Craft Distilling Expo 2014

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The second annual London Craft Distilling Expo brings together Craft Distillers, Suppliers, Equipment Makers, Professionals and Enthusiasts. Suppliers and manufacturers will display the tools of the art, including distilling equipment, barrels, corks, bottles, and glassware. Craft Distillers will be displaying and discussing their products and there will be a series of workshops, talks and panels.


For those wishing to learn about craft distilling, talks will be given by leading figures in the industry and in-depth workshops will be held for those about to embark on a distilling project or already practicing the art.

The show is being held at The Boiler House, Old Truman Brewery, 152 Brick Lane, E1 6RU and the Difford's Guide team will have our very own stall so do come and say hello to us. The Boiler House, Old Truman Brewery

Talks, Panels & Masterclasses


Tuesday 7th October



9:30-10:20 - Aged gin tasting
David T. Smith, author of 'The Craft of Gin' and 'Forgotten Spirits and Long Lost Liqueurs', will share some insights from his research into yellow or aged gin, accompanied by a tasting of some of the best examples produced today.

10:30-11:15 - Henric Molin of Hven Distillery, Sweden

12:00-12:50 - Importing and Exporting
A chance to hear from and put your questions to a range of representatives from some of Europe's top spirits importers.

12:00-12:50 - Water: distilling and H20
A good water source is an important part of any distillery, but it is an often forgotten topic. Join Mark Gamble of Union Distillers and inquisitive writer David T. Smith as they share some insight into this area and exclusively reveal the results of their latest experiment.

13:00-14:20 - How to start a distillery
A panel of four industry experts, each with a different speciality, will share some insights and tips for aspiring distillers looking to set-up production. There will then be plenty of time for questions from the floor.

15:00-15:50 - Licence to distil with Alan Powell
An informative look at the legal aspects of distilling in the UK with Alan Powell, a former official of HM Customs and Excise and current Independent Excise Duties Consultant.

15:00-15:40 - Spirits drop-in
Join a spirits expert for a 10 minute slot to provide one-on-one feedback on your spirit. Places can be booked at the welcome desk.

16:00-16:50 - Grain to glass with Etienne Bouillon of The Owl Distillery
The master distiller of The Owl Distillery in Belgium shares some insights into his knowledge and experience in creating fine spirits all the way from the grains in fields to the whisky in your glass.

16:00-16:50 - Style & substance
Communication with customers and potential customers is an essential part of modern distilling, whether you look after it in-house, use a dedicated PR team, or both. The panel will share some of their experiences and provide insight into how to get your message heard.

17:00-17:50 - Craft rums of Europe tasting
Not all rum comes from the Caribbean. Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack will guide you through some of the finer rums produced in Europe, as well as give an insight into the past, present, and future of rum in the continent.

17:00-17:50 - Sourcing gin botanicals
The key to any great gin lies in the botanicals. But, as these organic supplies vary in character and quality from harvest to harvest, it is important to know how to source and use them effectively to ensure the quality and consistency of your spirit.

Wednesday 8th October



10:00-10:50 - Craft vermouth tasting
In the last few years, vermouth has undergone a renaissance around the world and a variety of new vermouths have been launched in Europe. David T Smith invites you to come and taste some of the finest examples, covering a variety of styles, and learn more about these growingly popular products.

11:00-11:50 - Choosing your still
Buying a still is an important and significant investment, but with so much choice and variation, picking the right one to fit your distillery's needs can be tricky. Join Robert Cassell for a guide to some of the key considerations.

12:00-12:50 - Provenance and passion are not enough
Ian Buxton is co-author of 'The Science & Commerce of Whisky', the man behind the best-selling '101 Whiskies' series of books, brand consultant and a former Marketing Director of one of Scotland's most successful single malts. In this talk, he will explain the principles of brand positioning and discuss the challenge of selling the elusive second bottle in an ever more crowded market. His presentation will include case studies, practical examples and a few anecdotes along the way.

13:00-13:50 - Orchard to glass: fruit spirits of Europe
Spirit expert Arthur Nägele will be joining us from Austria to share his insights and experience in the production of spirits from a range of fermented fruits. As well as covering the theory and some practical applications, Arthur will guide attendees through a collection of fine fruit spirits from across Europe.

13:00-13:50 - Destination distilling and making your spirit a local sensation
This panel discussion will cover developing your distillery's potential to draw visitors and the benefits that being a local product can bring to your brand's identity. Join craft spirits writer and advisor David T Smith with friends from Bermondsey Distillery, East London Liquor Co., and Warner Edwards Distillery.

14:00-14:50 - Making it from scratch: yeast, fermentation & distillation
Join Ian Smiley for an introduction to distilling your own spirit from scratch. Whilst this is harder than buying in neutral grain spirit, it can pay dividends for your final product.

14:00-14:50 - Craft whisky of Europe tasting
Whisky writer and consultant Dominic Roskrow will take you through six whiskies from six different countries and discuss the boom in European whisky production.

15:00-15:50 - European farm distillers
Join some established farm distillers to learn about their experiences of "grain to glass" distilling and the chance to sample the fruits of their labour. Speakers will include Julian Temperley of the Somerset Cider Brandy Company and Will Borrell of Vestal Vodka.

15:00-15:40 - Spirits drop-in
Join a spirits expert for a 10 minute slot to provide one-on-one feedback on your spirit. Places can be booked at the welcome desk.

16:00-16:50 - Craft distilling in 2014
President of the American Distilling Institute, Bill Owens, will be joined by Craft Distillers from across Europe for a lively discussion on the state of Craft Distilling in 2014.

17:00-18:00 - Meet the maker finale with The Gin Guild
The Gin Guild and the Craft Distilling Expo have joined forces to offer a special tasting event to finish the Expo in style. Join 4th generation distiller Charles Maxwell and Gin Guild Director General Nicholas Cook, as well as a host of other distillers, in trying some of the best craft products that the UK, Europe, and the world have to offer.

Visiting distillers are encouraged to bring along a sample of their spirits to share with their contemporaries.

Thursday 9 October


09:30 - Bermondsey Distillery
2014: Gin Workshop at the Bermondsey Distillery with Dr. Anne Brock and David T Smith
This one-day workshop explores designing and distilling your own gin. As well as instruction on the practical aspects of gin, the session will allow attendees to discuss the more nuanced aspects of bringing a spirit to market. Topics covered include: production methods, "making the cuts", working with botanicals, and filtration.
£180pp (lunch included)

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