MolsonCoors (UK) will no longer be sponsoring the European Beer Bloggers Conference. Sad news.
MolsonCoors was the primary sponsor of both the initial conference last year in London and the conference this year in Leeds. In fact, had MolsonCoors not stepped up for the first one, the conference might never have taken place. Not only did they fund a dinner, they paid for the conference space rental at the posh The Brewery facility. This year, they again funded a dinner but also provided £100 travel stipends for attending bloggers.
The driving force behind MolsonCoor’s involvement was Kristy McCready. Kristy is smart, funny, beer-savvy, social media-savvy, and – apparently – convincing, because she was able to convince the brass at MolsonCoors (UK) to step out on the 10-meter diving platform (to use an Olympics analogy) and support the idea of a “beer blogger conference”.
Make no mistake, MolsonCoors was taking a risk. As a large beer producer, MolsonCoors could easily have been slammed by beer bloggers for a variety of reasons. Instead, they showed their support of bloggers and showcased their best beers, including at this year’s conference a lineup of Sharp’s beers presented by head brewer Stuart Howe.
We at the Beer Bloggers Conference know specifically that MolsonCoors achieved great results with their investment. Like it or not, there is a rift between some beer bloggers and the major beer producers. That rift, in the UK and with MolsonCoors specifically, is now mostly gone. UK beer bloggers recognize MolsonCoors does support them and does produce good beers. So we ask you to continue to give MolsonCoors the credit they deserve for sticking their necks out to support the EBBC when it was just an idea.
But things change, budgets intervene, and marketing shifts happen. In this case, we specifically heard from MolsonCoors they were afraid they had already showed their support for beer bloggers and could not achieve more than they already had. They have elected to discontinue their sponsorship of the EBBC.
That leaves us with the subject of the 2013 conference location. We don’t yet know where it will be and we need your help. Please let us know your suggestions: what beer cities would make a great host for the 2013 European Beer Bloggers Conference? Please keep these factors in mind:
1. The greatest concentration of European beer bloggers is in the UK. So the status quo is to again have the conference in the UK, unless we receive significant support from somewhere else that helps reduce the costs of bloggers to attend.
2. There needs to be a beer culture, with local breweries, bars that have craft beer featured, etc.
3. Ideally, there would be at least half a dozen local beer bloggers who could help with local suggestions and organization.
4. Pilsner Urquell will again step in to sponsor one dinner at the conference but we will be looking for a second dinner sponsor.
5. It helps to have one (or more) local champions. A city that is eager to host is a great host. One where we are having to explain the concept is less likely to be enthusiastic.
So let us know here (or via email) if you have any suggestions. And let us know if you have any thoughts for MolsonCoors. We appreciate their past support!