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International Centre for Brewing & Distilling


The International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD) is a unique teaching and research facility. The centre is based on a partnership between industry and academics, and makes up part of the School of Life Sciences located in the Riccarton campus of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.


The ICBD is the only organisation in the UK to offer both Honours and Masters degrees in Brewing and Distilling. As such, the centre not only supplies the industry with new-blood graduates, but with services, expertise and facilities consistent with the standards required in the local, national, and international markets. A variety of courses are available both on campus and by distance learning and short courses and workshops are catered for on request.


MSc Brewing & Distilling: Full Fee Bursaries

A number of full fee bursaries are available for Scottish domiciled students to study the on campus MSc programme in Brewing & Distilling. Further information is available from Kenia Fowlis-Brownlee (K.E.Fowlis@hw.ac.uk).



New ICBD Director


Professor Alex Speers, FIBD, has been appointed to the position of Professor of Brewing and Distilling and Director of the International Centre of Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University.



Alex will join us in May this year from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At Dalhousie, Dr. Speers has an active research group investigating various aspects of fermented beverage process.



Alex received his graduate education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. In the past, he has been employed in the Quality Assurance departments of both Labatt and Molson Breweries. He has also spent sabbaticals at CUB/Fosters in Melbourne, Australia, and the Columbia Brewing Company in British Columbia. Alex is excited about joining ICBD and establishing a collaborative programme investigating various topics in the malting, brewing and distilling sectors.


Poster Publications

Recent poster presentations from research within the ICBD are available to download from our research page.