So, European Beer Bloggers Conference, is now called Beer Now

So, European Beer Bloggers Conference, is now called Beer Now

“The king is dead, long live the king!”

Now that i’ve had a few weeks to digest the announcement at the conclusion of this years European Beer Bloggers Conference in Amsterdam, that it was to be the last instalment of EBBC as it had become affectionately known. It is to be replaced by a new conference from March 2017, in Sheffield, UK, called Beer Now. I am going to offer some of my own thoughts.

Having come to the EBBC Alumni later than some, attending my first when it was hosted in Dublin, in 2014, we were very excited by the event in Brussels last year, and then this year in Amsterdam. Other host cities have been Leeds, Edinburgh and London. I was beginning to enjoy the camaraderie and experiences of visiting other beer cultures with guided local expertise.

I’ve been lucky enough to speak at EBBC 2015, and EBBC 2016 in the popular blogger reports section

Now, to be fair to Zephyr, the Euro conferences were always on the lower end of the scale attendance wise, this year was no different. However I do think there was a number of factors that triggered lower attendance this year, namely a delay in announcing a venue, and a change of the date from the traditional August UK Bank Holiday weekend.

Zephyr themselves have posted a very rational explanation behind the decision which you can read here . In fact attendance numbers have been static, while our US colleagues event has grown year on year.

There is however a concern for me, in that by allying to SIBA, we will be missing out on some of the diversification that we’ve been lucky to experience while going around Europe. The 2017 event will be tied to SIBA X which is a festival of promoting the best of the Independent brewing scene in the UK, but I wonder will there be any international flavour to this?

Travelling to Sheffield for the 2017 conference, is not a problem for us, but it might be for our continental alumni, and while we know it’s in Sheffield next year, SIBA X could move, to London if the size of the event continues to grow for example, but will it be enough to get people from the mainland over? It was indicated in the announcement that it was going to be an ongoing link to SIBA X, I guess we will just have to see how this plays out.

I see that part of the strategy is to involve more Beer marketing types, tourism boards etc, and not just the writers. This could be quite interesting if it leads to some meaningful collaborations and opportunities for the writers who are there. I do fear unless those beer marketing types are coming from a wide range of countries, and regions, that there will be an unintended bias toward those who are based in the UK.

While there will probably be a few segments in the first two days agenda i’d be really interested in, the main beer writing portion has been allocated the Sunday morning slot, for 3 or so hours. Which seems like a bad time to me, particularly the morning after the night before. Although I’m glad to see that they’ve kept the Live Beer Blogging segment which as always is a lot of fun.

As with many things, I’m going to go, and try it on for size and see if it works for me. I’m not one to dismiss things out of hand. I hope that my concerns turn out to be unfounded, and that the conference is a success, both for the organisers, and the attendees.

A selection of snaps from our trip to Bodegraven, to visit De Molen, something which was a highlight of EBBC 16 for Janice & I

Into the breach – European Beer Bloggers Conference Dublin 2014

So as many of my regular readers will know I started this blog last year and have slowly and steadily built up a readership averaging between 2500 and 3000 readers per month.

This blog has got me to some great things such as media access to the fantastic Alltech Brews and Food festival in Dublin last February. I’ve made strong connections with several brewers and feel a firm part of the Irish craft beer scene.

So it is with a sense of excitement I’m going into next weeks European Beer Bloggers Conference in Dublin. I’m excited for a number of reasons but mainly as it’s a fantastic opportunity to network and learn from peers who have been where I have been and have grown into hugely respected blogs with multiples of my readership.

I’m also really looking forward to the local brewers showcasing their talents as its not often seen outside Ireland and that its our duty as bloggers to spread the good word of the blossoming Irish Craft Beer Scene.

Some of the talks that are scheduled I’m hoping to pick up things that will help me to become a better blogger.  But most of all this is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

The evening sessions will no doubt be great fun too as I always say beer is a social lubricant.

No doubt myself and Ian of podcast fame will be getting up to no good somewhere. For those of you interested we are hoping to have a Google hangout pre event at the Brewdock on Amiens St, at 4ish on the Thursday for any of you who are getting into Dublin early.

Like minded individuals in an environment that will be no doubt relaxed having a few jars. This is gonna be special.

All kicking off next Thursday with the pub crawl organised by Reuben Gray ( to attendees and organisers I look forward to sharing a pint with you at some stage over the few days.