Making the most of drinktec

Your week in Munich is only partially about what's in the exhibition halls ...
read more

Exhibitors: what’s hot at drinktec

There are 1,500 stories to be told. Here are some of the most compelling...
read more

More Features >


Three buses

Genuine marketing innovations are rare - here's three to start '16...
read more

20:20 vision: take the over

Craft beer growth is unstoppable unless definition concerns trip it up...
read more

More Opinions >

Home | Features | Making the most of drinktec

Making the most of drinktec

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
Make tracks for drinktec: and download the App!

Your week in Munich is only partially about what's in the exhibition halls

Monday, 11th September, 9am marks the opening  of drinktec, the brewing industry’s most anticipated exhibition of the year. While drinktec runs for a full five days, making it tempting to think that there’s plenty of time to explore its myriad of halls and stands, you’d be wrong to be so cavalierly casual.

With it staged once every four years, drinktec is the moment when suppliers not only to the brewing industry but to the gamut of wine, soft drink, energy drink and bottled water producers want to put their best foot forward, to present visitors with game-changing innovations.

Beyond this imperative to attend, though, there are also ample opportunities to sample some of the world’s most interesting beers, a prospect made more likely for this edition of drinktec with a greater emphasis on all things craft beer.

There are also numerous seminars running alongside drinktec, in particular craft focused tastings and topics at place2beer along with the more familiar drinktec Forum.

So there’s a lot you’re going to want to take in – and to simplify and streamline your search, number one on your to-do list is to download the App.

First things first: make use of the drinktec App

For the ever-increasing number of us who commune incessantly with their mobile phones, much like the Ood cradling their hindbrains (if the reference is unfamiliar, ask a Dr Who fan to explain) then streamline your experience of drinktec by downloading the exhibition’s App.

The App very much puts the exhibition at your fingertips. There’s the expected: hall plans, a schedule of talks on an hourly basis, and indeed a searchable database of exhibitors, segmented by country, product groups and, of course, alphabetically.

The real genius is in the upgrades (so to speak) for 2017. To wit: the Innovation Guide. Working with Germany’s VDMA trade association drinktec organisers have established a list criteria for what constitutes an innovation, including originality, improvement, customer and consumer benefit.

How the Innovation Guide works is interesting. The innovations are ‘locked’ on the App. They are only released when you enter a relevant Hall, e.g., entering Hall B2 will allow the innovations clustered in that Hall to become accessible on the drinktec App. It’s a petty useful add-on.

The App is compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems. It can be downloaded here:



More than just drinktec – there’s SIMEI

Italy’s best known exhibition for the wine industry normally resides in Milan, but for 2017 it has decamped and is nestled alongside drinktec. SIMEI, the international exhibition for winery and bottling machinery, is welcoming 200 exhibitors in Halls C2 and C3. While the equipment on display is for wine producers, the packaging lines on display may well suit small scale brewers. Entry to SIMEI is free for drinktec pass holders.

… and the International MicroBrew Symposium

VLB Berlin has organised a one-day conference, set for the first day of drinktec, on topics of concern for the international craft brewing industry. While there is indeed an international element, with sessions on the craft movements in China, France and South Africa, there are a number of brewing-related issues addressed that will have immediate applicability when attendees return home to their brewhouses.

Registration details for the MicroBrew Symposium are located here:

Tasting great beers

During Tuesday, 12th September, drinktec attendees have an opportunity to be a beer judge. It’s the return of the European Beer Star’s Consumer Favourite tasting, set for Hall B1, Stands 349 -551. Here you have the opportunity to taste gold medal winners (and it’s as yet unknown as to who the winners are) and cast your vote for the very best three from 57 different competitions.

This year’s edition of the European Beer Star continued the seemingly ever-upward trend in completion entries. For 2017 there were 2,151 beers entered, originating from 46 countries. The total surpassed the previous record of 2,108 set in 2016.

A most enjoyable tradition, The Barth-Haas Group is again offering professional tastings with beers specially brewed for drinktec. Visitors can register online to take part in the daily tastings here:

Make time to visit Hall B1 for drinktec’s place2beer. It is home to an on-going series of beer tastings and lectures throughout the week with relevance for those simply enthused about craft beer but especially for those brewing on a small scale. There are a number of seminars that will be of use to practitioners of craft, e.g., on Monday at 2pm there’s a seminar on beer labelling regulations: what’s required and what’s voluntary.

A full list of place2beer events are available – yes – on drinktec’s App.

The drinktec Forum

Back for a fifth edition of drinktec, From Monday through Thursday in Hall A2 there’s the give and take of the drinktec Forum. Here independent experts in research and development issues will be presenting what drinktec describes as ‘ground-breaking ideas and practical solutions.’ (So there’s no pressure for the speakers, then.)

The full list of presenters and their interests can be found on the drinktec website or you can – yes- make use of the drinktec App on your mobile for an up-to-the-moment listing of who’s going to be next at the podium.

Thinking outside the box: the 5pm lectures

Not all the great ideas about beer and brewing have actually originated in the brewing industry. To that end drinktec visitors have the opportunity to hear from not one, not two but three respected thinkers in management issues and entrepreneurship.

These talks, which are scheduled for each day at 5pm, take place in the drinktec Forum, Hall A2.

On Monday it’s the turn of Kishor Sridhar, managing director of Munich-based consultancy, Verum Unternehmensentwicklung GmbH. (‘Unternehmensentwicklung’ is the German for ‘corporate development.’ Sridhar will be discussing why new products and innovations can fail, and how to avoid potential mistakes.

On Tuesday Sven Gábor Jánszky, director of 2b AHEAD ThinkTank, takes the stage. His presentation, simply titled Future Scenarios, will consider how companies can move away from conventional ways of thinking and be on the cutting edge of innovation.

And on Wednesday Sahar Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic, will argue that there is a direct correlation between how much you enjoy your work and how well you do it. How can an entrepreneurial mindset be installed in a corporate framework?

And the DuPont lectures

Over the first three days of drinktec, DuPont will be hosting a series of speakers who’ll be holding forth on wide-ranging topics relating to the brewing industry. In sensory terms it’s being staged like a silent disco: the speakers and audience will be joined together with headphones.

The full list of speakers is available from the DuPont stand in Hall B1 Stand 441. And on Tuesday afternoon at 5pm Brewers’ Guardian editor Larry Nelson will be discussing the relationship between multinational brewers and their recent spate of craft brewing acquisitions, a worldwide trend but especially so in the United States.

And that’s your taster of the proverbial bells and whistles highlights on offer during drinktec. There’s more going on in addition to what’s been presented here. For the full story either visit the drinktec website or, again, make use of the App!

The Beer World Cup

Rate this article