For bartenders, bar operators, restaurant managers and sommeliers looking to source new products, gain tips to boost their bottom line, improve their knowledge and gather inspiration there are a range of feature zones at Imbibe Live (29 & 30 June) dedicated to giving them what they are looking for.
On Monday 29 June Belvedere's Claire Smith-Warner and actor Damon Gameau, star of That Sugar Film will be giving tips on how to serve a new crowd of body conscious guests in Sugar: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, while later the stage will be host to the UK final of the Sidecar by Merlet competition where six bartenders will be fighting for a place in the global final in Cognac.
On Tuesday 30 June the zone will host a workshop (The Haven in association with Belvedere) where attendees can learn about positive drinking, recovery tips and restorative experiences and The Imbibe £5,000 Sommelier Challenge quarter final and final where 18 sommeliers will battle it out for the cash prize and title.
There will be no shortage of top insider tips at the Liquid Profits zone to help operators boost their bottom line, starting with The Gorgeous Group’s Barny Ingram on 29 June, who will be talking about The Power of Story-Telling, and how to use every aspect of your business to achieve this. Meanwhile, also on the 29 June Mixxit’s Wayne Collins will have 10 Commandments for bartenders – a list of the most important things they need to be getting right.
On 30 June Kate Nicholls of The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers is on hand to share her list of on-trade trends you need to know and Annica Wainwright of restaurant consultance 2 Forks will be running through the top 10 missed drinks sales opportunities in restaurant dining rooms.
Imbibe's skills and knowledge zone is the place to find the industry's training schools. The Wine & Spirit Education Trust will be running a session on Judging Quality in Wines, as well as an in-depth rum course entitled Beyond Raw Materials which explores different styles and the effect of different decisions during distillation and maturation phases. The Beer Academy, meanwhile, will be offering An Expert Introduction Into The Wonder of Beer, run by director of training Alex Barlow and covering both British and continental beer styles.
The best of the UK’s sommeliers will attempt to prove they have the keenest nose and sharpest palate, to be crowned winner of the second edition of the £5,000 Sommelier Challenge (see Centre Stage above) – register online and head to the Wine Hub for the qualifying rounds. If you’d rather gain knowledge, Xavier Rousset MS will explore the world of champagne to help you pick the right bottles for your wine list. Go off the beaten track with Wine Mosaic, get to hear from vinodiversity’s most forceful champions and taste some of the wines they revived. And don’t miss Wines of Germany’s session on Pinot Noir with Anne Krebiehl MW, who will discuss what makes Spätburgunder such an intriguing and delicious grape.
Beer expert Ben McFarland will be exploring trends for 2015 in Beer Trends on Monday 29 June while Gabriel Boudier’s Jean Battault will be on hand to share a little liqueur magic and teaching attendees how to make their own liqueur. Whisky will be the focus of MIXXIT's presentation Whisk(e)y, Wood, What, Why on 30 June and there's a chance to give cider making a go at David Sheppy of Sheppy's Cider's The Art of the Cider Maker.
From wine and beer to spirits and soft drink producers, there will be products covering the entire world of drinks at Imbibe Live. Here are some highlights:
- Swiss Wines at Stand D20, where you can get to know unusual native grape varieties and taste some truly distinctive Alpine wines. You will also be in with a chance of winning a wine tour to Switzerland for two.
- Bibendum Aperitivo Bar on Stand C50, showcasing the latest on-trade drinks trends. There will be a focus on Muscadet and Lambrusco as well as a chance to taste and create Bibendum’s signature Fiorente Spritz and saké cocktails.
- Wines of California at Stand C30 has teamed up with Mission in association with Roberson and the Wine Treasury.
- Things will be busy on Stand B50, where Wines of Chile has challenged four teams of sommeliers to build a pop-up wine bar in a day and be open for business at Imbibe Live. The teams will battle it out to design, build and stock their bars for Imbibe Live visitors – and it’s up to you to judge which one is best. The winning team wins a trip to Chile.
- Coca-Cola Enterprises will be at Stand E30 with its full on-trade portfolio including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Life, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Schweppes, Schweppes Abbey Well, Relentless, Oasis, Monster, Appletiser and Capri-Sun.
- Visit the Czech Beer Garden at Stand G50, where the team behind CzechTrade London is showcasing the tank beer offering from world-renowned Budweiser Budvar, plus a hoppy line-up of craft breweries such as Primator, Pardubice, Ferdinand and Bohemia Regent.
- Mangrove, created by John Coe and Nick Gillett is an independent spirits agency that’s part of the Coe Group. Its mission? To nurture a portfolio of specialist spirits and liqueurs. Visit Stand D130, where Mangrove will be exlusively launching three new products: Black Cow Vodka, Montelobos Mezcal and Ancho Reyes Liqueur.
- Calling all tequila, mezcal and agave beer fans! Take a trip to the Mexican Pavilion at Stands E10 & E18 for ProMexico’s premium drinks showcase.
- Lanique Liqueur has partnered with Shrub & Shutter to develop a range of cocktails that reflect the diversity of this intriguing and versatile new spirit. Come and try them at Stand A85, along with the signature serves of Lanique & Lime and Lanique & Tonic.