European Beer Bloggers Conference 2012 #EBBC12

It’s been a barren couple of months on the blog front, weekdays have been incredibly busy, weeknights I can’t face the laptop again and weekends generally have been full of pleasant beery days out (on a happier note). However this weekend just past was a little different and I can’t let it go by without putting fingers to keys, it was the second European Beer Bloggers Conference!

Now before your finish those cries of “GEEK’, “How Exciting”, “BORING” or even a carefully hidden titter, I suggest you read on as things are perhaps a little “different” at our church of learning, we have beer and lashings of it for starters!

I should just say for those of you who have read several reports on the same subject already, I’m going to keep things brief and stick to a photo timeline of events with the odd comment thrown in, if that’s you, enjoy a trip back to memories of Leeds and a great weekend.

The festivities err learning experience commenced on Thursday night with a whistle stop tour of Leeds finest pubs and bars led by Leigh Linley. Starting at Mr Foleys we took in some of the lesser known pubs or at least to non Leodensians they were, The Cross Keys, Midnight Bell and the excellent hidden gem The Grove. (For anyone familiar with Stoke On Trent for The Grove think The Coachmakers, surrounded by modern high storey buildings.) The plan was to finish early for the night and be refreshed for the first EBBC session, this failed as we stumbled out of North Bar at 2AM after a rather interesting bottle session. The highlight of which was a Westvleteren 12 and St Bernardus 12 blend at the hand of Will aka Ghostdrinker

Friday morning and a hearty breakfast/lunch followed before it was time to register and join the sponsors for welcome drinks. The full afternoons itinerary is below, sparing you the content details all were good sessions which held listeners attention with lots of tips picked up across the afternoon.

Friday, May 18, 2012
12:30 PM        Registration and Trade Show
1:45 PM          Conference Officially Starts
2:00 PM         Blogging – Beer Blogging in Europe
3:00 PM         Blogging – Improving Your Beer Writing
4:00 PM         Technology – Blog Platforms and Website Design
5:20 PM         Comparative Beer and Glass Tasting with Spiegelau

Williams Bros stand which was the star of the show for me, a great selection on show including a rather potent new version of Fraoch 12 (YUM)

Moray Neame preparing herself for the arrival of the thirsty hordes…

Badger Ales and some rather delicious cheese pairings. The Cheddar and Poachers Ale worked wonderfully.

More cheese please?

A little something to help lubricate the learning muscles as the conference commenced..

When was the last time you saw a conference table like this?

The most interesting session of the afternoon was an interactive one led by German glass manufacturer Spielglau, this was held classroom style but with an interesting twist. We were presented with four different Spielglau glasses one each for Pilsner, Wheat Beer, Lager and a Goblet/Tulip style for strong ales etc. These sat on a place mat beside your bog standard pub pint classic. The idea was to try each of the supplied beers in a selection of glasses dependant on style to see if it improved said beer in any way on aroma, taste, presentation etc.

Preaching to the converted here my friends as I’m a bit of a glass freak and I firmly believe that a proper glass does all of the above. Definitely worth seeking these out for your stay at home drinkies, they feel lovely in the hand and really do enhance the beery pleasure.

Reminded me of language lab lessons from old school days, minus the beverages of course..

Spot the Ilkley Brewer?


And so endeth the afternoon of day one, more on the evenings events to follow.


Sweet Treats and Beer

For anyone lucky enough to be in the Leeds area on February 6th check this out. Local beer and food matching guru Leigh and beer writing aficionado Zac Avery have joined forces to run the first of a series of beer and food pairing events at BeerRitz, itself a beer lovers paradise. Check Zac or Leigh’s blog for details below:

Sweet Treats & Beer, Brooklyn Invasion and We All Love Beer And We All Love Beer

There is a reason for posting this apart from the fact that Leigh and Zac are both great guys AND you don’t really need a reason to visit Beerritz. I’d like to get a few events like this going in the Stoke/Cheshire areas and wanted to get a feel for the number of folks that would be interested?

It’s all because of the Magic (Rock)


I was lucky enough on Thursday night of last week, to be able to attend the Magic Rock Brewery launch at North Bar in Leeds. Hordes of happy punters flocked in on a school night to sample the magic at North Bar in terms of the tasty brews available and the circus sideshows that ran throughout the evening.

All the current range of Magic Rock beers were on sale, Curious (3.9% abv ), Rapture (4.6%abv,) Highwire (5.5%abv), Cannonball (Double IPA, 7.4%abv ) and Dark Arts (6%abv), the latter being the only dark beer on show. It’s really hard to pick a favourite as my taste buds kept changing their minds as the night wore on, in truth they were all great and I think I’ll have to settle for a draw between Rapture and Dark Arts. (Although I have ordered a mixed case to re-evaluate..)

I took no real notes to speak of on the night to be able to confidently review each beer but to be honest it was never my intention, the night was about enjoying the experience, meeting some fabulous friends old and new and sharing it with my Mrs.(box ticked,DONE)

If you want to read a bit more detail about the night, the beers and brewery check out the Magic RockLeighGoodStuff and Beerprole blogs, which all capture the event perfectly. From me, I couldn’t let the occasion pass without marking it on my blog so I’d just like to share a few photographs I took on the night which hopefully capture some of that magical atmosphere.

The start of a quiet night..NOT!

The beer wall…

The Master of Ceremonies at work…

Viewing space is at a premium…

As the Anne Summers display team roll into town..

Beer banter in full flow, plenty of Rapture on show here methinks?

MrFrosty trying to make his Dark Arts disappear!

A classic in the making..

A late night nightcap at Mr Foleys on the way home. I blame this one for my later losing my hotel..

Thanks again for a great night guys, CHEERS!