Governor McAuliffe Announces 2018 National Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference to be Held in Virginia
~Loudoun County to host leading conference for influential beer bloggers and journalists~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Virginia will host the 2018 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, the preeminent gathering of influential beer industry bloggers, writers, and social media specialists involved. Beer industry leaders from across the country will travel to Loudoun County during Virginia Craft Beer Month in August of next year. The 2018 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference is the second conference brought to the Commonwealth and Loudoun County by Zephyr Conferences, the first was the 2015 Wine Tourism Conference. Additional Virginia beer destinations will be showcased before and after the conference.
“Zephyr’s decision to select Virginia and Loudoun County to host the 2018 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference is another clear indicator that the Commonwealth is a national beer industry leader,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The economic impact of beer in Virginia contributes over a billion dollars and thousands of jobs throughout the production, distribution, and retail industries. This conference offers a wonderful opportunity to showcase our award-winning breweries and their world-class products they make using high-quality Virginia-grown ingredients.”
The national Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference is expected to attract more than 150 attendees from throughout North America, including media and beer industry members for the ninth annual educational and networking event. Previous conferences have taken place in nationally recognized beer destinations including: Asheville, NC; Boulder, CO; Milwaukee, WI; Portland, OR; and San Diego, CA.
“With more than 215 breweries across the state, Virginia is a premier destination for beer lovers, and the diversity of product and experiences in Loudoun County make it the perfect destination for the Beer Bloggers Conference,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The beer industry is a vital contributor to the new Virginia economy, creating good jobs and generating important tax revenue for the Commonwealth. Today’s announcement is truly a testament to the strength of both the beer industry and the meetings and conventions industry in the Commonwealth. We’re looking forward to welcoming influential beer bloggers and writers to show them why Virginia is for Beer Lovers.”
“Securing the Beer Bloggers Conference is another win for Virginia’s efforts to become the next big destination for beer production and tourism,” said Dr. Basil Gooden, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. “With our beer industry garnering international acclaim and sales at a new all-time high – Virginia continues to be recognized as a rising star. The 2018 Beer Bloggers Conference will further that well-deserved attention and reinforce all that we have to offer as a preeminent destination for beer tourism.”
The Virginia beer industry is booming with more than 215 breweries currently open in the Commonwealth. Four prominent West Coast breweries have recently established East Coast brewery and distribution centers in the Commonwealth, while several Virginia craft breweries are undergoing major expansions and global breweries are finding homes in local communities.
Allan Wright, President of Zephyr Conferences said, “Virginia is booming in craft beer with many outstanding breweries and we are extremely excited to bring beer bloggers and writers from all over the country to experience what the state has to offer.”
"Loudoun's craft beer industry is one of the strongest in the state and we are honored organizers recognize Loudoun and Virginia’s important and growing role in the craft beer tourism industry,” added Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson.
In 2016, the beer industry employed more than 28,000 people in production, distribution, and retail, contributing nearly $1 billion in state and local taxes. An economic impact study showed Virginia’s booming beer industry contributes more than $9.34 billion to the economy annually.
About Virginia is for Lovers
Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2016, visitors spent $24 billion, which supported 230,000 jobs and contributed $1.7 billion in state and local taxes. Visit www.virginia.org/craftbeer to learn more about craft beer travel in Virginia.
About Visit Loudoun
Visit Loudoun is the destination management organization for Loudoun County, Va., known as DC’s Wine Country®, located 25 miles from Washington, DC. This not-for-profit organization develops and implements programs that promote tourism and travel to Loudoun and its towns, to increase visitation and generate visitor spending. The organization showcases Virginia’s culinary and heritage assets, including award-winning wineries, horse country, scenic byways, and towns and villages steeped in history. Visit www.VisitLoudoun.org for more information.