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Tuesday 13 August 2013

European Beer Bloggers Conference - A month on

It has been nearly a month since Edinburgh glistened in the sun for the European Beer Bloggers Conference. I haven't written since then because I wanted to let the allure of the conference wear off a little before I talked about how great it all was (and I have been pretty busy).

I always worry slightly that blogging immediately after these events, or even during them, can lead to long rambling posts about how great everything was; usually without thinking about who the intended audience is. After all it would be silly of me to post something littered with references which only people who were there would get. So I have decided to pick the highlights from my perspective, both beer and events.

 The greatest event for me at this years conference was the keynote speech by Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery. Mr Oliver, who gained some notoriety for his boating hat during the weekend, delivered an inspiring but yet honest and at some points blunt speech about his involvement in craft beer. The general gist is that we are all in this together, craft beer is open to interpretation and we should stop fighting about creating a definition, and that he has had an amazing career from music to beer. I had the pleasure of chatting to Garrett during the Pilsner Urquell dinner at Edinburgh City Council Chambers and it was a pleasure to speak to someone so inspiring and totally down to earth about how great beer is.

That same night we were taken to the new Stewart Brewery at Loanhead. It was great to see another brewery expansion in the flesh (or stainless) and meet the Natural Selection Brewing team too. The hospitality that all from Stewart's showed us was great and the beer was all in great condition. Hat's off to a brewery which mainly focusses on the Edinburgh cask market for letting all of us reprobates into the new facility to have a nose around. Was great to taste a lot of the newer keg offerings too.

There were many sessions at the conference which I have not forgotten about but find they help me with my writing more than they will be of interest to you, the reader. The talks on Scottish brewing history, barrel ageing and becoming a beer sommelier have influenced some ideas for future blog posts; whilst Susana Forbes gave some great tips which will influence my writing in the future.

 For me the conference ended with the Williams Brothers and Fyne dinner, which was very good indeed (minus the cranachan, which could have given a small horse a heart attack). Some lucky bloggers went to Traquair the next day, but I don't think I could have faced the journey.

The beer highlights for me were : Toccalmatto Russian Imperial Stout (shared with Chris and Baron) , Williams/Stillwater Stravaigin, Birra Toccalmatto Surfing Hop and Ilkley Siberia Speyside Edition

 All in all I would like to thank all those who made the conference happen, including the sponsors, venues and organisers. Thanks also to all those bloggers who made sure I had a great time and never stopped laughing all weekend. The conference has provided me with plenty of inspiration for the months ahead and hopefully now that my University experience is finally over I will have the time to post much more often.

 For those looking for more regular updates make sure to follow me on Twitter!


  1. Good to meet you at EBBC13 and glad to see you remembered a bit from the weekend! Cheers, Cindy

  2. Nice point about writing immediately after an event like this; I had this same feeling this year with some big local event in which I took part. I hope to be able to make it someday to the EBBC, looks like you all had quality time together. Cheers from Barcelona.

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