The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) is staging a new, four-day celebration of British beer, targeting brewers, licensees and consumers. Titled BeerX, the event takes place in Sheffield next March and aims to move SIBA to a new level of stature, as the only organisation able to represent British beer to both industry and the end drinker.
BeerX combines the highlights of the SIBA calendar: the Annual Brewing Conference, which was attended by more than 500 delegates this year; the final judging and presentations for the National Brewing Competition; the Business Awards and Associate Members’ Forum.
New to BeerX is a three-day Festival of Beer, at which SIBA’s 550-plus member brewers will have the opportunity to sell their beers to consumers. This will be the first time that SIBA brewers from all corners of the country will have brought their beers together under one roof, and builds on the growing popularity of the organisation’s regional beer competitions.
SIBA chief executive, Julian Grocock, said: “BeerX will be a big, bold event that showcases British beer and brewing in a way that hasn’t been seen before, unique in its appeal to an audience ranging from drinks industry veterans to novice beer drinkers. We are confident that BeerX will present a British brewing industry that is successful, vibrant and innovative – but also facing huge challenges that we will be highlighting, forcefully, to the policy makers whom we intend to involve in the event.”
He added: “The first meeting of SIBA, in 1980, was attended by around 20 brewers and held in a pub. That we are now looking at an event for an anticipated 1,500 people over four days reflects the phenomenal growth of local beer, which SIBA has been instrumental in driving.”
BeerX is being held at Ponds Forge, Sheffield’s biggest conference and exhibition space, sited in the centre of the city. The event has the full backing of Sheffield City Council, which is working with SIBA to ensure its success.
Wednesday, March 13: Judging day
Associate members’ Forum
Thursday, March 14: SIBA AGM and members’ day
SIBA AGM and briefings from SIBA executive
Friday, March 15 March: Industry Day
Speakers, drawn from the brewing industry and beyond, will share their thoughts on the future for local beer and pubs. The focused programme will feature just four ‘big name’ speakers
Saturday, March 16: Festival of Beer