Tuesday afternoon I checked into the conference, as both Monday and Tuesday were pre-conference days and move in days for the exhibitors.
|Every conference gives you a totebag, only this one |
gives you beer. Pay attention, library conferences!
|On-site reception, courtesy of German hops growers.|
The room smelled nice.
|Because, you know, science!|
From there the next stop was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, for the conference welcome reception.
|I'm in the National Air and Space Museum! |
|Towards the end of the event I found Heavy Seas, out of |
Baltimore. They claim to produce more real ale than
anyone else in the United States, and brought a cask of
their Loose Cannon IPA with Cascade hops in the cask.
|Beer and rockets. That's what it's all about, kids.|
"I feel alive, so alive."
|Selfie of the beer I brought into the Air and Space|
Museum, just to prove that I brought beer into a
Smithsonian Institution. No ducky face.
- There are 2347 craft breweries in the United States, and they sold 13.2 million barrels of beer in 2012.
- 1254 more breweries are in planning.
- 409 breweries opened in 2012, though there were also 43 closings.
- The most popular style of craft beer is Indian Pale Ale. No surprise there. (The actual most popular "style" is "seasonal," but that encompasses at least 4 styles, one for each of the seasons.)
- Amber lagers and wheat beers are on the decline.
The conference schedule is posted here. At about 11:15am this session ended and the beer started flowing in the BrewExpo Exhibition area, which was overwhelmingly amazing. What better time for Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA or a Sun King Cream Ale than 11am?
|An Alsatian hop grower showcasing the finished product. Aramis, left, may|
become a trendy hop. New Belgium is already using in in an India Pale Ale.
|Local beer on tap in the Brew Expo.|
|A packaging company brought this. Sounds, delicious, no?|
|As you can tell, they had a very good selection at this|
station: Sweetwater, Dogfish, Left Hand, New Belgium...
|Sly Fox Brewing's new can. Just peel back the lid.|
|Yeast man. There's no swag like mitosis swag.|
On an eye-opening and perhaps disappointing note, I saw at least three vendors selling flavoring extracts, and one of these had a roster of craft brewers lined up for testimonials. So now I don’t know if there’s any actual chocolate in Rogue Chocolate Stout, one of the examples a vendor showed me, and I don’t know how I feel about that. Does it matter?
Over at DCBeer.com, there is some discussion about whether or not this conference was good for DC's beer scene and the local brewers, who may have been overshadowed by out-of-towners during that week. Praise for the week here, concern here. Cheers.