Seminar Proposal Submission

The call for proposals for seminars at CBC 2021 is now closed. Fill out this form to receive a notification when we are taking proposals for seminars at CBC 2022.

CBC 2021 Call for Proposals Information

Seminars are expected to provide actionable take-aways for attendees to help improve their businesses. Before submitting a proposal, potential speakers are strongly encouraged to read the information below regarding submission guidelines and suggested topics.

For questions, please contact MacKenzie Staples.

Submission Guidelines & Suggestions

  • Standard CBC seminars are hour-long lectures. However, the CBC 2021 Seminar Subcommittee would like to encourage potential speakers to submit proposals for seminars in shorter or longer time slots and/or creative formats, where appropriate. Potential new formats could include 30-minute lectures, workshops, roundtable discussions, hands-on demonstrations, and more. You will have an opportunity in the submission form to describe your preferred seminar format.
  • Descriptions should accurately reflect the proposed seminar content. If selected, the title, description, and learning objectives submitted in your proposal will be used as the seminar description on the event website, and in the conference program and mobile application.
  • Titles and content of selected seminars are subject to revision after committee review and approval.
  • Be prepared to provide contact information, a short biography, and a headshot for all proposed speakers when you submit your proposal.
  • You can begin filling out the form and save at any point for completion at a later date, but you must submit the form on or before October 16, 2020 in order for your proposal to be considered for review. Once a proposal is submitted, you will no longer be able to make additional changes.
  • Changes (including speaker additions or changes in company affiliations) after a seminar is selected are subject to approval by the CBC Seminar Subcommittee.
  • Brewers Association members have clearly expressed the sentiment that they prefer not to have supplier-generated presentations that only explore one specific product or solution in the educational tracks at the Craft Brewers Conference. Suppliers wishing to present specific information on their products or services should consider a sponsored seminar. Proposals from suppliers are welcome when balanced approaches and solutions to industry issues are presented and they do not mention specific products or services by name.
  • NEW: Individual submitters (or supplier groups) are limited to a maximum of 3 proposal submissions total. Any additional proposals beyond the third submission will be automatically rejected.

Note: It is also highly recommended that you keep a copy of your proposal content in a Word document or other external file in case of any errors during the submission process.

Suggested Seminar Topics by Educational Track

The CBC 2021 Seminar Subcommittee has prepared a list of suggested seminar topics for each educational track. These topics are not intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather a guide to potential speakers to some of the top priority areas of focus that the committee would like to see presented on at this year’s event. Potential speakers are welcome to submit proposals beyond the scope of these suggestions but are encouraged to keep them in mind when planning their proposal content.

Download the full list of suggested topics

Brewing Operations & Beer Styles

Suggested topics for this track:

  • Modern IPA styles, including juicy/hazy, sour, and more
  • Evolution of adjunct stouts, including the role they play in brewery identity and process/techniques
  • Process approaches and trends towards low alcohol, low calorie, and low carb beers and other products
  • Brewing world-class lagers on varied systems
  • Lagers beyond pilsners
  • Process decisions for additions of adjuncts like fruit, THC, and more
  • Indigenous beer styles from around the world
  • Incorporating unique/local ingredients into your beer
  • Colloidal stability and maintaining haze level
  • Cleaning under pressure
  • Alternatives to CO2 for purging tanks and limiting CO2 usage in general
  • Equipment efficiency and designing sustainability into your brewery
  • Beer loss reduction for all brewery sizes
  • Primer on tank pressure and pressure relief valves
  • Maximizing brewhouse production safely
  • Equipment procurement, including assessing and addressing used equipment
  • Packaging – Could include potential pitfalls, quality considerations, crowler best practices, budget-friendly solutions during the pandemic, etc.
  • Production planning related to supply chain – ex: access to cans, cardboard shortage, etc.

Business & Leadership

Suggested topics for this track:

  • Assessing your business metrics and growth to know when/if to reinvest
  • Tools and strategies for employee and manager evaluation
  • Succession planning and other exit strategies
  • How community involvement and leadership can contribute to your brewery’s bottom line
  • Top things to consider before getting into the craft brewing industry; establishing the “why” before the “how” of starting your brewery business
  • Navigating the interpersonal relationships of starting and running a business
  • Finding and defining ideal investor relationships
  • HR considerations in difficult times, including hiring workers seasonally, layoffs/furloughs, and reducing hours
  • Open book management: practical applications and examples
  • The importance of proper bookkeeping and accounting practices
  • Financial modeling during uncertainty, including planning for changing cost of goods sold
  • Investing in your employees through leadership development
  • Hiring and promoting with diversity in mind
  • Establishing policies that ensure a safe and comfortable workplace for all employees
  • Leadership and communication: building a foundation for open communication with employees and consumers, and preparing for difficult conversations and situations

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Suggested topics in this track:

  • The difference between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • How to develop and cultivate DEI within your organization
  • Promoting awareness and addressing implicit bias in your business decisions and communication
  • Rethinking use of language, including inclusive, conscious, and bias-free word choices
  • The evolution of the craft beer industry, esp. the history of race and diversity in craft beer
  • Authentically representing yourself and your brand in your marketing and communications
  • Using your platform as a business to celebrate and share different cultures with your community

Events & Hospitality

Suggested topics in this track:

  • Planning and executing virtual events during and after the pandemic
  • Logistics of virtual beer festivals and smaller scale festivals post-pandemic
  • Reimagining tours and retail sales after the pandemic
  • Leveraging festivals and events strategically as part of your marketing plan
  • Building philanthropy and nonprofit support/events into your budget
  • Designing a profitable in-house event program (including private events) with and without dedicated event space
  • Ways to future-proof your brewery through diversification
  • Maintaining customer engagement and community support during disruption (the pandemic, natural disasters, etc.)
  • Preparing your business for the “new normal” including how to communicate relevant laws and standards
  • De-escalating difficult situations in your taproom
  • Staff training and motivation
  • Creating effective and mutually beneficial loyalty programs
  • Expanding the opportunities and occasions for beer
  • Removing barriers and reaching beyond the traditional craft beer community
  • Engaging equitable practices and hospitality in culturally diverse communities/markets

Government Affairs & Export

Suggested topics in this track:

  • Government affairs update for craft brewers
  • Regulations on new or controlled ingredients and innovations in craft beer and other beverages
  • The evolution of market access in America, including direct to consumer
  • Tools for how to prepare for legislation post-pandemic
  • How to get involved in government affairs – local, state, and federal
  • Developing a plan to market and sell your beer abroad
  • Evaluating potential import partners
  • Importer/distributor relationships and expectations when exporting
  • Navigating export compliance and regulations
  • Evaluating ROI of overseas marketing opportunities like festivals, trade shows, and competitions
  • Understanding the logistics of exporting beer

Quality & Ingredients

Suggested topics in this track:

  • Building a sensory program
  • Simple and economical QC techniques for small breweries on a budget
  • Practical solutions to monitor and mitigate hop creep
  • Maintaining quality during mobile canning
  • Overview of oxidation in the brewing process and ways to mitigate it
  • Developing traceability and recall procedures
  • Burst bottle detection and mitigation
  • Inherent food safety barriers with non-traditional beers + sourcing food safe ingredients
  • What does “quality” mean in today’s craft beer environment?
  • New research on hop creep
  • Hazy yeast strains
  • Use of extracts, flavorings, and real ingredients to achieve desired flavors in adjunct beers
  • Barley and malt research: breeding, contribution to beer flavor, agronomics, etc.
  • Raw material analysis and sensory tools
  • New hop varieties and alternate hop products
  • Kviek yeast, including practical uses, strains, and processes
  • Hop contracting and when to attend selection, even as a small brewer
  • Choosing the right ingredient vendor for your brewery
  • Utilizing brewing COOPs or splitting orders
  • Inventory management software, esp. for small brewers
  • Nuts and bolts of brewing with reverse osmosis water for all brewery sizes
  • Capturing and preparing wild yeast
  • Small-scale CO2 recapture
  • Brewing with lager yeast
  • CO2 quality, supply, and engineering
  • Brewing with fresh hops

Safety & Sustainability

Suggested topics in this track:

  • Simple, inexpensive (or free) things small breweries can do right now to improve safety and sustainability
  • How the pandemic has provided lessons and opportunities to improve brewery safety processes and staff training
  • Recommendations for dealing with mental health concerns in the beer industry, including workload stress and substance abuse
  • Emergency preparedness and disaster prevention/response, including first aid
  • Safety, sustainability, and quality considerations when assessing and addressing used equipment
  • Hazard assessment and root cause analysis
  • Walking, working, and elevated surfaces safety for brewers and customers
  • Design and safety of grain handling systems, including ergonomics
  • Establishing and maintaining a safety program, including culture, communication, and staff buy-in
  • Breakdown of OSHA requirements for all brewery sizes
  • Understanding the inputs and sustainability of your raw materials
  • How to successfully get rid of side stream waste in both urban and rural settings
  • Water treatment for small breweries
  • Benchmarking for different levels of levels of brewery sustainability
  • Effectively telling your sustainability story
  • Sustainability partnerships and the potential circular economy of craft beer
  • Examples of sustainable innovations in practical application
  • Best practices for CO2 conservation and supply chain considerations when selecting your CO2 provider
  • Best practices for CO2 conservation and supply chain considerations when selecting your CO2 provider
  • Leveraging your provider to implement and help source energy efficiency projects

Sales & Marketing

Suggested topics in this track:

  • Social media 101 for breweries, including setting metrics and objectives
  • Navigating online review apps, esp. responding to negative reviews
  • Proactive PR and media relations during good times and bad
  • Establishing a strong brand message/identity and sticking to it
  • Using donations and philanthropy to increase sales and connect with your community
  • Authentically reaching out to new audiences
  • Using marketing data and analytics to understand your consumer
  • Competing with larger, more established brands on a shoestring marketing budget
  • Basics of building a successful merchandise shop
  • Rethinking your website and e-commerce strategies in a changing world
  • Contactless ordering and menu design
  • Important sales and marketing tools that can help you sell more beer on- and off-premise
  • Pros and cons of self-distribution
  • Finding the right distributor for you
  • Evaluating new sales models, including delivery, beer to go, and direct to consumer
  • Retailer panels – on-premise and off-premise
  • Point of sale systems and other sales software, including tracking and reporting
  • Importance of setting a sales strategy
  • Pricing data and trends for on- vs. off-premise craft beer sales
  • Setting incentives for your sales and taproom staff