We are pleased to announce that Stuart Howe, Head Brewer at Sharp’s Brewery, will provide the keynote address at the 2012 European Beer Bloggers Conference.
The thing we find perhaps most appealing about Stuart is that he has lived his dream, as many beer bloggers are doing or hope to do in the beer industry. Stuart followed his passion for beer and changed from a career in engineering to life as a brewer by completing a Brewing and Distilling honours degree at Heriot-Watt University.
After a number of years spent with McMullen and Sons, W.H.Brakspear and Sons, and Scottish and Newcastle’s Berkshire Brewery, Stuart moved to Sharp’s Brewery in 2002. In 2007 Stuart was runner up in the Institute of Brewing and Distilling International Young Brewer of the Year. In 2008 Stuart designed and project managed a £2M expansion of Sharp’s brewery, expanding production from 10,000 to 135,000 brewer’s barrels per year. He has spoken at a number of business events on environmental management and Sharp’s successes in greening its brewing operations.
In 2010 Stuart brewed 52 experimental brews in a year. Stuart’s beers brewed at Brakspear’s and Sharp’s have been awarded more than one hundred national and international awards for quality and excellence. In 2011 Stuart was named as the All Parliamentary Beer Group Brewer of the Year.
That is the official resume. What is more pertinent to our audience is that Stuart authored a beer blog, Real Brewing at the Sharp End, which he started on October 22, 2009 with the following 42-word post:
This is it. The first post in my new blog. I’ve got to be up in five hours so it’s a quick one. I am embarking on an exciting journey in which my very soul will be open for all to browse.
Unfortunately for the world of beer blogging, 274 posts later, on January 13th of this year, Stuart posted his final article, saying “The demands, pressures and constraints of my life are at present such that my blog cannot be all I want it to be.”
So we have a Brewer of the Year, an engineer turned beer industry insider, an environmentalist, an experimental brewer, and a blogger who faced the same real-life constraints as all of you, all wrapped up into one keynote speaker. We hope you like the choice.