Benefits Of Having Your Beer In Communities

Fresh from the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference and soon headed for the Craft Beverage Expo, here are 5 reasons why beer – and perhaps your brand of beer – is good for communities.

1. A beer production facility is good for local economics. The equipment, infrastructure, and relationships a brewery creates is real money for towns and cities. Find ways to support your local breweries like contacting your mayor and council to tell them as much.

2. Beer has always been a family oriented beverage. If we look to America in the 1800’s, we see a huge immigration of hard-working people who moved to the country to realize their own dreams; many of them were to open and operate responsible breweries. Those bucolic images of families on the lawns? Many came from the biergartens of Europe.

Beer = good for communities

Beer = good for communities

3. Beer makers pay serious taxes. Said another way, those who make beer are willing to pay taxes to do and make what they love. They pay an additional tax – excise tax – that few manufacturers have to.

4. Beer brings people together. As a highly socially oriented beverage, beer is best enjoyed in the company of others. People in groups are pretty good at self moderating, watching out for each other and tempering potential ill effects of alcohol.

5. Beer complements food – and therefore the restaurant business. With 4 primary ingredients to start, beer is a flavor pairing opportunity waiting to happen. It’s fun to mix and pair, match and try.

For those who are scared of alcohol in general or turned off my beer in specific, reconsider why you feel that way. If you’re and adult and can make up your own mind, choose to support beer. You don’t have to drink it to enjoy the positive benefits.

In moderation, with the true goal of enjoyment and not drunkenness, beer brings a great deal to our communities in America and the world over.

Cheers ~

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Creative Strategy at the CBE 2014

With every conference there comes a time to choose: which sessions should I attend? Which ones would serve me best? Which ones sound interesting? Which ones am I hoping will be worthwhile?

CBE 2014

CBE 2014

One of the very sessions I chose at the recent inaugural Craft Beverage Expo fit all of those desires. Lead by Gary Finnan and co-hosted with Tom Potter, this breakout session was just that: a breakout. Breaking out of tired words, breaking into creativity, and breaking the ice to get people to think about strategy.

Strategy is crucial for all plans. Whether business or home, all sorts of initiatives are served by thoughtful strategy. The tactics you use to execute the strategy are what give it the muscle to move the bones, so to speak. And Gary and Tom provided a number of immediately useful insights.

In fact, they wrapped up this invigorating session with an exercise for the entire audience. It’s always a good plan to have an element of participation for a seminar, well beyond listening (since some people will only hear anyway and that’s not overly active…).

Gary shared three Essential Steps of Business planning, which is a workshop unto itself that would be well worth the investment. Gary’s energetic, experienced and enthusiastic and realistic presentation got the audience involved and thinking. And he made sure to note that creative financing is not creative business!

Tom added a good point: Believe in yourself, be a raving fan and do everything you can to support your business. At the same time be careful. “You may start to believe your own hype.” Be optimistic in public, realistic in private, he shared.

Don’t just go for the customer, go for the return,” stated Finnan. “Every customer is not a valued customer,” intoned Potter. There’s a lifetime of good advice in these two statements along.

Suffice it to say this talk was one of the top ones that I attended. Two industry pros, realistic and optimistic, sharing what they can for the good of the whole. Thanks to them both, thanks to the CBE for bringing this session to life.

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Inaugural Craft Beverage Expo

A new expo is in town. The first ever Craft Beverage Expo is launching on May 6 – 8 in San Jose, California. I’d been getting mailings from the CBE and have recently become more acquainted with the conference.

Here are a few aspects that may make this conference appealing to attend.

1. The site states the conference is designed to help “artisan wine, craft beer, craft cider and craft spirit producers do business and increase sales in a regulated space.” It’s a cross industry effort that looks to create broader conversations with interested communities. No need to delineate when we can share best practices, helpful ideas and talk for the betterment of the whole.

2. It’s essentially two full days of seminars, speakers, and trade show. Breakfasts are provided with registration two of the days as well as a mix and mingle happy hour one afternoon.  When you plan your conference strategy well, you can take in the seminars that best suit you, search out vendor information, and take advantage of the relationship building and networking built into the event.

3.  The list of 58 scheduled speakers should give you plenty to listen to. While the mix of gender in speakers is better than a lot of alcohol conferences, the women in beer need better representation. It’s important to have realistic population representation – half the population is female.

4. Well over 100 exhibitors are making the investment and will be readily available to the attendees.

5. Here’s some of the press information to read.

LogoOverall, everyone has to prioritize and decide which opportunities to pursue, for what reasons, and for a particular investment. Heading to a conference is way more than simply paying registration. It’s travel time and expense, time away from the business, and lost productivity and sales in some cases (a trade out so to speak).

What do you stand to gain? Education is always a wise investment. The way to approach whatever you choose to attend should include “What 1 – 5 specific things/concepts/ideas/solutions/connections can I walk away with if I attend the XYZ conference?” Plan to plan. Set goals, do your research of what’s available, what’s close to you, what you can afford (on various levels), who should go, and then do it.

I’ve always been glad to have attended conferences, whether for a single afternoon or multiple days. It’s easy to shoo it away, thinking we don’t have time. Put the effort into the things you want to see benefits from. Do your diligence. Make the time for the right events.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

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