The Bar Towel is proud to once again present our annual preview of the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC), taking place from April 8th to 11th in Denver, Colorado. Part One of our preview covered our picks for some of the beer bars and brewpubs in the city, and Part Two will cover our picks for the conference seminars.
The Craft Brewers Conference allows the industry to get together to share, learn and drink while discussing the relevant issues facing craft brewing. The conference itself is split into two main components: first, the seminars, in which speakers and panels discuss a wide array of subjects including Brewery Operations, Exporting, Governmental Affairs, Safety, QA, Sustainability, Marketing and more. Secondly, the CBC also offers a massive trade show entitled BrewExpo America (only operating Wednesday and Thursday), where almost 500 diverse exhibitors showcase and promote their wares to potential clients and partners. The conference also organizes brewery tours of local breweries, plays host to the results of the World Beer Cup competition (every two years, including this one), and has mini side-conferences specific for wholesalers and bar owners. It is due to this breadth and scope that the CBC has grown dramatically and is attracting brewers from all over the world, even though the Brewers Association is U.S. based. And for many years now, the CBC is a must-attend for Canadian brewers as well. In fact, there probably isn’t a single event in Canada that attracts as many from the Canadian brewery industry as the CBC does.
And why is this? Well, the CBC is extremely relevant for Canadian brewers. The U.S. is a leader in the craft beer movement, so the trends, insights and best practices that are seen in this market are very important for the Canadian craft beer industry to understand. In this second part of our Craft Brewers Conference preview, we’ll look at the seminar picks that we believe would be most interesting and informative, from a Canadian perspective.