2nd Annual Craft Beverage Expo Celebrates Sold-out Showfloor
Even after a public attack by Budweiser during Super Bowl 2015 mocking craft beer drinkers, it didn’t seem to faze those who are in the industry at all, with the recent Craft Beverage Expo selling out its showfloor.
In its second year, CBE 2015 not only gathered professionals in beer, wine, spirits and cider, but it also expanded its audience to include mead, sake and soda segments.
“The CBE staff has worked tirelessly to provide attendees with a diverse set of resources,” said Kellie Shevlin, executive director of Craft Beverage Expo.
She added, “We know these craft beverage producers are extremely busy and can’t easily set aside time for professional development. We wanted to make sure CBE 2015 had everything they’d need to keep them competitive and up to industry standards for the entire year.”
CBE also added to its curriculum, offering a total of 26 breakout sessions presented by 72 experts touching on marketing strategies, business development and real solutions to the specific problems both big and small craft beverage producers face on a regular basis, according to show organizers.
The biggest CBE 2015 attractions were the two town-hall style general session panel discussions. Led by industry leaders such as Ralph Erenzo, co-founder of Tuthilltown Spirits, Joe Wagner of Copper Cane Wines & Provisions and David Walker, founder of Firestone Walker Brewing, each focused on facilitating collaboration amongst the robust craft community beyond show walls to further strengthen the efforts of small batch producers across the country. “
A lot of what CBE revealed is how the craft beverage industry has a lot more crossover than people would think,” said Ted Huber of Starlight Distilling and CBE keynote panelist. “We have the same common goals, to make great products and find ways to get those products out to new consumers. So it’s natural that we have a lot of the same problems, same issues getting our products to the marketplace, dealing with restaurants and dealing with issues on-premise, off-premise.”
Fellow CBE keynote and owner of Oskar Blues Brewing, Dale Katechis added, “Regardless of what space or beverage industry you’re in, there’s a lot to be learned at CBE on daily aspects of running a business.”
An intensive in-planning workshop, focused on “Starting Your Own Craft Business,” had attending producers participating in discussions lead by top industry professionals such as Craig Rashkis, Farwell Rashkis LLP Attorney-at-law, who specializes in alcohol law, and chief deputy director of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Lori Ajax, addressing legal, accounting and regulatory issues for new businesses of the various craft sectors.
The third edition of Craft Beverage Expo will be held May 18-20 in Oakland, Calif.