Below is the agenda for BBC17 in Milwaukee. All sessions will take place at Best Place unless otherwise indicated. To receive updates on the 2017 event, please subscribe to our blog, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. This agenda can change so please stay tuned!
Thursday, August 3
7:00 PM BBC17 Kickoff Party with Stone Tap Takeover: Stone Brewing is so excited to be a sponsor of the 8th Annual BBC this year, that they literally couldn’t wait to get the weekend started. So in true Stone style, they found a classy downtown craft beer bar (The Rumpus Room – A Bartolotta Gastropub, 1030 N. Water St.) to host a conference pre-party and Stone tap takeover of epic proportions.
Friday, August 4
Breakfast on your own – there is a restaurant and Starbucks located in our host hotel.
9:00 – 11:00 AM Shuttle from Hilton to Best Place on continuous loop: The pickups will be approximately every 15 mins and the location will be at the bus loading zone located on the west side of the Hilton at the corner of 6th St. & WI Ave. Sponsored by Milwaukee Food & City Tours.
9:00 – 11:00 AM Registration (Best Place Speakeasy)
11:00 – 11:10 AM Conference Opening (Best Place Great Hall)
11:10 – 11:40 AM Introduction – Julia Herz of the Brewers Association (Best Place Great Hall): 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.
11:40 – 12:00 PM Welcome to Milwaukee – John Kimes Staff Brewer and Head Brewer for the Milwaukee Pabst Brewery (Best Place Great Hall)
12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch with the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery (1037 W. Juneau Ave.): Conference attendees will walk one block to the new Pabst Milwaukee Brewery to explore the newly renovated church-turned-brewpub. Here, you’ll enjoy small group tours of the brewing facility and are able to experience some of Pabst Brewing Company’s heritage beers as well as new innovation brews. A buffet lunch will be specially prepared with tasting notes from our head brewer, John Kimes, and chef Rebecca Berkshire.
1:30 – 2:20 PM The Beer Industry in Milwaukee and Wisconsin (Best Place Great Hall): Hear how the beer industry in Milwaukee and Wisconsin has evolved and changed, from its early days as the “capital of beer” to the thriving beer hub it is now. Our panelists include moderator Kathy Flanigan from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Anne Sprecher of Sprecher Brewing Company, Executive Director Mark Garthwaite of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild, and Russ Klisch of Lakefront Brewing.
2:20 – 3:10 PM Identifying and Describing Flavor, Smell, and Color presented by Randy Mosher featuring beers from Stone Brewing (Best Place Great Hall): If you are a beer writer, you have a responsibility to conduct your beer tastings with professionalism, guarding against your own biases, past experiences, and external factors that might affect your opinion. And once you do taste a beer, you have an equal responsibility to your readers to describe it not just accurately but, ideally, without using the same old words each time. Randy will teach us how to taste with integrity and write using more descriptive, evoking terms while featuring beers from Stone Brewing.
3:10 – 4:00 PM Keynote Speaker Susan Evans, Director, Smithsonian Food History Programs at the National Museum of American History (Best Place Great Hall)
4:00 – 6:30 PM Beer Expo (Best Place Great Hall): The Beer Expo is your opportunity to taste beers and meet representatives from all our sponsors.
6:45 PM Buses Depart for Dinner at MillerCoors Brewing (4251 W. State St.): Attendees will enjoy a welcome beer and appetizers in the Historic Miller Caves, where Frederick J. Miller used to store his earliest brews, before moving to the Miller Inn, lined with stained glass windows, treasured antique steins and inspired woodwork for food stations and tours of the brewhouse. Transportation sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee.
9:00 PM Evening Activities (choice of 3): Transportation sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee.
- Head back on the bus to the Hilton Milwaukee to rest up for another fun, educational and beer-filled day on Saturday! The Miller Time Pub is on site if you wish to enjoy some beers close to where you’ll lay your head.
- Head to Old World 3rd Street, which is 4 blocks from the Hilton. Transportation will be provided to Old World 3rd Street. Walk back to the Hilton when you’ve had your last call.
- Head to Bay View at the corner of Lincoln Ave. & Kinnickinnic Ave., which is 3 miles south of Downtown Milwaukee. Transportation will be provided to Bay View. Hit up Uber for a ride home when you’ve had your last call.
Saturday, August 5
Breakfast on your own – there is a restaurant and Starbucks located in our host hotel.
8:00 – 9:00 AM Shuttle from Hilton to Best Place on continuous loop: The pickups will be approximately every 15 mins and the location will be at the bus loading zone located on the west side of the Hilton at the corner of 6th St. & WI Ave. Sponsored by Milwaukee Food & City Tours.
9:00 AM – 9:50 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Two
- Getting Serious – Professionalize Your Blogging (Best Place Great Hall): Passion only gets you so far. Learn how you can professionalize your blogging by setting your own writing standards, creating an editorial calendar for yourself, searching out stories, etc. Once you professionalize your own work practices, you can consider transitioning from blogging to writing for pay. We’ll cover pitching to publications, creating book proposals, delivering a good product on time, and much more. Our presenter is Ben Keene, Editorial Director of BeerAdvocate.
- Local Beer Expert to Local Beer Entrepreneur (Best Place Blue Ribbon Hall): Looking to turn the vast knowledge of your local beer scene that you have built up over years of writing about it into an actual job that will pay you actual money? Beer writer Joe Wiebe from Vancouver, BC will offer some advice (and warnings) from his experiences doing just that via local guide books, ale trails, and beer events.
9:50 AM – 10:00 AM Break
10:00 AM – 10:50 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Two
- Social Media 2.0 (Best Place Great Hall): The most challenging part of social media sometimes isn’t content, but fitting it all in. There are several tools that make things a lot easier with busy schedules, and can fill in days when you’re not at events or trying new beers. From content calendars to scheduling apps, there’s a way to make your social media work for you. Our presenter is Leah Kuck, Marketing & Communications Lead at Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens, Georgia.
- Turn Your Hobby Into a Career (Best Place Blue Ribbon Hall): We will learn realistic ways to use your skills and experience as a blogger to make a full time income. Includes actionable steps to take blogging up a notch for monetized rewards. Session attendees will walk away with action items to turn your blog into a full time revenue stream. Our presenter is Mandy Carter from MMC Freelancer Marketing in Florida.
10:50 AM – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 – 12:00 PM What’s Next for the Beer Industry? (Best Place Great Hall): What will beer bloggers be writing about in 2020? What about 10 years from now? National Beer Wholesalers Association Chief Economist Lester Jones will provide a high level look at industry data to show where the U.S. beer industry has been, where it is now and where it may be headed. He’ll explain how demographics and consumption trends drive the business decisions that impact what beer makes it to local store shelves and bar taps near you. Jones will be joined by beer distributor representatives who will share their unique perspectives on how they are selling beer in new channels and finding new opportunities in a competitive market. Attend this session to get up to date on the business of beer today and gain story ideas for industry trends you should be watching for tomorrow. @NBWABeer
12:00 PM – 1:50 PM Lunch with Milwaukee Brewing Company (Corner of N. 8th St. and W. Juneau Ave.): Take a short walk to Milwaukee Brewing Company a few blocks from the Best Place, which will feature their beer and host a Brewers Tailgate Party at Building 42. All tailgating essentials will be provided including a classic, Milwaukee-style brat bar and fixin’s, eating equipment and Milwaukee Brewing Company’s finest beverages. The brewery will be under construction, so after lunch, guests will have the opportunity to hear from the brewery’s founder, Jim McCabe, on the building’s progress and tour the new facility. You will see first-hand what goes into building a new brewery!
1:50 – 2:50 PM The Art of Spontaneous Fermentation with Frank Boon of Brouwerij Boon (Best Place Great Hall): Frank will inform us on the history of lambic beer and the art of producing great lambic beer through spontaneous fermentation. Brouwerij Boon is the premier producer and blender of geuze and lambic beers in Belgium and actually brews lambic for other blenders such as Tre Fontenien and Oud Biersel. Frank is the founder of Brouwerij Boon and the president of the Guild of the Lambic Brewers. Frank’s son Karel Boon joins Frank on his trip to the U.S. for this event. Presented by a Global Beer Network – @globalbeer
3:00 – 4:00 PM Live Beer Blogging (Best Place Great Hall): 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. Delicious snacks provided by VISIT Milwaukee: Clock Shadow Creamery providing cheese curds (they’re one of the only urban creameries in the country) and Milwaukee Pretzel Company providing delicious freshly made pretzels. Participating breweries to date:
- D14 Brewery & Pub
- Deschutes Brewery @DeschutesBeer
- Lakefront Brewery @lakefront
- Milwaukee Brewing Co. @MKEbrewco
- Pabst Milwaukee @pabstbrewery
- Potosi Brewery @PotosiBrewingCo
- Rogue @RogueAles
- Stone Brewing @StoneBrewingCo
- Third Space Brewing @thirdspacebrews
- Westallion Brewery
4:15 PM Buses Depart for Reception at Lakefront Brewery (1872 N. Commerce St.): With a beer in hand, take a self-guided tour through the Lakefront brewing facility where tour guides will be positioned throughout to answer questions. End the tour on the patio and try some one-of-a-kind firkin creations and famous Wisconsin cheese curds. Transportation sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee.
6:00 PM Buses Depart for Dinner at Good City Brewing (2108 N Farwell Ave.): Enjoy a house-made buffet dinner designed and prepared by Head Chef Guy Davies in Good City Brewing’s new expansion space with a private bar and rooftop access. During dinner, listen to Co-founder David Dupee and Brewmaster Andy Jones present their history and beer pairing suggestions followed by brewery tours. Transportation sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee.
8:15 PM Buses Depart for Evening Party at Brenner Brewing (706 S. 5th St.): The evening will be capped off with live music, art in Brenner Brewing’s art galleries, special beer tastings on the rooftop deck (weather permitting), local cheeses and snacks, and free reign to wander the brewery and ask questions. Cheers to that! Transportation sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee.
10:30 PM Shuttle from Brenner Brewing to Hilton: Transportation sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee.
Sunday, August 6
8:30 – 9:15 AM Shuttle from Hilton to Best Place on continuous loop: The pickups will be approximately every 15 mins and the location will be at the bus loading zone located on the west side of the Hilton at the corner of 6th St. & WI Ave. Sponsored by Milwaukee Food & City Tours.
9:30 – 10:20 AM The Big Squeeze – 7 Market Forces Affecting Breweries and Bloggers (Best Place Great Hall): Hear from Sumit Vohra, CEO and “Chief Drinking Officer” at Lonerider Brewing Company in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Sumit will talk about seven market forces that define the current beer industry and how they affect relevant content creation for beer bloggers.
10:30 – 11:15 AM Lightning Talks by Beer Bloggers (Best Place Great Hall): We’ll hear from seven beer bloggers and writers in a “lightning talk” or “Ignite” format. Each blogger will have five minutes to talk about one subject. The catch is the blogger will have to submit 20 slides in advance and each slide will automatically forward after 15 seconds. This makes for a fast, fun event. This year’s presentations will come from these volunteer bloggers:
- Ryan Newhouse – Montana Brewery Passport – Blogging, Books, Talk, and TV: Which is for You? Pros and Cons of Four Media Outlets for Craft Beer
This talk with cover the good, the bad, and the ugly (from personal experience) of blogging, writing a book(s), doing a radio/podcast program, and a TV show about craft beer. How much can you expect to earn? What are the steps? What’s the stuff no one ever tells you? It’s all here, and it’s all super intriguing. Hangover or no, this will be a fun presentation!
- Eric Jackson – Uncap Everything – Green Eggs and Craft Beer: Creating Craft Beer Enthusiasts
- Tiffany Hayes –The Travelling Pint
- Joe Powell – The Squeaky Curd
- Kendall Joseph – Beer Makes Three – What You Need to Know to Produce a Craft Beer Festival
- Amy Freeze – Gourmet Everyday – Cooking with Beer & Increasing Your Audience
Sadly, there are still people who shy away from beer and proclaim “I don’t like beer.” So how do we win them over? Simple. We win them over with recipes using beer. This presentation will highlight the benefits of cooking with beer for bloggers and breweries, along with simple tips for crafting a recipe using craft beer, and ultimately gaining new readers.
- Huck Bowles – Huck’s Beer Buzz
11:15 – 11:30 AM Wrap-Up and Announcement of 2018 Date & Location (Best Place Great Hall)
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Shuttle from Best Place to Hilton on continuous loop
11:30 AM Post-Con Excursion to Grand Rapids – SOLD OUT