10:45 Registration with Tea & Coffee
11:15 Welcome 
11:25 Glass Trends - Nolan Kane, Allied Glass
11:50 Brand Evolution - Kirsty Taylor, The Lakes Distillery
12:15 Distribution, Food For Thought - Chris Jones, Paragon Brands
12:40 Lunch 
1:15 Milk to Vodka, winning in a tough category – Paul Archard, Black Cow Vodka
1:40 Gin-Note, gin flavour description made simple – Nicolas Cook, The Gin Guild
2:05 A Maverick approach to the on trade – Michael Vachon, Maverick Drinks
2:30 How to get followers and keep them - Katie Woods, Welcome To The Woods
3:00 Drinks Reception 

What to expect

Attending our second annual Distillers Forum you will be joined by key figures within the industry to discuss brand building, regulation, trends, distribution and social media.

Glass Trends - Nolan Kane, Allied Glass
Energetic, passionate and always found with a smile on his face, Nolan Kane loves experiencing great drinks with great people in great places. With this passion Nolan strives tirelessly to bring some of craft’s most exciting and stand out brands to life to allow more people to experience their brilliance.  Working for Allied Glass Nolan has worked with over 100 breakthrough brands including BrewDog Spirits, the Lakes Distillery, Jawbox Gin, Blackwoods, Mason’s of Yorkshire, and Manchester Gin.

Brand Evolution - Kirsty Taylor, The Lakes Distillery
The Lakes Distillery, established in 2011, nestles on the north shore of Bassenthwaite Lake in the English Lake District UNESCO World Heritage site.  Our majestic surroundings inspire our artistic ethos and our range of fine whiskies, gins and vodka.  Attracting over 100,000 visitors a year, the distillery has twice been named “one of eight distilleries to visit before you die” by the World Whisky Day campaign. The visitor centre, Bistro and tour holds Visit England Gold accolade and was voted the Icons of Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year 2019 by Whisky magazine.
Kirsty Taylor has worked across the retail and consumer goods industry for over 20 years. She has covered many categories both branded and private label across this time including alcoholic drinks, snacking, and chilled food within blue chip fmcg organisations, primarily within the commercial arena.

Distribution, Food For Thought - Chris Jones, Paragon Brands
Chris Jones has been heavily involved in the spirits industry for over 20 years with extensive sales and marketing experience across the UK drinks Industry. A focused brand builder/developer with multi channel experience Chris has worked working with leading premium brands such as Budweiser, Bacardi, Grey Goose Jack Daniels, and has also launched new market-entrant brands including Aperol and Bottega Gold Prosecco. Chris launched Paragon Brands a premium drinks brand distributor focused on developing sales and brand growth across all trade channels in the UK in 2017.

Milk to Vodka, Winning In a Tough Category – Paul Archard, Co- Founder of Black Cow Vodka
Trained at Chelsea School of Art in sculpture, Archie has worked as an artist, production designer and commercial director.

Archie’s direction, drive and creative flair has fuelled the motion and trajectory of Black Cow.

Black Cow is the only vodka made entirely from grass-grazed cows milk, which results in an exceptionally smooth vodka with a unique creamy character. Our Pure Milk Vodka™ is made at The Black Cow Distillery, located right in the heart of Childhay Manor organic farm, a 13th-century Manor set in the beautiful rolling countryside of West Dorset on the coast of South West England.

Gin-Note, gin flavour description made simple – Nicolas Cook, The Gin Guild
Nicholas Cook is the Director General of the Gin Guild. He was appointed to the role in 2012, when
the organisation was incorporated by the Worshipful Company of Distillers (one of the historical
livery companies of London, formed in 1638).

Members of the Gin Guild include such brands as Gordon’s, Tanqueray and a multitude of smaller distilleries and brands, from Adnams to Warners. Members have grown
year on year since incorporation, both UK and international. Countries represented include: UK,
Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Norway, The Czech
Republic, Spain, Sweden, USA etc.

Nicholas originally qualified as a Solicitor and as a Notary Public, specialising for 30 years in
commercial property, including licenced and leisure property. He was a Partner in a leading UK
commercial law firm. Nicholas acted in many new licenced and leisure property licence grants and
transfers, including pubs, clubs, members clubs, restaurants, theatres, hotels, and, in one case, a
nudist resort (the latter purchase completing one February, in very thick snow, fully justifying the
need for a bar and a reviving spirit!). He is a liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Distillers.

A Maverick approach to the on trade – Michael Vachon, Maverick Drinks
Michael Vachon is co-founder of Maverick Drinks, who are leading the craft spirits movement in the UK. Maverick Drinks’ disruptive approach to representing spirits brands has challenged the way brands and bars work together and in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018, the IWSC awarded Maverick Drinks Spirits Distributor of the Year. Michael has been featured in international press (NY Times, Time Magazine, Imbibe UK, Drinks International, among others) and is recognised as one of the strongest advocates of the international craft spirits movement.

How to get followers and keep them - Katie Woods, Welcome To The Woods
When Katie Woods bought her seven-bedroom Arts & Crafts house, little did she suspect it would put her on the path to Instagram stardom. Her bold choices in decor and vision for overhauling her Edwardian home in Leeds have turned her into one of the UK’s biggest interiors influencers, with more than 167,000 followers on the social media platform.

Where & when

Dates and times

Thursday 12th September 2019, 10:00 - 16:00


Lambert's Yard, 162-163 Lower Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6LY

Parking & directions