#EBBC13 – The Opening Pub Crawl


#EBBC13 – The 3rd European Beer Bloggers conference, and the first one that I’ve attended. From the first in London (which I missed despite living down the road) and the second in Leeds (which I found out about a week before it happened) they’ve now moved up to Edinburgh, where I am now currently sitting in an overly warm basement hotel room with a tram track being built outside. They started at 5:30am.

The EBBC does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a conference for Beer Bloggers and is held in Europe. To start things off we had a pub crawl around some of the more beer focused bars of the Old Town, put together by Chris from the Edinburgh Craft Brew Co and Rich from The Beercast – both locals who know a decent pint. Or smaller measure where appropriate.

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BrewDog IPA is Dead 2013

BrewDog IPA is Dead 2013

Recurring events in the booze world are often slightly scary as they remind me how long I’ve been obsessed enough with drinks to remember them. In some cases it’s slightly scarier as it reminds me how long I’ve been writing this blog for. So, to break the recent stretch of blogging drought and remind me of the passage of time, an annual release from BrewDog – IPA is Dead 2013.

A range of 3 single hopped IPAs, each with the same recipe other than the hop. This year’s selection includes El Dorado, Dana, Goldings and Waimea…

Previously: IPA is Dead 2011 and IPA is Dead 2012

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Arty Beer from BrewDog and Flying Dog

One of the great things about living in London is that there is more art around for easy viewing and consumption than almost anywhere else in the UK. Some of the world’s most famous art galleries as well as a thriving scene of smaller establishments and popups, along with artists themselves practically hanging around in the street showing off their work. Unfortunately I am a lazy heathen who, despite bursts of attempting to appreciate art, generally ends up missing the interesting exhibitions and doesn’t generally find the old school ‘paintings’ end of the art world all that thrilling. These days one of the main ways I interact with the artistic world is through the labels on bottles of beer…

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Brewdog Abstrakt AB:11

My year’s subscription to the Abstrakt Addikts club is now up, but before it went away I got my three bottles of the final release of the year – AB:11.

Of all the Abstrakts that have appeared recently this is the one that I had heard the least about before release – precisely nothing. I wasn’t expecting it to arrive and had no clue what it was when it did. So, I did what I don’t normally do when drinking beer and tasted it entirely blind – knowing that it is an Abstrakt release does let you know that it’s not going to be a 3% supermarket lager, but other than the fact that it would be on the extreme end of beer making I didn’t know what was in my glass.

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BrewDog vs Flying Dog – The International Arms Race

Much as I whinge about BrewDog’s gimmicky marketing and beer releases I do still pay attention to them all and generally end up trying them. For I am at heart a weak fanboy, no matter how much I might rail against beer consistency issues, dodgy publicity whoring and occasional bits of fast-and-loose-ness with the truth. BrewDog announced a while back that they were going to buck the ‘collaboration’ trend and go for a face off instead – choose some restraints to the beer making process, let each brewer make a beer, and then let the public choose which they liked best. Their opponents – Maryland brewers Flying Dog, known for interesting beers and a set of labels illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Ralph Steadman.

Scotland vs the USA? The International Arms Race was born.

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A Pair of Abstrakts – BrewDog’s AB:09 and AB:10

Ever since I bought into BrewDog’s Equity for Punks scheme for a second time I’ve been waiting for my membership of the ‘Abstrakt’s Addicts’ club to kick-in – a scheme by which I’ll get a year of Abstrakt beers sent to me, three of each release that happens in 2012. After some postal confusion I assumed that my box of AB:09 had arrived, only to discover that it was actually a delivery for Sjoerd of Malt Fascination, using me as a beer staging point. However before I realised this I’d cracked into the first bottle.

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BrewDog IPA is Dead 2012

The earth has gone around the sun one more time which means that it’s time for a new set of shiny hoppy releases from BrewDog. Well, I’m assuming it’s going to be a yearly thing, based on the fact that it’s a year since the first lot appeared, but in any case I’ve finally got round to drinking my way through this year’s range of IPA is Dead beers.

I wrote about last year’s lot, well, last year and the plan is the same again this time – brew the same beer, only differing in one respect: which hop was used. Four beers, four hops and four different flavour profiles, all the better to see what influence each different variety has. And so – on to the beers:

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