I’m going to the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) again this year. I went in 2006 as well, and had a blast, in addition to learning quite a bit, and meeting tons of people whom I’ve been acquainted with online for a long time. That was 2 years ago. Since then I’ve been acquainted with lots *more* people online, and I’m hoping I’ll meet at least some of them this year.
If you’re not going to OSCON, you’re not only missing out on a great technical conference that will leave you physically tired from all of the activity and at the same time unable to sleep from the ideas sparked by the day’s events, you’re also missing the Oregon Brewers Festival, which takes place just as OSCON is wrapping up.
I have a medium-sized home brewery that a buddy and I built from scratch. Over the years we’ve brewed and tasted all kinds of beer. But you can’t get all beers everywhere, so traveling is a good opportunity to taste wild and exotic beers, or just local beers you can’t get at home. It’s odd, but while you can get easy access to beers from Germany, Belgium, Poland, England, Scotland, and Ireland, you would be hard pressed to find a good number of great beers from the West Coast of the US on the East Coast of the US. And the West Coast has a lot happening, beer-wise.
Beer festivals are also where some brewers pull out all the stops. In ’06 I went with a buddy and actually had not one, but TWO different watermelon beers – a variety I had not even heard of until I showed up at the counter. One was pretty good, the other tasted like Watermelon Bubblicious, but the experience was fantastic. Every have rock candy made from hops? Pretty good I tell you!
Anyway, I was thinking of getting a larger group together to attend this years Brew Fest, so if any geeks out there have an interest in beer, let me know. And if you DON’T have an interest in beer, you should DEFINITELY let me know. I’ve converted numerous friends and family who say they don’t like beer to becoming more familiar with styles they actually will go out and buy, unprovoked, voluntarily! Saying you don’t like beer is like saying you don’t like food. There’s just too many kinds of beer to say you don’t like beer. Maybe you don’t like hops, in which case you might like hefeweizen, but have probably never heard of it. Maybe you don’t like really fizzy beer, in which case you might like various Belgian ales, a Barleywine, a porter, or any beer with a less fizzy, more creamy, or less prevalent head on it.
Anyway, I’m going, and it’s fun. If you have an interest, do join in, whether you go with a group I put together or not!