As time is called on PUB20, it’s time to celebrate the health of the pub industry. Following news of a rise in British pub openings for the first year since 2010, this trend has been reflected by a rise in visitors to the UK’s only dedicated show for the pub industry, all signs that business is booming.
The two-day show saw over 4,800 visitors descend on Olympia London to listen to expert insight from over 60 speakers, meet more than 200 exhibitors and prop up the bar over an undisclosed number of drinks!
Highlights at the show included two brand-new DrinkX experiential areas. An immersive installation from Fever-Tree showcased the brand history and ingredients, and a Club Soda bar hosted talks, discussion and tastings of the many alcohol-free options on the market today.
The low and no trend featured heavily in The PUB Trends Report, in partnership with Arla Pro, bespoke consumer research conducted ahead of the show and given to all attendees, providing them with invaluable insight as they plan for the year ahead. The report also identified the strengthening market for premium mixers, something borne out by the wide variety of distributors exhibiting at the show – there have never been more options for mixing a drink!
Food was high on the agenda too, with Brewcity’s Beermunch unveiling their premium, crafted snacks, The Dukes of Chippingdom handing out over 1,500 sample portions of chips and The Meatless Farm showcasing their delicious plant-based range.
The speaker line up catered for everyone with the CEO panel discussion, themed around The Great British Pub, proving particularly popular. The session saw a panel of industry pioneers including Kris Gumbrell, of Brewhouse and Kitchen and Clive Watson of The City Pub Group examine how pubs are evolving to keep up with modern pubgoers.
Another highlight saw Neil Rankin, chief proprietor of Temper, demonstrate how plant-based burgers can showcase the same skill and attention as their meat counterparts in his session, ‘To Meat, Or Not to Meat? – The Rise of The Meat-free Burger’.
The inaugural PUB Awards took place on Tuesday evening, and, having attracted almost 4,000 votes, Glen Duckett of Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom was crowned Best Publican and Shaun Edmondson of The Brown Horse Inn, Winster Valley, was named Pub Chef of The Year. Celebrations continued well into the night at the ever-popular PUB Party, which also played host to the official Awards after party.
And those weren’t the only winners announced during the show. The Great Sausage Roll Off, run by Fuller’s, held a champion of champions event at PUB20 for the first time ever. The judging panel selected Charlie Hodson, head chef of The Crown Inn and ambassador of Hospitality Action as a worthy winner.
Oisin Rogers, PUB20 ambassador and general manager of The Guinea Grill said: “The PUB20 line up was better than ever this year and there were speakers, exhibitors, tastings and more to attract people from across the industry, whether just starting out or more established.”
PUB20 community manager, Keterina Albanese, said: “This year’s show was our most exciting yet. We really worked hard to reflect the issues and challenges facing the industry in the new decade at the same time as adding new dimensions to the show, like the awards, to ensure we were celebrating the industry too. It’s great to watch the pub sector go from strength to strength and we can’t wait to see what PUB21 brings!”