2013 Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America

DSCN2584 (800x600) - CopyThe numbers clearly don’t lie.

The 2013 Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America® (The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing America’s small and independent craft brewers) was the biggest and best to date, drawing some 6,400 delegates to Washington, DC, for all things craft beer.

The event saw the largest trade show in the 30-year history of the event, with over 440 exhibitors displaying the latest and greatest brewery equipment and services to the microbrewery industry.

On the trade show floor, serious deals were being discussed as brewers looked to expand and take advantage of the continued rise of microbreweries, which is the main segment in the beer market which has seen growth.

Hitting 10 percent craft dollar share of the total American beer market, and similar numbers in Canada, North American craft breweries clearly reflect where the beer industry is headed, that is, onward and upward.

Some suppliers, which normally chase the big brewers’ needs, now see microbreweries as essential to their survival and growth.

Source: Robert Hughey on the floor of Craft Brewers Conference.

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2013 Achievement Awards from the Brewers Association, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Three members of the brewing community were recognized and awarded for their dedication and service during the opening session.

Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing: Peter Bouckaert of New Belgium Brewing Co. was honoured with the Russell Schehrer Award for implementing the biggest barrel ageing operation in the country. Brewmaster for the past 10 years, Bouckaert makes all kinds of experimental beers, many of which are released under New Belgium’s ‘Lips of Faith’ series. The award is given annually to honour Schehrer’s contributions to the brewing industry. Schehrer was a founding partner and the original head brewer at Colorado’s first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co.

Brewers Association Recognition Award: Art Larrance of Cascade Brewing/Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub received the Brewers Association Recognition Award for his innovative and award-winning beers. Larrance has been in the industry since the early 1980s and opened Cascade Brewing in 1998. Each year, BA members nominate candidates for this award and the BA Board of Directors votes to determine the most deserving brewer.

F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award: David Katleski, president of the New York State Craft Brewers Guild and owner of the Empire Brewing Co., received the F.X. Matt Award for his tireless efforts to make regulatory reform possible and change legislation. Katleski operates a small brewpub in Syracuse and is constantly working to help the local craft market. This past year, he had five major pieces of reform legislation passed in New York. The award is given in honour of a champion of small brewers, F.X. Matt, president of the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in Utica, New York from 1980-1989 and chairman from 1989-2001.

Source: Brewers Association, Boulder, CO, USA

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