We made up four of those attendees at the 34th edition of the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) and BrewExpo America in Washington, D.C., last week. The Brewers Association (BA) — the not-for-profit trade group putting on the show — announced it was its largest industry gathering event ever (we have to assume from our awesome coverage). CBC brought together some 13,300 brewing professionals and more than 900 exhibitors for discussions, buying, selling, education and collaborations in culture for America’s craft brewing business.
Now consider this: CBC was in D.C. in 2013 — that was our first show — and that year it only had 6,400 attendees and 440 exhibiting companies. We made up only two of those attendees back then, so we’re growing at the same rate. To give you a feel for the event (sans the hangover), we’ve peppered a photo blog below (with many photos provide by the BA) along with some highlights from the 2017 conference. Enjoy!
2017 Achievement Awards
Three members of the brewing community were recognized and awarded for their dedication and service.
- Brewers Association Recognition Award: Vinnie & Natalie Cilurzo, Co-Owners, Russian River Brewing Company
- Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing: Will Meyers, Brewmaster, Cambridge Brewing Company
- F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award: Matthew McLaughlin, Executive Director, Mississippi Brewers Guild
Other notable takeaways from this year’s CBC include:
Keynotes: Leadership expert Alison Levine drew parallels from her experience climbing the highest peak on every continent to discuss how craft brewers can compete in a challenging and changing environment. Revered brewer Dick Cantwell provided his industry colleagues with his insights from his long career in the craft brewing community, offering a message of unity among small and independent brewers and reinforcing the importance of producing and maintaining high quality beer.
Diversity Committee: The BA announced the formation of a Diversity Committee, with a goal of bringing a more diverse group of brewers and beer lovers into the craft brewing community. Helmed by BA Board member Scott Metzger (Free Tail Brewing Company), the committee is made up of a cross section of industry members of varied backgrounds and regions.