Over 13,000 brewing industry professionals will have the opportunity to meet with 700 exhibitors and hear from a wide range of speakers during 70 seminars across 12 different educational tracks. Featured speakers include industry keynote address speaker Deb Carey, founder and president of New Glarus Brewery, Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza and Chief Economist Bart Watson, who will deliver the annual State of the Industry Address. The complete line up of keynote and seminar speakers will be announced mid-January.
As small and independent craft brewers face unique opportunities and challenges in the marketplace, CBC allows them to connect with their colleagues and comrades to share ideas and learn about relevant topics ranging from brewery operations to sustainability and government affairs. This year’s educational seminars cover 12 tracks: Brewery Operations, Brewpub Marketing and Management, Export Development, Government Affairs, Leadership (new in 2018), Packaging Brewery Marketing and Management, Quality, Safety, Selling Craft Beer, Start-ups, Sustainability and Technical Brewing.
“The Craft Brewers Conference brings together the expertise and passion of its internal brewing community and voices outside as well,” said Paul Gatza, director, Brewers Association. “Through this year’s choices for keynote speakers, we want to offer CBC attendees words of wisdom, inspiration and experience. The combination of Paul and Deb provides insights into the crucial components of building and sustaining success in the brewing community.”
Speaking Tuesday, May 1 (9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.), Saginaw co-founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982 in Ann Arbor, Mich., with his business partner Ari Weinzweig.
With the goals of producing a great corned beef sandwich and creating an organization with a soulful culture, they transformed their venture into a community of businesses, consisting of 22 partners and over 750 employees. Saginaw brings an inspirational message—and strong vision—into the corporate world. His accomplishments include a “Champion of Change” award from the White House in 2014 and a lifetime achievement award from Bon Appetit.
Speaking Wednesday, May 2 (9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.), Carey, a lifelong entrepreneur, started her first business at the age of 16.
Carey raised the capital to establish New Glarus Brewing Company, based in New Glarus, Wis., in 1993, making her one of the first women to found and operate a brewery in the country. Under Carey’s leadership, New Glarus has become a national icon as one of the largest U.S. craft breweries by volume, while still being acclaimed for its local, in-state focus. She combines business management and brewing professionalism to run her brewery on foundations of individuality, cooperation and the use of 100 percent natural ingredients.
The CBC general session will also feature Gatza and Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson, who will provide a detailed look at the overall health of the craft brewing market in their annual State of the Industry address.
Labels to have a strong conference and expo presence
Labels and labeling, including pressure sensitive materials selection as well as packaging related legislation, will have a strong presence within both the conference schedule and on the exhibition floor.
Notable label industry exhibitors include both printer/converters as well as equipment and consumables suppliers. Among them are: Accraply, Afinia Label, ASL Print FX, Atlas Labels & Packaging, Blue Label Digital Printing (recently fearured in L&NW), TLMI Eugene Singer Award winner Columbine Label, Dion Label Printing, DWS Associates, Domino, Epson, Fort Dearborn, Resource Label and Weber Packaging.
UPM Raflatac will have a particularly strong presence in Nashville. As a global provider of beer label materials, UPM Raflatac has the knowledge and experience to guide breweries – both large and small, bottled or canned – looking to distinguish their brand in this highly competitive market. Whether it is switching from glue-applied to pressure sensitive materials or labeling in wet or dry environments, UPM Raflatac can assist in every step of the way. With a wide range of smooth and textured papers or film labelstocks, the company provides multiple offerings.
"UPM Raflatac knows that craft breweries work hard to make their high-quality brews, and we want to assure them that we work just as hard to offer label material that reflects the quality of the product contained within," says Jean Willson, segment manager, Wine, Spirits, & Craft Beverage, Americas, UPM Raflatac. "That's why we're at Craft Brewers Conference: to educate breweries about the importance of distinguishing their brands with pressure sensitive labels. I look forward to meeting with everyone in Nashville next week."
UPM Raflatac will also be hosting a lunchtime educational session on Wednesday, May 2 to provide tips and recommendations to help converters who want to label cans (or bottles) with pressure sensitive label materials.