Yes, I know, it's been a couple of weeks since EBBF2012, but having been away on a Cruzcampo and seafood bender, I just wanted to add a bit of analysis. This is just the first in an as yet undetermined number of posts.
The opening session from Pelle Stridh, Ludmil Fotev and Jan Menken was perhaps not what everyone expected - at least, it certainly acted as an eye-opener for me. I thought that it reflected the way that beer was a cultural currency that united different strands of thought, and acted as a way for people to express their differences while realising their similarities. So the three presenters had very different perspectives on beer blogging, but beer was theme that united them. Pelle was perhaps the most conventional, with his stated agenda of trying to educate people to drink "better" (problematic word) beer. Jan's personal slant was attending beer events on public transport - trains, mainly - which I guess fitted in nicely with his jaunt to Leeds. Ludmil's slightly more freeform approach - perhaps enhanced by Google's translate facility acting as a filter on his blog - was brought back to earth with a bump as his presentation made it clear that Bulgaria is a market that even BrewDog has yet to properly penetrate. You can only blog on what's readily available to you - indeed, perhaps this sort of blogging is more "authentic" (another problematic word) than the trophy-bagging style of blogging (and I'm as guilty as anyone of that particular vice).
The key point that I took away from this session was that beer blogging is a broad church, and that what I enjoy most about blogging personally, and a lot of the blogs that I read, is that sometimes the best blog posts aren't directly about beer, but are a stepping-off point for discussions about other things. And conversely, the things that feed forward to the produce the product that unites us (beer, duh) aren't as simple as you might think. Often it's not just about ingredients and process - it's about the stories behind those things that bring the topic to life. I'll touch on that idea in a couple of upcoming posts, tentatively entitled "The Hop Man Cometh" and "Tired And Emotional".