Hi readers! I’ve got an announcement to make. I am starting a campaign to fund my trip to the 2011 Beer Blogger’s Conference, and here’s why:

Last year, the first-ever Beer Bloggers Conference was held in Boulder, CO, and was an astounding success. I attended with more than 200 other bloggers and shared tips, tricks, and learned a lot about blogging, beer and collaboration. This year, the US conference is in the city of Portland, OR, on the opposite coast of where I live in Portland, ME. This marks the second year it’s been a very far distance to travel (though the 2012 conference is slated for an east-coast venue).

I found the conference to be an extremely valuable part of my professional development as a writer and blogger, and helped me to form collaborative partnerships with several other bloggers including podcasts, guest posts, and getting a chance to discuss some of the most interesting topics in craft beer! As bloggers in such a niche industry, it is really important to have a chance to discuss aspects topics that are important. As a ‘veteran’ beer blogger (A good majority of beer bloggers have started in the last 1-2 years) I also feel that I can provide valuable mentoring advice to new bloggers to help make their blogs even stronger.

To defer the costs of attending the 2011 conference, I am seeking sponsors to help get me there. While my tax return last year allowed me to attend the conference little outside help, this year is proving to be more difficult to collect the airfare in particular – which is what my goal of $600 is reflecting.

If you’ve ever gotten a laugh out of my site, or found a review valuable or interesting, I hope that you might be willing to chip in just a little towards helping me become a better beer blogger. Each level of donation comes with a reward – so it’s not entirely a selfless act! I hate to sound like public TV and ask my readers for anything other than their great comments, but I am hoping that you can help to get me there.