Roadtrip, Lafayette Brewery, Trade Show


Check-in for the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana was set for 3pm.

As attendees flew or drove to town, the hearty souls who hit Chicago for the previous night’s Goose Island adventure boarded a bus for a ground level tour of northern Indiana.

It’s no big deal for Midwesterners, but for a native Pacific Northwesterner, it is surreal to gaze 360° and see no mountains or hundred foot tall evergreens; not even a respectable hill or meaningful depression – just never-ending fields of roasting corn as they suffer through one of the worst heat waves in years.

Okay, there were a few agro-anomallies that locals called “trees”, but nothing serious.

As the bloggers busily Tweeted to each other, or to anyone who might be out there (yes, even Tweeting to the person sitting next to them on the bus, sigh) from a variety of handheld devices, Carly from Helluva Good dips passed out Black Bean Queso dip and chips and asked bloggers to suggest a beer that might pair well with it by Tweeting to a special hash tag. She knew her market! Beer, chips dip and Tweeting were bulls-eyes on this crowd.


That helped pass the time and soon we pulled off in Lafayette for lunch at the Lafayette Brewery. Owner and brewmaster Greg Emig welcomed us into his quirky establishment for a wonderful buffet lunch will pulled pork sandwiches, salads, ummm – other stuff AND BEER!!! Can you say BAOS!* That sat nicely alongside of the Tippecanoe Common Ale  and the Gypsy Pils.

That was one of three brews Greg had ready for us – and then he opened his taps so we could taste even more great beers from this wonderful place close to Purdue University and the Tippecanoe Battlefield. I found the Piper’s Pride a nice change from the Wee Heavy style for a Scottish Style Ale.

In addition to the interesting array of beer Greg creates, are the many curios scattered throughout his place, and the big window into the brewing floor in the bar area.

* – answer: BAOS is their name for the delicious Black Angus Oatmeal Stout!


I have been to dozens of trade shows during my 16-year stint as a customer support…satisfaction…loyalty guru at Microsoft, but I do not recall booths actually serving beer as being among them. Now I am thinking that would have so enhanced our impression on the potential customers. Hmmm. Maybe if I go back, I’ll lobby for that.

Seriously, trade shows sometimes come before an event kicks off, or after the main presentations. In this case, it was a  great warm up while people checked into the hotel, had a chance to unpack and prepare. Actually I think it was arranged so people could rest their blogging fingers. It is hard to tweet with a beer and swag in your hands – although I noticed that is was not entirely impossible.

It was a small trade show but fun, nonetheless.

Samuel Adams featured several of their beers and ciders
Beer distribution companies and beer “accessories” like delicious dips
There certainly was a plentiful supply of beer to warm us up for the conference

Links back to other conference pages

– Chicago, Goose Island and the Party Bus!!!
– Road Trip, Lafayette Brewery
– Garrett Oliver & the Pub Crawl
– Leinenkugel, Spiegelau, Indiana Microbrewers Festival, World Class Beers Tour & Night of Many Bottles– Blogging:Next Steps & Randy Mosher


Photography and content by Bob Shoemaker (
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