Notes From The Beer Bloggers Conference
The 2nd annual (and possibly last) Beer Bloggers Conference stormed into Portland over the weekend and was gone faster than a tweet in a Twitter-feed of a beer twitterer following all thousand-plus beer bloggers. Well, okay, according to Allan Wright, the event organizer, there are only about 700 in the US. And of them, about 8 percent came to town for the conference. Actually, maybe 20 percent of them already hail from “Beervana.”
Tons of great beer from in-state and around the country was consumed and one thing everyone in attendance could agree on: it drink pretty good.
From the Keynote address by the legendary Fred Eckhardt along with The Oregonian beer writer/blogger John Foyston to a field trip to Goschie Hop Farms in the Willamette Valley (I’m still perfumed from diving into a mountain of the manna), the event allowed dozens of citizen-bloggers to geek out with the best of ‘em.
The result? Tough to tell. Do those who write, shoot and post about beer blog into the void or does beer blogging have an effect on the craft industry? The answer probably depends on which brewing industry insider you ask. It seems clear that in areas with substantial beer communities, bloggers disseminate info and hype and the brewers appreciate the support. In areas where bloggers enjoy less of an impact, they’re fighting an uphill battle against their community, such as is the case with Craig Hendry in Mississippi, the state with the most limiting beer laws.
One thing is clear. There’d be no beer bloggers if there were no craft brewers. Whether or not said breweries would like to return some of the love by sponsoring the 3rd annual conference (location: TBD) is up to them.