2018 NH Craft Brew Conference

October 31, 2018

            The second annual New Hampshire Craft Brew Conference will be held Friday, November 2 at the Backyard Brewery & Kitchen and Executive Court Banquet Facility in Manchester. This year’s event will be hosted by the New Hampshire Brewers Association in partnership with UNH Professional Development and Training.

“People get to see the full range of the industry,” said CJ White, executive director of the NH Brewers Association. “This conference is for anyone who works in the brewing industry, from the front of the house to the back of the house.”

            The conference will feature keynote speaker Peter Boukaert, a Belgian brewer who will participate in a panel on malt and give a European perspective on brewing. Boukeart is currently the brewmaster and founder Purpose Brewing and Cellers. He was one of the founders of New Belgium Brewing.

 Boukaert got his start in the brewing industry during a 10-year stint as brewmaster at Brewery Rodenbach in Belgium. He holds a Master’s Degree equivalent in biochemistry specializing in brewing and fermentation technology from the University of Ghent in Belgium.

            In 2013 Boukaert was awarded the Brewer’s Association Russell Schehrer award for innovation and has won the mid-size brewery brewmaster of the year award twice.

            This year’s conference has expanded significantly since last year. The trade show has more than doubled, featuring over 30 vendors, up from 12 last year. Wholesalers and breweries will still be featured exhibitors, POS systems and payroll services will also be included as exhibitors. Attendees have an opportunity to connect with professionals in all aspects of the industry.     

            Manchester was chosen for this year’s location, making it more central for individuals coming from all over New England. Last year’s conference was at UNH’s Durham campus and hosted over 250 people. White said she is looking forward to the conference being even bigger this year.

            The conference will offer two tracks during the breakout sessions: a business track and a technical track. Fifteen breakout sessions will be offered; topics will include quality control, management, and sustainability among others. Skills in both math and science are required for the brewing, and business savvy is needed for the business to be financially successful.

Those just starting out in brewing will be able to harness their skills. Networking opportunities will be abundant throughout the day for beginners to connect with industry leaders.

            Those who are brewing hobbyists will also enjoy the conference. Tickets for admission include a light breakfast, a luncheon, refreshments throughout the day, and a “hoppy” hour celebration in the evening to celebrate the day’s success with several NH craft beers on tap (21+).          Free parking is available for the event. Those participating in beer sampling must provide a valid ID and be over the age of 21. Attendees will also receive a free swag bag and have access to the keynote speaker and other guest speakers.

            For more information or to purchase tickets please visit http://www.granitestatebrewersassociation.org/events/nh-craft-brew-conference/ . Tickets cost $150. Groups of six or more are encouraged to email CJ White at cjwhite@nhbrewers.org for booking. You can also learn more about brewery's like Throwback Brewery at Explore New England.

Olivia Olbrych

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