Beer bloggers by the dozen

I always seem to be apologising for leaving so long between posts, so I’m hoping to pick up some tips about how to blog more frequently when I attend the first-ever European Beer Bloggers Conference in London this weekend.

As well as trips to Fuller’s and The Camden Town Brewery the conference line up includes speakers, ranging from author and brewer Peter Haydon speaking on the History of Brewing in London to Martin Dickie from non-traditional brewery BrewDog on Shaking Up the Brewing Scene in Europe, as well as celebrated beer bloggers Pete Brown and Melissa Cole.

We’ve also been told it’ll be a hands – or mouths – on event with sessions on things such as Beer and Food Pairing and Identifying Flavours and Off Flavours in Beer. Then there’s the Live Beer Blogging session, in which eight breweries will pour for eight tables of bloggers in the manner of a breweries-beer writers speed dating event.

The conference looks set to be beneficial for beer bloggers and brewers alike, but there’s no doubt it’s an example of how seriously the power given to individual writers by the internet is being taken.

“The outstanding support of the brewing industry speaks volumes about the importance of bloggers in disseminating the word about good beers”, says Allan Wright of Zephyr Adventures, organisers of the conference.

He added, “There are now 989 Citizen Beer Bloggers throughout the world, according to the list on the conference website, and the beer industry has recognized these bloggers have a great ability to reach consumers.”

The London conference follows on the footsteps of an initial conference held in Boulder, Colorado last November and precedes a conference in Portland, Oregon in August. More information can be found at www.beerbloggersconference.org.

Although I’ve been tardy with my beer blogging it doesn’t mean I’ve not been tasting some marvellous ales and meeting some friendly brewers. I made a couple of trips to Dorset and met with Jon Hosking of Town Mill Brewery and John and Becky Whinnerah of Art Brew, as well as trying a few pints of their beers at the Lyme Regis Beer Festival. This was prompted by an article I was writing for Dorset magazine about golden summer ales created by the county’s brewers. As the piece won’t be in print till July I’ll have to hold off telling you more till then (and yes, make sure you buy a copy of the magazine).

But of the beers that I’ve tried over the past few weeks the one that keeps springing to mind is Orkney Brewery’s Corncrake Ale. This straw coloured beer had a lovely honey sweetness with a gently bitter, hoppy aftertaste. It seemed a perfect summer beer and I was sorry not to have an excuse to somehow work it into my Dorset mag piece. I’m hoping my local Wetherspoon’s will put this one on again over the summer – along with Dartmoor Brewery’s Friggins another delicious summery beer. I’ll let you know, but now I must assemble with my fellow beer bloggers and gather more ideas to blog about.

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