ten Eyck, Dietrich Gehring | This presentation offers a brief overview of the history of hops and their use by humans as food, medicine and ultimately in brewing beer. After this background, the presentation dives into the presenters’ story of starting a hop farm on a four-generation family farm in upstate New York, describing with humor the challenging process of scaling up from a few hop plants in the garden for home brewing to a two-acre hop yard. Presenters are hop growers Dietrich Gehring and Laura Ten Eyck, authors of The Hop Grower’s Handbook: The Essential Guide for Sustainable, Small-Scale Production for Home and Market. For more information about growing hops and Indian Ladder Farms Cidery & Brewery, please contact Dietrich (dcgehring@gmail.com) or Laura (lateneyck@gmail.com).
  • Breakout Sessions Three:
    • Insta-Famous | Panel Discussion – Caitlin Johnson, Ale Sharpton, Cameron “Garnet_Heart_” Dillmann | Likes, Followers, and some Beer-Fame can be found in some of the most influential beer-heavy Instagram accounts. We’ve gathered some of those top influencers for a candid discussion on how to improve or start a successful Instagram account.
    • Why You Should Care About What You’re Doing: Or, Lessons For Better Writing And Getting Paid For Your Work | Bryan Roth | Learn how to kick your writing creds up a notch with this presentation by Bryan Roth, Director of the North American Guild of Beer Writers and contributor to BeerAdvocate, Good Beer Hunting, All About Beer, and SevenFifty Daily.
  • Lightning Talks – Pt. 1:Hear from eight of your fellow attendees as they each have five minutes to expound on something related to their involvement in the beer industry. These talks are fast and fun. You’ll hear from these bloggers:
    • Andrew Bieber, Cycling Cicerone, @CyclingCicerone
    • Mike Collins, The Beer Photographer, @beerphotograph
    • Jack Perdue, Deep Beer, @deepbeer
    • Zach Rosen, Beer Pairings & Beyond, @pairbeer
    • Owen Ogletree, Brewtopia, @BrewtopiaEvents
    • Mike Pennington & Russ Webb, Baby Got Beer, @BabyGotBeer
    • Joel Gratcyk, Brewery Finder, @BreweryFinder
    • Kirk Richardson, Craft Beer Country
  • Live Beer Blogging at Lost Rhino Brewing: Live Beer Blogging has been one of the most successful and fun events at the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference since our first year. You will have the opportunity to try 10 beers in 50 minutes. In each round, a brewery representative will have five minutes to pour his or her beer, describe the beer, and answer questions before moving on to the next table. It is a fast, fun, and crazy beer tasting experience that helps writers practice their tasting and reviewing skills and helps breweries distill their message. 
  • VA Craft Brewers Guild Reception & Dinner. Taste beers from some of Virginia’s best breweries in this off-site reception and dinner at Lost Rhino Brewing. All 13 participating breweries can be seen here.

Sunday’s Schedule

  • Post-Conference Excursion to Richmond, VA

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