Bill Owens presents Alexandre Gabriel (l.) of Maison Ferrand with the Outstanding Contribution to Distilling Award and Jim Murray (r.), author of The Whisky Bible, with the Outstanding Contribution to the World of Spirits Award (Photo: Christopher McGreger)

Crafting Spirits | The fifth consecutive Craft Distilling Expo took place in London on October 4th and 5th 2017. This singular event offers a diverse program of informative and educational sessions and workshops organized around a trade show. The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in the now fashionable East End serves as a splendid backdrop for the event.

The winners of the 2017 Ludwig Naziß Award were also announced at the drinktec (f. l.): laudator L. Narziß with T. Kunz, P. C. Wietstock, and F.-J. Methner

Great success | The whirlwind of activity surrounding drinktec 2017 has passed. Organizers, exhibitors and visitors can now take a deep breath and relax, confident in the knowledge that the trade fair was a resounding success. It was certainly a trade fair full of superlatives: the largest, most diverse and most comprehensive thus far. This year’s drinktec took place at the Neue Messe München exhibition center from September 11th to 15th 2017, and much of it was new.

International MicroBrew Symposium | In 2017, VLB Berlin e.V., Germany, brought their MicroBrew Symposium to Munich. On Monday, the first day of drinktec, the ICM of Messe München was for one day the spot where concerns of craft and micro brewers were in the center of interest.

“Hops – a pure passion!” This declaration was made by a man who had traveled a great distance to St. Stefan am Walde (Mühlviertel) near the northern border of Austria, in order to attend the meeting of the scientific-technical committee of the International Hop Growers’ Convention (IHGC) which took place from 25th to 29th June 2017. When asked why he is taking part in the four-day congress for hop scientists, US brewer David Grinnell immediately responded with firm conviction: “Because hops are an obsession.” Grinnell is interested in everything about hops, from breeding and cultivation to phytopathology, bacteriology and entomology, as well as hop chemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology research.

The notion of organizing a conference for small brewers in Greece and neighboring countries emerged from a desire to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and an exchange of ideas among colleagues. Thus, the International Craft Brewers’ Roundtable (ICBR) took place in Komotini, Greece for the first time from May 5th to 7th 2017 in the recently opened visitor center at the Macedonian Thrace Brewery S.A. The primary focus was on topics involving technology and on the development of the craft beer market in the USA. This included questions regarding correct labeling, sales and new and innovative non-alcoholic beverages.

The very first Parisian edition of the Mondial de la Bière was held from 30 June to 2 July at the Maison de la Mutualité in the fifth arrondissement. The event seems to have found its niche as the go-to place for beer enthusiasts to learn about the latest taste and food trends.

The international event is held every two years and has made a name for itself as South America’s leading brewing technology trade fair, attracting the largest international beer companies and institutions. The event is organised by Fagga GL events Exhibitions, and the 2017 edition was held at the São Paulo Exhibition & Convention Center.

The 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition (from 5 to 7 October 2017 in Denver) awarded 293 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus three GABF Pro-Am medals to teams of homebrewers paired with professionals. Presented by the Brewers Association (BA), GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and the premier symbol of brewing excellence.

Breweries are as keen to win European Beer Star medals as restaurants are to gain Michelin stars. With 2,151 beers from 46 countries, the renowned beer competition experienced a new participation record for the 14th year in succession, thus being this year’s most important beer competition worldwide.

On September 13th, 2017 the third Ludwig-Narziß- Award for brewing science was bestowed at the drinktec trade fair in Munich. In her opening address, Dr. Lydia Junkersfeld, Editor-in Chief of BRAUWELT International, emphasized that the Award, endowed with EUR 2,500 and a trophy of Sahm GmbH & Co. KG, Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany, is designed to honour authors for publications in the scientific journal BrewingScience the results of which are particularly relevant for application in brewing. The most important criterion is the transfer of science to brewing. The Award was initiated mainly by former PhD students of Prof. Ludwig Narziß. The price money is managed by Weihenstephan Jubilee Foundation 1905 in the Association of Weihenstephan Alumni of the Department of Brewing (VeW).

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