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Brewers Blog

29
Oct

Full House at the 5th Edition of SEA Brew – Where Asia’s Brewing Industry Meets

“Great Event !!!! Thank you”
“Congratulations on organizing another awesome event!”
“Was a fantastic event! Cheers!”
“Congratulations for a successful SEA BREW 2019! Looking forward to the next one!”

SEA Brew 2019 Conference & Trade Fair was a roaring success!

In line with growing interest and appreciation for craft brews, so too is the interest in SEA Brew, Asia’s premier Conference and Trade Fair for the craft brewing community. A capacity crowd of more than 570 brewers, distributors and leading industry suppliers descended on Bangkok, Thailand 26-27 September 2019 for the 5th edition, hosted at The Berkeley Hotel Pratunam.

With 26 presenters over 3 tracks representing each major segment of the industry, this year’s show set a new standard for craft brewing focused events in the region. Combining a carefully selected balance of knowledge sharing and networking for both the formal 2-day programme and the evening social sessions, delegates walked away with invaluable insights on how to propel their operations forward.

Says Charles Guerrier, the event’s founder “Our vision has always been for SEA Brew to become the principle meeting place for the regions brewers and brewing industry; we are delighted to see how professionals from throughout Asia have made this one of their Go-To events of the year”.

This year’s Keynote Presentations covered a frank assessment of the future of trans-continental beer shipping by Stu McKinlay (Yeastie Boys), valuable insights into business Start-Up’s that you won’t find in any manual from Dick Cantwell (Magnolia Brewing Co.) and first-hand tips on the management of growth form Steve Anderson (Barossa Valley Brewing Co.).

After the morning keynotes the conference then split into specialized groups covering topics such as lautering efficiency, hop selection, distribution agreements and exotic beer styles across the 3 conference tracks of Brewhouse Operations, Ingredients and Marketing & Distribution.

More than just a conference, the space allocated to this year’s SEA Brew Trade Fair was increased 50% from last year’s show in Manila, allowing over 50 brands to present all manner of offerings, ranging from brewing, packaging and dispensing equipment to ingredients, glassware and brewing aids.

In addition, the Trade Fair featured a Demo Area, a business lounge and of course, given this is an event all about the craft of beer making, a dedicated bar, with thanks going to our partner, Beervana.

A new initiative for 2019, the Demo Area was certainly a hit. A session from Oliver Woods, Founder of Beer Asia on “Levelling Up Your Beer Business’ Digital Performance” was especially popular, and had standing room only.

With engagement and interaction being a hallmark of any successful modern-day conference SEA Brew didn’t disappoint; there were numerous opportunities for delegates to participate in lively discussion sessions as well as put their skills to the test with hands-on sensory sessions.

First up was the Conference Brew Sensory Session, presented in conjunction with Barth-Haas, Fermentis and Barrett Burston. This year’s conference brew, an India Pale Lager, was a collaboration between Vietnam’s Heart of Darkness Brewery and Thailand’s Sandport Brewing. The collaborating partners (suppliers & brewers) led a tasting session during which they discussed their brewing regime and the effect of the ingredients on the beer produced.

The Asian Craft Beer Associations Forum saw Achiravas Vanasrisawasd of iSTB (THA); Jason Lowe, Heroes Beer Co. (HK); John Pemberton, Heart of Darkness Brewery (VIE); Nadine Howell Fanlo, Pedro Brewcrafters (PHI) tackle the issue of “Who Will Brew Asia’s Beer?”. Given that small batch brewing in Thailand is illegal and many of the craft brewers around the region are brewing on systems with under 500 litre batch sizes, this was deemed a very topical subject which produced an enlightening discussion session.

“Sustainability & Recycling in the Brewing Industry” was delved into at the Thought Leadership Forum. Sustainable brewhouse and packaging / dispensing initiatives were discussed by Stanley Boots, 7 Bridges Brewing Co. (VIE); Mathieu Raphat, Petainer (THA); Alban Casimir, Focus Wheig (THA); Brett Lamont, Lightweight Containers (NED); Fal Allen, Anderson Valley Brewing Co. (USA).

The sampling continued with the Off-Flavour Detection, Origins & Remedies Workshop presented by Daniel McCulloch, the Technical Sales Manager of Lallemand Brewing. Participants were taken through a selection of beer samples spiked with off flavours and learnt how sensory evaluation is an essential quality control tool in both breweries and points of distribution.

The final session of the formal programme, the now infamous Experts Panel, is a true highlight of SEA Brew. It’s a chance for the audience to grill the best and brightest on some of the more pressing issues facing the industry (and some not so relevant!). This year’s panellists included: Dick Cantwell, Head of Brewing Operations, Magnolia Brewing Co; Steve Anderson, Strategic Brewing Director, Barossa Valley Brewing Co; Shigeharu Asagiri, Founder & CEO, COEDO Brewery; Fal Allen, Brewmaster, Anderson Valley Brewing Co; Tom Lowe, Founder, Fourpure Brewing Co. Issues discussed ranged from the panellists impressions of local market conditions and the impact of hard seltzers on the market to the definition of craft and what they were up to that evening!

The conference was wrapped up with a thank you to all delegates and exhibitors from the organizers and the revealing of the 2020 conference location as Taipei (Taiwan).

Then there were the informal sessions, an integral part of the SEA Brew programme. Wednesday night saw the SEA Brew 2019 Welcome Party presented by Fermentis. A tradition that eases delegates into the coming two days, it’s a proven way for everyone to connect again with peers from around the region, build new bonds and share challenges.

Thursday night saw a Beervana-hosted social event in the Trade Fair, followed by the Asia Beer Championship 2019 Awards Night, the first time we’ve hosted the awards at the conference. The awards saw the breweries of South Korea continue their regional dominance – will they be challenged in 2020?

And after 2 days of hard work the SEA Brew/Habitat for Humanity Official After Party & Charity Fundraiser was not really the end of the show, instead it was an opportunity for delegates to discuss the day’s proceedings and as a primer for experience our host city, Bangkok, which no doubt saw plenty of further “sampling”.

Plans for 2020 are already underway with the team visiting Taiwan in the weeks after Bangkok. Attendees to the next event can look forward to more of what you’ve asked for and told us you like: industry innovations, best-practice insights, opportunities to share and exchange ideas and make new connections, all to help you grow your business.

And we just have one piece of advice: book early next time to avoid missing out like so many did this year!

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