European Beer Bloggers Conference 2012

beer_conference

We wanted to tell you a little more about the EBBC and so we thought who better to do that than a top beer blogger!

If you’re currently blogging about beer or thinking of starting, EBBC13  will be for you! The destination and dates are yet to be confirmed; keep an eye on http://beerbloggersconference.org for information as it becomes available.

Mark Charlwood works in IT  for a national retailer but he’s a home brewing, food cooking, beer loving  chap, and he was also Winner of the British  Guild of Beer Writers Silver Award for Best Use of Online Media 2011/12 –  so here’s Marks take on the proceedings. 

On Friday 18th May, beer lovers from across  Europe descended upon the city of Leeds for the second annual European Beer  Bloggers Conference. Lasting a full three days, the conference gives budding beer journalists the chance to come together and talk beer - discussing topics  that range from glassware to Goldings.

As with the inaugural conference last year, Badger were present as event sponsors and poured beer at the opening  day trade show. Against the malty-sweet warmth and plumy fruitines of Poacher’s Choice there was an offer of - the truly wonderful - Montgomery Cheddar. And in contrast to the ginger of Blandford Flyer, the creamy, Dorset Blue Vinny. 

Following talks on the current  status of beer blogging in Europe, a workshop on improving the standards of  online writing and technical tips for using digital platforms to share your  portfolio of work, attendees were treated to a ‘Night of International Beers’. A  handpicked selection of great brews from craft producers in Holland, Bulgaria,  Italy and beyond were accompanied by representatives from their respective countries.  The beers were served with great passion and enthusiasm, providing an insight  into brewing trends across the continent and giving a unique opportunity to ask questions of those that know the beers best.

Saturday started with a panel  session that focussed on the work of Mark Dredge, Zak Avery and Marverine Cole, highlighting the progression they’ve all made from online media to traditional  print and television. Paul Corbett the Managing Director of Charles Faram - the  UK’s leading supplier of hops and hop products - then took the stage to describe the current status of the UK hop industry, before keynote speaker and  head brewery at Sharp’s, Stuart Howe, gave a candid address on his love for  beer and blogging.

Finally, Sunday brought a later  start and an opportunity to sleep off the delicious feast laid on by Pilsner Urquell at Anthony Flinn’s restaurant the night before, followed by trips to Magic Rock Brewing and Rooster’s Brewing Co. in nearby Huddersfield and Knaresborough.

Our journey into the digital world continues apace, and with it comes an increasing reliance on the blog as a source of information. Blogs are independent, they’re real-time and  uncensored, they’re written by people that love their subject matter and  they’re looked to as a primary source of information by a growing number of us.

Blogs are important, and events like the European Beer Bloggers Conference allow us to focus on and celebrate that. This year’s conference in Leeds was a great success and sponsorship from  breweries like Badger will ensure that future conferences are too.