2017 Craft Brewers Conference Preview: Don’t Miss These 4 Education Seminars

The 2017 Craft Brewers Conference is just around the corner and, to help you navigate what is sure to be a jam-packed week of learning, networking and imbibing, Brewbound has compiled a list can’t miss list presentations and educational seminars.

Approximately 14,000 brewing industry professionals are expected to attend the 34th edition of the CBC, which takes place in Washington D.C. between April 10 – 13. The multi-day event will also feature 800 exhibitors at the annual BrewExpo America trade show, happening on Tuesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 12.

Hosted by industry trade group the Brewers Association (BA), the event will include at least 70 educational seminars across 11 tracks: brewery operations, brewpubs, export development, government affairs, packaging breweries, quality, safety, selling craft beer, startups, sustainability and technical brewing.

With so many options to choose from, maximizing your time at the CBC is critically important. That’s why, if you’re serious about growing your business and soaking in the most important information you can during CBC week, you’ll be sure to check out these four seminars:

Lester Jones (left) and Bart Watson

Using Industry, Demographic, and Economic Data to Grow Your Brewery’s Business

When: April 11, 1:20 PM – 2:20 PM

Speakers: Lester Jones, Chief Economist, NBWA; Bart Watson, Chief Economist, BA

The Bart and Lester show rolls on in 2017! These two economists hit the conference circuit pretty hard last year, co-presenting at numerous industry events, including BevNET’s own Brewbound Session last December. Take it from us, Watson and Jones have great rapport and they know how to work a room.

But beyond the duo’s on-stage chemistry, their presentations are always chock full of the most current industry data, and filled with insights into category-wide trends.

At the 2017 CBC, they’ll be helping intermediate and advanced breweries understand how to access and utilize readily available industry, state and federal statistics to inform their business planning.

Kimberly Clements (left) and Daniel Lust

Expanding Your Footprint: Do it Right the First Time

When: April 11, 2:40 PM – 3:40 PM

Speakers: Kimberly Clements & Daniel Lust, Partners, PINTS LLC

With more than 5,300 craft breweries now operating throughout the U.S., it’s never been more important to consider your expansion strategies and what a new market entry could and should look like.

Kimberly Clements, the former owner and CEO of Arizona-based Golden Eagle Distributors, together with Daniel Lust, her former vice president of sales and marketing, launched the PINTS LLC consultancy in 2016 after the beer wholesaler was sold to Hensley Beverage.

The PINTS venture, short for “partners invested in transformational solutions,” aids craft brewers with all aspects of distributor management, including contract negotiations, new market due diligence, go-to market strategies, portfolio development, sales training and logistics.

During their CBC session, Clements and Lust will help new and emerging breweries understand their market expansion options and provide strategies that will enable companies to avoid costly mistakes when selecting new distributor partners.

The Price is Right: Elevating Your Price and Promotion Strategy Game

When: April 12, 1:20 PM – 2:20 PM

Speakers: Danny Brager, senior vice president, beverage alcohol practice, Nielsen; Morgan Seybert, vice president sales effectiveness, Nielsen

Danny Brager

As the craft category continues to get more crowded, and as more emerging brewery entrepreneurs look to scale their businesses with volume-driven product offerings, overall pricing strategy will become an increasingly more important page in every craft beer company’s playbook.

So, to help brewery owners better understand the current beer pricing environment, Nielsen’s Danny Brager and Morgan Seybert will look to explain why price is a key component of every consumer’s purchasing decision.

Throughout their presentation, the pair will “provide a glimpse into the current beer pricing environment,” and help brewery professionals “create a framework for thinking about pricing strategy.”

MegaBrew: The Merger, its Aftermath and What it Means for Small Brewers

When: April 13, 3:20 PM – 4:20 PM

Speakers: Jon Dubrow, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP; Bob Pease, President & CEO, Brewers Association; Paul Pisano, Sr. VP Industry Affairs and General Counsel, National Beer Wholesalers Association

Last year’s $100 billion “MegaBrew” merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller was the most significant story in the beer industry, not just because it was the largest ever combination of two beer companies, but also because of its implications for other U.S. breweries.

In order to proceed with the transaction, A-B InBev agreed to a number of conditions, laid out by the U.S. Department of Justice, including the divestiture of MillerCoors, as well as other requirements that could impact the way small and independent brewers and beer wholesalers operate.

In April, McDermott Will & Emery’s Jon Dubrow, along with Brewers Association CEO Bob Pease and Paul Pisano, the NBWA’s general counsel, will discuss those conditions and review the “specific elements composing the final consent order.”

Attendees can expect to learn about the strengths and weakness of the consent order, the challenges of enforcing the order and what impact the merger could have on the marketplace.

Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the March/April issue of BevNET Magazine

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