Mike, Matt & Monktoberfest 2012
This is the story of a conference that originated with a single tweet...and a crazy road trip that had a similar birth.
- Three. That's the number of Redmonk events I've attended over the past two years. Coincidentally, it's also the number of Redmonk Monk'fests that have been produced by Stephen, James, Tom and Donnie. The first was the inaugural Monktoberfest in Portland, Me., followed by a trip across the pond for a pint at Monki Gras in London, and, most recently, a return to the Maine coastline last week for the second annual Monktoberfest. This is the story of Monktoberfest 2012.
- For the uninitiated, Monktoberfest was the accidental brainchild of Stephen O'Grady. It was the result of a flippant tweet that the developer community pounced on. You can read more about it in this Bangor Daily News story:
- Oh yeah, about that shout out to Dogfish Head Beer I mentioned in that tweet. It's a reference to an equally crazy and accidental idea Matt and I came up with to add what we could to the conference experience. Like Stephen's "Hey, we should do this" tweet that spawned Monktoberfest, my tweet spawned the mother of all business road trips.
- Wouldn't you guess it? They actually did. So did Riverhorse, Old Burnside and Harpoon. What started as a longshot turned into a 12-hour haul of 11 cases of great craft beer.
- Twelve hours, seven states, eleven cases. It's what you do for friends.
- Within that beautiful 12-7-11 mix, we stopped at Dogfish Head's brewery in Milton, De., for a tour.
- Crossed the Delaware River a few miles north of where George Washington crossed it, to learn about the craft at Riverhorse Brewery.
- Enjoyed learning about the scotch ales at Old Burnside in East Hartford, CT.
- And made our final stop at the Harpoon Brewery tasting room.
- Even cooler than the beer they generously loaded into the back of my Tahoe, each of the brewers allowed us to interview them about the craft of their craft. Dogfish Head's founder, Sam Calagione -- perhaps the most well-known name in craft beer -- even sent a video message to the Monktoberfest attendees.
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