Making noise in the blogosphere with beer.
KC - that's great that your area has already taken some steps to work on this. I know of a few other areas that do the same. The bloggers in Colorado haven't organized but we all tend to keep in touch quite a bit. This might take your idea of a local blogger group and expand upon it. I'm all for regional, national and possibly even a worldwide conference.
One thing about using the GABF, it's getting much bigger this year. Denver came up with DENVER BEER FEST which will run from September 18 thru the 27th. It will include over 60 different events including the GABF, Denver Oktoberfest, Denver Rare Beer Tasting, beer dinners, and much more. If you thought the 3 days of GABF were busy - well it's only going to get even busier. So now we'd have 10 days from which to choose from for a possible bloggers conference. Not saying it wouldn't be feasible but it's going to be an already busy time.
I'd also put in a nod that where ever the beer blogger conference would be hosted that there must be at least a few good breweries in the area and/or some great beer bars too. Several cities come to mind but lets not just limit it to one place.