The talks will take place at the trade session of the festival at Tobacco Dock, Docklands, east London, on 3 August, and will be hosted by keynote speaker Jenn Merrick, the founder of London’s Earth Station brewery.
Other speakers will include Bruce Gray – owner of Left Handed Giant Brewery and Small Bar – on the subject of localism; James Rylance (brewer at Harbour Brewing co) on ‘going wild’; Brian Strumke from Stillwater Artisanal; and Chris Pilkington from Põhjala Brewery, Estonia.
Mental health discussion
There will also be a talk from Tim Etherington-Judge of health and wellness initiative Healthy Hospo on mental health in the drinks industry, a topic that has generated much debate in recent months.
Alongside the talks, festival organiser We Are Beer has also created an informal bar area where breweries can meet a selection of hand-picked suppliers operating in the craft space. More than 20 companies are taking part, including Aroxa, Mini Brew, Simply Hops and Keg Stars and Moorgate Finance.
Learning in an 'evolving space'
Speaking about the decision to put on the Raise the Bar Sessions, Daniel Sylvester, co-founder of the London Craft Beer Festival, said: “The Raise the Bar Sessions provides a forum for everyone connected to the industry to come together, hear from the best in the business and learn new things in this fast-evolving space.
“Having spoken to both suppliers and brewers, we found there was an emerging disconnect between them, so by providing an area for them to meet informally, a place in keeping with the relaxed atmosphere at the festival, we hope to help the craft beer category to continue to grow and prosper.”
The full agenda for the Raise the Bar Sessions is as follows:
12noon-12.10pm: Intro - Greg Wells (Co-Founder, We Are Beer ltd)
12.10pm- 12.20pm: Keynote - Jenn Merrick on ‘quality’ (Earth Station, ex-Beavertown)
12.30pm-12.40pm: Bruce Gray - on ‘local’ (Left Handed Giant, Small Bar)
12.50pm-1pm: James Rylance - on ‘going wild’ (Harbour Brewing Co.)
1.30pm-1.40pm: Brian Strumke - on ‘art and beer’ (Stillwater Artisanal)
1.50pm-2pm: Tim Etherington-Judge - on ‘mental health in drinks (Healthy Hospo)
2.10pm-2.20pm: Mini Brew demonstration
2.30pm-2.40pm: Chris Pilkington - on ‘building a brew scene’ (Põhjala Brewery, Estonia)
3.10pm-3.20pm: Wired.co.uk on Industry Disruption
3.20pm-4pm: Original Gravity Live w/ Pete Brown & Adrian Tierney Jones