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 still being finalized.
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 – 10:45 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 Content Strategy to Stand Out and Fuel Growth: Our speaker Gary Magnone will go through the process he went through at Hopped LA from being just another beer Instagram with a free WordPress blog to the biggest craft beer digital media producer in one of the biggest cities in the US as a part-time side project. This will include building out a content strategy that fills market gaps, deploying content across multiple channels to increase velocity and attention, cultivating a community of beer enthusiasts and getting them to participate, and growing brand awareness within the brewer community to create opportunities to support them and monetize.
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 Google Analytics: Google Analytics can be complicated but it can also be the key to the kingdom if you know where to look and how to sift through the overwhelming amount of data. This session will teach Google Analytics users (and that should be you!) what data to pay attention to on a regular basis and will tips to take you blogging to the next level. Our speaker is Mike Crimmins of the marketing agency Firmidable.
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.
6:10 PM Depart for Reception & Dinner
Saturday, November 13
Breakfast on Your Own
8:30 AM Depart for Vista Brewing
9:00 – 9:30 AM Beer Events: How to Create an Event, Grow an Audience, and Raise Money: Learn how to find a niche event that’s different from the pack, find sponsors, market, sell tickets, and of course run a successful event that is not only loved by industry members but the guests as well. This topic will also touch on food, working with restaurants, chefs, and legal concerns.
9:30 – 10:00 AM Beyond The Ad Network: Exploring Creative Ways to Make Money From Your Blog: Most bloggers take advantage of ad networks and sponsored posts to monetize their blogs, but those are just the tip of the iceberg. Hear from Jason Logsdon, food blogger and entrepreneur, and explore the variety of techniques he’s used over the last decade to create value for his readers and learn how to implement them on your own blog, including creating and selling online courses, self publishing books, forming a patronage campaign, creating custom kitchen tools, publishing e-books, producing branded t-shirts, along with many more revenue-producing ideas.
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 moderator will be Jess Baker, Editor-in-Chief of CraftBeer.com. Our panelists include Tristan Chan of PorchDrinking.com, Emily Hutto of RadCraft, and 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 What Exactly is “Diversity” in Craft Beer? Diversity is one of the hottest topics in the craft beer industry, not to mention within society as a whole. But the beer industry has really just opened the window to what is a big issue. Diversity in the industry goes beyond employing a woman brewer or visiting a minority-owned brewery. Diversity includes soliciting feedback from different viewpoints, hiring with diversity in mind, having workplace policies that ensure everyone is comfortable, and catering to customer bases of different backgrounds. Diversity is more than just gender and race and can include religion, sexual orientation, and even disability. We’ll discuss this in a panel moderated by Shannon Harris, The Brew Brotha.
4:00 – 4:15 PM Break
4:15 – 4:30 PM Conference Close and Announcement of 2022
- 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
9:00 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 Gambrinus 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.