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Thread: Craft Brewers Conference

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    108

    Craft Brewers Conference

    I'm a start up brewery and so obviously the budget is tight, but I'm trying to decide if going to the craft brewers conference is worth it? thoughts?

    and are you going?

    joel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    112

    The CBC...

    I've been going to the CBC since 1997 and haven't missed a year yet. It looks like this year is a more 'technical' year as far as the seminars. It may be due to the larger number of brewers from outside the US attending because the World Beer Cup is tied to it.

    The CBC is a huge 'networking' amongst brewers. The opprotunity to deal with vendors and equipment suppliers in a trade show setting is also really important to a startup.

    Since there is nothing really like the CBC to compare it to I encourage you to go and 'see for yourself'. If nothing else you will come away with a better idea of where the industry is at. Considering the state of ingredients at the moment I plan on having face to face discussions with my malt and hop suppliers and speaking to folks I haven't done business with as well. It's hard to get these folks 'on the spot' in any other forum.

    Tash

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    993
    I attended from 1995 -2002. There were major changes over that period; in the beginning equipment vendors brought equipment. It moved towards slideshows on flat screen TV's with only smaller pieces being displayed. The seminars went from brewers presenting to vendors presenting. The seminars were still informative but I always had this feeling of paying big bucks to attend a commercial.

    Is it still worthwhile? Hell yea! Looks like the programs are back to brewers doing the seminars and a nice mix at that.

    Would I spend the money to attend, yes. I would be attending this year but production demands require me to stay home. Spend the money and go. There is no way to put a dollar amount on the value you'll receive from networking alone. You'll meet people who will remember you when you get your brewery up and need a quick phone consultation to keep rolling.

    And if all you forumites attending will drink a beer for me I'd appreciate it!
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,586
    Even I’ll chime in on this one….

    Heck ya, well worth it. Especially as a start up. Invaluable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    292
    This year will be my 4th trip to the CBC in 10 years. It's like anything, it is what you make out of it. I know some folks go because of the social aspect as well a chance to drink some great beers. On the business & technical side, there are always several really good and relevant seminars. Also, the opportunity to meet, visit and develop personal connections with suppliers is key in this time of ingredient instability. The ability to network with other experienced brewers/owners is awesome for discovering new approaches to dealing with brewery issues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    993
    If I read the program correctly there is even a seminar given by our unnamed Admin called Who Are Those Guys-Getting To Know Your Distributor
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    132
    There is even a seminar or two this year specifically geared towards start ups... sounds like a no-brainer!
    Scott Metzger
    Freetail Brewing Co.
    San Antonio, TX

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,586
    Busted!!

    Yes, that’s true. I’ll be back on the docket again after a few years of “retirement” from speaking at the conference.

    And, speaking of history, I attended the very first ‘craft brewers conference’ back in the early 80’s when it was held in conjunction with the annual homebrewers conference. There were about 10 of us or so attending.

    I’ve missed a few since – but only a few.

    Speaking to the value of the conference – for a start-up (or any brewer in the industry), there is tremendous value in the seminars and trade show. But perhaps the greatest value is what you learn and who you meet during the social and networking time. You’ll meet friends for life – who share the same passion for good beer and brewing and who will always be there to take a call if you need help or have questions. That’s why many of us refer to the conference as our “family reunion.”

    Hope to see you there.

    Admin

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