Casual Dining gets crafty with new Drinks Innovation Theatre tastings

Award winning show for the casual dining sector to feature wine, craft beer and real cider tastings 

Pub, bar and restaurant buyers looking to refresh their drinks menus are set to enjoy a tastings extravaganza at next week’s Casual Dining show, which opens at the Business Design Centre, in London, on 25-26 February.

Thanks to 140% increase in exhibitors offering alcoholic beverages for 2015, on-trade buyers will be able to see and sample the show’s biggest choice of beer, wines, ciders, spirits and mixers yet.

Official tasting sessions are scheduled to run throughout the show in the new Drinks Innovation Theatre on the upper feature level, with the programme split equally between wine and craft beer/cider offerings.  It aims to raise buyers’ awareness of the quality, innovation and differentiation available within the drinks market.

The nation’s favourite drink

According to a recent poll commissioned by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), wine is the favourite tipple of around 60% of UK adults[1] (compared to other alcoholic drinks).  They estimate that there are now over 30 million regular wine consumers across the country.  Wine aficionado Simon Broad, co-owner and director of Ten Green Bottles in Brighton, is definitely one of them.

Broad will be sharing his suggestions on how operators can diversify their wine lists in a series of tastings taking place on the hour between noon and 4pm on both days of the show.  Using popular varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rioja and Prosecco as a starting point, his ‘Instead of…’ sessions will highlight a range of exciting, alternative varieties with appealing USPs.

King of Craft

Differentiation is also key to the success of the growing craft beer and cider markets – currently enjoying their biggest renaissance in years.  Seen by many as a natural extension of the fashionable foodie revolution (promoting local sourcing, artisan methods, good values and taste), new craft offerings are transforming the marketplace and giving customers an even greater choice of styles and flavours.  A recent study by Mintel[2], published in December, stated that “one in five Brits (20%) have drunk craft beer in the past six months”.  This rises to almost a third (31%) of UK millennials – by definition, the next generation of consumers and a big target market for many craft brewers and real cider makers.

On-trade operators looking to expand their stock of independent craft beers and ciders can enjoy tasting sessions from all eight of the show’s Craft Beer & Cider Showcase exhibitors in the Drinks Innovation Theatre (on the half hour each day, from 12.30pm until 3.30pm).  Bear Brewery Co, London Velvet Beer, Sheppy's Cider, Harviestoun Brewery , Cask Liquid Marketing, Bru Brewery, Broughton Ales, and Thistly Cross Cider will host one session each, split across two days.

New for 2015, Casual Dining will also be announcing the winner of its King of Craft at the show.  The award – voted for by visitors – is open to all Craft Beer & Cider Showcase exhibitors.

Big name drinks exhibitors

Jägermeister, Miller Brands (whose portfolio includes Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Kozel, and Tyskie), World Beers, wine wholesaler Grape DNA, and single malt specialists Gordon & Macphail are just a few of the new companies set to exhibit.

Pontoon Cocktails, Harry Brompton's Alcoholic Ice Tea, Element 29 Vodka, Strathearn Distillery, and Hi-Spirits will also be making their debut in the show’s Artisan Spirit & Cocktail Lounge (joining returning exhibitors Sipsmith Independent Spirits, Berryshka and Warner Edwards Distillery).

Liberty Wines, Casa Leal, and Felix Solis UK complete the show’s new Speciality Wine Village line-up.

Soft drinks suppliers for 2015 include Belvoir Fruit Farms, Britvic Soft Drinks, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers, Folkington's Juices, GFT Retail, Innocent Drinks, Invest Northern Ireland, Luscombe Drinks, and The Original Drinks Co.

Free Casual Dining Keynote Theatre

Highlights include:

  • Anthony Pender, chairman of The BII & MD of Yummy Pub Co: How we’ll raise standards in licensed retail together
  • The CGA Peach Pioneer Panel: Chaired by Peter Martin, VP of CGA Peach, featuring Martin Morales (Ceviche), Harald Samuelsson (Côte), and Brandon Stephens (Tortilla)
  • The Propel Info Panel – How Pub Operators are Diversifying: Chaired by Paul Charity, MD of Propel Info, featuring James Nye (Anglian Country Inns), Tim Foster (Yummy Pub Company), Oliver Thain (Cambscuisine) and Kevin Charity (Bulldog Hotel Company)
  • Kate Nicholls, CEO of The ALMR: New government – future high street

For full timings and seminar summaries, please visit

Casual Dining returns to the Business Design Centre, in Islington, London, on 25-26 February 2015.  To register for a free trade pass, please visit and quote priority code CDPR1 (direct link:


[1] UK becomes a nation of wine drinkers: WSTA, 3 February 2015 –

[2] Beer bounces back: Mintel, 22 December 2014 –

Media enquiries & press pass requests to:
Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
Editorial representatives of relevant trade and consumer media (including freelancers) are invited to apply for press passes to Casual Dining via email to  (Please note, additional details may be requested to verify journalistic activity and all press passes are issued at the management’s discretion.)

t: 44 (0)1273 645134  

Exhibitor enquiries to:
Chris Brazier, Group Event Director
t: 44 (0)1273 645123  e:


Casual Dining was the first launch show (UK and international) in over five years to win ‘Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000sq.m’ at the Association of Event Organisers’ Excellence Awards 2014.

High res images available upon request:

Show image:

Diversified Communications UK Ltd (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, Leamington Spa, and Nailsworth, Glos. Diversified UK’s portfolio includes Casual Dining; lunch!; The Natural Food Show (part of Natural & Organic Products Europe); Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden (co-located with Natural Products Scandinavia); camexpo; office*; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; Natural Products magazine; the Natural Beauty Yearbook; Geo Business; Ocean Business (including Offshore Survey Conference & Ocean Careers); MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference in Philadelphia, USA; Euro Bus Expo; Coach and Bus Live; Best of Britain & Ireland; Route One; and Coach Monthly. For more information, visit:

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, eMedia, publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 800 staff, with divisions in the Eastern United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit:




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Casual Dining is a welcome change to the trade show calendar. With diversity of stands and lots of great food and drink producers, I’d definitely recommend that all pub operators visit [this] year.
Anthony Pender, MD of The Yummy Pub Co