So this is following on from my previous posts re the European Beer Bloggers Conference, this one will cover the final day.
Day 2 was an early start, 10am was the first event. Dean McGuinness of Premier Beers was giving the talk and the state of the Irish Craft Beer sector. Knowing this was going to be a long day pre conference grub and fuel was provided by Ugly Duckling – Cheers Darragh for the awesome full irish! Just what was needed.
Dean talked us through his 10 Commandments and they made a lot of sense, but the Honesty one was the one that resonated. Just tell people whats in their beer.
It was a bit odd that when the subject being discussed was the Irish Beer Scene that we were sampling a couple of UK Beers, and a German Bock. I know this caused conversation to the side. Personally though it reflects the small amount of Dean’s portfolio that is actually Irish. Most of it is foreign. The beers themselves were tasty, even if we did peer pressure Simon into joining us at that time.
Next up was the meat and potatoes, Supercharging you’re Blog. This was the main reason I came. As a new blogger I wanted to learn some tips to improve my blog, and ultimately increase readership. Cindy from Zephyr tours gave the talk and it was fascinating to learn about the different things. A lot of these I will be implementing over the coming months.
So it was break time, and once again Pilsner Urquell provided the generous hospitality of lunch, we had the awesome Church staff cook up a great barbecue with more unfiltered Pilsner. I got to tap the keg myself, and so did Rossa. The quality checking was very important!
|Quality check of the pour with Vaclav Berka|
The generosity didn’t stop there, they had packs of can’s for us to take with us too. I was lucky enough that the marketing people let me take home an extra pack for a twitter raffle with a branded Pilsner Urquell glass. My only regret, I didn’t get a glass for myself!
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsAfter lunch we then had the guys from WordPress talking about their blog platform. I must say I was really impressed with the tips they also gave and they were extremely helpful, a migration to wordpress could be on the cards later in the year. We also had a fascinating chat with Tomasz from Poland who has frankly insane numbers of views for youtube. His main hint – don’t edit your videos, just get them up! Once these were done and dusted we had a beer reception from Beer Ireland showcasing yet again the great craft brews in this country. The Hurler by Four Provinces was the perfect beer for the clammy conditions in the Church.
Approaching the end of the events was a dinner sponsored by Franciscan Well, allowing our host venue to highlight again the quality of their food, with Irish produced matched to the Fran Well beers. My favourite beer of the night was the Jameson Barrel aged Stout, simply amazing. But the highlight was Shane Long’s talk, Shane is the Head Brewer and it was great to hear his passionate speech where he covered the move from independent brewer to being in the Molson Coors family. Shane is a massive influence in the Irish market and provides advice, help, and his time to brewers all over the country. I for one hope they heed his plea to break from the norm of pale ale, red, and stout. But the night wasn’t over yet. We had a final event of entertainment and beers from O’Haras. We got to try all of their core beers, but we also got to suggest a beer for them to make. I suggested a Gooseberry sour, but wouldn’t be hopeful it will be picked.
All in all this was a fantastic weekend, and I am grateful to the sponsors for stepping in to make sure this went ahead. A big thank you to Zephyr for organising this, and I can’t wait to see where it is in 2015.