Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium

The Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium topics include: supplier-distributor interaction, logistics and warehouse, staff and business issues, information technology, sales strategy and sales team. Attendance is limited to licensed beer wholesalers who distribute the brands of more than one company. Proof of distributors license is required for eligibility.

The Craft Beer Wholesalers Symposium runs Monday – Tuesday with Craft Brewers Conference running Monday – Thursday.

2017 Agenda (for reference)


Monday, April 10

10:00 am | Introduction and Ground Rules | Bart Watson and Bob Collins

10:30 am – 11:30 am | Keynote Speaker | Laura Bell, CEO, Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

11:45 am – 12:45 pm | Breakout Session #1

  • Sales Training | David Morrow
  • Portfolio Management | Steve Almaraz
  • Sales/Ops Working Together | Kevin McGillen
  • Speaking the Brewer’s Language – Brand Building
  • Owners’ Discussion | Terry Cekola
  • Use Your Cicerone Certification to Sell Beer: Ray Daniels & Pat Fahey

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Lunch | Food and Beer Pairing by Chef Adam Dulye

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm | Breakout Session #2

  • Sales Training | David Morrow
  • Portfolio Management | Steve Almaraz
  • Sales/Ops working together | Kevin McGillen
  • Speaking the Brewer’s Language – Brand Building
  • Draught Quality | Matt Meadows, New Belgium
  • Use Your Cicerone Certification to Sell Beer: Ray Daniels & Pat Fahey

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Breakout Session #3

  • Sales Training | David Morrow 
  • Portfolio Management | Steve Almaraz
  • Sales/Ops Working Together | Kevin McGillen
  • Speaking to the Brewers | Bob Sullivan
  • Draught Quality | Matt Meadows, New Belgium
  • Use Your Cicerone Certification to Sell Beer: Ray Daniels & Pat Fahey

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm | How to Properly Utilize Supplier Support | Jack McCrain and Scott Ebert of Baker Tilly

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Reception hosted by the National Beer Wholesalers Association 


Tuesday, April 11

9:15 am – 10:30 am | Craft Brewers Conference General Session I

10:30 am – 10:45 am | Move to Marriott Marquis (across the street)

10:45 am – 11:45  am | The Economics of Beer in 2017 | Bart Watson, BA Chief Economist & Lester Jones, NBWA Chief Economist

11:45 am – 12:00 pm | Break

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm | Buyers Panel | Moderated by Joseph Schilleci

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm | Social Media: A Distributors Role | Moderated by Mike Mauloff

1:45 pm – 2:15 pm | Recap, Final Topics and Closing | Paul Gatza, Bart Watson and Bob Collins


Registration Pricing

  Early Pricing (through March 13, 2018) Regular Pricing (after March 13, 2018 – if available) On-Site Pricing (after April 27, 2018 – if available)

BA Member

$285 $335 $350

Non Member

$365 $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.