Regular readers will recall the posts I wrote about the European Beer Bloggers & Writers Conferences. These events were held annually, in a different European city each year, and while they lasted were great fun. They drew together a diverse group of like-minded souls, all of whom write or blog, either as a hobby, or for a living.
I attended three conferences in total; the first one being in Dublin, back in 2014, and the last in Amsterdam, in 2016. The one in between took place in Brussels. The Amsterdam conference was the last “European” event, and for me was a particularly sad occasion, as I really used to look forward to meeting up with the new beer-loving friends I had made.
The conferences were organised by Zephyr Adventures; an American-based travel company which also operates events in the food, wine, beer, and fitness industries. The European Conferences were actually a spin-off of the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conferences, which take place annually in North America. The American conferences typically attract around 150 attendees from throughout North America, and sometimes beyond, but because the European events only attracted around half that number, they were not financially viable, and the event was dropped in 2016.
The first conference was held in Boulder, Colorado in 2010, and since then the event has travelled to major cities throughout the USA. The conferences provide the opportunity for participants to learn about different beers and breweries, to taste and enjoy these beers, and also to network (hate that word!), with like-minded people.
This year’s Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference will take place in Loudoun County, just outside Washington DC. It will be the ninth such conference. There were a number of reasons why the organisers chose this location:
Loudoun County contains Dulles Airport, one of two major airports for the Washington DC region, making the conference easy to access.
Loudoun is considered Washington’s “wine country” with 42 wineries in the county. More to the point, the county also now boasts 22 breweries and is fast becoming the playground for the capital’s beer connoisseurs.
Despite its proximity to the US capital, Loudoun County is described as beautiful, with many attractive rural areas, which participants will be able to visit, as part of the conference on two dinner excursions. The conference will also include a Loudoun County beer tasting event.
As with the European conferences, there are a number of pre and post-conference excursions. The post-conference excursion to Richmond, Virginia is the one I’m particularly interested in; given the city’s history and its role as the capital of the Confederacy during the American civil war. As someone who had a childhood interest in that rather bloody conflict, visiting Richmond will be a particularly special moment.
I’ve already booked my place, and have almost finalised my travel plans. I have a sister living in the US, and after the conference I will be travelling north-west, by train, to spend some time with her and her family, in the small Ohio town where they live.
The conference is now just over six weeks away, so excitement is mounting. As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to it, especially as it affords the chance to get to know the thriving beer scene in north-west Virginia. I’m certain too that my American brother-in-law will have some beery delights lined up for me when I travel up to Ohio, to join him and my sister.
For more details of the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference 2018, please click on the link below.