The Brewers Association (BA) contracts with numerous traveling ambassadors and instructors who offer professional development opportunities to brewery representatives at state guild meetings across the country. This Fall, Neil Witte, BA Quality Ambassador, spoke in Utah and New Hampshire for two of his eight 2018 engagements.
Thus far, Neil has spoken in 16 states as Quality Ambassador. Combined with the previous Quality Ambassador Dick Cantwell’s 13 states, the BA’s emphasis on quality has been imparted at 29 state guild meetings.
(VIEW: BA’s Quality Priority Pyramid)
Neil submitted these updates on his autumn travels:
Exclusive BA Talk at the Utah Brewers Guilds
The Utah Brewers Guild held a special meeting just for my talk. It was hosted in downtown Salt Lake City by Squatters Pub in the early evening. It was very well-attended, with around 30 people in a state with only 33 craft breweries. Several brewers drove in from surrounding towns, including Ogden and Park City. This was my first meeting that was scheduled exclusively for my talk, but these types of informational meetings seem to be relatively normal for the guild, as they discussed an upcoming talk from a hop supplier at the event. Overall, it went very well. The group was engaged, adding comments and asking questions.
(TAKE A LOOK: Utah’s 2017 Craft Beer Sales Stats)
Utah is now home to at least 30 craft breweries, and in 2017, the state’s beer industry employed nearly 3,000 Utahans. The Utah Brewers Guild recently hired their executive director, Nicole Dicou. Working in one of the most conservative states in the country, Utah brewers continue to make award-winning brews despite some of the most strict alcohol regulations in the U.S.
Learn more at: utahbrewersguild.org
Neil Shines at the New Hampshire Brewers Association Annual Conference
The New Hampshire Brewers Association held their second annual conference this year in Manchester, N.H. The location was selected to allow as many brewers from surrounding states to attend as possible. It seems to have worked, as attendance was around 275, in a state with 58 breweries (by 2017 numbers). This was up slightly from 250 the year before. There were also 30 allied trade members exhibiting in the main room.
The day began with a talk from the guild president, Nicole Carrier, who discussed recent beer and beverage trends. Next. the keynote speaker, Peter Bouckaert, continued the theme, talking about craft trends and wrapping in some great stories from his long career as a brewer in Belgium and at New Belgium Brewing.
The conference then split out into breakout sessions on a series of business and technical talks. Mine was early in the day and well-attended with about 75 people in the room, filling all the seats and then some. The talk was well-received and there were several questions. I even had a few brewers come to talk with me afterward. Later seminars included technical talks on malt, yeast handling, and kettle souring, as well as business topics including brand building and common legal mistakes brewers make. It’s great to see a guild actively draw so many brewers from other states. It really made for a great conference.
Learn more about the NHBA at: granitestatebrewersassociation.org
Thanks for spreading the good word, Neil!