This weekend we attended the First European Beerbloggers Conference in London. A conference especially for people who like to voice their opinion on beer on the internet. That would be us of course. And with us the top of the beerblogging bill.
So how was it? It wat absolutely great. We were treated like gods of the beerblogosphere. Free beer everywhere. You could drink it, take it or even brush your teeth with it, anything that tickled your fancy. And then there were the workshops, no expense was to much.
Brouwers buitelden over elkaar heen om het ons naar de zin te maken. Niks was onmogelijk.
Brewers were fighting to catch our attention. Nothing was impossible.
“Oh, you would like another beer? But of course sir”
“No really, please take this free goodie bag with you”
“I insist that you don’t leave this brewery without a jerrycan ful of six year old real ale. Oh one question? How big do you want the jerry can?”
“The next bar is to far to walk, there are complementary taxis waiting for you”
“Food? Oh there it comes now sir”
“Unfiltered Budvar? We have flown in with a barrel from Plzen”
We reden naar huis met een klotsende, afgeladen redactiewagen. Er kon werkelijk niks meer bij.
The bestetotnutoe company car was filled to the brim with goodies, beer and two very happy beerbloggers. Nothing, but then we mean absolutely nothing else would fit into the car.
On the boat back we were talking about the absolutely brilliant weekend. Three days of beer extravaganza, and almost all of it paid for by large English and international breweries. Absolutely amazing. But why? Are we that important? Is it a brewery PR stunt? Do these breweries really care that much about the common beerdrinker?
Hey we’re no idiots. Any third rate marketeer knows that the best way to influence people is by influencing the influencers. Breweries know this and that’s why they were there with the money, the beer, the food and the goodies. But hey, we are Dutch. We take the free stuff and run. We don’t let that influence us.
But almost all other bloggers there were British. And in England beerblogging is serious business. The whole beerculture is serious business. The regular guy or girl in the street takes its beer more serious than their Dutch counterpart does.
And English Beerbloggers are überserious about their beer. In the Netherlands the number of beerblogs are down to an absolute minimum. In England there are probably dozens, maybe even hundreds of blogs. Some of them have some serious power and influence. A few even make a few quid writing about beer.
Right, let’s get to the point. Beer is much more important in Britain than it is in the Netherlands. But the bloggers are not employed by the breweries. They are clever people who can write whatever they want. These people are serious bloggers who will tell the public what to drink and what not to drink.
Well actually…… no. Apperantly they are influenced by breweries, big and small. A lot of bloggers get free beer sent to them by the beer barons . They hope to get a good review so the beer drinkers will buy their beer. Nothing wrong with that, other than the fact that many bloggers will only give their opinion if they like the beer. If they don’t like the beer they will nog give a poor review, they give no review at all. They just keep their mouths shut.
Let’s be clear about one thing! Bloggers do not keep their mouths shut. You are a blogger, let the world know what you think, what you feel, the good, bad and ugly. Do you like it? Shout it out. You don’t like it? Shout just as hard.
If you’re afraid of losing the free beer then go work for a brewery. Your opinion is only relevant if you stay critical.