Day 2 of the #liverquiver #BBC14 (Beer Bloggers Conference) started off slowly. I am not a morning person, especially after a day full of drinking with a bunch of new beer geeks bff’s. I managed to roll out of bed, with a mixture of hunger and a timely sense of urgency to get my ass to the first scheduled part of the second day of the conference, which was one of the most exciting ones for the photographer nerd in me, the photography session hosted by Alan Kropf who takes professional pics and gets paid for it. That must be the life, right? So jealous!
I snuck in the back of the photography session only a few minutes late and quickly glanced around to see if there was coffee. Alas, no coffee. Halfway through the session, I regretted not getting a water bottle at the little hotel “store” and gave longing looks at the water cooler across the room that might as well been through the final challenge from Legends of the Hidden Temple. Regardless of my misery, I really enjoyed learning about how a professional photographer works and what the benefits to different equipment can be.
After another session that included videography, we were off to the Yard House for lunch and some drinks. We arrived and was escorted to a private room downstairs that had buffet-style finger food and waitresses sweeping the room with more finger foods. I really was hoping for something more substantial but after a mini hamburger and some chips I started to feel the color come back to my face. We went back upstairs to get some fresh air and socialize until we were required to get back on the bus to head back to the conference.
Upon return, we were treated to a keynote speech from the one and only Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada. He was quite majestic and many of my beer brethren was plucking the stars from their eyes. The room was atwitter…pun intended. Just sitting in a room not interacting and listening to someone talk can be tiring and almost boring, but I wasn’t board by Ken’s speech. He regaled us with stories and the most notable one was the harrowing journey that was the Beer Camp Across America. I just love hearing about people you look up to getting wasted or driving for 14 hours without AC…it makes them so human and relatable.
After one more speech, we participated in live beer blogging which was basically speed dating. We had about 5 minutes with different local breweries and sampled their beer and either tweeted about it or live blogged about it. I opted to tweet about it because I am methodical about what I post on this blog and didn’t want to have a post without good pics or in-depth content. I am so deep, I know.
After the whirlwind speed dating, we had all of 10 minutes to ourselves before being whisked off to Stone Liberty Station for “dinner” and more drinks. I say “dinner” because it was again buffet-style finger food and I again didn’t eat enough. It’s really my fault because I should’ve shoved as much flat bread in my face as possible but noooo…. I went on a tour with my old pal Dr. Bill instead. So, for all of you who haven’t been to Liberty Station yet…it’s crazy beautiful. It’s already won awards for architecture and stuff and it shows. The tour started in the bathroom (of course) and Dr. Bill showed us the open hand-wash station while we took pics and freaked-out the bathroom goers. Sorry citizen, we are bloggers and this shit is too rad to not document. Tooling around the restaurant we saw the back outside patio, the several rooms for food and drinks, the tall ceilings that you could throw a football through, and the tallest tree I have seen since Yosemite. After the tour Dr. Bill dazzled me and my new beer bff’s with pulling some rares from his on-site cellar, Dr. Billy Stylez. Not wanting to leave but wanting to stay with the group, we were herded onto the bus back to the hotel. Oh, and they had replaced our nice and quiet bus with a party-style bus and there was a stripper pole that was well-used on that ride back. Oh the memories.
But wait! It’s not over folks. There was a beer social being held again in the main conference room with more beers, followed by a bottle share with an impossible number of beers to try and taste from some of the most prestigious beers geeks across America. Needless to say, shit got really crazy and luckily I called it a night before I got really sloppy. I was still pretty sloppy, I’m sure.
It’s Sunday morning and I want to die. I decide I can ditch the first part of the conference because I look at my shoes and all I can think was … nope. Not moving around yet. I finally muster the courage to get dressed and suck it up, and visit the hotel store for a diet soda, water, crackers and a protein bar. After plowing through that protein bar and that diet soda, I start to feel normal again and jump into the breakout sessions about bloggers what their experience has been. It was cool to listen to the different backgrounds and experiences some of us have had. The conference ended around noon and I was looking forward to going home to my comfy bed and wonderful husband and cute puppies. I said my goodbyes to my new friends and made the 2 hour trip home. Why does traffic from San Diego to OC on a Sunday suck so hard?
All in all, I really enjoyed my first Beer Bloggers Conference. I think next year I will make a point of it to eat more and bring some more snacking food to tie me over in between meals. I didn’t even drink that much but it was the lack of food and water that really hurt me in the end. I hope to be able to attend the BBC15 in North Carolina for take 2! Hope to see all y’all there! Thanks to all the sponsors and breweries who participated!