Saturday, September 3, 2011

Beer Travels

The Danner Manner came out of the gates fairly strong, but I haven't posted in a long long time. It's been far longer than I wanted to go between posts. I'll use the excuse that I've been busy. Maybe that works, maybe not. I've been to beer festivals, beer dinners, and tastings all over the place so I'll share some photos and stories from those.

I spent the first weekend in August on the east side of the state for St. Louis Craft Beer Week. The folks of STL Hops do an amazing job of organizing and executing a week long celebration of craft beer that includes more than 60 events ranging from tastings, beer dinners, meet the brewer gatherings, and a firkin festival. The level of participation for so many events was pretty incredible. I spent Thursday-Sunday in St. Louis and stayed busy from early in the morning until late at night. It's fairly absurd that some of these things are considered work. Crazy!

Drinking something that was crazy dry hopped in a firkin with Jacob from
Summit Distibuting (left) and Tait from Charleville (right).
At the end of August, I traveled with Randyl and a couple of Boulevard brewers and their ladies to the Great Nebraska Beer Fest hosted by Nebraska Brewing Co. in Papillion, Nebraska. These guys make killer beer and throw a great festival. I'm very excited to be able to drink their beer in Kansas City soon. I was also asked to give a talk as part of their seminar program during the festival. I decided to talk about positive craft beer advocacy and food/beer pairing. 
This is what I look like when I hold a microphone. I don't like mics.
I'm a recovered beer snob and wanted to share my experience of becoming passionate about craft beer with the attendees. When I first started drinking craft beers I had an attitude of superiority over folks that were drinking beer I deemed inferior. I've since realized that no one likes  a "Beer Asshole" so I've become a "Beer Dork". I follow the major beer reviewing and discussion websites and have noticed an alarming trend of beer snobbery overtaking a lot of conversations. I'm incredibly lucky to be involved in an industry where the consumers are passionate enough to create websites devoted to the discussion of the product I help make, but there has to be some room for friendly and positive talk. Sadly, breweries have gotten into this game as well. The fact is we're not going to get more craft beer drinkers on board by mocking them and telling them how stupid they are for drinking whatever beer it is they like. Instead, I suggest we introduce people to "gateway beers" and provide friendly craft beer education. In general, just be cool to people, buy them a good craft beer, and start a friendly conversation. I'm getting dizzy from the height of my soapbox so I'll step down and share some more pictures now.

Randyl wears the official beer event stocking cap.
Peace Tree Brewing had a ridiculous setup and their Bretted Cornucopia was amazing.
Holy crap! This beer was tasty.
The Crew. We poured Pilsner, Tank 7, Hoppy Wheat Beer,
Double Dry Hopped Double Wide IPA, and Love Child #2.

I'll be flying to Boston this week for the Beer Advocate Belgian Beer Fest and some events introducing Boulevard beers into Massachusetts. The next week I'll be in Minnesota for the Autumn Brew Review . I'm hoping to have lunch and beers at Town Hall and I'm working on a tour at Surly while I'm there. I'm sure there will be some good stories and pictures when I get back. If you have any can't miss suggestions for either place let me know in the comments section.


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! It will be great to taste some new beer from time to time for a change.

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