If you want to know what you’ll be drinking in the future, head over to the Old Truman Brewery for the sixth annual Craft Distilling Expo on 26th and 27th September. We give you the run-down on this essential event for distillers, buyers or just mad keen spirits lovers.

Fancy taking your spirits geekiness to the next level? Then Craft Distilling Expo is for you. It’s where the world of small and small-ish scale distilling meets to learn, shop and (most importantly) to sample some delicious drinks.

So where is it?

At the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane in London – didn’t you read the standfirst?! Now in its sixth year, the Craft Distilling Expo is so big that they’ve had to put in a mezzanine. Corrr!

Who is they?

It is run in collaboration with Bill Owen and Danny Newberg from the American Distilling Institute (ADI), and an Englishman, David T. Smith, a writer, drink historian, and gin consultant (now there is a dream job).

David T. SmithDavid T. Smith!

So is it just for serious spirit nerds?

In a word, yes. This is a show for people in the distilling industry, from those who have a still in their sheds to larger craft producers who sell all over the world. There are over 44 vendors selling everything from barrels to distilling equipment. But, according to David T. Smith, there are usually “quite a few die hard drinks fan who just want to learn more.”

StillIf you can reassemble one of these while blindfolded, you’ll be in good company

So what is ‘craft’ anyway?

Shhhh, just don’t! Some people get very upset about the C word. According to David T, Smith: “we don’t have a definition; I think it’s an ethos. It’s a focus on quality and making decisions not solely for the monetary benefit.” So there you go. Don’t ask again.

And they have some great speakers lined up, don’t they?

Oh yes! I am glad you asked. Highlights include David T. Smith looking at drinks history in ‘Tidbits and Time Travel’ or in his words, “trying to understand the sort of products that were made 50, 100, 150 years ago, and seeing how they inspire future products.” There’s Stephanie DiCamillo from That Boutiquey-Gin Company, Veronika Karlova is doing a vodka masterclass, Michael Vachon from Maverick Drinks,and the keynote speaker is Angela d’Orazio from Mackmyra whisky in Sweden. One of the best masterclasses sounds like ‘How to grow your Distillery’ which is for people who want to take their business to the next level.

Craft Distilling ExpoGet ready for some serious spirit learnin’

Is it all gin?

Nope. There’s lots of other stuff, but according to David T. Smith: “The big ones are probably gin, whisky and rum, It would be very easy, particularly because it’s in the UK, to make it very heavily gin focussed.” So they’ve made sure there’s some more varied stuff, including Peter Holland from Floating Rum Shack looking at Cachaça and, David told us, “a distiller from Colorado talking about wormwood in vermouth but also more obscure drinks such as absinth and génépis.” Craft Expo will attract distillers from all over the world, from places you’d expect such as the US, Scandinavia and Germany, but also they have someone giving a talk about distillation in Lebanon. All distilling life will be represented.

So if you’re way into distilling or just keen to try some drinks from the future or the past, then you should get yourself down to the Old Truman Brewery on on 26th and 27th September. Don’t forget to admire the mezzanine.