A few weeks ago, our international ambassador Paul went on a 21 day tour through Europe. He had a busy schedule, hitting up ten breweries, four festivals, three tap takeovers and one hop supplier.
It was Paul’s own decision to drive the whole thing, which was close to 5000 km. We didn’t make him do it. In fact, we repeatedly told him he was mad to do it. But it was late summer, driving can be nice and relaxing, and we’re all mad here anyway. So he drove. It turned out to be a good decision. Driving makes you a lot more flexible. Where usually you would fly in and out for an appearance at a beer festival, this time Paul had time to hang around with colleague-brewers, beer-importers and lots of like-minded beer fans.
He relays: “It was inspiring to drive through Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, France and England for 21 days and meet people from the Craft Beer world. It’s great to see that while we all deal with the same product, everyone does it in their own way.” He told us it’s the little differences that mostly stood out. Where in Italy everything is spotless, technical, detailed and calculated, in England it’s more market-driven, rooted in tradition with bigger gestures and a big community feel. They are different cultures, and it’s beautiful to see how big and international, and at the same time familiar and small this world of beer really is. It’s great to be a part of that, to be part of the culture, the food, the people – the people and the beer.
Here’s a little photo report of some of the places Paul visited and the people he met. First he touched down in historical beer town Bamberg, which according to our head-brewer should be everyone’s destination when going anywhere ever. Though it’s very touristic, it’s still must-have-been for anyone in the international craft beer scene.
Traditionally good beer can be found in Bamberg, and Paul happened to end up at Mahr’s Bräu. He also had dinner in an Austrian valley with Brad, who’s in charge of Bier&cO‘s export team. Note both of them explicitly not drinking beer.
Next up was Bevog Brewery‘s festival, the Who Cares For Beer Fest, a very well appreciated beer festival in Europe. High quality breweries and a vibe not unlike what we try to achieve with our Planet Oedipus, a mix of music, beer, food and great people.
Also check the festival’s aftermovie where no one got to say anything besides our Paul. *proud*
Paul with Vasja of Bevog and Beinat & Juan of Napar Barcelona during the mash of a big imperial stout, a collab between Napar and Bevog.
The festival was not the last of our fun at Bevog, we also made a collab brew. It’s a meeting between our Swingers and their Lolita – the ‘Swing Lolita Swing’. It was good to see so much of Bevog, and get to know their warm, familiair way of doing things.
Next stop:Rojnik Hops in Slovenia.
Rojnik Hops is a real family business. This is Paul with Luka Rojnik and his father, enjoying a beer of their own Green Gold Brewing. For Oedipus this was one of those valuable moments where Paul got to make a personal connection with people who we’ve been working with over a long distance for a long time.
And then suddenly Paul was in the area of Bergamo, Italy visiting Hammer. They specialise in hoppy beers and Pilsners.
And this is where they taught Paul about the importance of the right glass for the right beer. Science.
Specialità Olandes! A little tap-takeover at Locanda del Monaco Felice, headquarters of Claudio, our Italian importer.
👋🏽 Bye Bergamo
👋🏽 Hi Toscane
Paul attended the festival Villagio delle Birra, a pretty old-school international festival at a beautiful location that includes a lot of local and Belgian breweries.
Our Italian importer Claudio & Paul representing Oedipus.
And Paul met with Victor Brangolo! Our long time designer who resides in Paris.
On the right: A little tap takeover in Octopussy, Paris in the 17th. A lot of brewers and beer-professionals came around. As it turns out, there is always a community of beer freaks just waiting to gather anywhere you go.
It was off to a traditionally rainy London where Paul first stopped by The Bottle Shop located on the Bermondsey Beer Mile. A very beer-friendly area. The Bottle Shop helps us distribute Oedipus around London.
And here’s a little visual of how they roll in a city that immense, with countless beer bars.
Then it was off to the Bristol Craft Beer Festival 🚗
Paul made some new friends with the owners of Wiper and True (below) who are a same generation brewery as Oedipus. Noticeably, 60% of their employees is female, which is quite uncommon in our world. Paul noted their whole organisation and brewery had a very friendly, relaxed vibe. Whether that is because of all that woman power or not, we say 🙋🏻 🔛 🔝 🔜
Three men though.
And here’s a picture of the Wild Beer warehouse, where their infamous barrels are stored.
But we really want to end this report with some pictures of the Roger Wilkins, cider maker at Wilkins Cider Farm. It’s located in basically the middle of nowhere but you can visit him anytime and it’s a truly brilliant experience. Now in his seventies, Wilkins has been drinking cider since he was 4 and making it since he was 16. “The best cider in Somerset” it says on his website and we are willing to believe it.
Let’s hope we’re all still going strong like Roger by the time we’re seventy.