Beer Bloggers & Writers Conf 2015, part 1

To everyone who made the 2015 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference great, thank you! I appreciate all your hard work. As always, we were treated like kings with good food and great beer. The speakers informed us and the brewers filled us. We reconnected with old friends and made new ones. I am always a bit sad it goes by so quickly and am already anticipating 2016 in Tampa.

Thursday afternoon, Good Ol Boy Mike, from Sips Suds & Smokes radio show, and I rolled into Asheville. We ordered flights at the Wicked Weed upstairs brew pub, downstairs bar and then down the street at the Funkatorium. Sour beer rules.

We ran into Huck, Carla, Craig, Jessica and several others and headed to Burial Beer. Burial, one of Asheville’s most buzzed about new breweries, brews innovative, tasty and solid beers. Next up we hit long-time Asheville brewery, Green Man. Their English-style ales are top-notch. I’m glad Green Man distributes in Nashville, the ESB is a favorite of mine. You should not drink beer in Asheville without going to the Thirsty Monk. While many great beers are available upstairs, Belgian beer aficionados head to the basement for a huge selection of Belgian and Belgian-style ales and sours pour. Cascade, anyone?

Friday morning brought beer around the pool, in cans, of course. Raise Your Pints’ Craig served up fine southern beers from Mississippi and Georgia, while I pitched in Wiseacre from Memphis. After lunch, for the sixth straight year, the Brewers Association’s Julia Herz kicked off the conference with her usual enthusiasm and knowledge of craft beer. Thanks, Julia!

After Julia energized us, we jumped into the Past, Present and Future of Asheville Brewing with locals John Lyda, Doug Reiser, Tony Kiss and Anne-Fitten Glenn. Asheville, aka AVL, is an amazing beer town in addition to being a charming small mountain town. Anne-Fitten graciously signed her Asheville Beer book for me before zooming off to get our next venue ready. Thanks, y’all. Great stories!

Anne-Fitten, the Beer Communicatrix for Oskar Blues WNC, and the brewery team at Oskar Blues Brevard treated us to a great tour and happy hour on their patio. Canned Pinner and Mama’s Little Yella Pils were chilled in a big cooler, while special beers in stovepipe and crowler cans were passed around. Cool OB swag was thrown in to boot! Thank you, Oskar Blues!

Stay tuned for more about Friday night dinner at Sierra Nevada.

Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference attendees who registered as a Citizen Blogger received a discounted fee. In consideration for the discount, two blog posts were required about the conference. This is the second, the first can be read here.

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