Craft spirits – friend or foe?

The Worshipful Company of Distillers’ City Debate this year tackles the controversial subject of ‘Craft Spirits – Friend or Foe of Global Brands?’

The event takes place on Thursday May 12 at the headquarters of Merrill Lynch, King Edward Hall 2 King Edward Street London EC1A 1HQ.

Doors open: 6pm. Debate: 6.30pm–8pm. Distillers’ Bar: 8pm-8.45pm. Supper: £45. Entry to the debate is free by pre-booked ticket. Register with Kim Lyons at or +44 (0)20 7960 7173.

DI contributor Ian Buxton, liveryman and author of the 101 Whiskies & Gins series, returns to chair the discussion on this year’s topic: the impact of craft spirits.

John McCarthy, head distiller of Adnams, and David T. Smith (pictured), writer and a founder of the Craft Distilling Expo, will champion the position of craft brands.

Views from major international companies will be presented by Laurent Lacassagne, CEO of Chivas Brothers (the scotch whisky and gin business of Pernod Ricard) and Lawson Whiting, executive vice president, chief brands and strategy officer at Brown-Forman Corporation.

Ian Shackleton, MD Equity Research at Nomura International plc, will bring the City perspective.

Tickets are available at £45 per head for a two-course supper with wine following the debate, served in the auditorium adjacent to King Edward Hall.