2014 Craft Brewery Conference Top Five List
Up and down the streets of Denver we road. Who’s ideas was it to ride these mountain bikes from the VRBO rental again? OH shoot, that’s right, me! Insert chagrin smile. It was coming on 11:30 PM and we still could not find that vacation rental. We had left Wynkoop Brewery; where we had the pleasure of finally meeting in person, our 14 years in the industry, brewery wastewater consult, John Mercer. That was over 2 hours ago! Over and over, helpful pedestrians explained, “Oh, Curtis Street, it is just up a couple blocks that way….”, “Curtis street, never heard of it…….” Turns out Curtis Street is a little more difficult to find when you have no map and your “smart” phone’s battery dead. In the end, a friendly city cop was able to explain that contrary to the other main streets in downtown Denver, Curtis, along with a few others run at a diagonal. We were just one block off. Dang!
That was my least favorite part of attending the Brewer's Assocation 2014 Craft Brewery Conference in Denver, Colorado, and the only part I didn’t enjoy. The whole trip turned around when the next morning, back on our bikes, we arrived at the Colorado Convention Center along with over 9,000 other brewery professionals. Below is a list of the top 5 best things that we took away from the conference.
1. The Most Expensive Ingredients - Taxes!
Jay Brooks is a beer writer for the San Jose Mercury News and a co-founder of San Francisco Beer Week. He did a presentation titled Promoting the Positive. This was one of my favorite seminars and could probably use up all 5 of my “Best Things” but I will only share my two favorites. Did you know that the most expensive “ingredient” in beer is…… Taxes! Yep, 40.8 % to be specific. Beer consumers pay special excise taxes directly targeting beer and indirect taxes (general sales and property taxes, income, profit, and payroll taxes). This means that beer gets taxed almost double compared to all other purchases, which are taxed at 24.2%. If you would like to read the full report, click here.
2. Moderate and Heavy Drinkers Both Outlive Teetotalers.
Disclaimer: The Gyppo Ale Mill is in no way recommending or advocating the habit of binge drinking or promoting heavy drinking. We are just personally trying to live longer.
It is one thing that studies have found that moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers but that heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers as well, is to put it lightly a bit shocking. Apparently this isn’t breaking news Time Magazine did an article on it in 2010. Click the link to read more about it. The study that is cited takes places over a 20 year period with over 1,500 hundred participants. The researches tried controlling for every imaginable variable, including socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends and even quality of social support. But in the end the results showed that abstainers died at a higher percentage (69%) compared to heavy drinkers (60%) and moderate drinkers (40%). One point the researchers do point out is that the participants in the study were a disproportionate male (63%) versus females. Take it in and ingest it, as you will.
3. Face to Face Meeting with John Mercer of BreweryWastewater.Com
“You traveled in SE Asia with your wife, on your bikes, for two years and never got into a real fight?” What! That in it’s self is amazing but all jokes a side, Mercer has become an invaluable asset to Gyppo as we navigate the Redway Community Sewer District industrial waste water permit application. This process “formally” began in January and to say we are moving at a snails pace is an understatement. If you are interested in learning morning about the process and showing your support for a brewery in Southern Humboldt, please consider attending this months meeting, which is tomorrow, April 30th at 7pm. The meetings are held next to Greenwired in the Meadows Business Park, 153 Empire Avenue.
4. Pink Boots Society
During the General Session of the Craft Brewery Conference Teri Fahrendorf was given the Brewer’s Association Recognition award. Not only is Fahrendorf an amazing brewer but also she has led the way for other female brewers since 1986. She was the first female brewmaster in both California and Oregon. I learned that she is the founder of an organization called the Pink Books Society. Their mission is to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the Beer Industry through Education. While receiving her award, she invited the woman in the audience to attend there annual meeting taking place later in the week. As you can I guess, that is what I did. It was a fantastic meeting and I left with enthusiasm to promote the organizations mission as well as a slew of connections, including number 5 on the Best Things about CBC, meeting Kerry Embertson.
5. Meeting Kerry Embertson - Head Brewer of Lost Coast Brewing
During the Pink Books Society meeting, the 175 attendees had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the group. It was then that I learned, The Lost Coast Brewery was at the conference and being represented by Kerry Embertson. I was excited to meet her and planned to find her at the end of the meeting when we would have a chance to mingle, but Embertson beat me to the punch. She came running up and introduced herself to me. We ended up getting some beer on the final day of the conference and her enthusiasm, outgoing personality, extensive knowledge of the industry are just a few of the many great attributes we learned about her. We exchange contact information and I look forward to the day that I can take her up on the opportunity to shadow her as a head brewer of The Lost Coast Brewery.
This is just the tip of the ice burg. All and all the conference was a great place to network and meet industry professional but it was also a great learning experience. The Brewer’s Association did a superb job choosing the different seminar topics and the presenters were top notch. We look forward to attending next year’s event, which takes place in Portland, Oregon.