The Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild (NCBG) recently co-sponsored the Nebraska Grower and Brewer Conference & Trade Show held in Omaha, joining the Nebraska Hop Growers Association, Midwest Hop Producers and the University of Nebraska’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources in hosting two days of collaborative learning, networking, and social events aimed at advancing the growth and development of the state’s craft beer and hop production industries.
Nebraska Department of Agriculture Interim Director Mat Habrock opened the conference with remarks that highlighted the state’s commitment to indigenous craft beer, detailing the work of the Nebraska Craft Brewery Board, with a mission to educate, promote, and help fund research aimed at advancing Nebraska beer, and the greater beer community. Over the course of the next two days, almost three dozen seminars provided attendees with valuable information on technical, operational, and legal subjects ranging from hop viruses and hop yard trellis design to weed management, employment law, sustainability, and malting for brewers.
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The NCBG also took the opportunity with so many of its members at the conference to hold a guild meeting. Coming out of what was a somewhat contentious legislative session in 2017, the guild has worked hard to build its relationship with its distributor partners and now meets regularly to discuss issues of mutual interest. This year will also see significant efforts directed at making the guild a completely self-funded entity through an expansion of membership opportunities and a more robust participation in festivals. All in all, cooperation and collaboration have served the Nebraska beer and brewing community well, with the fruits of those efforts set to pay valuable dividends in 2018 and beyond.