Imbibe live logo in white
1–2 July 2024
Olympia London

Inside Imbibe Live: Hear from our 2022 Ambassadors

It’s getting to that time of year again! Imbibe Live is drawing closer and we are absolutely buzzing to welcome our visitors into the Grand Hall, Olympia.

As ever we are honoured to have some of the most respected and influential industry leaders involved in curating this year’s masterclass programme, offering their experience from all across the industry so that you can get the most out of the event. From cultural cocktails, sustainability, diversity & inclusion, botanical flavours, mixology and trends, we’ll be covering it all in the Imbibe Live masterclass sessions.

Ahead of the event, we sat down to chat to Ian, Jane, Gabe and Laura about what they’re most looking forward to about Imbibe Live 2022. Read on to hear their thoughts… 

Ian Burrell – Global Ambassador for Rum

I always look forward to Imbibe Live as for me it traditionally the kicks off the drinks industry's summer season. At the show there are three things that I am looking forward to seeing. (1) What are the latest trends and products to impact the market? (2) What have we learnt and have we adapted post global pandemic? And (3) on a personal note, how will new rum brands like Equiano fair with the Imbibe audience?

How hot new rums like Equiano are received by bartenders from all over the UK

Join Ian at Imbibe Live for his session ‘The Top 10 Bartender's Myths about Rum’ in the Tasting Room, 4 July.

Jane Peyton - Award-winning drinks educator, writer, broadcaster, and public speaker

One of the reasons I look forward to Imbibe Live is for the masterclasses.  The themes are varied and I always learn useful facts and am introduced to new products.  This year I will be at the front of the queue for Gabe Cook’s Blurring Boundaries: Innovating Cider on July 4th in the Tasting Room at 12pm - 12:45pm, and on the same day and location Becky Paskin is hosting Home Drams: English Whisky, at 15:45 - 16:30.

In terms of exhibitors, I will be exploring the No & Low alcohol offerings, because even though I run a business called School of Booze, my clients often ask for No & Low options at the events I produce.  No & Low is such a fast growing category and I want to see what’s new. 

Jane will be at Imbibe Live hosting the session ‘Bigging up Beer! Why improving your venue's beer offering is good for business’ in the Tasting Room, 4 July. Join her there!

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Gabe Cook – The Cidcerologist

With such an action-packed series of masterclasses, it's hard to know where to start! On Monday 4th July, I'll certainly be heading to see Imbibe Live’s Beer Ambassador, Jane Peyton, Bigging Up Beer in her own inimitable style - don't miss that. 

But I also wish to learn something new, and as I haven't heard of it before, on Tuesday 5th July I'm going to 'Discover Baiju'.  In between these two sessions I'll take a visit to the Drinks Trust stand to thank them for their amazing work in our industry before heading onto Lanchester Wines to have a taste of what must be an amazing Grand Cru Pinot Gris from Grounded.  Choices, choices, choices! 

Join Gabe at Imbibe Live for his session ‘Blurring Boundaries: Innovating Cider’ in the Tasting Room, 4 July.

Laura Willoughby MBE – Co-founder of Club Soda

The pandemic proved one thing - we are social beings. We yearn for spaces and places that help us feel connected and convivial. So without a doubt, customers are looking for venues where their whole party can feel welcome, from a decent vegan offering to great drink options for friends not drinking today.

Venues have changed a lot in the past five years. Options for everyone, regardless of abv, are really exciting. Flavour rules for alcohol-free, and the new brands in this space don't disappoint.  Who would ever have thought kombucha would be served in pubs, that you could make an alcohol-free version of the most popular cocktails or that Ocado’s biggest selling beer would be alcohol-free?

Low and no drinks continue to excite and delight customers. It is a drinks category with lots of innovation and there is always something new that would suit your venue. Club Soda is running a panel session on the Industry Matters stage.

·         You will hear direct from venues how they picked their range, why and what works for them.

·         Narmeen Kamran from Desert Island Events will share what event organisers are looking for when booking a venue.

·         Emily from the Ethicurean will talk about why they offer a full range of alcohol-free options as part of their drinking experience.

We hope you will enjoy meeting the brands at the show. Lucky Saint is a beer people are asking for by name; come and taste it. Maverick has a fantastic range of pre-canned cocktails. Great for customers stocking up for a picnic or festival. Strykk has a new exciting launch perfect for summer.

Everyone at Imbibe Live has free access to the Club Soda training for venue staff and managers. ‘Create a Mindful Drinking Venue’ helps you make your venue inclusive for drinkers and non-drinkers alike. Use CODE imbibe-educates.



Join Laura in the Industry Matters theatre, 4 July, for ‘Drinks for everyone. How alcohol free is a priority for your customers’. 

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