BeerX, the celebration of British beer held in Sheffield earlier this month, attracted more brewers, exhibitors and drinkers than last year’s event, according to the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
BeerX 2015 ran from 18-21 March and was the third time SIBA has staged the event. Delegate numbers were over 1,000, an increase of 25% on last year, thanks to a compelling programme of speeches from high-profile industry figures, quality technical seminars and an expanded trade show, with 10% more suppliers choosing to exhibit at BeerX. The Festival of Beer, held on 20-21 March, attracted 25% more visitors than in 2014, as drinkers came to enjoy the hundreds of award-winning beers from SIBA brewers.
SIBA managing director Mike Benner said, “BeerX 2015 was a tremendous success, not only in terms of the increased visitor numbers, but also the response from delegates, presenters and exhibitors, which has been overwhelmingly positive about all aspects of the event.
“With this third BeerX successfully completed, it is clear that the event is now firmly established as a key date on the British brewing calendar. It is the only forum of its kind, combining conference, seminars and trade exhibition for our industry delegates with a festival of award-winning beers for drinkers.
“Organising BeerX required a huge amount of work by the SIBA team and I know that they are all delighted that their efforts delivered an experience that exceeded our visitors’ expectations.”
Some of the highlights of BeerX included: presentations by a number of leading industry figures including Katherine Smart of SABMiller and Bob Pease of the American Brewers Association; more than 30 seminars on topics ranging from canning and hops to marketing and social media, and the announcement of SIBA’s National Beer Competition, Business Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards winners.
BeerX was also the platform for Benner to launch SIBA’s first-ever strategic plan for the next three years. This sets out how SIBA will achieve its vision, to ‘deliver the future of British beer and become the voice of British brewing’, through four key strategic aims: to promote and campaign for its members; to provide and enhance commercial opportunities for them; to grow its membership and to develop the organisation’s capability.
Mike Benner concluded, “We are confident that the success of BeerX will encourage more independent brewers to become members of SIBA in the future, so we can work together as an industry and achieve our vision, resulting in more successful businesses.”
Comments on SIBA BeerX
Bob Pease, chief executive officer, Brewers Association
“Being invited to speak at BeerX was an opportunity not to be missed, as the Brewers Association and SIBA share many synergies in terms of vision, purpose and interest. My speech covered the growth of American craft beer, both at home and into export markets, which underlines the fact that the craft beer revolution is a global movement and not confined to the US or the UK. Delegates at BeerX seemed highly engaged in all aspects of the craft brewing industry.”
Paul Mulliner, Nobby’s Brewery, Northamptonshire
“BeerX provided a number of opportunities for different members of the brewery team: our brewer found the technical seminars useful, our sales team made useful contacts at the Meet the Buyer session and we all enjoyed the informal networking with other brewers and industry peers.”
Helen Teasdale, Springhead Brewery
“We invested time in BeerX this year, with four people attending the event. I found the Industry Day speeches excellent, covering a variety of subjects and giving me ideas that I’ll take back to the brewery. It was definitely worth attending.”
Andrew Wall, Moeschle (exhibitor)
“The trade exhibition felt busier this year and the brewers who visited our stand seemed more engaged, so I think we’ll secure more business as a result of coming here. Moeschle will definitely be at BeerX 2016.”
Tim Croxson, Croxsons (exhibitor)
“For us, BeerX is about building relationships with existing customers and meeting new customers at the start of their bottling journey. We talk to people on the stand, but there’s nothing like good old-fashioned drinking time with customers and BeerX offers both, which makes it a must attend for us.”
Lee Armstrong, Pave Bar, Hull
“As a bar owner with a passion for beer and ambitions to brew at some point, BeerX had a lot to offer. The seminars were what encouraged me to attend and they didn’t disappoint: Ali Capper’s talk on British hops was a ‘standout’ speech and it was good to meet Roger Protz after reading many of his books. And the trade show helped me make a great contact for putting our beer into a format for takeout sales.”
Pete Brown, seminar presenter
“Both the seminars I presented at BeerX had excellent turnout from interested delegates keen to listen and ask questions. The audiences at the seminars reflect the changing face of British brewing: while there are still traditional brewers producing great beers, I noticed a lot more young brewers in my seminars.”
Notes to editors:
SIBA was founded in 1980 by 20 pioneering microbrewers. Today, it has 800 full brewer members, the majority of them classed as ‘micro’ or ‘local’ brewers. SIBA’s growing credibility and campaigning success – particularly achieving the introduction of Small Breweries’ Relief in 2002, and its role in the scrapping of the beer duty escalator in 2013 and consecutive cuts in beer duty in 2013, 2014 and 2015 – have established it as one of the most authoritative bodies in the brewing industry.
Issued by: Society of Independent Brewers
Further information: Tony Jerome, director of communications & membership
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