Seminar Proposal Submission Guidelines

The Call for Proposals for the 2019 Craft Brewers Conference is now open!

The 2019 Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® (CBC) will take place April 8-11 in Denver, Colorado.

The Brewers Association is now welcoming proposals for educational seminars at the conference. Seminars are expected to provide actionable takeaways for attendees to help improve their businesses. The deadline to submit a proposal will be September 14, 2018.

Submit a Seminar Proposal

Submission Guidelines

  • Most seminars are one hour long, with a few exceptions for 30 and 90 minute slots. It’s recommended that presentations be approximately 50-55 minutes long to allow for 5-10 minutes of Q&A.
  • Descriptions should accurately reflect the proposed seminar content. If selected, the text provided in the “Seminar Description” field will be used as the seminar description in the conference program.
  • Be prepared to provide a short biography and 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 in order for your proposal to be considered for review.
  • If your company affiliation changes after your proposal was accepted, it is subject to cancellation.
  • Changes (including speaker additions) after the seminar is selected will need to be approved by the CBC Seminar Subcommittee.
  • Titles and content of selected seminars are subject to change after subcommittee review.
  • 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 should consider a sponsored demonstration. Proposals from suppliers are welcome when balanced approaches and solutions to industry issues are presented and they do not mention specific products by name.

Suggested Topics

Looking for information on what topics we’d like to see presented at the CBC? The Seminar Subcommittee has gathered a list of topics they are interested in seeing seminar proposals for, listed by track below. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and you may also submit on a topic of your choosing.

Brewery Operations

  • How to structure and navigate hop contracts
  • Importance of and methods for brewery sanitation
  • Automation for small breweries
  • Best practices for implementing ERP/production management software
  • Floor covering systems
  • Laboratory QA/QC systems for breweries of all sizes
  • Packaging contracting and technology
  • Can seam measurement and quality
  • Survey of different methods of beer clarification
  • How to survive an FDA audit
  • IT solutions for breweries in the modern marketplace
  • Primer on effectively dealing with wastewater utilities
  • Record keeping – including safety, TTB and recipes


  • 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
  • Quality best practices when exporting; how to ensure your beer survives the trip abroad
  • Evaluating the [insert market here] market for U.S. Craft Beer
  • Understanding the logistics of exporting

On-Premise Breweries

  • Selecting your service model and managing labor costs
  • Navigating POS system options and choosing the right one for your brewery
  • Your brewer as an ambassador for your brand
  • Staff and beer server training
  • Beer and food pairing
  • Staff buy-in and brand loyalty
  • Employee retention, including benefits and incentives
  • Basic financials and operations management for brewpubs
  • Entertainment and licensing in your brewery
  • Taproom, brewpub and kitchen safety
  • Navigating labor cost and tips, and the elimination of the tip credit
  • Teaching your staff attention to detail, from FOH to BOH

Packaging Breweries

  • Balancing new brands with existing brands and how to stay relevant as an older brewery
  • How to reduce production cost without compromising quality
  • Human Resources
  • Adapting your business plan to meet a changing market
  • Using data to understand the difference between trends and fads
  • Making the decision to switch packaging types, including costs and benefits
  • Designing kickass beer names while staying out of trouble
  • Maintaining your vision as your brewery matures
  • Art and science – reconciling these competing values in your business
  • Using financial benchmarking to improve your business

Are you a legal expert who has experience working with breweries? Would you be interested in participating in a roundtable or one-on-one sessions with brewers at CBC 2019? Email MacKenzie Staples with your credentials to be considered for these potential offerings.


  • Techniques for haze stability and measurement
  • Integrating PCR into your quality program
  • Quality control for the small brewer
  • Yeast management and propagation for small brewers
  • Common glass quality defects
  • Practical solutions to reduce DO and TPO
  • Assessing and ensuring ingredient quality
  • Market withdrawals and recalls
  • Developing SOPs as a cornerstone for your quality program
  • IT and quality – what kind of technology is available?


  • Hazard assessment for breweries
  • Building a culture of safety, including ergonomic concerns
  • Lockout/Tagout and the Control of Hazardous Energy
  • Return on investment of implementing a safety program
  • Engineering for safety – e.g. dust management, pressure control and fire prevention
  • Chemical safety and protective clothing
  • Brewery burns
  • Basic Safety for Start-Ups

Selling & Marketing

  • Selling versus Marketing – how are they different?
  • Connecting the experience in your tasting room with sales in the marketplace
  • Growing your business in an increasingly competitive market
  • Planning your sales geography – when to expand into new markets and when to retreat
  • Revitalizing and differentiating your brand in a crowded market
  • When to add a new sales rep to your team
  • Flagship versus portfolio approach; how much should your portfolio change over time?
  • Distributor and brewer relationships and expectations
  • Planning for packaging and staying ahead of the curve
  • Measuring the ROI of social media and paid advertising
  • Happy hours, promotions and discounts
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of a rebrand; knowing when/whether to rebrand
  • Creative event strategies to stay relevant
  • Arming your sales team with the right tools and technology
  • Best approaches to charity and donation requests
  • Navigating politics and how to maintain your voice in today’s political environment
  • Balancing your taproom and distribution sales
  • Educating and selling beer to non-beer drinkers
  • Designing the right salary and incentive structure for sales reps


  • Wastewater considerations in your municipality, including BOD and COD
  • Right-sizing your system and how to build a business plan with flexibility in mind
  • Deciding whether or not to have food in your brewery
  • Selecting the right site and understanding the limitations of your space
  • Basic ROI and cost-benefit analysis for start-ups
  • Implementing best practices for compliance – including FDA, OSHA, etc.
  • Options for raising capital with the future in mind
  • Quality assurance for start-ups and small breweries
  • What you wish you would have known when you started your brewery


  • Sustainability 101
  • Effect of climate change on beer ingredients and risk to the supply chain
  • Wastewater basics, management and treatment
  • Strategies to reduce beer loss and save money
  • Watershed engagement and risk
  • Strategies for building effective community partnerships
  • Considerations for sustainable packaging, including recycling
  • Climate resiliency in your business model – how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters

Technical Brewing

  • Techniques to maximize shelf life and flavor stability
  • Understanding pure distilled hop oils
  • Basic principles of applied practical physics for brewers
  • Blending techniques
  • Understanding and brewing traditional gose
  • Beer loss reduction and extract recovery
  • Best practices for nitrogenizing beer
  • Brewing enzymes
  • Care and feeding of mixed cultures in wild/sour beers
  • Gluten free and gluten reduced beer
  • Predicting flavor profiles based on ingredients
  • Liquid chilling/cooling systems and refrigeration
  • Understanding malt and milling to optimize your bottom line
  • Management and propagation of multiple yeast strains
  • Best practices for barrel-aging programs
  • Novel dry hopping techniques to increase efficiency and safety
  • Understanding malt flavor, variety and quality
  • The basic science behind CRISPR
  • Dried yeast
  • Cross cultural best practices/what brewers can learn from wine and spirits
  • Brewing beers in Belgian Lambic style
  • Non-alcoholic beers

For questions, please contact MacKenzie Staples.