There is nothing quite like the Craft Brewers Conference. Between the number of brewers in one place, the cities that play host, and the amount of education that happens, I always encourage folks to go.
A Sort of 'Family Reunion'
CBC and GABF are often called "family reunions" of brewers and this year was no different. It is hard to walk the show floor without running into friends every few booths. Between vendors that we're friends with, brewers that we know from our own work, or striking up conversations with new friends, there is no shortage in happy, friendly, beer folks.
This year we were able to see our work playing on multiple screens throughout the show floor and during the keynote talks. We enjoyed the unique ways our videos are being used!
Every year CBC takes over the town. The amount of beer that must flow into the Craft Brewers Conference is off the charts. The opening night event and conference floor is a lot, but every tap room, dive bar, bottle shop, brewery, and even empty parking lot, is transformed into a craft beer bar. Beers from all over the country are brought in by distributors to the benefit of out of town brewers and local beer lovers alike.
Nashville played host this year and made for a great backdrop of music and a bustling craft beer scene that was unknown to the PNW folks that we traveled with. Bearded Iris, Jackalope, and Craft Brewed were our favorite spots, but we hardly scratched the surface of the town. Broadway is a honky-tonk heaven with live music playing on multiple levels for 3-4 blocks.
While we weren't there specifically to learn, we had to stop in some of the talks. The topics that attracted us were around what's next? The answers were attempted in a variety of talks: Marijuana and Beer, Craft Malt, Terpines and Extreme IPAs, and Session Beers. There's always seminars about starting your own brewery and growth. Educational opportunities abound at CBC.
Next year is bound to be another step up with the conference heading to Denver. Many brewers know the city well from GABF being there every year, so it will make for some incredible beer-centric experiences. We will see you in Denver!