Words & Photos - Matthew Curtis
The 27th and 28th of June will see the fourth annual European Beer Bloggers Conference, which this year is taking place in Dublin, Ireland. A quick look at this years registered list of attendees shows me that, disappointingly there are currently less than half as many people attending this years conference than there were at last years fantastic event in Edinburgh.
I can understand that travel and hotel costs as well as the 95.00 Euro (refundable) fee to attend the conference might make this tough for some to get to but I want to take an opportunity to try and convince as many of my fellow bloggers to attend as possible. Last years conference was a total hoot, I made a lot of new friends, ate some fantastic food and drank a metric shit-ton of beer. Importantly the conference seminars were incredibly useful and I came away from Edinburgh feeling both enthused and refreshed. Then, using the knowledge I'd gleaned I went on to double the number of hits my blog was getting over the past twelve months. It's an incredible opportunity to meet and befriend like minded people who you may already talk to regularly via channels such as Twitter but that's not the same as getting shitfaced with them in a great pub in an unfamiliar town, that builds a special kind of camaraderie.
Some of you may be put off by the fact that this event is sponsored by two of brewing's corporate giants, Guinness and Molson Coors but I say to you; put your prejudices to one side, give them a chance to show you what they do and afterwards if you're still not convinced, use your blog and the knowledge gained to educate and inform your readers. I, for one am incredibly excited about having dinner in St. James' Gate, I'm not a Guinness drinker but this is a brewery steeped with history and to have a dinner there should be an unforgettable experience.
This years Beer Bloggers Conference promises to be a festival of great beer, good food, informative, useful content and new friends. I had my doubts about attending too but when I sat and thought about last years event I decided I had to be there. If you register before the 31st of March then you pay a discounted registration fee of 95.00 Euro which is refunded when you get there* (* The refunds are first come first served, by my calculation there are about 30 stipends left). You are required to write two blog posts about the conference but the organisers haven't stated a required length or subject for these posts so even a photo of me unconscious after having fallen into a maturation tank full of Guinness would probably suffice for one of those. Plus you get to take part in one of my favourite events, a live blogging session which is a special kind of frantic fun.
I'll say this again, do not let your opinions of the event sponsors prevent you from experiencing what should be a fantastic weekend. If I have changed your mind then check out this post for advice on hotels and travel from local Reuben Grey and be sure to take an empty suitcase with you as attendees are lavished with plenty of samples to take home and review. I look forward to seeing you there!
Please note neither the event organisers or the sponsors put me up to this, I am simply expressing my genuine opinion. Come!