Tickets now on sale

Hello! After careful consideration, we have decided to extend the amount of sessions over four days, IMBC 2013 will take place at the same venue, Victoria Baths.

Tickets are now on sale via eventbrite.

We decided to sell a very limited amount of weekend tickets this year, there are only 50 available priced at £33 each, they give you access to ALL the sessions. ‘Lite Session’ tickets start from as little as £6 (including fees).

Session times and prices are as follows :

Thursday 10th October
5.30pm – 11.30pm / £6

Friday 11th October
5.30pm – 11.30pm / £11.50

Saturday 12th October
11am – 4.30pm / £8.50
5.30pm – 11.30pm / £11.30

Sunday 13th October
12pm – 6.30pm / £8.50

Weekender / Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th / £33

* all prices include booking fees

Session times for IMBC 2013

Hello! We have decided to extend the amount of sessions over four days, IMBC 2013 will take place at the same venue, Victoria Baths.

Thanks for all your support this year, it’s been great!

All the best – team IMBC Read More >

What The HELL Is Craft Beer? A Blog.

As an idealist I went into this discussion thinking we would sort this issue out once and for all, alas as I am beginning to learn the idealist is oft disappointed. I say disappointed, however this is a gross exaggeration, it was a real privilege to take this discussion out of the internet and into the real world, a lively and animated discussion amongst esteemed members of the beer community, what more could I have asked for? Our panel comprised of John Clarke (south Manchester CAMRA), Toby Mckenzie (Head Brewer, Redwillow Brewery), Zac Avery (Blogger and owner of Beer Paradise), Peter Alexander (CAMRA type, NWAF organiser) and James Watt (Head Honcho, Brewdog), we attempted to make the panel as balanced as possible with some pro-craft and those with a more traditional CAMRA perspective. There were certainly flaws in the event, chiefly among them a lack of women on the panel, this was highlighted by the very mixed demographic of the crowd in attendance, perhaps an imbalance in the panel, we possibly needed another staunch craft perspective. We live and learn, if you have any comments as to flaws or possible improvements in the format then please let us know.

As the compere for the evening my brief was to keep the discussion going, stimulate discussion and to try and keep my opinions to myself. Each member of the panel was given 3 minutes to state their case, a very brief run down of some of the live tweets from the talk:

“Trying to define it (craft beer) I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere” – John Clarke (CAMRA)

“A really powerful thing is how you define yourself ” – Zak Avery

“we need the definition, to protect it from the multi corporate bastards” James Watt (Brewdog)

“I don’t think we can define craft beer” – Tandleman

“we should not follow the USA in relation to their definition of craft beer” – Tandleman

“You’ve got your own palates! We brew beer you like it, you drink it. You don’t like it, you don’t drink it.” – Toby Mckenzie

“It’s about education. Information for the consumer is key to drink better beer.” – James Watt (BrewDog)

“Not everyone can drink expensive beer” – Zak Avery

“We don’t need a definition. Summer Wine, RedWillow, Thornbridge, Quantum are growing – does it matter?” – James (SWB)

“Be wary of selling things. Don’t push people out. Keep the prices low.” – Tandleman

Well that gives you a flavour of the discussion, the only person who really advocated a tighter definition of craft beer was James Watt, stating size, independence and something else, a broadly similar to the American Brewers Association definition. I was surprised that more people didn’t really support this type of motion, personal I think there is some sense in it.

Do we really need a definition at all? I would argue that maybe we don’t, the US have a constitution set in stone the UK do not, is there a parallel to be drawn here, do us Brits need strict rules to judge these things by and even if we did would we still argue about them anyway? I would say that maybe we need a set of aspirations so that consumers can judge for themselves what is and isn’t craft, some guidance through the world of beer particularly for the uninitiated. I think some of the proposal containing in Tandleman’s blog are very sensible, to develop a broad qualitative definition, maybe using size, independence, ethos and other such wooly terms, at least this gives people a framework by which to make up their own minds.

In terms of ‘craft beer’ being derided as a marketing term, what is the problem with it being a marketing term? Real ale has become a marketing term and plenty of brewers have hung their hat on that, why not have a marketing term which could help small brewers, pubs and customers a like in the same way real ale has done so far.

I think it’s fair to say outwardly we may not have come to a conclusion, however I think it was good to get the discussion out in the open and it has maybe thrown up a few possible discussion points for future events such as:

What future for CAMRA? Beer is an exciting and dynamic industry with a changing demographic, young people, women, previous non-beer drinkers of all ages are getting interested. Can CAMRA keep pace? Is it interested in moving forward? Is it too late? Has the campaign(for real ale) been won already?

Why are PROFIT and MARKETING dirty words in the beer industry? Two words which are vital to the success of any small business or industry as a whole so why do so many get so worked up a bout them?

Words By Jonathan Heyes

IMBC / Events, talks and tastings…

We proudly present our event schedule for IMBC, specially selected for the weekend:


Friday 5th October / Talks Room (Female pool)

7pm : Red Willow presents ‘What’s yeast got to do with it?’

Red Willow will take one of their core beers and pitch with the following yeast strains: Saison, Wheat Beer, Belgium, House and Safale S04. All the beers will be available to taste throughout the talk as Toby Mckenzie shows how different yeast strains affect the beer / 45 minutes – Tokens required for entrance

8.30pm : What The HELL is craft beer?

Featuring James Watt (Brewdog), Zak Avery (beer blogger), John Clarke (South Manchester CAMRA), Toby Mckenzie (Red Willow) and Peter Alexander (Tandleman)

We intend to have a well informed, well mannered and constructive discussion about the merits or otherwise of using “craft beer” as a term to categorise beer / 45 minutes – FREE ENRTY


Saturday 6th October / Talks Room (Female pool)

7pm : Summer Wine Brewery ‘Hops & Heresy’

The main focus will be on hops and then beer manipulation / beer alchemy. A hybrid, one-off tea-infused Diablo IPA keg will be used along with one or two beer cocktails involving Summer Wine beers / 45 minutes – Tokens required for entrance

8.30pm : Nogne Ø present / Meet The Brewer with Kjetil Jikiun in association with James Clay.

The words “We do not aim to become much bigger, but we always focus on being better!” perfectly sum up the relentless pursuit of perfection that takes place at NØGNE Ø. Head brewer Kjetil Jikiun (AKA ‘The Bearded Giant’) will be hosting an exclusive Meet The Brewer just for IMBC / 60 minutes – Tokens required for entrance


Pop up tastings throughout the evenings :


Aventinus, Aventinus Eisbock and then the two barrel aged beers (Cuvee Barrique – a blend and Eisbock Barrique – aged Eisbock). Using the Schneider beers to explore the effects of barrel ageing in a back to back tasting.

Nogne Ø

Kjetil Jikiun and James Clay will be hosting some secret tasting events around the building.


Based in the turkish baths, Aberdeen’s favourites will be holding sponteaous tastings throughout the weekend.

* Look out for the meeting point and signs as to when these will happen.