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Annual Winter Conference & Trade Show

Registration is NOW OPEN - reserve your spot today!

2019 Winter Conference & Trade Show

Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center & Wings Event Center, Kalamazoo

Jan. 9-11, 2019

About the Event:

Michigan Brewers Guild, in collaboration with the Master Brewers Association of the Americas-District Michigan, will hold its annual Winter Conference on January 9-11, 2019 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center. You can register online now at Eventbrite.

Pricing Details:

Early bird pricing - available through end-of-day Friday, Dec. 28:

  • Member Breweries, Allied Trade Members, & Enthusiasts: $275
  • Non-Members: $325
  • Trade Show only: $100
  • Additionally, active Member Breweries in good standing (i.e. up to date on annual dues payment) are eligible to receive one FREE Conference Registration, subject to the following requirements:
    • Brewery employees utilizing this registration type are expected to attend the full conference and trade show. Registration without attendance will result in billing for the full Member Registration price.
    • Registration must be completed by end-of-day Friday, Dec. 28.
    • All complimentary registrations are subject to review and approval by MBG staff.

Late registration pricing begins Saturday, Dec. 29:

  • Member Breweries, Allied Trade Members, & Enthusiasts: $325
  • Non-Members: $375
  • Trade Show only: $125
Group discount of 10% applies to any full-conference registration groups of 5 or more. Simply enter the discount code "group19" to receive 10% off. All discount codes subject to verification by MBG staff. Group discount not valid on "Trade Show only" type registration.

Hotel Information:

The Radisson Plaza at Kalamazoo Center has a discounted rate available for Brewery Members attending the Winter Conference. Brewery employees can log in to the Members Area for more details.

Conference Schedule:

**Note: Session topics may not be finalized and are subject to change.

Wednesday, January 9

  • 10:00am: Registration open for Sensory Workshop only (Conference Registration at Trade Show)
  • 11-12:30pm: Sensory Evaluation Workshop – Evaluating Raw Materials
  • 11:00am-4:00pm: Conference registration open at Wings Event Center
  • 12:30-6:30pm: Transportation loop to Trade Show & Opening Reception
  • 1:00-6:00pm: Allied Member Trade Show & Conference Welcome at Wings Event Center
    • Transportation loop to and from Radisson
    • Official Conference Welcome
    • Food and entertainment included
    • Allied Member Trade Show is Wednesday only
    • Attendance required for free MBG member registrations
  • 7:00-10:00pm: Dinner on own
  • 10:00pm-1:00am Garryoke in Burdick’s
  • Evening Social Time: Time to network over a beer, visit local breweries, have a card game, happy hours

Thursday, January 10

  • 6:30-10am: Breakfast
  • 9:00-10:30am: MI Brewers Guild Annual Meeting & Election
  • 11:00am-Noon: Keynote Address: Seth Bernard
  • Noon- 1pm: Lunch
  • 1:15-2:15pm:
    • Session A: How a Beer Comes to Life; presented by Jason Perkins, Brewmaster, Allagash Brewing Co.Brewmaster will provide an overview of the new beer development process works at Allagash Brewing Company, from idea to full scale production. Allagash seeks to harness the creativity of the entire company to create new and interesting beers. 
    • Session B: “Your Service Sucks!” - That Guy On Yelp; presented by Tim Brady, Beer Server Training Manual Instructor, Brewers Association. The key to success is great service; great service comes from great staff; and great staff comes from great training. In this presentation, we will talk about the most important aspect of good service.
  • 2:30-3:30pm:
    • Session A: Fermentation - Best Practices; presented by Travis Audet, AB-I Zone Technical Expert, Anheuser-Busch. Fermentation is so simple it happens spontaneously. Unfortunately, for acceptable sensory results and reproducible final character the process for a great fermentation is infinitely complex! This presentation will review best practices to achieve a healthy fermentation to ensure healthy and happy yeast that will lead to happy customers.
    • Session B: Beer Branding Trends; presented by Jason C. Roberson, Independent Artist & Designer,; Learn how to make your brand stand out in the ever-crowded beer space, while offering your brewers the creative flexibility to easily introduce new beers. Changing in packaging trends have opened-up new opportunities to experiment with new beers and brands. We’ll review and discuss examples of how brewers can experiment with new brands and still stay true to their branding in a cost effective way.
  • 3:45-4:45 pm:
    • Session A: TBA
    • Session B: Timely Topics at the Michigan Liquor Control Commission; presented by David Marvin, State Administrative Manager, Michigan Liquor Control Commission
  • 5:00-6:00pm:
    • Session A: Early Days of Craft Brewing; presented by Steve Dressler, Retired Brewmaster, BREWMASTEREX Consulting. Craft Brewing in the '80s and the start of a craft brewing career. 
    • Session B: 3 Tier Management of Portfolio Complexity; presented by Bob Sullivan, Sullivan Sales & Marketing Solutions. In the current dynamics of the beer industry, one of the most significant challenges for distributors, brewers, and retailers is managing the complexity and diversity of our portfolios. As the SKU count has grown significantly, the need to effectively pre-plan, execute, and post-evaluate brand building activities in the marketplace has become increasingly more critical to the growth of the malt beverage category. The first step is to better understand and establish alignment between wholesalers and brewers to what brand building encompasses. Brand Building simply might be defined as the activities by which a distributor engages in concert with a brewer partner, that effectively advances the development of a brewers’ brand in the marketplace.
  • 7pm-10pm: Great Beer State dinner & reception
  • 10:00pm-1:00am: Evening entertainment

Friday, January 11

  • 6:30-10:00am: Breakfast
  • 9:00-9:45am: MBAA District Michigan Meeting
  • 10:00-11:00am: General Session – Exploring the Roots of the Michigan Brewers Guild; presented by Fred Bueltmann - Advocate, Trail Guide, Storyteller - This Craft Nation & Red Horse Leadership. The history of the Michigan Brewers Guild includes compelling and remarkable stories of entrepreneurial community building. How and why the Michigan Brewers Guild come to be and what lessons can we draw that will help us in today's marketplace? 
  • 11:00am-12:00pm:
    • Session A: Musings on a Malt COA; presented by Mary-Jane Maurice, Director of Technical Services, Malteurop North America. A malt COA conveys a lot of information about what will happen in the brewing process. It is important that brewers understand the information presented and its significance. Gain an understanding of your malt COA, as well as the role of process and crop year impacts on malt performance.
    • Session B: MBG Member Resources & Information Useful to Your Business; presented by Scott Newman-Bale, Vice-President, Short’s Brewing Company / President, Michigan Brewers Guild.
  • 12:15-1:00pm: Lunch
  • 1:15-3:00pm:
    • Session A: Dry-Hopping to Achieve Intense Hop Aromas... and Some Unintended Consequences; presented by Dr. Tom Shellhammer, Nor'Wester Professor of Food Science & Technology at Oregon State University.Although dry-hopping appears rather simple and straightforward at first glance, there are hidden challenges such as achieving consistent hoppiness and minimizing losses. This presentation explores a range of quality issues associated with dry-hopping. 
    • Session B: Government Affairs Update Discussion - Update from a national perspective with the BA’s Pete Johnson and a status of Michigan events and activities. The open session will be followed by a members-only discussion of relevant issues. Your Guild wants to hear from you.

Allied Member Trade Show:

The Allied Trade Show will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 (1-6pm) at the Wings Event Center on Sprinkle Road in Kalamazoo. Trade Show registration is now open for current Allied Members. If you have not yet received your notification to reserve your booth, please email Dianna Stampfler, Trade Show Coordinator, at If you are not yet an Allied Member, but are interested in joining and participating in the Trade Show, please visit or email

Thank you!


Our mailing address: Michigan Brewers Guild • 225 W Washtenaw, Suite C • Lansing, MI 48933

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