Craft Brewers Conference 2015 Commences in Portland, Ore.

The 2015 Craft Brewers Conference, hosted by the Brewers Association (BA), kicked off on Tuesday with the Welcome Reception, held at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The event brought together over 8,000 beer professionals with a theme of “Keep Portland Weird.” Attendees enjoyed their choice of beers from 59 different Oregon breweries, as well as over 138 dozen (roughly 1,656) Voodoo doughnuts and 21,000 oysters.

Wednesday morning’s General Session began with a welcome and other thoughts from BA President Charlie Papazian. Following the State of the Craft Beer Industry address by Director Paul Gatza and Chief Economist Bart Watson, BA Event Committee Chair Steve Bradt announced this years Brewers Association Award winners.

2015 Brewers Association Award Winners

Brewers Association Recognition Award

Dave & Diane Alexander

F.X. Matt Defense of the Small Brewing Industry Award

Brook Bristow, South Carolina Brewers Guild

Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing

Steve Dresler, Sierra Nevada

Author Simon Sinek, renowned leadership expert and anthropologist, delivered the keynote address and memorable words on cooperation and leadership to a packed house. Sinek focused on themes from his most recent publication, Leaders Eat Last: authenticity and being genuine in the workplace; work being a place where people can be creative and take chances.

The conference continues through Friday, with 79 educational seminars, diverse sponsored demonstrations and the largest BrewExpo America ® trade show to date.