Here’s some proof the beer industry is taking off: Since the Craft Brewers Conference was last in D.C. in 2013, it’s has doubled in size from 440 to 800 exhibiting companies this year.
Since so many tied to the beer industry wanted to show off their next-gen pumps, hops, labeling technology, and swag this year, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center had to add another floor to accommodate it all.
A giant “Collabeeration” board is letting the 13,000-plus attendees swap key advice and intel about the state of the beer industry. Here are some highlights:
Best style to convert non-craft drinkers:
Ambers, Belgian White, Black IPA, Berliner Weiss (for wine drinkers), Helles, Kolsch, Baltic Porter.
Most useful approach for influencing state legislators:
Network, join a guild, know what’s happening with state law; #craftfreedom.org; outspend the distributor’s lobby.
What beer style is next on the rise:
New England pilsner; Crazy Shaman IPA by Hops & Rocks; lagers, lagers, lagers; beers brewed with yeast from Mars (the planet not the god); Saisons; Gose; red ales; hoppy everything; Baltimore-style sours.
Biggest hurdle from business plan to opening doors:
Financing, permitting; banks, contractors, government, etc. need to show some HUSTLE; finding the right property and building.
Best advice for a CBC rookie:
If your brewhouse ain’t clean, you beer ain’t shit; have money; WATER!; drink less=learn more; go with the flow/comfy shoes;
What brought you to CBC this year?
Pricing comparisons; smartphone-based yeast counters; to promote hops grown in Yakima Valley, Wash.; learning about logistics; to find breweries who spend too much time managing their social media.