What’s On Tap

Tickets for the 2015 Winter Beer Festival go on sale Dec. 4, with Enthusiast pre-sale happening Dec. 2 & 3 - mark your calendars!

2015 Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference With MBAA District Michigan

Boyne Highlands Resort, Harbor Springs

January 14-16, 2015

About the Event:

The Annual Winter Conference takes place each year in January and offers brewery personnel a high quality educational experience that is both local and affordable. This event is a collaborative effort between the Michigan Brewers Guild and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas-District Michigan.

The conference includes presentations by experienced professionals from within Michigan as well as from across the national craft beer community. Presentations cover relevant topics focused on the technical aspects of beer production as well as beer sales and marketing. Additional highlights are a sensory evaluation workshop and a dinner reception featuring extraordinary presentations of beer and food.

Registration Costs: Coming Soon

How to Register: Coming Soon

2015 Conference Topics and event Schedule: Coming Soon!

In the meantime, you can check out the topics that were covered at last year's Conference:

2014 Conference Topics at a Glance:

  • Effective Record Keeping and Tax Reporting
  • Making your brewery safe and MIOSHA compliant
  • Planning and managing brewery expansion
  • Marketing your brewery or pub to beer tourists
  • Distributor contracts considerations
  • Alcohol testing techniques
  • What dwells within: microorganisms in barrel aging
  • Managing wood barrels in the brewery
  • Pasteurization and its effect on highly hopped beers

2014 Conference Schedule:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - Trade Show open 4:30 - 7pm

Noon - 1pm: Beer Stabilization 101 paired with a demonstration of pasteurization and It’s effect on hoppy beers presented by John Stewart of Perrin Brewing Co. and MBAA District Michigan Technical Chair

1 - 2pm: ABV Testing Techniques presented by Gary Spedding of Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC. (ABV Testing Presentation PowerPoint - PDF)

2 - 3:30pm: Evaluation Workshop; An advanced off-flavors tasting presented by Gary Spedding of Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC. (Off-flavor evaluation notes - PDF)

3:30 - 4:30: Managing the growth of your brewery; three industry veterans share their insights into brewery growth and it’s challenges featuring Brett VanderKamp of New Holland Brewing Co., Tim Suprise of Arcadia Ales and Scott Newman-Bale of Short’s Brewing Co.

4:30 - 6pm: Brewers Guild Annual Meeting & Election

4:30 - 7pm: Trade Show open

Evening Social Time: Time to network over a beer, visit local breweries, have a card game, happy hours.


Thursday, January 9, 2014 - Trade Show open Noon - 3pm

            9 - 10am: Breakfast

            10 - 11am: Beer Tourism; How to make your brewery beer-tour friendly (Presentation - PowerPoint Format)

            11 - Noon: What lies within; microorganisms involved in barrel aging presented by Karl Ockert, MBAA Technical Director

            Noon - 1pm: The art of the cooper and oak alternatives to barrel aging presented by Russ Karasch from Black Swan Cooperage

            1 - 2pm: Lunch

            2:30 - 3:30pm: MIOSHA is coming? How can I be prepared? Dave Huizen, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Occupational Safety and Health Department at Grand Valley State University presents his recent work based by a MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Grant 

            3:30 - 4:30pm: Insights into wholesaler contracts presented by Spencer Nevins, Senior Legal Counsel with the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association (Presentation - PowerPoint Format) (Sample Franchise Agreement - Word Format)

            4:30 - 5:30pm: Beer Tax 101: An open dialog about beer excise tax reporting to the MLCC and TTB. This is an open forum with a frank discussion about tax reporting and payment. This discussion is targeted at both the newer brewers and experienced brewers alike with a goal of sharing information and frustration.

            5:30 - 7pm: MBAA meeting

            7:30 - 10:30pm: Great Beer State Dinner


Friday, January 10, 2014 - Trade Show open 11am - 2pm

            10:00 - 11:30am: Michigan Hop and Malt Update (U.P. Malting Barley Variety Trial Report - PDF Format)

            11:30 - 12:30pm: Lunch

            1 - 2:30pm: Government Affairs Roundtable

            3pm - ?: Beertails & Departure

2015 Conference Location: 

View Larger Map

2014 Conference Details

Download a printable version of the 2014 Winter Conference description, schedule, and topics:

2014 Annual Report 2014 Annual Report (837 KB)

2014 Winter Conference Details 2014 Winter Conference Details (77 KB)

2014 Winter Conference Dinner Menu 2014 Winter Conference Dinner Menu (2135 KB)

2104 Winter Conference Program 2104 Winter Conference Program (2492 KB)