Attending the European Beer Bloggers Conference this year filled me with excellent beer and information. Well, mostly beer.
As covered in my past posts and on the unofficial Live Blog, it was a wide-ranging event that covered a lot of topics, each resulting in a lot of discussion. As bloggers and beer drinkers, what did we learn from this raucous, information-packed weekend of beer?
I learned that:
- Edinburgh has interesting and unusual beer taps. Whether they’re the tall, brass examples with horizontally-twisting tap handles, shining chrome arrays of sleek modern taps, or wooden handpulls carved into the shape of bats, this city has some excellent species of beer dispense.
- We must learn to laugh at ourselves, or everyone else will. “Was this contract brewed? I think I can smell the contract…”
- “Beer is people.” Not tanks or pipes or ingredients, but the people who make it.
- Garrett Oliver once took The Ramones bowling. Wow.
- The people at Stewart Brewing are Good People… who will let you wander around their brewery, manhandle sacks of hops, and shove your face into open fermenting vessels. They even collaborate with Herriot & Watt brewing graduates.
- Garrett Oliver’s hat is almost as much of a star as he is.
- In America, there are some crazy new laws about blogging, meaning compulsory disclosures of anything you have been gifted, or you may end up in court!
- Nobody could agree on the best beer and food matches, and after lengthy discussion, we decided that nobody necessarily should agree, either. The job of Beer Sommeliers, Cicerones, or whatever we choose to become, should be to guide, not instruct.
- There’s a shortage of wood to age beer in. Beer could change to reflect that, too. If the amount of aged whisky barrels runs out, we could see new beer styles being used for less used barrels like wine, tequila or cognac.
- We should think about whether we write what we want to write, or what our audience want to read.
- You should always have a face that people can click on. At least, if you want your articles to more read if they appear in Google searches.
- BrewDog have social media nailed down to the ground, and we can all use it to our advantage.
- We are divided in our motives. Whilst some wish to make a living from their writing, others are perfectly happy to blog for the love of blogging. In Europe at least, we are still mainly what the US would call ‘citizen beer bloggers’.
- A beer aged in a 40 year old sherry cask that last contained a 30 year old Highland Park whisky tastes as good as you’d think it would, especially when its made by Harviestoun.
- Fraoch is best enjoyed with haggis. The floral, spicy notes of the heather ale blend so neatly and excitingly with the richly seasoned, savoury flavour of haggis that you will swear they were made for each other.
- Finally, there is a bright, shiny future full of people writing excellent things about excellent beer.
What things did you learn from EBBC13?