Tap Talk & Educational Session Schedule below:
Download the Summit weekend schedule at a glance here.
Friday, Sept. 9: Morning Educational Sessions
What’s going on in craft beer? What styles are selling across California? Are statewide beer sales slowing? What does that mean for my brewery? Join the chief economist from the Brewers Association to hear an update on the sales projections, growth and future of California’s craft beer industry, including predicted changes in style choices, buying behavior, impact of competition, growth of beer consumption and what makes California different than other states in the nation. Improve your knowledge about what’s going on statewide to help your brewery navigate the year ahead.
California’s tied-house laws have been described as archaic, outdated, and anachronistic. Many people today don’t understand why these laws exist and what relevance they have to doing business in modern times. Are they now merely an impediment to businesses or do they continue to serve a valuable and legitimate purpose? Learn about the history behind the tied-house laws, why they exist, how they have balanced competing interests and allowed the industry to develop in a (generally) positive way, and what the future may hold.
How do you curate a beer list that is both exciting and approachable? How do you organize and display your beer menu at your bar, brewpub or restaurant? What should you keep in mind when transitioning between an everyday beer list and a special event beer list? Join the executive chef from the Brewers Association, Pangea Bier Café, Zeitgeist SF and Beachwood BBQ and Brewery as they discuss the set-up and upkeep of beer menus that cater to everyone from the first-time beer drinker to the serious beer geek.
What’s the best way to talk about the variety and flavors of beer on your menu with your guests? How do you prepare employees to describe styles and flavors featured on your beer list? What descriptive words resonate best with your customers? Join two Master Cicerones to learn tips and tricks for talking about flavor profiles and beer options with your customers, employees and community.
Join Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director at the Brewers Association and Publisher of CraftBeer.com, as she provides practical tips on how to build your brand, earn customers and influence beer lovers. In this session she’ll cover everything from marketing 101, social media strategies, successful practices used by multiple craft brewers and how to ensure you gain top of mind awareness in a busy beverage world.
Join Sierra Nevada’s brewmaster and director of sales and marketing on a journey through the brainstorming, building blocks and challenges faced with the creation of the Beer Camp Across America program. Launched in 2014, the program includes an 18-day cross country bus tour with six festival stops and a 12 beer, 12 brewer collaboration 12 pack, brewed in Chico while Sierra Nevada was capacity strapped trying to get its North Carolina brewery open. Glean marketing and community building tips that Sierra Nevada used to market its brand, differentiate across multiple states and promote craft beer.
Yeast, and the fermentation that it produces, is one of the most important components in beer. Fermentation can contribute over 500 flavor compounds to a beverage and understanding the foundations the process can wildly improve the beer you brew. Join Karen Fortmann, the Senior Research Scientist from White Labs in an educational and technical talk covering the keys to yeast fermentation for craft breweries.
A focus on the quality of your beer is an essential part of operating a successful brewery. In this session, learn from cicerones how to taste several common, production-related off flavors and learn how to effectively train your staff to improve sensory quality control at your brewery. Walk away with more knowledge and experience in tasting and testing the beer you brew.
Craft Beer Insider: State of the IndustryLearn how the evolution of the industry has changed the playing field for craft breweries9:00 am - 10:00 am
California’s Tied-House Laws: Unnecessary Barrier to Business or Reasonable Regulation?Prime your knowledge on the regulations surround craft beer and brewing in California.10:15 am - 11:15 am
Yeast: The Key to Quality Fermentation and Outstanding BeerJoin White Labs representative for a talk on yeast & fermentation during the brewing process.9:00 am - 10:00 am
Flavor Training by Cicerone: Preview of Taste Panel TrainingTaste-test several common, production-related off-flavors and learn how to effectively train your staff to improve quality control at your brewery.10:15 am - 11:15 am
Friday Sept. 9: Summit Expo Hall Tap Talks & Chef/Brewer Demos
Malting has early roots in San Francisco. Prior to the Prohibition, it was a thriving industry that used California grown barley to produce most of the malt used by California breweries. Join a group of Bay Area craft brewers and maltsters to discuss the research, history and techniques needed to bring barley production and malting back to California. Learn more about the national craft malting phenomenon, and how local production can help craft brewers differentiate California as the next frontier.
Join the owners of 21st Amendment Brewery as they tell the story of their early days in beer, the founding of the brewery, the origins of the name, the start of a line of successful “canned” craft beer and the growth to a brewery with full scale distribution and a strong identity in the heart and community of San Francisco.
How do you plan for growth over time? When is the right time to expand? How has expansion impacted AleSmith’s day-to-day operations? Join Peter Zien, owner of AleSmith, to learn about the growth of the brewery from humble beginnings through a change of hands to an expanding supplier. Glean insight for your own journey by hearing the experiences, challenges and successes AleSmith experienced since its original days in a single unit space with a 15 bbl brew house.
When did sour beers become so popular? What’s the difference between a wild beer, a sour beer and a spontaneously fermented beer? Join the brewers from Sante Adarius Rustic Ales and the Rare Barrel to discuss the styles they brew and the factors, fermentation process and flavors beer lovers can expect when ordering a sour beer. The brewers will be joined by two sour beer reporters who will discuss the rise of the style in California, the ties to “American Sour” as an emerging beer style, and the brewers changing the landscape of sour beers and shifting consumer taste.
As Charlie Bamforth, professor of brewing science at UC Davis said, “My favorite definition of quality is ‘a beer that does not come back to a customer who does.’ But what is a quality beer? Come and find out.” Join Dr. Bamforth for a talk on the importance of quality for craft brewers, craft beer drinkers and the entire beer community.
The use of barrel aging for craft beer has grown exponentially over the last decade, coinciding with an increasing number of breweries and the rise in sour beers. Join Phil Burton of Barrel Builders to learn from his 40+ years of experience about the history of the practice, how wood impacts flavor, the making of barrels for the craft industry (and why they are so hard to find for sale) and, most importantly, how to care for, maintain and make your barrels last.
Join the co-founder of Firestone Walker Brewing Company for a walk through the last 20 years of challenges and triumphs. The “Lion” of Firestone Walker Brewing Company will share what the brewery did right, what they did wrong, where they are today and where he sees the brewery ten years from now. Don’t miss this reflective and visionary talk with one of the cornerstones of the modern craft brewing industry.
Bringing Malting Back to California11:15 am - 11:45 am
The Story Behind 21st Amendment Brewery11:55 am - 12:25 pm
A Talk with Alesmith: Chartering Growth Over 21 Years1:15 pm - 1:45 pm
The Rise of Sour Beers1:55 pm - 2:25 pm
Quality Counts3:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Beer in Barrels: Lessons from Your Barrel Maker3:55 pm - 4:25 pm
Past, Present and Future: A Talk with David Walker4:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday, Sept. 10: Morning Educational Sessions
Join a few key players from the start of California’s craft beer boom in the ‘90s, to discuss the growth, changes and challenges of an industry that now includes more than 700 breweries across the state. Moderated by the beer and wine reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle, panelists will discuss the trends in taste that have changed and shifted over the last 20 years, expectations and predictions for the next phase of “craft beer” and the biggest question of all: what can we expect from the industry moving forward?
How do you get past the resume screening when hunting for a job in the craft beer industry? Are hiring managers looking for passion or experience? What experience are they looking for when hiring for bar staff all the way up to executive managers? Join the hiring managers from Mikkeller and Russian River to learn what they look for when hiring hospitality staff, brewers, sales representatives and even higher management.
So you want to start a brewer. Where do you start? What do you need to know? Do you have the financial backing to make the jump? Join the owner of Three Weavers Brewing Co. in a panel discussion with Jeremy Little (Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross), Randall Behrens (Live Oak Bank) and LJ Govoni (Boston Capital) to learn the legal and financial options you have to start, fund and successfully grow a brewery from the ground up.
So you’re ready to start brewing beer at home … now what? Do you buy a book? Purchase a kit? Join a club? Go back to school for a brewing science degree? Join George Thornton, owner of The Homebrewer in San Diego, to kickstart your new hobby: brewing at home. Learn more about the ingredients, how-tos and FAQs most new brewers need to know and talk about what it means (and when it is time) to transition into “all grain brewing.”
Are you ready to move past your recipe book and start brewing original, creative beers? Is it time to explore yeast management, raw materials and evaluating brewing equipment? Join the owner and head brewer of Heretic Brewing Company for an advanced course on homebrewing. Walk away from this session with a new understanding of Heretic Brewing Company’s transition from homebrewer to commercial brewer, key pitfalls homebrewers face when designing their first recipes and the skills you need to advance your homebrewed beer.
Join the creators of the award-winning “Mocha Machine” to learn the art and science of coffee, beer and coffee/beer collaborations. Learn how the creative freedom of a coffee roaster and the flavor palette of a brewer gave rise to a nationally recognized coffee and beer collaboration. Beachwood BBQ and Brewing and Portola Coffee Roasters will give a hands-on presentation to guide your palette through the key ingredients that formed a Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup and locally recognized collaboration beer.
Bill Sysak, "Dr. Bill,” is considered one of the world’s experts on craft beer and food pairings. Join him on a journey through the art of pairing craft beer and artisanal chocolates, from IPAs to barrel aged beers paired with everything from milk maple toffee to white pomelo bark. His "Master Pairing" concepts allow even the most experienced palates to enhance their level of expertise, while still providing novices with the building blocks to begin their journey into the craft of beer and food. Speaker: Bill Sysak, Craft Beer Ambassador, Certified Cicerone ®, & SDSU Instructor.
Have you ever wondered what methods beer judges use to taste, test and judge beer? Join “Big Mike” in an interactive, tasting session to “judge” different beers, learn how to rate and taste beers and describe the flavor profiles and get a hands-on education in the origin and foundation of beer styles throughout the world.