Retail Reflections

Imbibe Live 2023 – A Guide To The UK’s Number One Drinks Event

Imbibe Live 2023 – A Guide To The UK’s Number One Drinks Event

Imbibe Live caters for the UK on- and off-trade drinks industry. It is an interactive event for anyone who sources, buys or serves drinks, helping discovery of new brands and innovative tastes.

Since launching in 2010, it’s the one and only event that focuses on the entire world of drinks. From wines, beers and spirits to soft drinks, RTD’s, mixers, tea, coffee, no-and-low abv drinks, waters and other associated products. The aim is to enhance the customer experience and increase profitability.

It’s where you will form the connections that will grow your business. But that’s what they say. So as an Imbibe Live newbie, what’s it really like as I prepare to speak there on 4th July? Read on for my thoughts and top picks ahead of this year’s event.

Imbibe Live plays host to revolutionary seminars, rare tastings and new products. Two things I’m most definitely looking forward to however are taking place at the new for this year Movers and Shakers theatre which each day will feature the Great Imbibe Live Shake Off and The Big Pitcher. OK, so what are they?

The Great Imbibe Live Shake Off features award-winning bartending teams from some of Britain’s best bars going head-to-head live on stage. Competing across four challenging rounds, teams will have to use all their creativity and senses to come out on top. Who will be crowned winner of The Great Imbibe Live Shake-Off? I can’t wait – cheers!

Whilst over at The Big Pitcher exhibitors pitch their innovative serves and sustainable products live to some of the industry’s top drinks and hospitality experts all vying to make it to the final of a Dragon’s Den style competition hoping to win Imbibe Live’s Innovative Serve of the Year or Product with Purpose 2023 Awards. Let’s hope no-one flares success!

Elsewhere there’s plenty to see and do.

The Masterclass sessions include NeilsenIQ discussing the future of drinks at the Movers and Shakers theatre, while another stand-out session on day one at the Cocktail Lounge has to be Pietro Rizzo, Daniele Fierro and Shawn Yu from The Aubrey at Mandarin Oriental discussing the Omakase cocktail experience – a journey of cocktail craft, Japanese culture and discovery. Or if the mood takes you, you can learn how to make the perfect Italian aperitivo again at the Cocktail Lounge.

And continuing the Japanese theme will be Satomi Dosseur, Japanese Sake Lecturer who will be discussing the heritage of Japanese alcoholic beverages. Catch him at the Tasting Room.

It doesn’t let up on day two either; in the Cocktail Lounge Jack Sotti, Imbibe Live Spirits Ambassador will be sharing his thoughts on how to make sustainability not just a buzzword on your menu. Staying at the Cocktail Lounge, Giorgio Bargiani, Assistant Director of Mixology, Daniel Selby, Mixologist, will be celebrating fifteen years of hospitality at The Connaught Bar.

And of course, a visit to Imbibe Live isn’t complete without a visit to the Tasting Room where Abbie Neilson, Co-Founder, Cooper King Distillery, Billy Abbott, WSET Certified Educator & Ambassador and Training Manager, The Whisky Exchange, Colin Johnston, Sales & Marketing Director, Crisp Malt will be showing us how to master malt – warts and all!

In numbers the 2022 event had: over 250 exhibitors, over 5,500 attendees, 30 masterclasses and over 60 speakers and this year looks set to be bigger and better.

So why not join me there and:

  • Taste and try the very latest drinks industry trends and flavours
  • Reconnect with current contacts and forge new partnerships
  • Join masterclasses to hear expert insights to help you boost your business

I’ll be speaking at the Movers & Shakers theatre 1pm on day 2 – I look forward to seeing you there!

Imbibe Live takes place at London Olympia 3rd and 4th July.

Link to registration here

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