This would be it, first contact with the blogging world (well I say first contact I already know one or two bloggers but out of this group Woolpacker Dave would be the only one I had met previously). Our journey would begin outside the York Brewery for a brewery tour before an epic pub crawl around York.
As everyone arrived my first surprise was how many bloggers are actually familiar with Rob's Beer Quest. I felt a bit guilty that I had only glanced at the sites of other bloggers I met from time to time . But you know how it goes, you just get used to following the same old blogs and when I get round to it I do follow more and more sites.
The UK beer blogging scene is sure becoming big these days, but much thanks to Rob from HopZine and others for providing acquaintance early on. Soon enough I finally managed to meet the likes of Leigh, Woolpacker Dave and the mighty Dredge, as well as various website owners, newcomers to blogging and those just tagging along because they know people from twitter.
Overall a great day filled with great beer and many interesting people to meet. My only regret is not knowing about some the awesome bars visited a year and a half ago when I could have visited them on my stag night, but it doesn't matter.
The first of these previously unknown bars is a little place called Pivni. An interesting yet slightly hidden tiny three level pub with a great range of cask and keg beers (many of them Brew Dog). This was where I got to try the excellent Camden Park Pale Ale and some exclusive pre release samples of Aether Blaec, kindly handed round by Woolpacker Dave and his wife (above). I also had a good chat with Thornbridge brewer Dominic Driscoll, who made blogging news a little while back when he left Marble brewery. We talked about everything from hops to the joys of Belgian yeast strains and I got a taste of the new Punk IPA from Mark Dredge (which reminds me, I still owe him a beer).
Leigh and blogging master Dredge upstairs at The Bottle
Following this various pubs were visited all of them harboring great beer. To be honest I couldn't remember them all and in what order, it was all too much of a blur of talking about beer, drinking beer and then talking more about beer to various other beer obsessed folk.
What concentration I did have to spare was used to not get lost from the group. But I do remember Schlenkeria Rauchbier Weizen, Tripel Karmeliet and Sharp's Cornish Stout alongside various other beers I got noted down in my beer diary/tickers notebook. But even though I got the early train back at half six I have to admit the whole thing ruled and I hope to join the next Twissup whenever it is.
Many thanks to Beer Reviews Andy and Dredge for the organisation.
And a bit from the Mrs. Rob failed to add that despite getting the train home at 6.30pm he didn't actually make it home until 1.30am. You see he fell asleep, missed the stop, ended up in Edinburgh. The had to get a coach to Alnwick, which forgot to stop, and he finally got off in Morpeth, 20mins down the road, where I had to collect him at 1am! And all in the name of.......BEER!