Friday, August 2, 2013

Speed Blogging and Harpoon

Speed blogging is pretty much what it sounds like - think speed dating but between brewers and bloggers. And the brewers have beer. And the bloggers write about it. Quickly, though, 'cause you only have 5 minutes with each brewer/beer before the bell tolls and they move on, and a new one moves in.

We arrive via bus at the warehouse run by Burke Distributing, a member of the MA Beverage Alliance and sat at one of 14 tables, and waited for the process to begin. I think that the gist of the tasting is best provided via tweets, just to get a feel for it.



















Then time was called before I got to the beer I was super interested in trying, the Connecticut Barrel Series Saison from Thomas Hooker Brewing.

It was OK though! I went up to the table afterward, met one of the executives of Burke Distribution AND the new brewer for Thomas Hooker and was able to enjoy it after all . I was also the first member of the public to try this year's batch of Thomas Hooker's Old Marley Barleywine, so that was pretty awesome. (Both the beer AND the situation.)



Now, onto Harpoon. I had been looking forward to this trip for the simple reason that Harpoon (and also specifically the Harpoon brewery) is how I got into craft beer, which has influenced the path of my life quite a lot. So, it's a special place for me, which I had no trouble telling every employee of Harpoon I could find.

So, they greeted us at the door with a taste of beer, which I heartily approved of. We had a greeting by one of the founders of Harpoon, Rich Doyle, and then were led up to the Harpoon Beer Hall where we were able to partake of beer/cheese pairings, and any beer that was available. There was also lots and lots of really delicious food.






I drank the Harpoon Dark, the Black IPA, the Rich & Dan's Rye IPA, the Midsummer Fling, and the Imperial White IPA. The Imperial White IPA was a beer that the beer blogger conference attendees suggested and voted on for Harpoon to brew specially for our visit. There was a huge variety of beer available at the beer hall, but I was very full of food and beer and couldn't try all the ones I wanted. (and didn't finish the ones I did try.)

At both the speed blogging event and the Harpoon dinner, there was a projection that showed all the tweets with #bbc13 and #bbc13harpoon, respectively. So we could all see what everyone else was blogging. (that's actually how I started pining for the Thomas Hooker beer, actually, lots of raves had come across the feed during the event.)

After we loaded back up on the bus and got back to the hotel, there was yet another event, a Beer Social in the room where we had been in seminars that day. I went down for a few minutes, but honestly, I was just DONE.



I'll tell you what though, I slept very well that night indeed.

Stay tuned for the last day of the conference! Plus I hit some old Boston-area haunts.

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