Looking forward to trying these #BeerNow17 ales

I was at the beer bloggers conference last weekend, which was rebadged the Beer Now conference. I had a great time meeting brewers, beer bloggers and tweeters as well as trying a load of new beers. As always I went collecting samples for review, here are the bottles that will be receiving the 'baron rating' treatment over the coming weeks:

  • Abbeydale Heathen - 4.1% pale ale, wonderfully refreshing American-style pale ale showcasing the marvellous Mosaic hop. Light and sessionable, bursting with tropical fruit flavours and a pleasant citrus bitterness
  • Hardknott Long Drop - 4.8% exhilarating session IPA, great flavours, mouthfeel and huge satisfaction
  • Hardknott Rheged Fjall - 4.5% pale ale
  • Ilkley Alpha Beta - 4.5% rye session IPA, distinctive American hop character. Body and depth from the rye. A little beer that's big and bold
  • Lost Industry Black Licorice Gose - 3.9%
  • Lost Industry Serie Saison Le Pays Noir - 7.3% dry-hopped black saison

  • Sharp's Cornish Pilsner - 5.2% bottle conditioned pilsner, fermented with Czech yeast then lagered on a bed of Saaz hops to create stunning, zesty herbal notes and a delicious clean, citrus flavour
  • Twisted Barrel I was made for lovin' - 8% imperial stout
  • Twisted Barrel It's Aliiive!! - 6.3% hazy IPA
  • Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon - 5.8% lime and chipotle saison

Look out for 'baron ratings' of these beers soon, and a big thank you to all the breweries for handing them over to me!

Live beer blogging: Ilkley Lotus

Ilkley Lotus 5.9% IPA copper coloured ale, thick musky hoppy resinous aroma, tropical grapefruit piney bitter taste, dry bitter piney finish

Live beer blogging: Sentinel RRG

Sentinel RRG 3.4% rhubarb raspberry gose. Cloudy gold colour, rhubarb smell, sweetish refreshing raspberry balanced fruity taste with a slightly salty start. Fruity finish

Live beer blogging: Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon

Twisted Barrel Soup Dragon 5.8% lime and chipotle saison. Copper coloured beer with a nice thick white head. Smokey lemongrass smell, fresh spicy lime citrus chilli heat taste, long chilli finish

Live beer blogging: Abbeydale Heathen

Abbeydale Heathen 4.1% gold ale, huge fresh green hop aroma (Mosaic), fresh clean slight honey big hoppy bitterness taste but balanced. Dry bitter finish

Live beer blogging: Sharp Boscawen

Sharp's Boscawen 6% smoked beer (via mini cask) amber colour, nice smokey aroma but not over-powering. Much stronger smokiness on the taste, some caramel/toffee sweetness in the taste. Slight herbal note in the finish.

Live beer blogging: Lost Industry and Steel City Peach Melba Yogurt Sour

Lost Industry and Steel City Peach Melba Yogurt Sour - 5.7% hazy copper ale, sour peach smell, very fruity, zingy sour taste, really juicy and sweet (like a fruit juice rather than sugary). Finish is a gentle fading one.

Live beer blogging: Thornbridge Eldon

Thornbridge Eldon - 8% bourbon oak imperial stout, black beer with a dark creamy head. Massive bourbon plummy smell, big rich roasted malt & vanilla taste, boozy warming finish with an edge of toffee.

Email Marketing by Neil Walker

Four key areas
* build an audience
* what's the aim
* distributing your message
* measure, improve, measure, improve
Build and audience
The emails are people, not just an address. Make sure your email list contains people who will be interested in what you have to say. Add a simple signup form to your website, request a few basic details, not just the email address. Use Facebook and customise the page to fit your product or event.
Work with your existing busines contacts to build collective audiences, collaborate with pubs, suppliers, etc.
What's the aim?
* Buy something
* What do you think of us
* News
* Follow us on Twitter
* Come to our event
Who are you talking to?
CAMRA - very large consumer audience, mixed knowledge levels & interests
SIBA - trade audience, highly knowledgeable brewers, commercially minded
Give before you take - offer value to customers through engaging, original content or a genuinely special offer
Distributing your message
Deliver great content, easily - use existing platforms: MailChimp, GetResponse, ConstantContact, SparkPost, ActiveCampaign
Visual, bitesize content driving at clear aims. SIBA sends a focused newsletter several times of year.
Measure, improve, measure, improve
Measuring is key here to see what is clicked and what's not, follow the numbers, let them guide the content. Move content around until it starts to follow the click patterns.
Perform A/B testing using alternative subject lines, try content in different places, try rewording various phrases to see which ones hit the audience. Measure the response rate when you send emails at different times of day.

Beer Tourism - a case study - BELGIUM

Belgium & Beer

199 breweries in Belgium, nearly 8 million hectolitres consumed per year, with a per capita consumption of 71 litres, but 20 million are produced, most of which are exported. 66% of production is exported.

Belgium has more than 1,500 beers, producing 1% of the world beer production, but brews  10x it's demographic weight - small country but great beer.

New Reality & Economy

"Drink less, taste more" - the speciality market has really taken off in Belgium and therefore as an exported product, around the world.

Not only deepen the understanding about beer but also broaden the availablity and accessibility of the beer. It's not just about drinking a great beer, but about the moment of that experience of trying the beer. 

"We now live in an experience economy where people have shifted from passive consumption to active participation."

Beer Tourism

Beer as the primary motivation (old school):
* beer routes
* beer weekends
* beer themed lunch
* beer tasting
* other

Place as a primary motivation (old school):
* Festivals, events
* Beer museum
* Visiting breweries, brew houses
* Obtaining beer related items
* Visiting brasseries
* Other

Beer Tourism Logic (modern way)
* Must live
* Must see
* Must taste
* Must understand

Beer as an enabler, brewery as a facilitator.

BeerNow Conference 2017

I'm here in Sheffield for the Beer Blogger Conference, now rebranded "BeerNow". It's in IceSheffield, the same place as the SIBA BeerX exhibition, plus next door is the Beer Alive beer festival. So far we've collected our conference badges and wandered around BeerX, mostly catching up with people that we know from the beery world: Colin Stronge from Buxton, Dave & Ann Bailey from Hardknott, Matt from Hawkshead, Charlie from Farams and Sophie from Muntons.

Really looking forward to the start of the conference sessions...

Valencia Saison

Not bottle conditioned
Valencia Saison [baron rating 1/5] - 7% cloudy gold ale,solventy smell,creamy sweet taste,powdery rose-like finish
Listen to what Chris and the Baron have to say about it

Subscribe in iTunes

Looking forward to baron rating Edinburgh Beer Factory's Paolozzi

An amazing gift pack arrived a couple of weeks ago, a beautifully branded blue box, with design on all sides of it.

The box was sent through from R & R Teamwork who are the PR agency for Edinburgh Beer Factory's recently launched Paolozzi lager

The contents of the box was just as lovely the outside, a glossy booklet explaining about the origins of the Munich-style lager, some colourful beer mats as well as three bottles of the said lager and a lovely branded glass.

A very pleasant looking gift pack indeed!

A very smart looking bottle
Edinburgh Beer Factory
  • Paolozzi - 5.2% full-bodied, unpasteurised 'Helles' lager, lusciously malty with a low bitterness. Brewed with Lager Pils & Caramalt barley malts and subtly hopped with Saaz & Hallertau
Look out for a 'baron rating' for this beer soon, and a big thank you to Emanuele from R&R Teamwork for sending it through to me!