Southern Brewers Conference, August 23-25

Image courtesy of Southern Brewers Conference/Rhizome Productions

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Sorry I've been slacking about keeping up here. But I have a pretty juicy subject to discuss today, so hopefully that will earn some points toward forgiveness.

Image courtesy of Southern Brewers Conference/Rhizome Productions
The second annual Southern Brewers Conference is happening at the end of the month in Nashville, and I'm super excited to be going and being a part of the hard-working, steadily thriving beer scene here in the southern states. This region has had a lot of legislative hurdles to clear - for example, Mississippi just legalized breweries to sell beer onsite at tap rooms as of July 1, and Georgia has had similar legislation passed to have the same right to sell beer at their breweries - but that still won't be enacted until September 1.

Bet the Georgia brewers are going to be pretty excited - slash - chomping at the bit at the conference, a mere few days before this important law goes into effect.

So, yes, brewers in the southern region of the country have a lot to discuss and a lot of commiserating and strategizing to do, so the conference is sure to be jam packed with information, and of course, beer.

Leah and Oscar of Highland Brewing
 Leah Wong Ashburn of Highland Brewing in Asheville, NC is the keynote speaker. I've interviewed her before and she is very passionate and knowledgeable about the industry and the area. Highland's seen what happens when cities and states support breweries, because they've been through it all. She's also grown up in the business, which was founded by her father, Oscar Wong (who I hope will be hanging out during the parties in a kilt.)

45 minute seminars encompassing all aspects of running a brewery take place all day on Wednesday (8/24) and until 2:45 pm on Thursday. Here are a few that are of personal interest to me, but check out the entire list here.
  • Financing Your Brewery: An Art. Not a Science.
  • Troubleshooting with Sensory Data
  • Branding and Trademarks on a Beer Budget 
  • New Ways to Use Unique, Unmalted and Ancient Grains 
  • Starting A New Brewery: Moving Beyond Year 1
OK, I don't want to infodump, but later this week I will be coming back to this subject and talking about the tradeshow, the Family Feud gameshow between distributors and brewers, and exclusive SBC beers.