Day two of the 2010 Beer Bloggers Conference began with four 30 minute power sessions from some of Boulder’s best technology experts. Ligit’s Perry Quinn gave tips on how to add search engines and monetization to blogs. Pete Sheinbaum, creator of DailyCandy and founder of The Mandelbrot Project, explained ways to grow and maintain an online community. Our third presenter, Jason Cormier, from Room214, spoke about social media activity and presented a key point noting it is much easier to join a conversation than to start one. Our final tech speaker was BlogFrog co-founder Holly Hamann, who further discussed online communities and how they have become successful through providing conversations that people care about.
With a perfect 70+ degreee day in Boulder, the two hour lunch break was a great opportunity for everyone to explore a bit of Boulder and enjoy the warm weather. While it was tough to get back indoors after lunch, our dedicated bloggers all were back by 1:30pm for the voted topic by bloggers, “Craft Beer and Women”.
The women’s panel, consisting of Julia Herz (Brewers Association), Sebbie Buhler (Rogue Ales), and Tamre Mullins (Girls’ Pint Out), teamed up with their combined experience to discuss the growing number of female craft beer enthusiast and how both companies and blogs can engage a female audience. Some controversial points were made and discussed during the panel, including the issue of whether women should specifically be targeted, or if targeting craft beer enthusiasts in general is enough. The topic of craft breweries versus the “big guys” was also mentioned and it left many with differing opinions on these issues.
Greg Koch, from Stone Brewing, switched up the topic and gave insight on the Craft Beer Movement and how essential the voices of bloggers are in this movement. He provided a sampling of an unveiled beer for conference attendees to secretly enjoy (and not share details) and also brought up some ethical and legal issues that arise in the industry. A key point that Greg made was that bloggers have the ability to be the voice in the craft beer industry and should not be afraid to state their opinions, even if it may be controversial.
Our final event of the day was the highly anticipated Live Beer Blogging session with 12 breweries sampling and describing some of their most unique brews to a table of bloggers in merely five minutes. With just enough time to quickly present their chosen beer, a cowbell was rung, signifying the next rotation of samplings. Despite little time, our brewery participants did a fantastic job of making the best use of their five minutes and satisfying the pallets of the bloggers. In the end, this crazy, action-packed 60 minutes left everyone both exhausted and giddy all at once.
After the tough task of sampling great brews at live beer blogging, everyone was anxiously waiting to get to Boulder Beer for dinner and even more beer! Boulder Beer’s staff prepared a TexMex style buffet, allowed us to enjoy all of their beers on tap, and provided a tour of Colorado’s oldest microbrewery. BBC attendees regained energy and then were dropped off on Pearl Street to experience Boulder’s night scene and drink even more free beer at the Boulder Beer Crawl! By the end of the night one thing was definitely confirmed: beer bloggers know how to party!