One Day Seminar

The Business of Spirits Masterclass

THURSDAY, 29th September 2022 - 9:00 – 17:00 BST

THURSDAY, 29th September, 9:00 – 17:00 BST


WSET School London, located near London Bridge

International Wine and Spirit Centre
39-45 Bermondsey Street 
London SE1 3XF 


In partnership with the Worshipful Company of Distillers (WCD), the IBD is delighted to invite you to attend The Business of Spirits Masterclass.

This free one-day session aims to complement the technical knowledge that you have acquired or will gain during your distilling qualification studies, with the business and marketing expertise that any professional needs to thrive in the industry.

To make this Masterclass possible, the WCD, a London Livery Company dating back to 1638, is bringing together a group of spirits industry experts. These speakers have extensive experience in senior positions at companies such as Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Redburn.

These experts will share with you as part of a limited number of IBD distilling candidates, their business knowledge and provide you with real-life examples of what makes a successful product and brand before and after its production.

The session will help you have a clear understanding of the global spirits business structure and segments, and the key ingredients to launch new products in a competitive market.

The Masterclass is limited to just 32 participants and has been designed to be interactive to allow questioning when discussing key concepts.

The session will involve several group exercises along with the chance to feedback and offer comments on the session.

This Masterclass will be also a great opportunity to network and connect with other professionals.

What Previous Attendees Are Saying?

Well-informed speakers who communicated effectively. I particularly enjoyed business anecdotes. Fun and enjoyable day that I recommend to others.
New Distillery in Hertfordshire
Really useful information even for small brands.
Co-Founder and Head Distiller
Craft distillery in Cornwall
Extremely useful masterclass as I’m a start-up.
Independently-owned distillery in Northern Ireland
The speakers were exceptional and the content was engaging and relevant. I really enjoyed it.
Sales & Marketing Executive
Whisky trader with head office in London
A great view strategy without getting too technical in numbers. Great insight into categorising target markets.
Spirit Advisor
World’s largest online retailer of whisky, based in London
Incredible and great presentations. Learn a lot about brands, and failures and thoroughly I enjoyed it.
Mechanical Project Engineer
Global leader of premium drinks
Very inspiring event and actionable information with high calibre presenters. Good to network with peers and presenters. Just the right cohort group.
Energy Strategy Manager
Global online retailer
Brilliant presentations and great examples of success and failure stories. Pure examples of how brand strategy needs to be based on segmentation. Very useful session. It gave me some great ideas as a technical person in the beverage industry on the commercial and marketing aspects I’m not familiar with.
Area Technician
Global drinks producer
The calibre and experience of the presenters were excellent. I felt quite privileged to have been able to attend. Great event. It provided a clear overview of the business overall so definitely an eye opener.
Investor Manager
Global spirits producer


  • Martin Riley - Formerly Chief Marketing Officer at Pernod Ricard
  • Nick Carr - Formerly Global Director of Pricing and Promotions at Diageo 
  • Chris Pitcher - Partner, Consumer Staples Research at Redburn
  • Steve Wilson - Former Global Innovation Director at Diageo & Owner/Managing Director at Invigor8tion Ltd





9.00 - 9.15 am

Welcome and Introduction to WCD by current ‘Master’ Representative CHRIS SEARLE



13:30 – 14:30 pm

Consumer Segmentation by NICK CARR

Brand examples and simple verbal case studies to illustrate brand positioning & messaging.


9:15 –  9:30 am

Introduction to the Day:

“It’s all about the Brand” by MARTIN RILEY

14:30 14:50 pm

Tea and coffee break.  Networking with participants and WCD presenters


9:30 – 10:20  am

Global Spirits Market Overview by CHRIS PITCHER


14:50 – 16:10 pm

Innovation and Development (& SME Development) by STEVE WILSON


10:20 – 10:45 am

Coffee Break: Networking with participants and WCD presenters.  




16:10-16:40 pm

Summary and feedback by MARTIN RILEY & PRESENTERS

Any more questions? What will you do with the information and & how will it help you?


10:45 – 11:45 am

Finance and Pricing for Spirits by NICK CARR

Brand examples and case studies.


16:40-16:55 pm

Evaluation of Day with CLIVE BAIRSTO



11:45 – 12:30  pm

Category Segmentation by MARTIN RILEY

Covers brand differentiation based on actual brand case studies and examples of how brand strategy is based on segmentation of the category.


17:00 pm

Close and Drinks






Lunch and Networking. One hour for lunch.