On May 21st the Massachusetts Brewers Guild (MBG) hosted their inaugural technical brewing and business conference in Framingham, Massachusetts. Hosted by Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers in their beautiful Beer Hall and Kitchen, the Mass Brewers Conference brought over 170 enthusiastic attendees together from across The Bay State and beyond. Attendees learned from a variety of experts on topics ranging from quality and sensory analysis, to social media best practices, and lowering risk through legal and insurance support. The one-day conference is a fundraiser for the MBG, and featured eight breakout sessions from business and technical tracks, a vendor exhibition and a networking happy hour.
Rob Burns, Founder of Nightshift Brewing & MBG President, with Ian Hughes, BA Sustainability Ambassador, and Neil Witte, BA Quality and Draught Beer Quality Ambassador
Kicking off the event with an enlightening key note address was the Brewers Association’s (BA) Neil Witte, who wears two hats as the BA Quality and Draught Beer Quality Ambassador. In his presentation, Neil discussed the essentials of a successful brewery quality program and how brewers can use the Quality Priority Pyramid to develop a comprehensive quality program in their facilities. He also highlighted the critical importance of draught beer quality best practices from the brewery to the tap, as well as the extensive (and free) draught quality resources offered by the BA.
BA Sustainability Ambassador, Ian Hughes, also presented at the Mass Brewers Conference during a morning breakout session. He encouraged attendees to take advantage of a free suite of sustainability tools offered by the BA that include the BA Benchmarking Project and BA Sustainability Manuals. Referring to these resources as the “BA Sustainability Sledgehammer,” Ian showcased how these tools can help break down the barriers to starting, growing, and/or sharing brewery sustainability initiatives.
Prior to Ian’s presentation there were four Massachusetts breweries participating in the BA Benchmarking Project, and now that total is up to 10. Participants include 3 Cross, Aeronaut, Bent Water, Big Elm, Exhibit “A”, Buzzards Bay, Craft Roots, Harpoon, Medusa, and Night Shift. This continued (and growing!) support of the BA Benchmarking Project is very much appreciated by the BA and Mother Earth.
The event raised $10,500 for the Mass Brewers Guild and the association plans to make the conference an annual event.