The Craft Brewers Conference blew into San Francisco this year and took the town by storm. The Craft Brewers Conference (CBC), is the preeminent conference for packaging breweries, as well as brewpubs and is sponsored by the Brewers Association, which is made up of more than 1,000 US brewery members. This years CBC saw more than 3,900 industry attendees and 53 seminars, and shaped up to be quite a week for members of the craft brewing industry. The conference also featured BrewExpo America, a trade show that features vendors from all over the world showcasing the latest products and services available to the brewing industry.
Day one of the conference really began the night before with the welcoming ceremonies which were held at the California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park. Sponsored by Briess Malt and Hopunion, it featured beers poured by Moylans, Beach Chalet, Russian River. It was an amazing night and a great way to ease everyone into the task at hand: establish life long business relationships that would allow growth with America’s beer culture and expose brewers big and small to industry best practices.
Keynote Speakers for this years conference were Sierra Nevada founder and pioneer Ken Grossman and Fritz Maytag, former owner of Anchor Brewing and often thought of as the father of craft brewing in the United States. Grossman and Maytag sat in lounge chairs sharing a beer together, while regaling the audience with tales of their beginnings. Rather than just giving the usual stand at the podium speech, they engaged in a conversation with each other that was as educational as anything you could ever watch.