Countdown to Imbibe Live 2018: The show’s unmissable events

Drinks: Drinks, Imbibe Live

Bigger and better than ever, find out what’s on, who’s there and what you really don’t want to miss out on at this year’s show

Headline acts
We’ve pulled in some of the biggest names in the biz to entertain and educate you in an action-packed programme of talks, tastings, seminars, masterclasses, competitions and demos. Check out the full schedule at

Centre Stage
The rowdy heart of the Imbibiverse, the Centre Stage will host the final of the 10th edition of Bartenders v Sommeliers, with the scorecard currently racked up 5-4 to the somms. Also rolling to a chaotic finish is Shakes & the City, which’ll see teams from Edinburgh, Sheffield and North-and-East London defending their burgs.

The search continues for the best beer and cider team in the UK with The Tapsters, while Aspall’s Henry Chevallier Guild will line up his top ciders against Cider Ambassador Tom Oliver in the Clash of the Cider Titans.

Imbibe Live’s Spirits Ambassador Mia Johansson, Giuseppe Gallo and friends will be presenting Aperitivo Time!; and Masters of the Martini will be brought to you by Alessandro Palazzi, Ryan Chetiyawardana and Bobby Hiddleston, all sharing their take on the classic.

The all-important details

Date: Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 July
Time: 10am-5pm
Where: Olympia Grand Hall, London, W14 8UX

Winemakers’ Cellar
Hold onto your seats sommeliers*, we have the best line-up of wine tastings you’ve ever seen at Imbibe Live: Matteo Zanardello is offering a slice of Super Tuscan heaven with an Ornellaia Masterclass, while in the Château Margaux Masterclass Thibault Pontallier is exploring the estate’s terroir with tastings of its first and second wines.

If that’s not enough to get your lips around, we’ve got Raj Parr: King of Pinot, the poster boy for cool-climate Californian wines himself, and Taittinger’s Kevin McKee presenting the Comtes de Champagne Masterclass.

*We weren’t joking about holding onto your seats, places are strictly limited, so book now to avoid disappointment.

In Remarkable Rhônes, we’ll be tasting some of the region’s best on-trade offerings with Matt Walls; and in Henschke 1868-2018: 150 Years of Family Winemaking in Australia, we’ll taste some of the family’s best bottles from Eden Valley, the Barossa and the Adelaide Hills.

Wine Sessions
There’s a stellar line-up in this area, with highlights including Grosse Gewächs: Breaking the Code, exploring some of Germany’s best grand crus; Orange Wine with author of Amber Revolution Simon J Woolf; and Making the Most of the Pink Revolution with rosé specialist Elizabeth Gabay MW.

Beer & Cider Hub
Join Beer Ambassador Mitch Adams for The Lager Challenge and help decide which of our finalists – Zerodegrees, Fourpure, Coalition Brewing Co, Geipel Brewing or Redchurch – deserves the gong for the UK’s best lager. Get into dunkelweiss and milk stout with Adrian Tierney-Jones in The Dark Side of the Summer; hear from Tom Oliver in Serpents in a Burning Sky as he chats wild yeasts and co-fermentation; and taste your way through beers that appeal to a diverse clientele in How to Sell Beer to Anybody.

Win a trip to Tuscany!

Ahead of Imbibe Live, we want to know what your desert island drink would be. It could be a timeless classic or the first drink that you ever fell in love with. Whether it’s your favourite glass of wine, a beer, cocktail, cider or mocktail – we want to know! Prize includes two return flights to Florence, two-nights accommodation and an exclusive tour of Ornellaia’s stunning vineyard. For details on how to enter, head to

Cocktail Lounge
In Latin Spirit, Leyenda’s Ivy Mix takes us on a trip across Latin America, sharing the inspiration behind her drinks, while Benjamin Padrón Novoa and José Luis León Martinez from Mexico City’s Licoreria Limantour tackle mixing with mezcal in Where There is Smoke…

Acclaimed bartender Joe Schofield will be sparking our creative synapses with his Sensorium Experience as he discusses his edible Dreams & Desires Gummy Bear menu. On a sober note, in Zero = Hero, Giuseppe González and Nectaly Mendoza of Las Vegas’ Herbs & Rye discuss sobriety and building a non-alcoholic drinks list.

The Academy
Master your Palate with Sam Caporn MW as she shares her tips on wine tasting; find out about the WSET’s approach to tasting spirits with a blind tasting in Get into the Spirit: Product v Package; and earn your cider stripes with Imbibe’s Educator of the Year Gabe Cook in Want to be a Pommelier?

It’s all (ahem) APPening
Back for 2018, the Imbibe Live Meetings app will be on hand to help you arrange meetings before you’ve even arrived. It works just like Tinder and recommends meetings based on business needs and interests. To download the app, just search for ‘Imbibe Live Meetings’ in your app store.

London’s first Night Czar Amy Lamé will be discussing the current issues affecting the on-trade in The Future of UK Nightlife, hosted by the Bar Owners’ Society; and Healthy Hospo’s Tim Etherington-Judge teams up with González and Mendoza to share their wisdom on Bartender Wellbeing.

Taste Zone
Get your taste buds prepped for some pretty rad tasting sessions as Philip Duff presents Six Vermouths You Have to Try in 2018; Kevin Hurley looks to the future in Everything You Know About Irish Whiskey is Wrong!; Tristan Stephenson discusses The Many Faces of Rum; and Saturday Kitchen’s first beer expert Ed Hughes presents the perfect brews to pair with your street food faves in Beer Street Feast.

Getting into the serious nitty gritty, we’ll be debating terroir in spirits with the guys from Belvedere and Waterford Distillery in Soil, Stills & Spirit; and in Wood Peakers, we’ll be exploring the choice of barrels and finishes used to age spirits.

Get your ticket before it’s too late! Register now at

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