Blog: Olly WehringInternational Brewing Convention - Day 1

Olly Wehring | 2 October 2007

just-drinks is live from the International Brewing Convention this week.

Amazingly, this is the first brewing convention to be held in the UK for ten years. Fittingly, its being held in Manchester, which itself has a proud brewing tradition. The ICC is a great venue too - rather like the beer industry, it’s an interesting mix of the old and the new.

Organisers tell me that pessimism about the industry was in part to blame for the absence of such a convention in the UK for a decade. But there is genuinely a feeling that the beer market is operating in a new era now. The focus of the three days has been on manufacturing and the supply chain, and what has been clear from the speakers is that this is an industry facing rapid change. Beer is now an FMCG product with an emphasis on the F for fast. And, if you are going to be customer responsive, the normal rules of how you approach production and logistics are changing as fast as in sales and marketing.

Elsewhere at the convention, some similar themes that just-drinks and its sister site just-food have come across this year at other category events have emerged. Pressure from raw material costs, particularly form the growth in biofuels, rang out loud as the balance between supply and demand of malt emerged as a key talking point.

We are here for another 24 hours, so please get in touch if you would like to meet up. If you aren't here, stay posted for more tomorrow.


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