#EBBC14: A Loose Plan

Nixon-Gesture.-Craft

Later today I embark on my trip to Dublin, where I’ll be attending the European Beer Bloggers Conference. There’s more on this at their website and I blogged about it last year here, here and here. Essentially it does what it says on the craft can – it’s a conference aimed at beer writers and bloggers who are keen to sharpen their tools, learn new tricks, network with other bloggers and industry types and, of course, enjoy a few light ales.EBBC14-Conf-Badge1

Last year it took place in Edinburgh and this year it’s being held in Dublin; now both of these are key cities in the Celtic Nations, and ones I look to keenly in terms of how Cardiff is shaping up as a beer city. Edinburgh was fascinating to drink in, a brilliant blend of history (Wee Heavy beer, snugs and their unique beer dispense based on air pressure, if I remember rightly), alongside the modern craft scene, which itself was crowned by the Hanging Bat, one of those truly iconic bars of our time.

What will Dublin hold? It’s obviously the home of Guinness, so it’s well and truly earned its beer stripes, but I want to see past that and find out what else it has. My journey into the heart of Dublin will begin on Thursday afternoon with that there notorious Craft Wanker Chris Hall, where we’ll find other like-minded craft wankers for a pre-crawl pub crawl, then join up with the Main Pub Crawl later in the evening.

Friday and Saturday are dedicated to the conference, then Sunday I return gradually to Cardiff via London. Last year the constant rhythm of drinking and sweating (Edinburgh was so hot they nearly declared a national emergency) left me a trembling, rambling mess by the Sunday so, when I was faced with the regimented bureaucracy of airport check-in, I essentially broke down and cried until they took pity on me and waved me past every queue like I was a visiting dignitary. Craft tip for you there if you’re also flying back from Dublin this week, or indeed flying from anywhere…

The strategy by which I’ll keep track of the weekend is a simple one: create a rolling barrage of bite-sized updates on Untappd and Twitter from which I can later construct a coherent narrative, but we all know even a plan that simple will fall apart after the first beer goes down. As usual, I’ll be left to rely on beer-stained scrawlings written on the back of a beer mat from which to piece together my shattered narrative. It’s really the only way to do it though.

See you on the other side.

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