Welcome to the schedule for this year’s Craft Distilling Expo! Whilst this is a fairly final draft, it is highly likely we’ll throw in a few extra surprises over the event. Find out more about each speaker by clicking on their name.

Please note, this post is for information purposes. Ticket holders can head here to view the agenda on the event system, and add talks to their own personalised agenda. If you don’t have a ticket yet, be sure to get one here.


THURSDAY

* Please note that Masterclasses require an additional ticket. 

(Pre-Expo Event) 09:30-10:30 – MASTERCLASS*: Training the Senses with Julia Nourney (Blind tasting)

A rare opportunity to hone your tasting abilities with spirits expert Julia Nourney. In this session, Julia will explain how the senses work, how to train your palate, and how things are not always what they seem.

10:00 – EXPO OPENS

10:30-10:50 – Welcome and Keynote Address
The Craft Distilling Expo is delighted to welcome our long-time friend and supporter, Master of Distilling Stephen Gould of Golden Moon Distillery, Colorado as our keynote speaker.

11:00-11:45 – How to Start a Distillery Panel
The Craft Distilling Expo kicks off in the usual style with our regular “How to Start a Distillery” panel, which will be made up of a mix of industry experts and distillers who have been there, done it, and got the t-shirt! Chair by the wonderful Kathy Caton of Brighton Gin.

11:00-11:25 – The RYE (Right) Expectations with Ian Wisniewski
Expo favourite Ian Wisniewski is back to talk about consumer expectations when it comes to whisk(e)y (in particular, rye). He will provide valuable insight on how to communicate flavour profile and styles clearly and efficiently to potential customers.

12:00-12:45 – MASTERCLASS*: Gin FAQ with Rachel Sutherland and Ben Marston
Our popular, annual talk on topical gin matters returns! This year, we cover two topics in this single talk:

Part One: Compounding – The art of compounding, or making gin via infusion, has occasionally been maligned by distillers, but with rising fuel costs is it time for this low energy production alternative to get a second look? Ben Marston of Puddingstone Distillery will share some of his recent findings on the topic.

Part Two: The Chemical Composition of London Dry – Rachel Sutherland, in conjunction with Warner’s Distillery and the University of Nottingham, will share some of her recent work on the analysis of a London Dry Gin during a production run. This is a great opportunity to understand how a gin changes during a still run using both chemical analysis and tasting samples.

13:00-13:25 – Sustainable Shipping
Rosie Milsom of Atom Brands and independent green spirits commentator Sarah Miller will discuss the evolving world of spirits shipping, from bulk shipments to individual domestic delivery. The talk will cover: recyclability, the carbon footprint of couriers, and – crucially – making sure the product arrives in one piece.

13:00-13:45 – Duty and Licensing Update with Alan Powell of the British Distillers Alliance
Expo favourite Alan Powell of the British Distillers Alliance returns to give an update on duty and licensing issues in the UK.

14:00-14:30 – The Gin Guild – Ten Years On…
2022 sees the tenth anniversary of The Gin Guild. Over the past decade, led by Nicholas Cook and The Gin Guild Board and with the support of The Worshipful Company of Distillers, the organisation has been a great source for good and encouragement in the gin industry. Join new Director General Pal Gleed to discuss the future of the organisation.

14:00-14:45 – MASTERCLASS*: UK Rum: The Coming of Age with Peter Holland
Unaged spirit is a graceful and pure expression of the underlying base material, fermentation, and distillation, but, for some, rum really comes into its own when the spirit has been matured or aged with wood. The UK is moving into this area at an increasing pace, with 3 year old rums that have been both produced and matured in the UK now available from both England and Scotland.

Join rum expert Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack as he explores some of the more exciting variations of aged rum from the UK, including some exciting three year old spirits.

15:00-15:25 – Food IN Drink: The Ultimate Pairing
Distilling Expo favourite Rosie Milsom of Atom Brands is back by popular demand to discuss a rather unusual subject: incorporating food into spirits. If you’re interested in jam doughnut gin, bourbon Bourbon (whiskey), or a barbecue Old Fashioned, then this session is for you! Rosie will discuss a range of techniques that you can use to make unique and high-quality spirits where any notion of fad or novelty evaporates as soon as they are tasted.

15:00-15:30 – A Classic Whodunnit? Fingerprinting Juniper: Profiling Predominance
Matthew Pauley presents findings of his latest research, which is funded by The Gin Guild and in association with the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, is part of industry-leading work concerning the sensory performance of gin. Using techniques usually applied to the field of medical research, he is able to look at patterns of perception and look for signals, trends and, in time, correlations and causations within the data using algorithmic techniques previously out of the reach of this project just two years ago.

15:30-16:00 – From London to Lima: An Englishman in Peru
Alex James describes his exciting journey of starting a distillery in the mountains of Peru, from embracing and supporting local communities and resources to having to make his own cooperage tool to make barrels. An eye-opening account with some breath taking imagery.

16:00-16:30 – Independent Retail Forum
Join Dimple Athavia of “All Things Drinks” to discuss the role of independent retail (both online and physical) in the modern world of spirits. Discover the opportunities available to work with these companies and build mutually profitable relationships, as well as the sorts of products and concepts that they are currently interested in.

16:00-16:45 – MASTERCLASS*: The Drinks of James Bond 007
Thursday 6th October is sixty years to the day that the first James Bond film, Dr. No, was released at cinemas and to celebrate our in-house 007 fan David T Smith will guide you through some of the secret agent’s drinks in this fun, but informative session. David will discuss how to make a faithful recreation of Kina Lillet and offer a tasting of a vintage bottle of Dimple Haig – a whisky favoured by the famous spy.

Includes tasting samples….

17:00-18:00 – Networking Hour
Join us for networking hour, with a few G&Ts of course, kindly provided by the Gin Guild. It’s a great opportunity to meet other distillers, and exhibitors for a more casual chat.


FRIDAY

* Please note that Masterclasses require an additional ticket. 

09:30-10:30 MASTERCLASS*: Species of Oak: Barrel Tasting
Join independent spirits expert Julia Nourney for an eye-opening session exploring the impact that the species of oak used for ageing can have on a spirit: from European to American oak and a number of others besides. This will showcase how the impact of maturation goes beyond the factors of time, toast, and char.

10:00-10:45 – How to Grow Your Distillery
Aimed at distillers that are at least 2-5 years into their distilling journey, this session will cover topics critical to growing distillers: from product line extension to hiring more staff and raising capital.

11:00-11:25 – Botanical Update – Beacon Commodities
Join Michael Haughton and team from Beacon Commodities for an update on the current situation and future outlook for botanical supplies. With the recent rise in climatic and political uncertainty, this talk is a must for any gin or botanical distiller.

12:00-12:45 – MASTERCLASS*: New Make Whisky Tasting
Before there was whisky, there was new make whisky and it’s always been thus. For a while, the market’s attention has been focused on the impact of the barrel: toasting, charring, finishes, etc., but now that a new generation of whisky producers have released their aged products, new make is back in vogue.

In association with Holyrood Distillery, join Millie Milliken, IWSC’s 2022 Spirits Communicator of the Year and self-confessed new make fanatic for an informative and enjoyable tasting of new make spirits, exploring yeast strains, base materials, and much more.

13:00-13:45 – Boiler Infusion, Vapor Infusion, and Extraction – A Varied Approach To Botanical Distillation
Join Odin van Eijk from iStill as he discusses a variety of techniques and the equipment required to make a range of botanical spirits including a new extraction technique.

14:00-14:25 – ‘5 Tips for Marketing Success’ with Richard Foster
Not only is Richard Foster the Chief Explorer and standard bearer for English Whisky, he also has in-depth knowledge and experience in spirits marketing; in this session, Rich will share some of the secrets of his success.

14:00-14:45 – MASTERCLASS*: Salt in Spirits – A Practical Guide
Sweetness can really add something to spirits and liqueurs are legally required to include it, but what about the other side of the coin: what about salt?

There has been a small, but increasing number of distillers using salt in their spirits, whether that be as a botanical, post-distillation infusion, or in the proofing process. It can add flavour, texture, and a little “je ne sai quoi” to any spirit, whether that be that rum, whisky, gin, brandy, or liqueur. This session will explore questions such as: what sort of salt should you use? does it make a difference? and what are the pitfalls to watch out for? Join us to find out with Vanessa Piromallo, David T Smith and Julia Nourney.

15:00-15:45 – English Whisky Panel
It’s been 15 years in the making, but now the English Whisky scene has really picked up momentum, with over 40 distilleries now making it in the country. This year also saw the founding of the English Whisky Guild, so it’s safe to say that there is plenty to talk about. Join Richard Foster of Exploring English Whisky and his special guests as they discuss the exciting rise and future of this category.

15:00-16:00 Importing and Distribution
As brands continue to expand, they naturally set their sites on finding new markets and furthering existing ones; to be successful with this, a great partnership with an importer and distributor is essential.

Jaye Iwanowski, Director of Identity Drinks Brands and Samantha Smith, Director of Niche Alcohol Suppliers, as they share their experiences and answer your questions. This should be a fascinating session with two industry leaders who both looks after some fantastic products.

16:00-16:30 – Still Power: Heat Sources for Stills Beyond 2022
Energy is currently a hot topic the world over and the impact of rising-prices, environmental concerns, and potential future legislation is being felt by distillers around the globe. As a result, many are considering or re-considering how they heat their stills. Scott Allen of Allen Associates will give an impartial appraisal of the current situation and future challenges, and what options distillers have to successfully overcome them.

16:00-16:45 – MASTERCLASS*: Barrel Entry Proof
What difference does the ABV that a spirit enters a barrel have on the final product? Find out in this informative masterclass with Stephen Gould of Golden Moon Distillery. Attendees will get to taste a range of whiskies that have entered the barrel at different ABVs so they can experience the difference for themselves.