Cloudwater Brew Co is to give UK beer professionals a chance to learn from some of the world’s foremost experts in the field as part of its not-for-profit Friends & Family & Beer festival.

The event already provides consumers with an opportunity to sample beer from 71 of the best breweries across the globe, but now it will also host an Industry Expo on Friday, February 21, aiming to provide development opportunities for people with an interest in the future of the industry.

This day of talks, debates and presentations will feature a keynote speech from Dr J Jackson-Beckham, diversity ambassador at the Brewers Association, executive director at Craft x EDU, and equity and inclusion strategist at Craft Beer For All, who will be speaking in the UK for the first time.

A professor of communication studies and a highly-respected beer scholar, she is a leading voice on the culture of craft beer, and provides inspiration for both organisations and individuals to transform the industry by making it more accessible to people that are currently under-represented.

Other contributors confirmed for the day include SIBA chief executive James Calder, Odell Brewing Co founder Doug Odell, Women On Tap founder Rachel Auty, Pellicle magazine’s Matthew Curtis, Robert Percival from Lallemand, and White Labs’ Troels Prahl, as well as Cloudwater’s own founder Paul Jones.

The focus of the trade expo will be ‘craft beer for change’, taking a close look at craft beer culture and how the industry can expand its positive impact on the world around them.

‘It is an honour to bring so many of the world’s finest brewers and beers to Manchester’

Like the main festival, it will be a not-for-profit event and will be held at Manchester Central on Friday, February 21, from 9.30am until 4.30pm. There will be three pricing tiers: a £20 ticket that only covers access to the day’s content, a £40 ticket including lunch refreshment, and a £60 ticket including lunch and regular refreshments throughout the day. Further information and ticket links can be found at

Paul Jones said: “It is an honour to bring so many of the world’s finest brewers and their beers to Manchester, a city with a decades-long history of innovation in beer.

“Last year’s festival enabled our guests to enjoy the freshest beer any festival in the UK has ever poured across a great many styles, all whilst raising money for charities that make real differences in the lives of some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.

“This year, we want to pose a question to the industry — what is the legacy that we are making? Craft beer is an industry rooted in positive social impact, and so we are going to draw on the collective vision, expertise, and guidance of some of the world’s foremost thought leaders in craft beer.

“Our industry session will start invaluable conversations that will go on to shape and refine values, inform decisions, and ultimately help attendees envision not only higher aims, but layout clear steps of how to get there.”

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