SIBA attracts top line-up

Chef Simon Rimmer

Chef Simon Rimmer

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Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer will lead a line-up of experts speaking at BeerX, the UK brewing industry’s biggest ever conference, which takes place in Sheffield next month.

Hundreds of brewers and licensees are expected to join members of the public for the celebration of British beer, staged at Ponds Forge by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) from March 13-16.

Rimmer – star of TV programmes including Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch – is a beer enthusiast as well as an award-winning chef and vegetarian food specialist. He leads a diverse line-up of speakers including master brewer Garrett Oliver, SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock and MPs from both sides of the House.

Julian Grockock says: “All of our speakers will be setting out their vision for British brewing. Given their very different backgrounds, we are expecting a diverse set of speeches which will nonetheless share a passion for our national drink.

“By bringing together figures from politics, brewing and – through Simon Rimmer – the wider world of food and drink, we have created a programme with wide appeal. Our ambition with BeerX has always been to celebrate British beer before a broad audience, ranging from drink industry veterans to novice beer drinkers.”

The four-day programme includes final judging of the SIBA national beer competitions, an industry day featuring the SIBA Business Awards 2013, and a Festival of Beer which is open to the public from 5pm on Friday and throughout Saturday.

Daytime events free; festival tickets £3-£5: www.beerx.org

Lesley Draper