The Montana Brewers Conference, Montana Brewers Association (MBA) fall member meeting, and the MT Brewers Fall Rendezvous festival all took place in Missoula the last weekend of September.
The Montana Brewers Conference, hosted by the MBA, was a two day long event which covered a plethora of topics pertinent to local breweries. Seminars ranged from supply chain management (“Reshaping the Malt Supply Chain”) to marketing (“They Didn’t Do This in Mad Men – Marketing in the Age of Social Media”) and community engagement ideas (“Tapping into Montana’s Outdoor Recreation Economy”). The conference also included the debut presentation from Tim Brady, the Beer Server Training Liaison for the Brewers Association (“Your Service Sucks” – that guy on Yelp”).
The conference closed with the 2017 Montana Brewers Fall Rendezvous. Hosted at the riverside Caras Park, the Rendezvous featured 31 breweries and included 19 special releases. MAP Brewing Company, out of Bozeman, was the big winner from the Rendezvous competition after nabbing four titles: Best Festival Release Beer, Best Festbier, Best IPA, and Best Stout.
In addition to hosting the annual conference and festival, the MBA also lobbies in the state capitol on behalf of its member breweries. They recently supported HB541, which was implemented on October 1, 2017. The bill increased the production cap for taprooms from 10,000 barrels to 60,000 barrels.
MBA Executive Director, Matt Leow, notes that a majority of their members produce much less than the 10,000 or 60,000 barrel caps. These members still felt it was important to support HB541 for the betterment of the industry as a whole. The MBA, led by President Nolan Smith from Philipsburg Brewing Company, is already looking toward their next initiative. Too support MBA’s mission, check out their 2017 raffle.