Thoughts on EBBC 2014 in Dublin

This year’s European Beer Bloggers Conference is coming to Dublin – good.

I mean that. It’s great that one of Europe’s up-and-coming beer cities has drawn in an increasingly popular and high profile (well, on my Twitter feed, at least) event. I’m proud of what my adopted home city has to offer in terms of a beer scene, so naturally I was delighted that EBBC 2014 is coming to town.

However, I’ve had a bit of a look at what’s on the menu for this two-day event. It turns out that rather than being the local-beer-talent-boosting event I hoped for, what we’ll be seeing in late June will be a good auld bit of corporate back-slapping and knacker-tickling.

Rather than whinging indiscriminately for pages and pages, I’ll make my gripes about this event brief:

Main Event Sponsor One:

Diageo. 

“Hosts Guinness & Smithwicks are delighted to welcome the European Beer Bloggers Conference to St James’s Gate in Dublin for an evening of beer discovery, tasting and dinner. Here you will uncover the craft of making the Iconic Irish Stout, Guinness and Superior Irish Ale, Smithwicks.”

Ah, those lovely lads and lasses at the bastion of quality Irish brewing are hosting the beer lovers.

The same lovely lads and lasses who pay to do this:

Picture kindly taken from @whiskeyireland after last year's Arthur's Day

Picture kindly taken from @whiskeyireland after last year’s Arthur’s Day

Every year on their Marketing Orgasm Day (sorry, Arthur’s Day) when they literally decide to kill off the independent competition.

Main Event Sponsor Two:

Molson Coors.

Now, these Canadian monoliths do have some kind of place at the Irish Beer Table (whether we like it or not) after having purchased Cork’s Franciscan Well Brewery back at the end of 2012.

However, the fact that the “Beer Dinner’ they’re providing on the second night doesn’t just focus on their Irish beer portfolio (which is, to be fair, pretty good), but instead includes both Sharps (UK) and Blue Moon (errm?!) rankles with me a bit.

Bringing people to Ireland, a country with a blossoming but tiny beer scene, and giving them imported gear purely to promote the parent brand (Molson Coors’ wonderfully named “Craft Collection”) seems, well, shitty.

I understand that events like these require sponsorship, but how much bloody sponsorship in all fairness? Attendees each pay around a hundred quid, which surely must go some way to renting out an area of a bar (that, for the record, does pretty economical room rental) for a couple of days.

There will doubtlessly be highlights: a pub tour with Reuben, the actual content (hopefully), and an afterparty hosted by true Irish indie brewing stalwarts, Carlow. I’m looking forward to getting Europe’s bloggers across to see what Dublin’s all about; but, unfortunately, the above reasons mean I’m not going to be in attendance.

 

 

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About beermack

Tech is the day job, but beer's the first love. Clean and hoppy wins the race. Great to have lived in Dublin through the Irish decent beer revolution, now back in the UK plying my trade in the Big Smoke.
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7 Responses to Thoughts on EBBC 2014 in Dublin

  1. simonbroderick says:

    I am thinking about going but I also have my doubts since hearing about the sponsors yesterday… I’m hoping (perhaps vainly) that the good will outweigh the bad..

  2. If it wasn’t for those sponsors there probably wouldn’t be a beer bloggers conference in the first place.

  3. Beermack sorry to hear that the list of sponsors is deterring you from registering for EBBC. You are correct in that an event like this requires sponsorship .Without the support from bigger beer, there would be no beer bloggers conference, and the independent craft beer scene of Dublin/Ireland would not get the weekend spotlight that it will receive in June. A unique event like the EBBC can only succeed by everyone working together as a community.
    It seems like you may have missed a significant detail about the Molson Coors sponsorship… Their sponsorship is in the form of attendee stipends — meaning that they are refunding the first 60 citizen beer blogger their registration fee (€95 equivalent). You may not like that point either, but it at least allows beer bloggers who do want the opportunity to come to Dublin for the weekend a bit of a financial break.

    • beermack says:

      Hi Cindy, cheers for reading and getting back to me! As posted, I
      completely understand the requirement for financial sponsorship – I’m just disappointed in the choice of Sponsors. My gripe RE MolsonCoors doesn’t revolve around the stipend, but rather their insistence on bringing their import brands to the second night’s beer dinner, rather than solely focusing on their one and only Irish brand. I’ve no doubt it’ll be a success and everyone will love the city (the beer scene is really hotting up here), but – for many of the local indie brewing crowd at least – I’d say that alternative sponsors would’ve been preferable.

  4. Maybe there’s room for an Independent Beer Dinner one of the nights? I am signed up but I won’t be going to either of the dinners. Not out of ingratitude, I do understand that these things require sponsorship but mainly because there won’t be any exposure to the Independent Irish Craft scene, which is the purpose behind my App/blog.

  5. Pingback: Who’d go to EBBC Dublin? | Craig Heap

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