Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium returns with seminars addressing topics such as supplier-distributor interaction, logistics and warehouse, staff and business issues, information technology, sales strategy and sales team. Greg Koch, executive chairman and co-founder of Stone Brewing, and also founder of the Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium, will provide the keynote address. Attendance is limited to licensed beer wholesalers who distribute the brands of more than one company. Proof of distributors license is required for eligibility.

Includes access to two-day Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium Seminars, one-day access to Tuesday session of the BrewExpo America® trade show and Tuesday’s welcome keynote and general session. Does not include access to official Craft Brewers Conference seminars (Tuesday – Thursday), nor access to BrewExpo America® on Wednesday or Thursday.

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2018 Agenda

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Monday, April 30

10:00 a.m.   Introduction and Ground Rules | Bart Watson and Bob Collins

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Keynote Speaker | Greg Koch, executive chairman and co-founder, Stone Brewing

11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Move to Breakouts

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Breakout Session #1 

  1. Speaking the Brewer’s Language 3.0: 3 Tier Management of Portfolio Complexity | Bob Sullivan
  2. BEER: Competing with Wine and Spirits | Joseph Schileci
  3. Sales Training: Separate Yourself from the Competition | David Morrow  
  4. New/Small/Startup Craft Distributors: What You Need to Know |  Mike “Shorty” Short 
  5. Sales/Ops Working Together | Kevin McGillen     
  6. Owners Discussion | Terry Cekola

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch – Food and Beer Pairing hosted by Chef Adam Dulye | Three-course lunch with three beers  

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Breakout Session #2 ­­­– Repeat breakouts 1 – 5

  1. Speaking the Brewer’s Language 3.0: 3 Tier Management of Portfolio Complexity – Bob Sullivan
  2. BEER: Competing with Wine and Spirits | Joseph Schileci
  3. Sales Training: Separate Yourself from the Competition | David Morrow  
  4. New/Small/Startup Craft Distributors: What You Need to Know | Mike “Shorty” Short  
  5. Sales/Ops Working Together | Kevin McGillen     
  6. Draught Quality and Profits: Connecting the Dots | Neil Witte, Craft Quality Solutions  

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Breakout session #3 – Repeat breakouts 1 – 6

  1. Speaking the Brewer’s Language 3.0: 3 Tier Management of Portfolio Complexity | Bob Sullivan
  2. BEER: Competing with Wine and Spirits | Joseph Schileci
  3. Sales Training: Separate Yourself from the Competition | David Morrow  
  4. New/Small/Startup Craft Distributors: What You Need to Know |  Mike “Shorty” Short 
  5. Sales/Ops Working Together | Kevin McGillen     
  6. Draught Quality and Profits: Connecting the Dots | Neil Witte, Craft Quality Solutions  

 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. How to Navigate Current Craft Trends, Including Brewer and Distributor Consolidation | Jack McCrain, Baker Tilly


Tuesday, May 1

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Craft Brewers Conference General Session I, Karl F. Dean Grand Ballroom

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Move to Symposium Room

10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Bart Watson, BA chief economist, and Lester Jones, NBWA chief economist 

11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Scheduled Break

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Buyers Panel: Three of the top national and regional buyers discuss how and why they make decisions | Steve Almaraz

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. The Best of Both Worlds: Addressing the challenges of blending the passion of craft culture with advanced sales techniques, analytics and complex expectations. | Fred Bueltmann, Craft Nation

1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Recap, Final Topics and Closing (Main Room, with a cold beer) | Paul Gatza, Bart Watson and Bob Collins

Registration Pricing

  Regular Pricing Onsite Pricing
Onsite pricing starts after April 27, 2018 – if available

BA Member

$335 $350

Non Member

$415 $430

The Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium was founded by Greg Koch and Arlan Arnsten of Stone Brewing Co. in spring of 2004. The first meeting, held at the Town & Country Resort in San Diego, was a small but enthusiastic gathering of 40-plus attendees. Today the conference comprises over 400 attendees and is held annually in conjunction with the Craft Brewers Conference. While the Brewers Association hosts this event, it exists only through the efforts and participation of America’s craft beer wholesalers.