TBEX12 Colorado Free Beer State of Mind

Travel Blog Exchange 2012 is June 15-17 at Keystone Resort, Colorado. I am scheduled for several days of microbrewery events like a pub crawl tonight, Wynkoop Brewery Thursday night and Beer Rally to Keystone all day Friday prior to the launch of TBEX12 where we will then be drinking at 9,280 ft. in elevation.

Hopefully my blog posts will get written and maintain some coherency this next week. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Denver, Colorado, travel bloggers, altitude adjustment, and beers. Lots of beers.

BrewPub Bud might even be my first ghost blogger on Loyalty Traveler. Hopefully one of us won’t be too drunk to write.

BrewPub Bud is an old friend from Humboldt County, California that I lost contact with over the past decade. As I recall he was born in Eureka, but he used to tell people he was from Hopland, California; said he liked the town name better since Hopland is where he truly first found good craft brew in an American pub.

Hopland is a small town in Mendocino County, California and the location of the Hopland Brewery; the first microbrewery to open in California on August 14, 1983 – 50 years after the Constitutional repeal of the Prohibition Act.

Hopland Brewery in Hopland, California became Mendocino Brewing Company. Mendocino Brewing Company Ale House is now located in Ukiah, California after the Hopland location lost its lease and closed June 2, 2011.

The old brewpub was a “point of pilgrimage” in the 1980s and 1990s. Hopland Brewery was at the halfway mark of the 300 mile drive between Davis, California and Eureka in Humboldt County where my mother-in-law had relocated from Monterey to be a public school teacher around 1985. Summer time was the special time of year at Hopland/Mendocino Brewery when the brewery produced “Eye of the Hawk” strong ale in a limited batch.

Brewpubs were my academic interest in college and I considered making microbrewing beer my career. I graduated from University of California Davis with a Fermentation Science degree in 1987, but ultimately I realized that breweries and wineries require a large amount of manual and mechanical labor work and I was more interested in laboratory work.

Still, I spent the next dozen years visiting brewpubs around the U.S. and this hobby was fueled through regional brewpub newspapers. Before the internet the way to find microbreweries was through regional newspapers like Celebrator Beer News magazine and Yankee Brew News. This is how my connection to BrewPub Bud came about.

If my love of travel via loyalty programs hadn’t altered my path in 1999, then I might actually have developed as a beer news blogger. That option is still open to pursue and no longer an impediment to my current work life as Loyalty Traveler like when I was an elementary public school teacher.

Great American Beer Festival in Denver

One of the travel experiences on my bucket list over the past 25 years has been the desire to attend the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. The October date for the annual event made it quite difficult to arrange as a public school teacher.

This week I’ll be sharing my impressions of Denver brewpubs and Colorado beer on Loyalty Traveler and Twitter. Perhaps I’ll be able to write my way into a Great American Beer Festival media pass.

Flashback to TBEX Vancouver 2011

One of the fun coincidences of last year’s TBEX conference was the Vancouver Conference Center location where the TBEX seminars were held upstairs. A major food event was happening in the large conference hall downstairs and TBEX attendees were given complimentary admission. I enjoyed my lunch hours with food and brews in the microbrewery corral.

TBEX11 day2 019

Looking back at the Vancouver photos I realize that some of the most engaging and wild moments of TBEX11 were due to the people I met here at the microbrew corral and then partied with late into the night after the official TBEX events.

Travel, beer and blogs seem to make a perfect combination of lifestyle activities for this loyalty traveler. Toss in good music and conversation and life is beautiful.

Pre-TBEX12 starts in less than 6 hours. I am loading up my body with water.

Don’t expect any lengthy analytical research posts this week. At conferences I tend to primarily tweet thoughts.

I will likely be an impressionist leisure travel blogger on Loyalty Traveler for the next several days. Free beer is like vacation pay for me.

Still I am sure I will have some hotel photos and visits from Denver, Keystone and other locales from this week to share with readers. Last summer when I was in Denver and the Rocky Mountains I did not have a decent camera to update my hotel photos. I hope to have some beautiful imagery to share of Denver and the mountains.

Denver Westin Tabor 067

View from Westin Denver Downtown to 20-story Daniels & Fisher Clock Tower. Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center at far left.

Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Find the time to make your way over to Falling Rock Tap House (http://fallingrocktaphouse.com/) a few blocks from Wynkoop. You will have a chance to try all the microbrews from Colorado that aren’t on the way to Keystone and many more from around the world!

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