The Arkansas Brewers Guild has announced their first annual Arkansas Brewers Conference & Festival to be held Saturday, July 18. The event will be hosted in Little Rock at the Arkansas State Fair Complex and is open to the public and features breweries from across Arkansas. In conjunction with the festival, a conference will be held for the local brewing community.
“The guild by-laws require us to have an annual meeting. We thought since the industry is growing so fast with so many new faces popping up it would be great to offer more than just a business meeting when we all gathered. Out of that the Arkansas Brewers Conference was born!” said Ian Beard, Chair of the Arkansas Brewers Conference & Festival
The Arkansas Brewers Guild (ABG) is organized to promote, in every lawful manner, the common interests of the members of the brewing industry in Arkansas. The guild operates as a non-profit corporation and pursues its mission through public events, industry initiatives and governmental action. Currently 20 breweries call Arkansas home, with a 2014 production of 14,641 barrels of craft beer, which seats the state at 48th in the nation. Nascent, but a growing and thriving community, the ABG stands to protect and promote these small brewery businesses as the industry matures.
Russ Melton, President of the ABG states, “The brewing industry in Arkansas is experiencing record growth, and it is important that we all work together to promote the craft within the state. This conference & festival will connect members of the brewing community to one another while offering a unique experience to the public to sample a variety of local beers in one place.”
Prior to the fest, members of the local beer community will gather to network, share and conduct official business as part of the Arkansas Brewers Conference. The program features sessions, panel discussions and workshops on a variety of topics. The guild’s annual business meeting includes remarks from Gary “Bud” Roberts, director of the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, and Dan Kopman, board member for the national Brewers Association and co-founder of Schlafly Beer in St. Louis, Mo.
The festival is designed for the general public to taste beers from a number of different local breweries and in a variety of styles. Breweries both small and large are participating from around the state. Festival tickets are available online through July 17. Tickets will also be available at the gate on July 18.
Find out more about upcoming guild events on their Facebook page