The Beer Wench breathing in
the aroma of hops at Sierra Nevada.
I took part in the pre-conference excursion in Raleigh, NC because it had been years since I had visited the city. The beer scene has exploded! Since visiting, I have learned that Clouds Brewing, which is a very good craft beer bar, plans on brewing their own beer. Can't wait to go back and try it!
Another great benefit of the trip were excursions to Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada where we were treated like royalty. Along with other bloggers, I visited some old friends and was introduced to some new beer places. You can't do the entire Asheville beer scene in one weekend any more, folks!
But, I have to say that one of my favorite treats of the conference did not involve beer, at least not drinking it. It does relate to the subtitle of this blog. Kim Jordan, co-owner of New Belgium Brewing, came to talk to us. If you did not know, New Belgium is opening a location in Asheville, following in the footsteps of Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada. I loved hearing Kim talk about her brewery, the beginnings, and her passion for the industry.
I have been enjoying craft beer since about 1992. I started writing about beer and food in beer newspapers around 1994 or 1995. When I first started writing and judging there were not many women out there - at least not compared to the number of men in the industry. Now women are showing their passion for good beer, making good beer, running breweries, and generally saying craft beer is not a gender issue. Kim Jordan's presentation, the number of female bloggers I met at the conference, Julia Herz from the Brewer's Association in Colorado giving the opening address, and meeting the new head brewer at Highland Brewing company, Holly, shows that women are a vital, growing part of the industry.
Selfie with the new head brewer
at Highland Brewing, Holly.
I am looking forward to next year's conference in Tampa and am already registered. I can't wait to see what is in store! The next big beer trip for this Beer Wench will be judging at GABF again this year! Life is good. No matter the shape of the world today, remember to eat well and drink good beer.