Another Craft Brewers Conference under my belt and I have to say that one of things I am most impressed with is the level of sophistication and knowledge that is exhibited in the craft brewing community. When I first started coming to the CBC (exactly how long ago I don’t care to acknowledge) it was what some people described as the brewing “wild west”. It was an event where enthusiastic brewers (often over-enthusiastic) were there to informally share experiences and learn many of the basics of producing and marketing their beers.
This has changed. Yes, the brewers are still free-spirited (and I hope that never changes), but the craft industry is maturing quickly and even small breweries and start-ups are as serious about the business as the big guys. With over 70 seminars, sponsored demonstrations and events, there are more resources available to brewers than ever before. Technology leads the way to providing means for quality and consistency, safety and sustainability. The transition is impressive.
We saw that come to life at the Barth-Haas booth where brewer after brewer dropped by and impressed us with their knowledge of hops, hop products and varieties. With their rub-and-sniff technique well practiced, they were able to discern the hops’ aroma characteristics in terms of fruity, citrus, floral…and even catty. All were anxious to try our experimental beers with new hops and varietal combinations. And all showed great interest in the introduction of the Haas BBC Pure Hop Pellet™ which has great potential for significantly improving beer processing and decreasing product losses. Quality, efficiency, cost, sustainability, ease-of-use…these are all increasingly important aspects to craft brewers, much more evident than has been seen in the past. It’s a great time to be part of the movement, and its great to see so many others who enjoy it as much as I do. We’ll see you next year in Philadelphia!