Just flew in from San Diego, and boy are my arms tired...
Man, tough crowd.
My wife Lila and I flew out Thursday, unfortunately missing the opening reception at Stone the night before. It was great to rub elbows with some of the greats in this biz - Jim Koch sat next to me during one of the hop seminars, and brewing "rock stars" were all over place. What's the coolest part is getting to know some of the hop and barley producers - we usually are purchasing through distributors, and never get a chance to meet the people actually growing the stuff. I had a beer or five with Darren Gamache, of VGF farms, who discovered and patented the Amarillo hop variety, which I personally love. Very interesting discussions on hop forward contracts and how he thinks that will be detrimental to the variety and diversity of hops available.
But, after all of the west coast IPAs (I think I know where all the damn hops went to), it's nice to be sitting here typing and drinking a Yazoo Pale. And it's good to be back home in Nashville.