BeerX 2014 kicks off with beer competition judging
Judges are gathering in Sheffield today to assess the finalists in the National Beer Competition organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). The judging, at iceSheffield, marks the start of SIBA’s BeerX 2014, which runs through to Saturday evening.
The judging panel, made up of around 100 brewers, industry experts, local licensees and beer enthusiasts will assess a total of 300 finalist beers, which have all earned their place by winning a medal at one of SIBA’s eight regional beer competitions.
The 60 Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners and three Supreme Champion winners of cask, keg and bottled categories will be announced tomorrow. After the presentations, all finalist beers will on sale in the BeerX Festival of Beer, which is anticipating 2,000 visitors between now and the event’s close on Saturday evening.
SIBA staged its first-ever BeerX in Sheffield last year and the event’s success ensured its return for 2014. This year, close to 800 industry delegates are attending BeerX to listen to the 25 speeches and seminars delivered by experts in their field, visit the 100 suppliers who are taking stands at the event, learn the winners of SIBA’s National Beer Competition, Business Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards and network with fellow brewers and industry colleagues.
Key speakers include Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis and Andrew Griffiths MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group; JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin; brewing guru Charlie Bamford and Steve Grossman of Sierra Nevada. Seminars include sessions by John Keeling of Fullers on wood ageing; Roger Ryman of St Austell on English lager and a panel of SIBA members on pub retailing. A new ‘meet the buyer’ session on Friday gives delegates the chance to meet beer buyers from 10 export markets
Julian Grocock, SIBA chief executive, said, “We’re delighted that BeerX 2014 is now up and running after many months of preparation.
“We’re confident of achieving our goal for the event, which is to present British beer at its best to a wide ranging audience, from industry veterans who will be engaged by our top flight speakers, to new or growing brewers who will learn from our seminars and from the opportunities to network with their peers, to drinkers who will be spoilt for choice by the beers offered at the Festival of Beer.”
He added, “SIBA is, we believe, the only organisation who could credibly stage an event that brings together so many different groups, each with a different perspective on British beer but united in their love for it and desire to see it prosper.”