Beer Blogging in Europe

Panelists include Pelle Stridh in Sweden, Ludmil Fotev from Bulgaria and Jan Menken from Bier & Trein in The Netherlands.

Jan started off beer tasting with Heineken and now 20 years on is still on a beer tasting journey. Ludmil blogs about beer culture and how the younger well traveled adults are experiencing different tastes from other countries and bringing those flavours home with them. Pelle is the chairman of the SOF as well as a beer writer, resurant owner amongst other things.

5 members of the SOF out of 30 members are here at the conference who have travelled from Sweden. All about beer is his website and they run their own beer festival with over 20 different breweries.

Pelle: What is the beer bloggers position in your country?

Jan: Most who write a beer blog are also active in another beer related activities.

Ludmil: most regions are wine producers rather than beer brewers/drinkers. Most breweries are owned by major beer companies. Marketing and labels are often shared between breweries which are owned by the big breweries. Wasn't a great range of different beers but now due to foreign tourists, microbreweries are starting to crop up. Bulgarian Beer Church & , are sites where they communicate with other members of the online beer community.

Ludmil: Are your blogs helping in the development in the microbreweries and the growth of craft ale?

Pelle: In the 80s there were 35 different beers available, 33 were Swedish with 32 being owned by major breweries. Now they have over 700 different beers produced from 50-60 breweries. The interest in drinking craft beer is growing, they used to ask for "a big strong" meaning the strongest, cheapest beer - luckily this is reducing.

BeerBeauty: What is the relationship that you hold with the breweries?

Jan: Will often be offered tastes of new beer as he is known on the scene as a beer judge. You can have some influence on where the brewery is going.

Ludmil: Sees the wine drinker and the beer drinker as cousins, each can appreciate the others drink.

Pelle: most small craft brewery in Sweden have a close relationship with beer bloggers, more so than the traditional beer writer. Most breweries will listen to what the bloggers have to say and will try to correct any issues.

How much influence does the English language blogs have in your countries?

Pelle: Probably all of the beer bloggers will be reading uk and USA beer bloggers although only one Swedish blogger writes in English.

Ludmil: They read about the breweries and current beer news rather than reading the reviews of beers that they won't be able to get hold of.

Jan: Reading the English language blogs is not a problem, and most will use uk and USA blogs to see what is going on. They often overlook the German blogs which is a shame as they are trying lots of new styles.

How to engage with the public about beer?

Jan: Been writing about German beer for a while which is underrepresented in Swedish beer blogs. He finds that the US beers have been the primary focus but that more attention should be paid to the English and German beers.

Pelle: A good way to get people interested in good beer is to go through food. People are not starting to ask for the beer list in fine restaurants rather than asking for the wine list.

RealAleToday: Where do you see YouTube?

Pelle: More for the geekier side of craft beer rather than the mainstream.

1 comment:

Kavey said...

Fecking fast work!

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