Start-up Brewery: CBC Choices

There’s an event happening in Philadelphia next weekend that I’m excited about.  It’s an industry-only event put on the Brewers Association called the Craft Brewers Conference.  It’s 4 days long and will focus solely on the craft brewing industry.  It will be attended by over 13,000 (yes, thirteen thousand) participants.

The challenge that I have is that there is just too much to do for one person.  I can only be in one place at a time (usually) and making the decisions on what seminar to see has been a bit of a challenge.

Just to show the dilemma I’m in, here are my choices for the 1:20 PM seminars on Thursday, May 5:

  1. Brewing Quality on a Budget: How to Use a Little to do a Lot
  2. Glycol system Essentials: System components, Design Considerations and Cost Reduction
  3. The Cost of Opening a Brewery: 3 Perspectives
  4. Using Hops More Efficiently: Grower and Brewer Perspectives.

Brewing Quality on a Budget is a fascinating topic.  How can I change my recipes to use more 2 Row or base malt?  Are there sanitization optimizations that will cut back on caustics?  Blending batches?  Second Running?  the possibilities are endless.

Glycol System Essentials is also interesting.  I’ve not worked on a glycol system, though some brewer friends tell me they are great, but temperamental.  hopefully I can get some insight.

In Cost of opening a brewery: 3 perspectives, one brewer was a “bootstrap” brewer, another started huge and the third started small and grew to be large.  It’ll be interesting to know what worked and what didn’t.

Using Hops more efficiently goes hand in hand with the first one, right?  Maybe, maybe not.  If it did, would they have two different seminars?

And the above choices might all be trumped by a 1PM seminar called “The Usual Suspects: Finding, Identifying and Understanding Beer Spoilers.”  Who wouldn’t want to go to that?

I’m finding that the whole 3 days are like this.  The choices are so vast.  And this doesn’t include time to meet any of the vendors!

Choices, choices, choices!  What’s a Brewer to do?