The 2021 Beer Now Conference will take place November 10 – 14 in Austin, Texas. We have secured an outdoor venue at Vista Brewing and have worked out protocols we believe will keep all attendees safe, even if we are still battling COVID-19 at that time. The agenda below is subject to change.
NOTE: We’re excited to host this conference outdoors at Vista Brewing, located in rural Texas on a ranch. With that, however, comes potential for poor cell and WiFi service. Please note you may experience both.
Wednesday, November 10
1:00 PM Overnight Excursion – San Marcos Brews and Tubes: You know what pairs well with craft beer? A crystal-clear river to float. Join us in San Marcos for three Texas Hill Country breweries, great food, and, of course, a float down the San Marcos River. Read more about it here. @toursanmarcos
Thursday, November 11
3:00 PM Drop off from San Marcos Pre-con Excursion
6:00 PM Dinner – TBA
Friday, November 12
Breakfast on Your Own
8:00 AM Depart downtown Austin for Vista Brewing
9:00 – 9:20 AM Conference Overview from the Zephyr Conferences staff
9:20 – 9:30 AM Welcome to Texas
9:30 – 10:15 Keynote with Harry Schuhmacher of Beer Business Daily
10:15 – 10:45 AM Content TBA
10:45 – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Industry Overview with the NBWA: National Beer Wholesalers Association Chief Economist Lester Jones will examine where the industry has been and where it is headed. He will help attendees understand the data that shapes stories on the growing alcohol beverage marketplace. He will present compelling data and insights to help beer writers better understand the policy, economic and demographic factors shaping the industry in 2020 and beyond. @NBWABeer
12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch Provided by Vista Brewing: Sample from our host brewery, Vista Brewing, and several other Hill Country breweries, wineries and distilleries. Take a tour with Vista’s owners to see the historic 21-acre ranch, brewery, barrel house, farm and apiary. Enjoy a farm-fresh lunch sourced from Vista’s onsite organic farm and neighboring ranchers.
1:30 – 2:00 PM Beer Tourism: How to work together with Tourism Boards and CVBs: This session is something that Jeni Hernandez, of Thyme & Love, is truly passionate about. She started travel blogging a few years ago and realized that there aren’t too many travel blogs focused of beer travel. She always goes to local breweries when traveling and started to focus more on creating brewery guides when traveling. The session will show why bloggers and influencers should work together to promote the travel destination for beer tourism.
2:00 – 2:30 PM Beer Podcasting: Podcasting has been around since 2001 with the advent of the iPod. But while we all know about them, not many of us produce them. In this session we will learn about the logistics and implementation of a successful beer podcast, including quality production, finding topics, marketing, and the search for monetization. Our speaker Damian DeBuiser has ten years of podcasting experience with his show Brew Happy in Portland, Oregon.
2:30 – 3:00 PM Blogger to Investor: Have you ever considered investing in a brewery? This session will explore the leap from blogging to investing as Jane Ko, of A Taste of Koko, shares her story. Growing her brand since her food blog’s inception in 2010, A Taste of Koko has been voted best local Austin blog by the Austin Chronicle two years in a row and has been featured in major publications like O Magazine, InStyle Magazine, OWN TV Network, and The New York Times. Most recently, Jane became an active angel investor in consumer packaged goods (CPG) and hospitality brands based in Austin, as well as a partner in a local restaurant group.
3:00 – 3:30 PM Better Beer Photography: This session will take us through a step by step process of capturing beautiful beer photos using natural light at home with any type of camera you are comfortable operating (including a phone). Best beers for photography, lighting, props, glassware, and tricks for capturing foam will be addressed. Creative ideas will be shared for thinking outside the box to capture beer photos that get attention on websites and social media. Our presenter is food and drink photographer Lori Rice.
3:30 – 3:45 PM Break
3:45 – 4:25 PM #BeerNow21 Lightning Talks hosted by our friends at Bell’s Brewery: Six attendees deliver five-minute, Ignite-style “Lightning Talks”. With 20 slides each advancing automatically on 15-second intervals, speakers have to be on the top of their game to deliver fun, informative, often hilarious talks. We’ll do a call for speakers six weeks before the conference. Bell’s Brewery will host and serve some of their delicious beers during the event! Facebook Twitter Instagram
4:25 – 4:40 PM Announcement
4:40 – 6:10 PM Beer Expo: The Beer Expo is your opportunity to taste beers and meet representatives from all of our sponsors.
Saturday, November 13
Breakfast on Your Own
8:30 AM Depart for Vista Brewing
9:00 – 9:30 AM Making the Most of Your Media Kit: Lisa Carey, a 10+ year social media marketing professional, will highlight what your media kit should contain and, now that you have one, how you use it from cold pitches to responding to request for collaboration.
9:30 – 10:00 AM Finding The Stories Behind the Beer: Stories that educate, motivate and inspire us can be found inside every beer. While lists of the top 5 IPAs are always popular, better told stories behind the beer or the brewer often are more evergreen and have more long-term impact. Jeremy Storton, founder of Good Beer Matters, will help attendees uncover these stories, to dig deeper and to hold a discussion on how to tell a better story.
10:00 – 10:30 AM The Pen Is Not Mightier Than the Law – Legal Issues in Beer Writing: Beer writers and social media influencers rarely take the time to stop and consider legal issues involving what they do. Yet not paying attention can get you in trouble. Mike Drumm, owner of BeerAttorney.com, will provide practical information on common legal pitfalls that beer writers encounter and how to avoid them. This will include topics from intellectual property to defamation and more.
10:30 – 11:00 AM Advanced Instagram: Instagram is the fastest growing major social media network in the US and is now used by over 35% of US adults. It is also one of the most popular sites for food and drink influencers, which is probably why it was rated by our alumni as the #1 topic of interest for BeerNow20. We are thus lucky to have Instagram pro Caitlin Johnson from Big World, Small Girl presenting advanced Instagram topics. During this talk, you’ll learn the newest strategies and tools and hear advice on building relationships with brands.
11:00 – 11:15 AM Break
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Paycheck (Or At Least Hobby That Pays for Itself): What’s stopping you from taking the leap from blogger, writer, or influencer to a career in beer? A bad breakup that left him searching for answers. A natural disaster that scared the living sh*t out of her. Moving across the country. That’s a small slice of the compelling origin stories our panelists will share that will inspire you to make the leap to turn your passion into full-time careers (or at least self-funded hobbies) in beer. Our panelists include Tristan Chan of PorchDrinking.com, Emily Hutto of RadCraft, and Dustin Hall of the Brewtography Project.
12:00 – 12:15 PM Welcome to the Republic of Beer. Presented by Czechvar: Grab a beer with Czechvar, the last authentic Czech lager, from the #1 selling beer country, per capita, in the World. We will dive into the history and characteristics of what has made the Czech Republic National Beer what it is today and take you on a tasting experience as you immerse yourself into the Czechvar story. You will be immersed in the Czech culture through pictures, stories, possibly a video/live feed from our brew master, and a sampling experience you won’t forget.
12:15 – 1:45 PM Lunch TBA
1:45 – 2:15 PM Travel Writing in the Beer Industry: There are a number of advantages to adding travel stories to your beer writing. First off, your readers are probably interested in beer tourism. Second, there are a lot more eyeballs on travel stories than on beer stories. Third, travel writing can open up new opportunities to you that might not be available to you just as a beer writer. Our presenters, Ken & April Pishna of Living a Stout Life, spend their lives traveling and chasing beer stories and will explain the benefits of adding a little travel writing to your world.
2:15 – 3:15 PM Shape Tasting with Craft Beer sponsored by Deschutes Brewery: Shape tasting is a sensory technique developed by Patrick Rueter of Dominio IV for describing his wines. In collaboration with Deschutes, this technique was expanded to beer which included the exploration of beer specific icons. Shape Tasting brings together tasting notes (the words) with concept art (the shapes) to illustrate a visual description of beer. Veronica Vega, Director of New Product Development, will share how Deschutes’ was introduced to this concept through our winery connections and how our brewers use Shape Tasting as another form of sensory. Learn how to bring more senses into your next beer tasting by experiencing and practicing shape tasting yourself in an interactive exploration of beer flavor. @DeschutesBeer @deschutesbrewery (FB) @deschutesbrewery (IG) YouTube
3:15 – 4:00 PM Content TBA
4:00 – 4:15 PM Break
4:15 – 4:30 PM Conference Close
4:30 – 5:30 PM Live Beer Social is the signature event of the conference, in which breweries each have five to seven minutes to speak to the audience from the stage while attendees taste the beer at their table. Bloggers, writers, and influencers taste, analyze, and write about the wine or winery on the spot. Participating breweries to date:
- Bear King Brewing | @bearkingbrewing
- Denton County Brewing Company | @dentoncbc
- Hops and Grain | @hopsandgrain
- Iron Bridge Ice House | @IronBridgeIH
- Texas Beer Company | @texasbeerco | #texasbeercompany
- Weathered Souls Brewing Co. | @weatheredsouls
- Wichita Falls Brewing | @wfbrewingco
Sunday, November 14
Breakfast on Your Own
9:45 AM – 6:00 PM Post-Conference Excursion to Shiner Brewery: Shiner will be hosting a private tour exclusively for Beer Now attendees at their facility and will provide RT transportation, lunch at the Spoetzl Brewery, a tour of the production facility and additional unique experiences including a private tasting with the Master Brewer. A representative from Shiner will be on the bus to and from the brewery and it is legal to enjoy beers on the bus in Texas! Read more about it here.