Trade Session

The Great British Beer Festival Trade Session is where the British Beer and Pub Industry meet. The session is the perfect place to network with breweries of all shapes and sizes, pub owners, media representatives and other trade professionals. Taking place on Tuesday, 6th August 2019 from 12 – 5pm, the session includes the official opening of the festival and the announcement of the winner of the Champion Beer of Britain 2019.

You can register on the day, please make sure you have a relevant business card to show on the door.

Trade Session Programme

13:30 Heineken in Africa – Olivier van Beemen
14:15 James Dowdeswell
14:45 Festival Opening & Champion Beer of Britain Announcement

Discovery Zone

We’ll be unveiling our new Discovery Zone at Trade Session!

Join Harvey’s Head Brewer and Joint Managing Director Miles Jenner for a cask vs keg comparative beer tasting of their Wharf IPA, and try their barley wine Tin Lizzie on keg for the first time. 

Representatives from Charles Faram Hops Merchants and Crisp Malt will also be supporting the activities during Trade Session and showcasing their high-quality hops and malts.

Heineken in Africa – Olivier van Beemen

The Dutch beer giant likes to blow its own trumpet about the economic and social benefits it brings to Africa – but revelations of sexual harassment and low pay show a different picture. 

Olivier Van Beemen explains how Heineken’s operations in Africa are not always ethical.

In total, I spent six years researching Heineken in Africa. On my first few reporting trips, I was suitably impressed. As a Dutchman, you inevitably feel a certain pride when you are far away from home and notice how popular “our” brands are. The company, which has operated in Africa since the 1930s, likes to present itself as a dynamic enterprise that has achieved remarkable success on a commercially challenging continent, where many countries struggle with bad infrastructure, low education levels, corruption and political instability.

But I started having misgivings early on.

James Dowdeswell, comedian

James grew up in a West Country pub, The Anchor Inn, Oldbury-Upon-Severn, near Bristol, which his parents still own.

In 2015 he toured his stand-up show, James Dowdeswell’s Perfect Pub in Australia, The Edinburgh Fringe and festivals all over the UK. In the show James outlined the problems facing pubs and asked the audience to suggest what they wish to have in their perfect pub. The best and most intriguing suggestions would be written on a chalkboard. Every night a new perfect pub would be created and named.

James decided to write ‘The Pub Manifesto: A Comedian Stands Up For Pubs’, which was published by CAMRA Books in November 2018.

Festival Opening and Champion Beer of Britain Announcement

The CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain is one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the world. It is the ultimate honour for UK brewers, and has helped put many into the national spotlight.

Judging for the competition takes around a year, starting with individual nominations from CAMRA members and local and regional competitions. On the first day of the festival, a team of judges mull over the contenders for the competition. The competition spans real ales across the categories for Mild, Bitter, Best Bitter, Strong Bitter, Golden Ale, Specialty. These are combined with the Champion Winter Beer of Britain category winners from the Great British Beer Festival Winter (held in February) – Porter, Stout, Old Ales/Strong Milds, Strong Old Ales/Barley Wines – to create a shortlist for the final round of judging.