Craft Brewers Conference Denver ’21

by Renee on September 13, 2021

Just back from Denver, and the 2021 Craft Brewers Conference…what a great way to usher in travel again in the wake of COVID. Granted, it’s changed a bit–with mask mandates in the airport, on the plane, and in the Colorado Conference Center, but I was happy to comply. I’m fully vaccinated as well, otherwise I wouldn’t feel confident enough to travel–but I felt quite comfortable with the precautions in place.

Once I arrived, I made my way to my hotel, and attended the welcome reception, held on one of the blocked off streets next to the Conference Center. The Big Blue Bear welcomed me back! I also ran into old beer friends, including Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head; Audra Gaiziunas, one of my North Carolina beer friends; and BrewDad Mike Besser, one of the very first people I met at the first Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, Colorado, back in 2010! It’s wonderful to catch up like no time at all has passed.

The first general session on Friday morning kicked off with updated statistics about craft brewing, of course, but notably, the creation of a coalition to foster a more inclusive and diverse brewing community, called BRU. This group was formed by the Brewers Association, the American Society of Brewing Chemists, the Cicerone Program, the Master Brewers Association, and the Pink Boots Society. The announcement was met with great applause and approval.

Later Friday afternoon, the Denver chapter of the Pink Boots Society held a happy hour at Prost Brewing, with a reading by Tara Nurin, upon the publication of her new book, A Woman’s Place Is in the Brewhouse: A Forgotten History of Alewives, Brewsters, Witches, and CEOs. My story as it relates to New Albion Brewing Company and Jack is told in the book, I’m so pleased to be included! Even better–I had the chance to hang out with Tara, as well as Meagen Anderson of NZ Hops, and craft beer strategic advisor Julia Herz. Women in beer seriously rock–I met so many at the gathering–brewery owners, brewers, those in supporting industries–we are making strides! The event concluded with a live stream of the GABF medal awards, and it was thriling to see NE Ohio breweries walk away with plenty of awards and recognition!

Saturday included another general session, with some Brewers Association awards, and the keynote address. There were more marketing sessions, more happy hours, and plenty of good beer drinking. Those I talked to about New Albion’s latest partnership with BrewDog were very positive about the news. Spending time in the Mile High City with such a great community of craft beer people was a definite highlight of the year so far. (Next year’s CBC will be held in Minneapolis, MN.) Cheers to more get-togethers in the coming months, and plenty of good craft beer for all!

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