Craft Brewers Conference Antes Up in Las Vegas

The Brewers Association’s Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America® (CBC) traveled to Las Vegas for the 41st annual event on April 21-24, 2024. With more than 9,500 attendees from over 60 countries, this was one of the largest industry gatherings for craft beer peers to connect in person, share ideas, and learn about the latest innovations and products from grain to glass, and everything in between.

CBC afforded attendees the opportunity to grow, learn, and optimize their businesses. Key takeaways from the nation’s largest annual gathering for beverage alcohol professionals included:

Identifying Opportunity and Finding Growth

On day one, the General Session featured Fawn Weaver, CEO and founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. The conversation was moderated by Beny Ashburn, CEO and co-founder of Crowns & Hops Brewery, and covered how Fawn identifies opportunities and tackles challenges, leads teams into the future, and how she built a $1 billion independent whiskey company from the ground up in just five years.

On Day two, Bart Watson, Brewers Association’s vice president of strategy and chief economist, delivered the annual state of the craft beer industry report, and offered insights and opportunities ahead.

Education and Resources

Attendees participated in eight different educational tracks during the conference and visited with the 742 exhibitors that took part in BrewExpo America, the premier trade show for craft brewers, and fourth largest tradeshow in CBC’s history.

Beyond beer: Experts in distilling and cider-making offered their stories and advice to brewers looking to extend their offerings beyond beer.

Industry Award Winners 

Nominated by Brewers Association members, four industry leaders were recognized and awarded for inspiring, defending, and innovating within the craft brewing industry:

  • Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing: Tonya Cornett, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. (Bend, Ore.)
  • Brewers Association Recognition Award: John Pinkerton, Moon River Brewing Co. (Savannah, Ga.)
  • F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award: Eric Orlando, The Zita Group, and the Brewers Guild of New Jersey
  • Brewers Association Mentor of the Year Award: Laura Lodge, Customized Craft Beer Programs, LLC

The Olympics of Beer

9,300 entries from 2,060 breweries in 50 countries vied for gold, silver, and bronze awards in 110 categories, covering 172 styles in the world’s most prestigious professional beer competition. Entries were evaluated by an elite panel of 280 judges from 37 countries. A complete list of winners can be viewed here. Brewery registration for the 2025 World Beer Cup® will open in November 2024, with the awards presented May 1, 2025, at the Craft Brewers Conference in Indianapolis.

Save the Date for Indianapolis

The 2025 edition of CBC and the World Beer Cup competition award ceremony, will be held April 28 through May 1, 2025, in Indianapolis. We look forward to seeing you in Indy!

P.S. Want to get ahead of the game for next year’s conference? Book your 2025 CBC hotel room.