On 19 September 2019, Lara Gun attended the annual Beer Matters UK conference and trade expo held in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was a one day event and, like BrewCon, comprised a trade show with exhibitors from equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers and service providers to the brewing industry.

Beer technology and business trends

The conference program included technical and business themed topics presented by UK and overseas presenters. Of particular interest was a presentation by Shane McCarthy of Ireland Craft Beer on block chain technology to ensure supply chain integrity and demonstrate product authenticity/provenance while also serving as a valuable marketing tool for brewers to engage with consumers.

Jan Niewodniczanski of Bitburger Braugruppe, Germany also spoke about marketing strategies and consumer trends in beer. For example, the growth in alcohol free, lower alcohol/calorie beer, gluten free beers and the potential for growth in the supplemented beer sector - ie superfoods, hemp, protein etc - as well as the momentum for sustainable packaging.

A very Scottish evening

In the evening, Lara attended the annual Scottish Beer Awards event and dinner. Given the requirement of Scottish formal attire there was an abundance of kilts and the menu showcased the best of Scottish cuisine including haggis, Stornoway black pudding, Scotch beef and bone marrow as well as triple chocolate brownies with whisky marshmallows for dessert. Each course was matched to a local brew, all of which was well received.