This years conference had a great attendance and it was great to catch up with other bloggers and people from the industry (more on this later). Leeds is a great city for beer and this would still have been the case even if the conference wasn't in town. Mr Foleys, North Bar and The Grove in Huddersfield are a must do if you are in the area. Its taken me so long to write this post because I went straight into exam period after the conference. In fact I left Leeds at 7pm on the Sunday and was in an exam hall at 9am the very next day, and I still passed!
We tasted glass with Spiegelau
Firstly I must say a big thanks to Zephyr Adventures, the company who organise the event, and also to MolsonCoors and Pilsner Urquell, whom without this event would cost a bomb to attend. One of the things that came up most often at the conference was the idea of ethics and writing. I have always believed that this is important and I always declare when I have received free samples. I should make it clear then that MolsonCoors did pay for my attendance but I feel that both my readers and I, as the writer, are adult enough to see that this has minimal influence on my writing here on the blog.
Another theme was referencing other bloggers in our work. I agree with many that this should be kept to a minimum as it risks alienating readers who are here because they want to know what I think about beer and not what Tandleman did at the conference. I am going to heed this in future and engage with other bloggers via their own blogs but not turn this blog into a giant 'circle jerk'.
My favourite event by far was the Comparative tasting with the glass company Spiegelau. We had five glasses and four beers- you get the idea. We had 4 Spiegelau glasses which a stunningly thin and so light- Tall Pilsner, Wheat Beer, Lager and Tulip and then the usual thicker glass you would find down the pub. The four beers were Camden Wheat, Krombacher, Lotus IPA and Stout Mary (both the later from Ilkey Brewery). This event cemented in my mind that good glassware is as important as most factors. I know have quite a hatred of standard pint glasses. If you havent tried it already try pouring your favourite beer into different glasses tonight and smell, look and taste the beers; you will be surprised.
I will be writing about the Magic Rock trip in the next couple of days but I have a graduation ceremony to get ready for soon. Over and out for now.