7 Can’t Miss Seminars at the 2016 Craft Brewers Conference


The 2016 Craft Brewers Conference — happening May 3-6 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center — officially kicks off in about 48 hours and, if you’re anything like us, you probably still haven’t finalized all of your plans for the week.

This year’s CBC is, once again, a record breaker: upwards of 13,000 industry professionals and more than 800 exhibitors are expected to take part in the event, which will feature 74 seminars across 11 different tracks.

And don’t forget about the parties, the brand activation events and the hundreds of social gatherings also taking place around town, including our very own Brew Talks meetup with Dogfish Head at World Café.

Simply put, the week of CBC is overwhelming. Often times, the learning seminars, arguably one of the most valuable parts of the whole week, get lost in the excitement of networking with so many different industry stakeholders.

We’ve got you covered. Brewbound has hand-picked seven can’t-miss seminars for anyone attending this week’s conference. Want to hear some of the industry’s most successful brewery owners, retailers, entrepreneurs and executives read from a few pages of their playbooks? Then don’t skip these seven talks.


What: Retailer Panel

  • Who: Justin Cody (Spec’s Wines, Spirits and Fine Foods), Geoff Greble (Wegmans), Patrick Kirk (Buffalo Wild Wings), John Lane (Winking Lizard), Todd McFarland (7-Eleven), Rich O’Keefe (Meijer), Charles Slezak (Lowes Foods), Bump Williams (Bump Williams Consulting)
  • Where: Terrace Ballroom 1
  • When: May 4 1:20 PM – 2:20 PM
  • Why: Eight of the brightest retailer minds in the business on one panel. Whoa.

What: Growing Up as a Brewery — Strategies for Staying Small and Beautiful

  • Who: Jeff Althouse (Oakshire Brewing), Natalie Cilurzo (Russian River Brewing), Sam Holloway (Crafting a Strategy), John Lenzini (Schilling Beer Company)
  • Where: Ballroom A
  • When: May 4, 2:40 PM — 3:40 PM
  • Why: For the entrepreneur who isn’t hell bent on triple digit year-over-year growth.


What: General Session II — State of the Industry

  • Who: Steve Bradt (Free State Brewing), Paul Gatza (BA), Sarah Longwell (American Beverage Institute), Jim McGreevy (Beer Institute), Bob Pease (BA), Craig Purser (NBWA), Rob Tod (Allagash), Bart Watson (BA)
  • Where: Terrace Ballroom 1-4
  • When: May 5, 9:15 AM — 10:30 AM
  • Why: Dive deeper into industry and get the latest craft segment statistics

What: How To Successfully Raise Capital for Your Brewery

  • Who: David Dupee (CraftFund/Good City Brewing), Kevin O’Brien (Zepponi & Co.), Ryan Schildkraut (Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.)
  • Where: 103 ABC
  • When: May 5, 2:40 PM — 3:40 PM
  • Why: Everybody needs money to grow, right?

What: Today’s Numbers are Tomorrow’s Sales

  • Who: Lester Jones (NBWA), Adam Lambert (Virtue Cider), Bump Williams (Bump Williams Consulting)
  • Where: Ballroom B
  • When: May 5, 2:40 PM — 3:40 PM
  • Why: Speaking of growth, these guys can help you make sense of the numbers.


What: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Craft Brewing CFO

  • Who: Chris Banks (Odell Brewing), Mary Brettmann (Beverage Business Builders)
  • Where: Ballroom A
  • When: May 6, 1:55 PM — 2:55 PM
  • Why: Because learning how to properly managing money will keep you in business.

What: Free the Beer! — An Exploration of the Relevance, Necessity, and Legality of Modern Beer Franchise Law

  • Who: Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing), Alva Mather (Pepper Hamilton, LLC), Marc Sorini (McDermott Will & Emory LLP), Tom Spadea (Spadea, Lanard & Lignana)
  • Where: 108 AB
  • When: May 6, 1:55 PM — 2:55 PM
  • Why: Franchise law is always an important topic of discussion


What: Brewbound’s Brew Talks presented by Dogfish Head

  • Who: Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Simon Thorpe (Duvel Moortgat USA), David Walker (Firestone Walker), Nico Freccia (21st Amendment), Hayes Humpreys (Devils Backbone), Geoff Greble (Wegmans), Bump Williams (Bump Williams Consulting)
  • Where: World Café Live
  • When: Wednesday May 4, 4:00 PM — 7:15 PM
  • Why: Because we promise to have the most engaging and thought-provoking discussions of the week.