Last week the Land-Grant team took a little field trip to one of America’s craft brewing mecca’s: Denver, Colorado. We headed west to attend our second Craft Brewer’s Conference, we learned a lot, met a ton of awesome people, got a little time on the slopes and generally had a blast.
For those who are unfamiliar with CBC, there are essentially three aspects to the event:
1. The Conference CBC provides educational seminars on everything from Sustainability to Distribution to “Selling your Beer in Sweden using the Systembolaget.” No matter your role in the brewing process there is knowledge to be gleaned at CBC.
2. BrewExpo America Throughout CBC, a brewing trade show runs concurrently to the conference It gives brewers a glimpse of all the latest toys for making, packaging, selling, and serving their beer. Leave your wallet at home.
The Trade Show floor
3. The Events Once the convention show has closed its doors for the day, that’s when the real fun starts. Breweries save some of their best stuff for tapping during CBC, and love throwing parties to celebrate the occasion. For instance, Lagunitas and Left Hand joined forces and hosted a blow-out bash at the Fillmore Auditorium and booked the Funky Meters to provide the soundtrack. There’s no shortage of things to do—or beers to try—after hours at CBC.
Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Tapping Event at the Falling Rock Tap House
Beyond the official events, the real highlight of CBC is the opportunity to meet your fellow brewers—from the midwest and around the world—in person. We were thrilled to meet folks from Mad Tree, Country Boy, Braxton Brewing, Seventh Son, 4String, Elevator, Wolf’s Ridge, Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Co., Columbus Brewing Co., Vitruvian, Brewery X, Grist, and a whole bunch more.
Speaking of Grist Brewing, on Wednesday night our brewhouse manufacturer, Sprinkman, invited us to visit their brewery and taproom. We hopped on a bus to their facility, and spent a few great hours sampling their beers and checking out their setup. Their brewhouse was of particular interest to us, as it is, essentially, the same Sprinkman system that we will be brewing on here in Columbus. They brewed a batch of their tasty Berliner Weisse while we were there and it was a joy to see the system in motion in a real brewery setting.
Grist Brewing’s Bar
Grist Brewing’s Sprinkman Brewhouse
All in all, it was an amazing week that began sunny and 70° and ended atop Vail Mountain in a blizzard. We had a fabulous time in Denver, and are already looking forward to CBC 2015 in Portland, Oregon.