Major beer show leaves Sheffield for Liverpool

Sampling at the BeerX trade show
Sampling at the BeerX trade show
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A major beer trade show is leaving Sheffield in a blow to the city's thriving brewing industry.

BeerX, which claims to be the UK's largest independent craft brewing trade show, has been held in Sheffield for the last five years.

But organiser SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) has announced next year's event in March will take place at The Exhibition Centre in Liverpool.

The society, which represents more than 825 craft breweries, said changing the venue had been a 'tough decision' but the time was 'right for a change'.

It quoted Liverpool's 'superb' beer scene and the ease of travel by road, rail and air, especially for international visitors, as factors in the move.

Nick Stafford, SIBA's operations director, said: "SIBA is very pleased to be taking BeerX to the vibrant city of Liverpool, which, like so many cities across the UK, has seen an explosion in independent craft brewing and thirst amongst drinkers for quality beer.

"It was a tough decision to move the event as Sheffield has been BeerX’s home for five years, but we think the time is right for a change and look forward to hosting our key event at this very professional exhibition centre in Liverpool."

More than 2,000 industry representatives flocked to iceSheffield in Attercliffe for this year's show, which took place from March 16-19 and featured a BeerAlive! festival at a pop-up beer hall next door.

Organisers said almost 400 different beers were available, and some 12,000 pints were pulled over the four days.

Next year's event will take place over just two days in March and will not include the accompanying beer festival.

Mr Stafford said: "In recent years SIBA BeerX has grown in size and numbers spectacularly, reaching attendance from over 2,000 visitors, and the Exhibition Centre Liverpool on the iconic docks by the River Mersey has all that is required for SIBA to host every activity under one roof, in one massive space.

"Travel by road, rail and air is exceptionally easy, especially for our international visitors, and accommodation is available for all size of budgets within walking distance of the venue and then there is the superb beer scene in the city centre for delegates to enjoy after a hard day's work at the conference!"

Sheffield was last year named the 'real ale capital of the world' in a report by the University of Sheffield, which found the city had one brewery for every 24,000 people - nearly five times more per head than London.