138th anniversary of the IBD

Celebrating our history, and looking forward to the future

The Institute of Brewing & Distilling marked its 138th anniversary on the 17th of March 2024.  As we celebrate this milestone, we can reflect on the journey that has brought us to where we are today.

The inception of our Institute traces back to a pivotal gathering in 1866 organized by a group of young men with a shared passion for brewing science and technology in London. Little did they know, this gathering would lay the groundwork for what eventually evolved into the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.

Edward Ralph Moritz played a central role in shaping this foundation. Born in 1860, Moritz's educational journey took him through University College School and the Royal School of Mines, where he immersed himself in the study of inorganic chemistry. His pursuit of knowledge led him to Germany, where he earned a PhD for his work in organic synthesis at the University of Göttingen. Moritz played an active role in the industry, serving as the chemist for the Country Brewers' Society and its successor from 1886 to 1926. Simultaneously, he held the position of joint editor of the Brewing Trade Review from 1886 to 1898 while managing a thriving consulting practice. His presidency of the Institute of Brewing in 1923 further demonstrated his commitment to tackling the industry's challenges, particularly the high unemployment rates among brewers.


Left: 39 Fitzroy Square today. The first meetings of the Laboratory Club were held behind the blue door on the left.
Right: Edward Ralph Moritz, founder of the Laboratory Club.


The activities of the Laboratory Club were initially informal, lacking the need for officers or a committee until nearly a year after its foundation. However, proceedings became more organised and formalised with an increase in membership. Networking and socialising were integral components of the club's gatherings, with house dinners before lectures and annual banquets fostering fellowship among members. This sense of community contributed to the club's growth, with membership numbers reaching 237 by the end of 1890.

Today, the Institute of Brewing & Distilling proudly connects a global community of over 3000 members across 99 countries. With the recent granting of chartered status, we embark on the formal transition from the IBD to the Chartered Institute of Brewers and Distillers (CIBD). This prestige of chartership elevates our institution and underscores our commitment to enhancing the professional standing of our members.

 As we honour the vision and passion of our founding members, we also look forward to shaping the future of our industry, guided by the principles of innovation, collaboration, and continuous learning.


This blog was written with reference to:


A history of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling

By Raymond Gale Anderson

To purchase a copy click here.

IBD at the The International Brewing & Cider Awards 2024

07 May 2024

Thirteen brewers and cidermakers from four different continents across the globe have been awarded the highest recognition for their outstanding beers and ciders at the world’s most historic international beer and cider competition – The International Brewing & Cider Awards.