25 November 2022

SEA Brew comes roaring back to Thailand

Industry event | The strong rebound of Asia’s premium beer industry was plain to see from the huge turn out at SEA Brew 2022, Asia’s premier Conference and Trade Fair for the craft brewing & premium beer community. Held on 27-28 October at the Berkeley Hotel Pratunam Bangkok, Thailand. After a 3-year hiatus SEA Brew 2022 witnessed a 20% growth on 2019 attendance.

With a theme of “Finding your Advantage Through Innovation” a much-needed post-pandemic boost was delivered to almost 700 brewers, distributors and global industry suppliers through more than 28 presentation sessions and workshops 3 conference tracks as well as an on-the-trade-floor “Innovation Zone”. Combining expert knowledge sharing, engaging interactive sessions and networking for both the formal 2-day programme and the evening social sessions, delegates walked away with invaluable insights and much needed new connections to propel their brewing and distribution operations forward through targeted innovation.

Says Charles, Guerrier, the event’s founder: “We’re delighted with this year’s turnout and response to our move to a more interactive programme. The opportunity for industry experts and suppliers to help brewers with the problems they are facing on a daily basis will be invaluable to them as the industry expands in the coming years.“ More than just a conference of course, the SEA Brew Trade Fair increased another 30% from the last edition, allowing more than 50 of the world’s leading suppliers to present all manner of offerings, including new raw ingredients products and expert advice on how to use them, as well as technological advances in beer production, packaging and dispensing.

The Trade Fair also played host an Innovation Zone, a business lounge and of course, given this is an event all about the craft of beer making, a dedicated bar, with thanks again to our partner, Beervana and generous donations from the craft brewers of Thailand. The Innovation Zone in particular was a clear hit, and the two Talking Business sessions with Charlie Papazian and Mazen Hajjar were especially popular, with standing room only. This year also saw the addition of new Bring a Beer Business Matching session, to help Brewers and Distributors grow their portfolios and expand the market.

As any regular SEA Brew attendee will tell you, the numerous opportunities for engagement and interaction are what makes the show truly unique. Beyond the lively Q&A sessions, a host of hands-on, experiential opportunities were conducted.

Among the most popular are the Sensory Sessions, and this year there was the Conference Brew Sensory Session with Barth Haas & Fermentis that included brewers Sira Lawsup from Underdog Microbrewery (Thailand) and Paul Edwards of Gorilla Brewing Co. (South Korea).

Other highly engaging sessions included a Build-A-Beer Workshop with Colin Wilson, Managing Director of Totally Natural Solutions, that focused on the use of hop extracts as well as a sampling of the Barth Haas “Inspiration Range” of products using hops in non-traditional beverages. This year’s sensory session delivered by Lallemand Brewing and the Siebel Institute of Technology focussed on identifying bio-transformation flavours as well as off-flavours. The final session of the formal programme, the ever-popular Experts Panel, once again gave the audience a chance to quiz the best and brightest on some of the more pressing issues facing the industry. This year’s panellists included: Charlie Papazian, Fmr. President, Brewers Association (USA); Mazen Hajjar, Founder/CEO, Hawkers Beer (Aus); Narihiro Suzuki, CEO/President, Isekado Brewery & Chris White, CEO, Whitelabs.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a SEA Brew without the informal sessions, and this years’ highlight was SEA Brew 2022 Welcome Party presented by Fermentis. A growing tradition the evening before the show that eases delegates into the coming two days, this year with an explosive live band, it’s a proven way for everyone to start networking and sharing challenges.

Last but by no means least, at the close of the conference on Friday we held the Asia Beer Championship 2022 Awards, where a packed room watched a roll-call of best of breed brews, where a total of 115 awards were handed out including this year’s Champion breweries of Asia and the Champion Beer of Asia for 2022 which went to China’s Trueman Brewery for their Haihe River Gose. The opportunity was also taken to announce the rebranding of SEA Brew to Brew Asia, the new show name reflecting the growth of the annual gathering which now sees delegates travel from all corners of the region to attend the conference and trade fair

Plans for Brew Asia 2023 are already well underway, and next year’s show will take place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Attendees to the next event can look forward to more of the latest industry innovations, best-practice insights, opportunities to share and exchange ideas and make new connections, and a few surprises to be announced soon, all to help you grow your business. Brew Asia 2023 will be held in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) from 19–20 October 2023.

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