altIt was with a sense of curiosity that I headed to the first European Beer Bloggers Conference in London at the weekend.
Sponsors Molson Coors were kind enough to ask me along and I was fascinated to see who would be in the room.
We are talking beer bloggers here, so surely I was about to be confronted by a room full of geeks still communicating with each other via Twitter because they lack the confidence to speak face to face?
Or maybe, I thought , it will be packed with the same rotund beer monsters you find at festivals up and down the land who have discovered another forum to push forward their views?
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
In fact I could not have been wider of the mark.
Instead of either of the above scenarios I found myself in a room full of people so young and fashionable that it could have been a scene straight out of Hollyoaks.
Well OK maybe they weren’t quite as attractive but the array of trendy haircuts and fashionable garb made this more Vogue than CAMRA.
As the evening wore on and I spoke – in person not via social networking – to attendees I was met with witty and engaging folk who have a passion for beer that they want to share.
It left me feeling hugely encouraged that despite the well documented struggles of the UK beer market the ‘next’ generation have their fingers at the ready to defend, promote, praise, hold to account – and indeed consume – our national drink.
It was also fascinating to see so many beer companies and breweries taking part in this event and engaging with those at the forefront of a form of media that is going to continue to grow and have a wider influence over consumers.
Roll on #BBC12!