BBC14 Ultimate Liveblogging: The Return

Preparing for the speed drinking madness that awaited us

The Beer Blogger's Conference, held this year in San Diego, is a heady, um, brew of beer geeks, beer geek enablers, free beer, lots of information, and then also some beer. While I will be providing a more complete overview, I wanted to start out with the most intense (and my favorite) event of the conference, Live Beer Blogging. I recapped last year's here, and used a lot of tweets to capture it. And I'm doing it again!

OK, the first beer was probably my favorite. It was Stone's American Homebrew Association competition winner, Chris Baker's Xoco Beza, which had chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg notes. Was incredibly complex and... comforting.

Next up was Rogue's Marionberry Braggot, which was made with marionberries, a blackberry mutation designed by Oregon State University students, and honey made from their 7 million + bees. It's one of their locally sourced ingredient beers. It had a rich, dark fruit undercurrent, which was flavorful and not overly sweet at all. That bad boy was 11.42% ABV.

Goose Island came in and did an interesting twist, though it made it even harder to process in literally 5 minutes, they served a cold and room temp version of their 2013 Bourbon County coffee stout.

Green Flash came in and poured their Citra session beer, made with 100% Citra hops and was actually sessionable in the way I consider session beer.

It was at this halfway point that a company that makes beer bread mixes came through and hooked us up with some much needed (and pretty tasty) beer-soaking bread. OMG WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS, GENIUS.

Sam Adams had a badass Grand Cru made with and named for the house-curated bacteria they've been using in Utopias and any other sour beer they've made. It's called Kosmic Mother Funk and it is quite a flavor profile. We were the first outside the brewery to taste it, so that was cool.

After that funk, Warsteiner came around with a very clean, very appreciated, very well made pilsner. Interesting fact: the brewery in Germany is ninth-generation family owned and is currently own/run by women. (OK, my notes at this point were getting a littttttle hard to understand)

OK, then there was some Lost Abbey awesomeness, I think. It was a beer called Deliverance, and it blended Angel's Share (aged in brandy barrels) and Serpent's Stout (aged in bourbon barrels) and it was really, really, really nice.

Firestone Walker's brewmaster/owner David Walker introduced his beer as something they made "because we spent too much time in Germany trying to figure out what beers we wanted to make." (or something along those lines). The sales rep said that for FW, making a pilsner is like them going crazy. They made a European style beer, with European ingredients, and then dry hop the holy hell out of it. The beer took 37 days to make.

Ahahaha, it was then (with one beer to go, thank god) that this came up on my feed:

OK, that's pretty funny now. But my pain of ALL THE BEERS was soon to come to an end (er, very temporarily) for our last beer, a session IPA from Rough Draft Brewing was coming around. The brewery is about 2.5 years old, is in San Diego, has a barrel aging program, and this particular beer was 4.8% ABV and made with Citra and Simcoe.

After that was our field trip to the Stone Brewery in Liberty Station, where I discovered fried olives and had a couple of reallllly good beers. Also had some great conversations with Stone folks and fellow conference attendees, and at that point I was feeling no pain. Almost got left behind though.