Well, the 2013 European Beer Bloggers Conference seemed to end nearly as soon as it began this past week in Edinburgh, Scotland. What began with a pub crawl on Thursday evening ended with a brewers dinner at the Ghillie Dhu co-hosted by Fyne Ales & Williams Bros. Brewing Co. And there was oh so much more in between!
Below are just some of the highlights from the #EBBC13 weekend and some of the top tweets we saw fly through our stream. If you were in attendance this past weekend and have posted a blog post, please link to it in the comments below.
Thursday’s Edinburgh Pub Crawl
About 20 #EBBC13 attendees meandered in and out of some of Edinburgh’s finest drinking establishments on Thursday evening enjoying a wide variety of cask ales, regional beer, and other libations. The first stop was the Bow Bar, and subsequently followed by stops at Holyrood 9A, BrewDog, and The Hanging Bat. Each stop was unique with a wide variety of cask ales offered.
Here’s a great post on the pre-conference excursion pub crawl from Billy’s Booze Blog:
— Billy’s Booze Blog (@BillysBoozeBlog) July 12, 2013
Friday: EBBC13 Day 1 Highlights
First on the agenda was a tasting and trade show from conference sponsors. Attendees got to meet with WordPress.com and taste a wide assortment of international beers, which was a great way to get things started. Breweries in participation were Shepherd Neame, Badger Ales, Williams Bros. Brewing Co., Fyne Ales and Birra Toccalmatto.
— Jonny McFarlane (@Jonnyrmcfarlane) July 12, 2013
Brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, Garrett Oliver, opened the conference and delivered a fun, motivating, and yet challenging keynote address to the EBBC group by proposing that beer bloggers had an obligation to make beer sound “delicious” to their readers.
— The Badger (@Badgerales) July 12, 2013
Interested in listening to the full keynote address?
And there was a buzz in the room about more than just Garrett Oliver’s hat; a few beer bloggers in attendance were about to embark on a journey to live-beer-blog the entire conference…
Pint at Night’s Live Beer Blog ended up being a great reference for the many people not in attendance to be able to keep tabs on the conference and stay up to date with the content and its going ons; it was a huge success.
We also had two great afternoon sessions on friday after Mr. Oliver’s Keynote address; there was a very informative session on the “History of Scottish Beer” presented by John Martin and a provocative session about “Whiskey Barrel aged Beers” presented by Stuart Cail of Harviestoun Brewery.
Dinner on Friday was hosted by good friends and supporters of #EBBC13, Pilsner Urquell at the beautiful Edinburgh City Chambers. It was such a treat to have Masterbrewer, Václav Berka, to be our host this evening. He not only brought enough Pilsner Urquell for a small army, but he also brought two special casks of unfiltered Pilsner Urquell to share with the bloggers. Dinner was amazing, delicious, and we all had a wonderful time.
Friday night’s after party was hosted by Stewart Brewing, and it was tons of fun. We all boarded a few passenger coaches and headed out of town to the new Stewart Brewing facility about 20 minutes away from city center. Beer bloggers got to enjoy an assortment of Stewart Brewing selections and tour the new facility. It was an evening where everyone relaxed, chatted, and got to enjoy good beer and good company.
Saturday: EBBC13 Day 2 Highlights
Saturday was a busy day with a full agenda that started promptly at 10am. The opening session brought beer bloggers together in a panel discussion, “Beer Blogging Around the Globe”. Our moderator, Reuben Gray of Tale of Ale, kept the discussion lively, and the topics covered ranged from laws governing beer blogging to social media practices.
Up next was “Drinks Writing: When Every Word Counts” presented by Susana Forbes of Drinks Britain. She had a hot list of tips for beer bloggers on how to effectively improve the quality of blog writing, and she generously relied upon peer examples to showcase good content. It was a nice touch.
After a lunch break, we enjoyed a very informative talk from BrewDog‘s own Sarah Warman on how and why the brewery uses various social media platforms. According to Sarah, it all comes down to Customer Service. There was a lot of info packed into this hour, and there were a lot of take aways for a beer blogger on how to engage an audience, build an audience, and how to manage time online.
A much anticipated session on Saturday was one by Sophie Atherton on “Becoming a Beer Sommelier”. Sophie not only walked us all through the various steps (and costs) associated with becoming a sommelier, but also gave the audience compelling reasons why it should be considered. She also shared an interesting exercise of beer and food pairing with the group that highlighted the fact that the art of pairing is full of ambiguity!
Last on the agenda for content was a discussion on the State of Beer Blogging itself. Zephyr Adventures surveyed beer bloggers in the spring of 2013 and presented its findings at the conference with a few key insights. The 2013 State of Beer Blogging showed that a majority blog out of passion, which was a refreshing reassurance as to why we all gathered this weekend.
One of our last official events of the weekend was Live Beer Blogging! One of the most popular events of the conference, this year’s Live Beer Blogging event brought 9 breweries and their beer face-to-face with a room full of beer bloggers. There was live blogging, massive amounts of tweeting, and lots of fast-paced tasting and discussion.
— The Ormskirk Baron (@baron_orm) July 13, 2013
Last, but not least, was a wonderful conclusion to a great weekend; dinner was hosted at the Ghillie Dhu by both Williams Bros. Brewery & Fyne Ales. We were served traditional Scottish food, with both traditional and eclectic/experimental brews. The room was buzzing, the beers were being loved, and it was bittersweet to see the event end.
— Sophie Atherton (@SophWrites) July 13, 2013
Sunday Post-Conference Traquair Excursion
In conclusion, 15 of our bloggers were lucky enough to spend Sunday touring and tasting at Traquair House outside of Edinburgh. It was a wonderful end to #EBBC13, and now everyone is home recovering and posting their weekend updates!
— Robert Gale (@awv) July 14, 2013
Thank you to all bloggers who joined us this weekend!
In the week between 8 July 2013 and 15 July 2013, a total of 216 contributors to the #EBBC13 hashtag generated 1,683 tweets and reached 3.09 million timelines. You participation in #EBBC13 means that you were a part of spreading the message of real ale, craft beer, and that you took part in an exercise to spread the word that beer is “delicious”. Congratulations, and we hope to see you in 2014!