2017’s Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this past weekend. Right off the bat, that opening sentence holds three “firsts” for me.
- One: I had never been to the State of Wisconsin before, even though I have visited 39 other U.S. states throughout my lifetime. Now, just like that, BAM… #40.
- Two: Since I had not previously been to Wisconsin, it is safe to say that I had also never been to the city of Milwaukee.
- Three: I only started blogging last year in June of 2016, so this was my very first Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference. And what a beer baptism it turned out to be! Holy WOW, Batman!!
The weather in Milwaukee this first weekend in August was fairly consistent. There was blue sky, sunshine, and summertime warmth, along with an ever looming chance of showers. Overall, I found the city to be very pleasant and enjoyable.
I spent some time walking from the conference hall, Best Place at the historic Pabst Brewery, to my hotel, the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, as well as along the Riverwalk. I found the architecture to be fascinating, the history was interesting, and my overall food experience was delicious! I was able to add 2 more “firsts” to my ever-expanding list (and waistline! But we’ll save the latter for a different blog post);
Beer-battered Cheese Curds and a Fried Avocado Taco. YUM to the Nth-finite degree!
Last, but definitely not least as it is the very reason for the conference and this blog posting, I had a few beer “firsts” as well. I loved and appreciated Lakefront Brewery’s Organika, whose reputation precedes it as being this country’s first certified organic beer to be labeled in the U.S. more than 20 years ago before that term was considered trendy and cool. This beer is their version of a Belgian classic brewed with 100% organic malt and wheat spiced with organic coriander and orange peel. It’s a refreshing summer-style white ale with a spritzy carbonation that leads the way to a pleasingly crisp finish.
The biggest and most delightful beer surprise of the whole conference for me was discovering Boon Brewery’s (Brouwerij Boon) Lambic, which is a type of beer brewed in Belgium. Unlike most beers fermented using carefully cultivated strains of brewer’s yeast, Lambic is fermented spontaneously by being exposed to wild yeasts and bacteria native to the Zenne valley in which Brussels lies. This process gives the beer its distinctively dry, vinous and cidery flavor.
Not only was I able to meet the owner, Frank Boon, and shake his hand, but he also gave me a bottle of Geuze Boon for my very own. This is a bottle which I hold in the highest regard, and will only open and share with those I deem worthy! Let the groveling begin.
All in all it was a fun, informative conference where I met friendly, knowledgeable people, had some fantastic first experiences, and indulged in an overwhelming amount of beer-guzzling gluttony! Cheers to #BBC17 and #visitMKE. Thank you.