It’s the best drinks expo in Europe – and it’s all for you lovely on-trade peeps. Great speakers, great drinks, great atmos. Just make sure that you’re there for two whole days of awesome...
The all-important details
Date: Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 July
Location: Olympia Grand Hall, London, W14 8UX
We’ve enlisted some of the industry’s biggest names to educate and entertain you in a packed programme of talks, tastings, seminars, masterclasses, competitions and demos. Check out the full schedule at live.imbibe.com.
The Centre Stage returns with a line-up of nail-biting competitions and unmissable seminars. This year marks the 11th and last-ever edition of Bartenders v Sommeliers: with both teams tied at five wins each, the final will decide the ultimate champion.
Shakes & the City will also find its winner, as teams from Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham and Dundee battle it out for the title of best cocktail city in the UK. Beer and cider aficionados go head-to-head in The Tapsters, and the grand final of the Four Pillars Australian Gin Open will see the brand crown its cocktail champion. Spirits ambassador Monica Berg joins design guru Alex Ruas for The Behaviour of Bar Design, while beer writer Pete Brown will explore the links between the senses in Beer & Music Matching.
The Winemakers' Cellar
The Winemakers’ Cellar is a must-visit for every serious somm. Pol Roger is presenting a range of its vintages – including three of its Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill. Mackenzie Paton of Martinborough producer Ata Rangi will present a Pinot Noir masterclass on New Zealand’s finest.
We have an unprecedented five vintages from Opus One to explore vintage variation in Napa, and the chance to get to grips with the vineyards of Côte-Rôtie with Guy Sarton du Jonchay, winemaker of Vidal-Fleury. Jean Trimbach will be guiding us through the many expressions of Riesling in Alsace via a range of sites, vintages and single-vineyard wines. For more high-quality white wine (plus reds, rosé and botrytised offerings too) check out our English Wine: Beyond the Bubbles masterclass with Peter Richards MW, Ruth Simpson of Simpson Wine Estate and Charlie Holland of Gusbourne, who are out to prove that the British wine scene has life beyond fizz. Two of the hottest styles at the moment are Beaujolais and amphora-aged wines, and we have sessions on both of them, presented by wine wizards Anne McHale MW and Sarah Abbott MW, respectively.
The Snack Show
For the first time, Imbibe Live will be co-located with inaugural event, The Snack Show. Demonstrating diversity, innovation and great taste, The Snack Show brings together manufacturers and buyers from the snacks business and connects them with the wider hospitality industry as they work together to add value to the consumer experience. For more info visit thesnackshow.com.
The Tasting Room
Join Imbibe’s Sommelier of the Year Jan Konetzki for a bit of Palate Training. Learn how you could be Capturing the No/Low Opportunity in Your Bar without compromising on taste with Daniel I’Anson, Pernod Ricard UK’s head of brand engagement and advocacy. Amaze your tastebuds with an array of piney and peppery flavours and explore the exciting macrocosm of single-hop beers at Top of the Hops! with the Society of Independent Brewers’ Neil Walker, or hear Paolo Tonellotto of Bermondsey’s The Hide discuss six drinks that showcase the ‘terroir’ of the capital at Taste of London. Learn to keep on top of your margins at Hannah Lanfear’s Marginal Gains, or discover the delights of Méthode Champenoise Cider with pioneer Alvar Roosimaa.
The NoMad’s Pietro Collina will teach us how to add a touch of magic to the customer experience in Make It Nice: The Art of Hospitality – but if you’re also seeking a numbers-based approach to giving your guests what they want, make your way to Statistically Yours! with the DrinkUp.London crew. You’ll learn how to harness the power of nature with Æcorn Aperitifs’ Claire Warner, American Bar’s Pippa Guy, Scout’s Todd Austin and 1881’s Robert Wood at Parks & Recreation: Nature in a Glass. At Rum: Beyond Origin, you can get the latest on the ever-changing category from Trailer Happiness’ Sly Augustin. Check out Smells Like Team Spirit with Fam’s Megs Miller, as she shares her approach to fostering a great bar team. And head to Going Public with Jack Wakelin to learn how to tell a story through cocktails, as he’s done at Public bar in Sheffield.
New to the show this year, Chef’s Table will have a programme of in-depth food and drink pairing seminars. We’ll be kicking things off with a Vegan Food & Wine Pairing Masterclass, as Gauthier Soho’s head somm David Havlik discusses his approach to pairing wines with chef Alexis Gauthier’s acclaimed vegan tasting menu. Monica Berg and Heidi Bjerkan will present a Nordic Flavours pairing session, while Isa Bal MS will share his knowledge of Japan’s most famous drink in a Saké & Food session. Gabe Cook and cheesemonger Sam Wilkin will be chatting perfect pairings with cheese, and pitting cider and perry against wine and beer, at In Cheese We Trust. If it’s a face-off you’re after, head to the Beer v Cider Smackdown with industry heavyweights Tom Oliver and Mitch Adams, and don’t miss The Great Aussie Taste-Off, where a Master Sommelier and Master of Wine will battle it out for the perfect pairing with chef Roger Jones’ dishes. Champagne & Food: The Acid Test will be a crash course in pairing fizz with food, while a bit closer to home, Taste of Britain will see James Fowler of Terroir Tapas advocate locality and sustainability.
Get the app
The Imbibe Live Meetings app will be available again for 2019’s show, helping you arrange meetings before you’ve even arrived. It’s easy to use and will recommend meetings based on business needs and interests. To download the app, search ‘Imbibe Live Meetings’ in your mobile’s app store.
Beer & Cider Hub
Hear from Hawkes Urban Cidery & Taproom founder Simon Wright on How to Build a Winning Cider List, then join Adjunct Baby and let Brooklyn Brewery’s head brewmaster Garrett Oliver guide you through beer’s countless extra ingredients. Learn how to create the perfect list of Beer to Dine For with Wild Card’s Jaega Wise and Stewart Cumming of Curry Leaf Café, winner of the 2019 SIBA Craft Beer Restaurant award. Discover A Sense of Place and explore terroir with Irish brewing sisters Susan and Judith Boyle, or go Back to the Future with beer ambassador Mitch Adams, who will uncover why bitters and porters have stood the test of time.
Tackling key issues affecting the on-trade, this new feature area will give visitors insight and advice to drive their businesses forward. In Wellbeing: Safeguarding Mental Health in the On-Trade, hear The Benevolent’s Chris Baker and corporate wellbeing specialist Kat Hounsell discuss how to identify difficulties; for your body’s health, Live Like a Bartender, Train Like an Athlete will tell you how to stay fit behind the bar. Parabere Forum’s Maria Canabal will be leading a talk on Driving Gender Balance in Our Industry, and Future Insights – The Drinks Industry 2029 will see Lucy Britner look at where the industry will be in a decade. Learn how to make your business socially relevant at Taming the New Media, and legally watertight at Legal Weapon. Want to safeguard the future of your company? Tackling Skills Shortage in the On-Trade will explain how to retain – and train – your staff, while UKHospitality’s David Sheen and Jim Cathcart will address the big issues you need to be aware of in Is Your Business Ready For This?.