One of the best parts of attending the Beer Bloggers Conference is visiting a different part of the country and tasting beers that aren't available to you. Another glorious aspect is that the conference is awash in beer. It flows everywhere! Attendees bring their favorites to share and breweries bring cases upon cases to quench the thirst of bloggers. It gets better. At the end of every conference, you can expect a sight like this. Cases and cases of beer, free to a good home!
Checking baggage isn't cheap, but the cost is justified if you can bring home beer that you can't normally buy. I was able to cram eleven bottles and cans into my checked bag. Great care must be taken as beer is heavy and bottles shatter if not packed well. The last thing you want greeting you at the baggage carousel is a soggy suitcase full of wet clothes and glass shards. Another unspeakable horror is the loss of baggage.
Sadly, the stars didn't align in my favor on my flight home. When I arrived in Portland, my bag was nowhere to be found. In my nightmares, I imagined TSA agents and baggage handlers imbibing my fine east coast beer stash. Fortunately, 36 hours later, my misery ended when my bag was returned to me! To my surprise, all bottles and cans were intact! This miracle is undeniable proof that the Beer Gods exist!!
Anyway, here are the treasures that have been reunited with me in Portland. Most were given to me by breweries. Some were from my super awesome fellow beer bloggers, whose names and blogs are listed. Check 'em out. They're great people!
- Bonfire Rye, Sebago Brewing, Gorham, ME
- Famine, Backlash Beer Co., Holyoke, MA (Zack Rothman, Raising the Barstool)
- Florida Cracker, Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL (Gerard Walen, Beer in Florida)
- Green Head IPA, Newburyport Brewing Co., Newburyport, MA (Ryan Jansen, Two Beer Guys)
- Heady Topper, The Alchemist, Waterbury, VT (Ryan Jansen, Two Beer Guys)
- Jai Alai IPA, Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL (Gerard Walen, Beer in Florida)
- Maduro, Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL (Gerard Walen, Beer in Florida)
- Ovila Saison with Mandarin Orange and Peppercorns, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico, CA
- Sahtea, Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE
- Swamp Ape IPA, Florida Beer Co., Melbourne, FL
- Woodchuck Private Reserve Belgian White, Vermont Hard Cider Co., Middlebury, VT
This is a broad assortment of styles, and I look forward to sampling all of them. Thanks again to the breweries and fellow bloggers who entrusted them to me! I promise to take good care of them!!