Brintex, the organiser of The London Wine Fair, is set to launch a new event this autumn, which draws on the recent success of the reinvigorated Fair and in particular Esoterica and Brewhouse, which have attracted a raft of small, independent companies to exhibit at The Fair in the last three years. The Epicurean is a brand new event concept for the UK. Based on delivering an innovative tasting and buying experience to fine food and artisanal drink consumers, and with discovery at its heart, it will allow visitors to purchase a mixed case from as many exhibitors as they wish. The Epicurean will take place in the heart of London’s Shoreditch, at The Old Truman Brewery, on Friday, 28th and Saturday, 29th October 2016.
Up to 150 exhibitors – either importers or producers – will be showcased, split into four categories, all of which have a boutique focus: fine wine; craft beer; artisanal spirits; and fine food. Exhibitors which fit the following criteria will be invited to participate: high quality; limited production; and not available in supermarkets or high street outlets. Exhibitors in the wine section will be on 1.8 metre pods, priced at £750 for the two days. Exhibitors in the beers, spirits and food areas will be either on 1.8 metre pods at £750 or 1.2 metre pods at £500. These prices include all services at the event: glassware, ice, ice buckets, foil cutters, bottle openers, slow pourers and cleaning. In the past week 10 companies have signed up to participate: Red Squirrel Wine; Out of the Box Vines; Hafiner Wine; SimaVin; Bear Brewery; Wild Card Brewery; Harviestoun Brewery; Thistly Cross Cider; and Brighton Gin. Fever-Tree has signed up as event partner.
There will be four ‘sessions’ split over the two days, which will include one exclusively for trade (focusing on independent retailers and restaurants) and media, with the remaining three sessions for the consumer. Entry for the trade on the Friday will be free of charge; consumer tickets will be £22. Food and drink sampling will be free for everyone who visits, with exhibitors able to sell by the glass or bottle from their pod, there will also be a bar and multiple street food vendors, where visitors can purchase food and drink to consume on-site.
The ethos of The Epicurean will be craftsmanship, tasting and discovery, with the event designed for consumers passionate about quality food and drink, who are looking for a contemporary
experience; one where they can sample fine food and artisanal drinks – not available on the high street – before they make a purchasing decision. Visitors will be able to build personalised cases as they explore the event, pay on-site, and have the produce home-delivered post-show.
These cases can be mixed, with the products available from multiple importers, producers and retailers holding stock in the UK. This is the key to The Epicurean’s uniqueness: consumers will not be limited to who they choose to buy from, encouraging diversity, exploration and discovery. Orders can be placed at the event itself or on the website within two weeks of the event taking place, after which The Epicurean will order and prepare the cases before delivering them to the clients ahead of the festive season.
Exhibitors will supply their selected products by the case to The Epicurean and will be paid the advertised RRP excluding VAT, fulfilment and a contribution to the visitor ‘reward’ scheme, leaving them with the wholesale and majority of the retail margin. All participating exhibitors will be given the details of the visitors who purchased their products and tasting notes with exhibitor contact details will be included in every case sold.
Ross Carter, event director of both The Epicurean and The London Wine Fair, commented: “the interest in quality, hard to find or handcrafted drinks and food is significant, particularly in London and other urban centres. Beer and spirits have successfully engaged with consumers and fostered this growing desire for discovery. This desire for discovery also exists for wine, but until now it has been left behind when it comes to experiential events. By bringing together all of the categories, with the emphasis on wine, we have an opportunity to engage with the public in a way that the trade has talked about for some time.”
26 April 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor
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