We are happy to announce the programme for the the SDA AGM & Conference 2019.

The event takes place on 27th June, at WEST Brewery, in Glasgow. SDA members to arrive at 12.45pm for 1.00pm start.

Programme Details

12.45    Registration

13.00    AGM   – SDA    

Alan Wolstenholme, Chairman, SDA

Emma O’Bryen, Scotland Food & Drink 

We believe that the distillers and brewers of Scotland share many challenges and opportunities in their businesses, and an opportunity to learn from each other will be of value.  As such, the SDA members will join members of The Brewers Association of Scotland for the following session.  


Rachel Athey, Commercial Director, Scotland Food & Drink

Brewing Up a Storm

Graham Young, Industry Development Director, Scotland Food & Drink and Hilary Jones, Chair of the Brewing Industry Leadership Group.

In 2018 a brewing industry leadership group (ILG) was created tasked with doubling the value of the Scottish brewing industry. The group focused on establishing tangible solutions to unlock growth for brewing businesses across the sector regardless of shape, size or geography.  At the end of 2018 the strategy, ‘Brewing Up A Storm’ was launched. The ambition is for the distillers to collaborate to develop a growth strategy and action plan for the distilling sector to be launched in 2020.

Graham Young will share the process the ILG went through and a summary of the action plan that resulted, and what might be expected for distillers.  We will also be joined by Hilary Jones, Chair of the Brewing ILG and driving force behind turning the strategy into action

Transforming Scotland’s alcohol culture – a shared responsibility

Ian Smith, Head of Corporate Relations, Diageo Scotland

Scotland’s relationship with alcohol is complex. We are the greatest distilling nation in the world, with unrivalled heritage, people and skill; we are driving growth in manufactured exports and leading the investment in Scotland’s tourism industry. Yet, despite positive progress in tackling alcohol misuse, Scotland’s relationship with alcohol remains a serious issue. To secure the most positive possible future for our industry we need to raise the bar on our efforts to transform Scotland’s alcohol culture for the better.

Ian will share insights and lead an open discussion to establish commonalities across business, irrespective of size, to help establish a shared vision.

Using technology to drive responsible and profitable growth

Drew Lyall, Arc- net.  Block Chain

Arc-net is a brand protection and security company providing traceability, product authentication, and consumer engagement systems to the food and drink industry. From tackling counterfeiting that not only tarnishes producers but is also potentially life threatening, to driving efficiencies, controlling waste and establishing trust, blockchain technology has the potential to dramatically transform businesses.

Drew Lyall is keen to explore wider opportunities for the brewing and distilling sector where a collaborative approach could benefit the sector (for example, secure keg tracking).

Modern Apprenticeship in Brewing – Launch

Gerry McBride, Skills Development Scotland, Hilary Jones, Chair of the Brewing ILG and George Kyle, Communications MD from Tennent’s

For all of its ambition and vibrancy, the brewing industry and its supply chain in Scotland faces numerous challenges.  Skills gaps in business management, logistics, cellaring and selling beer have all been identified and one of the recommendations from the brewing ILG was to support a new Modern Apprenticeship in Brewing.  The distilling sector shares many of these challenges and the panel will also discuss the benefits and process for rolling the Modern Apprenticeship out for this sector.

We are therefore delighted to have Gerry McBride, Skills Development Scotland, Hilary Jones, Chair of the Brewing ILG and George Kyle, Communications MD from Tennent’s to launch the Modern Apprenticeship in Brewing.  They will share the process of developing the Apprenticeship – which was done in partnership with industry and leads to a recognised qualification.

Tennents has hired two Brewing Apprentices who will start at the brewery in July. George Kyle from Tennents will share advice on lessons learnt from the process they went through and  the importance of getting the message out there to attract the brilliant people wanting to start their career in the alcohol sector.

Closing Remarks

Alan Wolstenholme, Chairman, SDA and Scott Williams, Chairman, TBAS

Drinks and Networking

18.00     Official Close (the bar will remain open!)