#CBC2011 Day One

by Renee on March 24, 2011

After a delay from Midway to SFO, I finally got into rainy San Francisco just in time to catch the Opening Reception of the Craft Brewers Conference last night. Michael Saklad, the Eastern Regional Sales Manager of Stone Brewing, was on my flight with me, and we managed to make good time from the airport to the hotel and saved a few bucks by splitting a cab.  I immediately recognized Michael, sitting across the aisle from me on the plane, as a CBC participant. The Stone Brewing t-shirt, cool hat and funky specs were a dead giveaway. Beer people just carry themselves a certain way. And they wear brewery t-shirts.

I was pretty exhausted after a full day of travel and the fact it was 11 p.m. EST to me, but I wasn’t going to miss out on the first big event. So after saying hello and giving big hugs to Jack and Aunt Cathy, off I went; Jack’s fatherly advice–“Don’t get arrested”– ringing in my ears. I took the bus to the California Academy of Sciences, a really cool venue for the night’s mixer. The first person I ran into was Bob Mack of Indiana World Class Beverages, who I knew from last year’s Beer Bloggers Conference. We made the rounds in the museum, chatting with old and new beer friends alike, and tasting plenty of good beer along the way, including Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, Moylan’s Kilt Lifter, and Moonlight Brewing’s Death & Taxes Black Beer.

I got a fairly good night’s sleep, though I woke too early–at least I had time to snooze a little longer before things got underway today, the first full day of the Conference. First up–the opening session, with some great information from Paul Gatza from the Brewer’s Association; the Industry Awards; and then the keynote featuring Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada and Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing, who held court in comfy chairs on the stage, then had staff members pass out bottles of Fritz’s & Ken’s 30th Anniversary Ale so we could all raise a toast to craft beer. It was a great start to the day.

After the session, I had the chance to grab a quick photo with Ken and Jack–I felt so happy to see them both together, enjoying the fruits of their labors–there are nearly 4,000 participants gathered at this conference, all due to the craft they champion. Then we finally caught up with Maureen Ogle, and hit the exhibitors rooms and grabbed some of the free food that’s appeared everywhere in the hotel for lunch. A little later this afternoon, I’m looking forward to hearing Sam Calagione’s talk, “Delaware Calagione and the Lost Temple of Yeast.” I’m sure it will be as entertaining as it is informative.  From there it’s beer hospitality and dinner…and then who knows where the evening will lead us. Cheers!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John March 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Sounds like fun! Enjoy! Looking forward to your blog/tweet updates!


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