The 2019 Beer Now Conference will take place June 6 – 8 in Great Falls, Montana. We will be adding an Agenda here soon. In the meantime, as an example, below is the agenda for 2018 conference in Loudoun County, VA. Please add your email address to the Stay Updated box to the right and find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Previous years’ agendas and speakers can be found in our Archives.
Tuesday, August 7
Wednesday, August 8
Thursday, August 9
4:00 PM Arrive to host hotel from pre-conference excursion
5:30 PM Depart For Kickoff Party at Farm Brew Live sponsored by Visit Prince William, VA: Take a Sip of History in Prince William, Virginia: Prince William, Virginia is home to historic battlefields and amazing craft breweries. Come out for a one-of-a-kind kick-off celebration at Farm Brew Live / 2 Silos Brewing Company to experience a dedicated 8-acre craft brewery destination. Enjoy hand crafted beer, food, and cocktails as you enjoy LIVE music in DC’s Countryside – Prince William, Virginia. Sponsored by the Prince William County Office of Tourism, the Steins, Vines & Moonshine Trail and Farm Brew Live / 2 Silos Brewing Company. For details on Farm Brew Live, visit www.FarmBrewLive.com. For details on Visit Prince William, Virginia visit www.VisitPWC.com
Friday, August 10
8:00 AM – 5:35 PM Registration & Expo
9:00 – 9:15 AM Conference Welcome
9:15 – 9:45 AM Introduction – Julia Herz of the Brewers Association: Julia has provided the introduction on every single BBC since its inception and always offers a dynamic presentation of the current state of craft beer and how that is pertinent to beer bloggers.
9:45 – 10:45 AM All-Group Session: Diversity in Beer – Julie Verratti (Chair of Brewers Association Diversity Committee / Founder, Denizens Brewing), Bev Armstrong, Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham (BA’s Diversity Ambassador), Carla Jean Lauter (moderator). Hear from the advocates who are sparking conversations and moving the needle to promote more diversity in the craft beer industry.
10:45 – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 – 12:00 PM Presentation by the National Beer Wholesalers Association: Changes in the Beer Market: Past, Present and Future:The beer industry has changed dramatically in just one year. Brewers, distributors and retailers continue to react to consumers’ demand for craft beer. Existing breweries are merging, setting up taprooms and, in some cases, selling to larger players. Distributors are diversifying ways to get beer to a rapidly changing retail market. Drawing on more than a dozen years of experience, National Beer Wholesalers Association Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs Paul Pisano will provide a long view of the American beer industry, examining where it has been and where it is headed. He will also help attendees understand the policy and regulatory history that shapes the growing craft marketplace. Pisano will present compelling data and insights to help beer writers better understand the policy, economic and demographic factors shaping winners and losers in the market today, as well as key industry issues to watch in 2018 and beyond.
12:00 – 1:30 PM Food Truck Lunch & Expo: Join us in the DoubleTree by Hilton parking lot for a rare and private lunch with Dave’s Dogs and Fat Pete’s BBQ, two of the area’s best food trucks! Grab lunch and then enjoy the Expo. Lunch on your own.
1:30 – 2:15 PM Keynote – Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery: Growing from the smallest craft brewery to a Top 20 one took passion, dedication, and a collaborative spirit. Sam is excited to share that spirit and join us at BBC18 where he plans to share the Ideal of Collaboration throughout the History of the Craft Brewing Renaissance.
2:15 – 2:35 PM Break
2:35 – 3:35 PM Tasting Lagers: The Flavors and Complexities of Beers Brewed Slow by Nature (Presentation by Devils Backbone Brewing Company): Devils Backbone Brewmaster Josh French and Anheuser-Busch Master Cicerone Max Bakker will lead a tasting of an under-appreciated beer style: lagers. Build your beer vocabulary and learn about the flavors that are found in these deceptively simple, slow-brewed beers.
3:35 – 5:35 PM Beer Expo: The Beer Expo is your opportunity to taste beers and meet representatives from all our sponsors, such as: CraftBeer.com, Devils Backbone Brewing Co., Dogfish Head, Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House, Rogue Ales, and Terrapin Beer Co.
5:35 PM Depart for Loudoun County Reception & Dinner: Included in conference registration. Taste beers from Loudoun County’s 24 breweries in this off-site reception and dinner at Vanish Farmwoods Brewery. Tours of the hops processing facility and grounds will be provided. Participating breweries can be seen here.
Saturday, August 11
Breakfast on Your Own
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Registration & Expo
9:30 – 10:20 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Two
- Blogging Fundamentals: Design, Photography, and Voice – Join Advanced Cicerone® and founder of The Brew Enthusiast, Chris McClellan, for a workshop on web design, photography, and voicing best practices for your blog: He’ll review blog user experience, chat through the basics behind compelling photography that builds your story, and highlight examples of blogs that reflect authenticity in the beer world.
- Podcasting | Panel Discussion – Brian Aldrich, Liz Murphy, moderated by Sean Jansen | Have a beer podcast or thinking about starting one? Listen to those who have laid down some sound-waves before you. Includes pros/cons, technical set-up, costs, and tips for success!
10:20 – 10:30 AM Break
10:30 – 11:20 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Two
- The Art of Negative Feedback | Paige Latham Didora | Beer blogging involves the responsibility and enthusiasm to propel the industry forward. This session will focus on writing about beer in less-than-ideal circumstances, and the best ways to offer constructive criticism from a professional standpoint.
- Learning to Grow Hops Commercially Again in New York – One Farm’s Story | Laura Ten Eyck, Dietrich Gehring | This presentation offers a brief overview of the history of hops and their use by humans as food, medicine and ultimately in brewing beer. A description of the botany of the hop plant is followed by a summary of the history of hop production in the United States, providing a look at commodity hop production in the Northwest and the recent renaissance of small-scale hop production in the East. After this background, the presentation dives into the presenters’ story of starting a hop farm on a four-generation family farm in upstate New York, describing with humor the challenging process of scaling up from a few hop plants in the garden for home brewing to a two-acre hop yard. They will share their varied experiences learning how to grow, harvest and process hops on an increasingly larger scale each year along with producing malting barley and other grains as well launching an estate brewery and cidery with tasting rooms and a biergarten open to the public. Presenters are hop growers Dietrich Gehring and Laura Ten Eyck, authors of The Hop Grower’s Handbook: The Essential Guide for Sustainable, Small-Scale Production for Home and Market. For more information about growing hops and Indian Ladder Farms Cidery & Brewery, please contact Dietrich (email@example.com) or Laura (firstname.lastname@example.org).
11:20 – 11:30 AM Break
11:30 AM – 12:20 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Two
- Insta-Famous | Panel Discussion – Caitlin Johnson, Ale Sharpton, Cameron “Garnet_Heart_” Dillmann | Likes, Followers, and some Beer-Fame can be found in some of the most influential beer-heavy Instagram accounts. We’ve gathered some of those top influencers for a candid discussion on how to improve or start a successful Instagram account.
- Why You Should Care About What You’re Doing: Or, Lessons For Better Writing And Getting Paid For Your Work | Bryan Roth | Learn how to kick your writing creds up a notch with this presentation by Bryan Roth, Director of the North American Guild of Beer Writers and contributor to BeerAdvocate, Good Beer Hunting, All About Beer, and SevenFifty Daily.
12:20 – 1:50 PM Buffet Lunch: Join us in the DoubleTree by Hilton restaurant for a buffet lunch on your own and explore the VA craft beer tap takeover. If it’s nice, enjoy the hotel’s patio!
1:50 – 2:30 PM Lightning Talks – Pt. 1:Hear from eight of your fellow attendees as they each have five minutes to expound on something related to their involvement in the beer industry. These talks are fast and fun. You’ll hear from these bloggers:
- Andrew Bieber, Cycling Cicerone, @CyclingCicerone
- Mike Collins, The Beer Photographer, @beerphotograph
- Jack Perdue, Deep Beer, @deepbeer
- Zach Rosen, Beer Pairings & Beyond, @pairbeer
2:30 – 3:00 PM Break
3:00 – 3:45 PM Lightning Talks – Pt. 2: Hear from eight of your fellow attendees as they each have five minutes to expound on something related to their involvement in the beer industry. These talks are fast and fun. You’ll hear from these bloggers:
- Owen Ogletree, Brewtopia, @BrewtopiaEvents
- Mike Pennington & Russ Webb, Baby Got Beer, @BabyGotBeer
- Joel Gratcyk, Brewery Finder, @BreweryFinder
- Kirk Richardson, Craft Beer Country
3:45 – 4:00 PM Wrap-Up & Announcement of 2019
4:00 PM Depart for Lost Rhino Brewing
4:15 – 5:15 PM Live Beer Blogging at Lost Rhino Brewing: Live Beer Blogging has been one of the most successful and fun events at the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference since our first year. You will have the opportunity to try 10 beers in 50 minutes. In each round, a brewery representative will have five minutes to pour his or her beer, describe the beer, and answer questions before moving on to the next table. It is a fast, fun, and crazy beer tasting experience that helps writers practice their tasting and reviewing skills and helps breweries distill their message. All 13 participating breweries can be seen here.
5:15 PM VA Craft Brewers Guild Reception & Dinner: Included in conference registration. Taste beers from some of Virginia’s best breweries in this off-site reception and dinner at Lost Rhino Brewing. All 13 participating breweries can be seen here.