The International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) is a major division of the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. Consequently the research programme emphasizes the biochemical and microbiological aspects of brewing and distilling, especially cereals, including malting, and fermentation.
The International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) is a unique teaching and research facility. The centre is based on a partnership between industry and academics, and makes up part of the School of Life Sciences located in the Riccarton campus of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
The ICBD is the only organisation in the UK to offer both Honours and Masters degrees in Brewing and Distilling. As such, the centre not only supplies the industry with new-blood graduates, but with services, expertise and facilities consistent with the standards required in the local, national, and international markets. A variety of courses are available both on campus and by distance learning and short courses and workshops are catered for on request.
ICBD Anniversary Dinner
Over 350 guests came together recently to celebrate the first 25 years of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) at Heriot-Watt University.
Alumni, students, staff and supporters all raised a glass to celebrate a quarter century of the only organisation in the UK to offer both Honours, Masters and Doctorate degrees in Brewing and Distilling. Guest speakers included Dr Pearse Lyons, President of Alltech Lexington Brewing and David Frost CMG, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association.
The evening, organised in collaboration between the ICBD and Heriot-Watt's Development & Alumni Relations Office, was brought together by our wonderful MC for the night, Frances Cairncross. You can view a selection of photos from the dinner at ICBD 25th Anniversary Dinner.
The evening also saw a passing of a baton as Roy Summers, the outgoing Chair of the ICBD Advisory Board, was presented with a commemorative Quaich by Professor Dr Alan Barclay, who has taken on the role. Alan will lead the board and work with the ICBD to expand and improve its facilities and the Centre’s research and educational outputs.
ICBD graduates are recognised across the world as having first-class education and training in all aspects of the industry. Notable alumni have founded many leading breweries and distilleries, including Stewart Brewing, Brew Dog and Millstone Spirits.
The next 25 years are already looking bright, with £132,500 raised towards a £250,000 capital campaign to refurbish and redesign ICBD’s premises. This will significantly enhance the student experience, ensuring ICBD graduates remain some of the best in the world. To find out more about how this aim can be supported, go to Our alumni - ICBD.
Heriot-Watt University and The Gin Guild
On Thursday 30th April some of the world’s most respected personalities and experts from the drinks and gin trade joined forces for to share their knowledge and expertise on all things gin, in the second annual Ginposium seminar.
Please see below for the full list of speakers and the running order of the event.
9.15 - 9.30
Christopher Hayman from Haymans Distillers opens the event and explains The Gin Guild and the Ginposium in more depth
09.30 - 10.00
Rachel Rees from Campden BRI, discussed the factors which can effect flavour and aroma damage in the bottle
10.00 - 10.30
Mark Gamble from Union Distillers Ltd, talked about the myth and materials of water, including whether water source makes a difference in a distilled product. The water was tasted, using a test gin distilled with different water samples used to illustrate a number of different waters
11.00 - 11.30
John McCarthy, Master Distiller at Adnams Distillery led a seminar called ‘Grain to glass’, which examined the benefits of distilling your own base spirit
11.30 - 12.30
A Panel of industry experts had a discussion on Brand Ambassadorship - the cornerstone of modern brand development. In the session the best known people in the modern on-trade reviewed how brand building is changing on and off line, and talked about the key roles of ambassadors in holding the attention of the bar trade in the UK, Spain and the US.
Examples that were referenced included from 20 years of launching and building to scale, Bombay Sapphire, Hendricks and G’vine (including the example of Jam Jar, funded through crowd sourcing and engaging with communities on line).
The panel included:
Duncan McRae, Global Ambassador for Hendrick's Gin
Sam Surl, Ex Alphabet bar and independent expert in Gin and the on trade
Jamie Walker, Trade Engagement Director for EWG Spirit & Wine
Dan Thwaites, Owner of Jam Jar gin
Chaired by Justin Hicklin
12.30 - 13.00
David T Smith, freelance journalist and owner of Summer Fruit Cup led a session on Tutored Tastings including a selection of gins
14.00 - 14.30
Nate Brown, The London Bar Consultants / Merchant House led a seminar on ‘Marketing spin or material consideration’, examining a range of topics including the importance of a brand name to the issue of Artisan and Craft claims.
14.30 - 15.00
Professor Alex Speers, from Heriot Watt University led a seminar on ‘Designing a sensory panel and avoiding bias - the basics’
15.00 - 15.30
David T Smith, freelance journalist and owner of Summer Fruit Cup led a second session on Tutored Tastings including a selection of gins
16.00 - 16.30
Dr Anne Brock from the Bermondsey Distillery discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both single shot and multi shot gin methods in her session on production processes, ‘Concentrate and focus. One shot or not?’
16.30 - 17.00
Nik Fordham, Bombay Sapphire Master Distiller talks to the audience at The Ginposium about Destination Distilling and the progression and results achieved from Laverstoke Distillery
17.00 - 18.00
Speaker and visitors were invited for Gin & Tonic and networking in the Theatre foyer
Christopher Hayman, Hayman Distillers
Rachel Rees, Campden BRI
Mark Gamble, Union Distillers – Two Birds gins
John McCarthy, Adnams Distillers & Brewers, winner of the 2013 IWSC Gin Trophy
David T Smith, Leading author and owner of SummerFruitCup.com, he is also an international spirits competition judge.
Nate Brown, The London Bar Consultants
Professor Alex Speers, Heriot-Watt University
Dr Anne Brock, Jensen’s Distillery
Nik Fordham, Master Distiller at the Laverstoke Distillery, the home of Bombay Sapphire
IBD Scottish Section Events:
January 2015: Videoconference event. Details including posters and presentations are available on our publications page.
October 2014: Visit to Stewart Brewing & Seminar
Hop Growers of the Americas:
Monday 1st September, 2014
Hop Growers of the Americas ran an excellent seminar featuring Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker.
Friday 6th June, 2014
The Gage, Chicago
During the Master Brewers Association of the Americas Annual Conference, Professor Alex Speers hosted an informal reception for all alumni and current students at the ICBD.