The 8th Edition of the Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference is a Huge Success

Almost 600 distilling professionals, suppliers, exhibitors and scientists from 32 countries have gathered in Edinburgh to learn, connect and share experiences and knowledge at the 8th edition of the WDSC. 

Organised by the IBD Scottish Section and chaired by Jane Millar, and with the title Sustaining Future Reality: Delivering Distilling Excellence and Developments, this WDSC has been probably the most well-attended, diverse and global so far. Almost 600 delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and presenters from 32 countries were able to connect at the conference that took place between Tuesday 9th and Thursday 11th of May in Edinburgh, and at the several social events organised around it.

The technical programme, led by Chair of the Technical Programme Committee Robin Mitchell, delivered a great mix of academic research and industry presentations to address in depth a range of themes including raw materials, fermentation, distillation, maturation, flavour, analysis, security and authenticity, engineering, sustainability, data modelling, challenging tradition, and the changing world.

Before the official opening, this year’s WDSC kicked off on Monday with a technical tour at the Inchdairnie and Lindores Abbey distilleries for attendees to explore two of the newest built Scotch malt distilleries in Fife, aimed to provide them with scales that may reflect their aspirations or current practice.

This was followed by the welcoming reception in the evening with a clear Scottish flavour.

On Tuesday, the WDSC was officially opened by Jane Millar, IBD President Bhabya Mandanna, who spoke about the importance of working together to grow sustainably and equitably to create a positive impact on people, the planet, and organisations; and Dr Suzanne Imber, a British planetary scientist specialising in space weather at the University of Leicester.

IBD members, as well as delegates and exhibitors wishing to know more about what the Institute does, were able to gather around the IBD stand that was run with the support of some students from Heriot-Watt University, The University of Adelaide and Napier University. Thank you ever so much to Sally MacGarry, Hugh Holds, Sorcha Gall, Henry Teo (HongFu Teo), Winnie Ng Pitkänen and Richard Wong for helping us this year at the stand and to Ken Duncan, Secretary of the IBD Scottish Section, who made their assistance possible. 

Wednesday started with our Chief Executive Officer, Tom Shelston, explaining the huge leap taken into the future with the digital transformation of the IBD exams and candidate-centred approach. The day had a clear focus on sustainability.

Thursday was a day focused on the changing world, analysis and security and challenging tradition with the last day of the exhibition still having a great flow of delegates speaking to suppliers.

The WDSC was closed by Ewan Andrew, President, Global Supply Chain & Procurement at Diageo, with his keynote speech. In an inspirational talk, Ewan explained the ambitious environmental and sustainability plan of Diageo up to 2030 and how innovation and AI are having a key role.

Across the three days of the conference, 87 posters were presented by younger scientists who explained the conclusions of their latest research, adding a huge value to the conference. It also shows the commitment of the WDSC and the IBD to provide opportunities to scientists entering the industry to share their knowledge and help them raise their professional profiles.

IBD at the The International Brewing & Cider Awards 2024

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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.