The “Brewing Summit” (the joint annual meetings of the ASBC and MBAA) in Chicago just concluded last Saturday and it was a lovely time. It was the second time I’ve been to Chicago, and this time I was able to bring my spouse along with me and between the seminars, the sightseeing, and the friends/colleagues we saw, we had great fun. I even got to wear a “Presenter” ribbon on my name tag – a first for me at an annual meeting for these organizations. Hopefully I’ll get that opportunity again. Although I didn’t cover the material quite as well as I’d like, I got some great feedback and plenty of compliments, so that was very nice. That’s normal, though: I often try to set my standards just out of my reach so I usually wind up a bit disappointed in the result. It’s hard to feel confident in your material when you’re sharing the stage with some of the Titans of Sensory Science.
I also picked up a brand-new copy of Charlie Bamforth’s new book “Flavor” and got it signed by the Pope of Foam himself. It’s not a big book, but it’s a great overview of many beer flavor issues, and it’s written in Bamforth’s conversational style so it’s quite entertaining as well. Another high point was the “Pearls of Wisdom” talk where Oregon State’s Dr. Tom Shellhammer and Firestone Walker’s Matt Brynildson “debated” various hop topics, such as pellets vs. whole cone, Noble vs. American hops, kettle vs. dry-hopping, etc, only to be put in their place with facts from MillerCoors’ master hop chemist Pat Ting. Very entertaining. Wish you were there.
Best food I had while I was there? Breakfast at West Egg Cafe on Fairbanks. Their omelettes and potatoes were large and delicious, and service was fast, prices were good.
I took over 13 pages of notes for the events I attended, so once I get the electronic proceedings I’ll do some write-ups on the things I saw. I promise!
Now I just need to dig out of this backlog of work and get this productivity train rolling again.