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Michigan Brewers Guild Kicks Off 20th Anniversary with Largest Annual Conference & Trade Show to Date

The Michigan Brewers Guild (MBG) kicks off its 20th Anniversary with its largest annual conference and trade show to date, January 11-13, 2017 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo. More than 500 attendees are expected, including 90 businesses exhibiting in the trade show. The conference is presented with The Master Brewers Association of America (MBAA) – District Michigan.

Keynote speakers include Dick Cantwell, Author and Co-Founder of Elysian Brewing Co. (speaking on Wednesday at 2pm) and Jim Koch, Brewer & Founder of Samuel Adams (speaking on Thursday at 3pm).

Other speakers and panelists include Bart Watson, PhD, Chief Economist from Brewers Association; Ginger Johnson, Founder of Women Enjoying Beer; Spencer Nevins, President of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association; Alastair Pringle, Industrial Microbiologist and Assistant Professor at Maryville University; Terri Quimby, Commissioner at Michigan Liquor Control Commission; and Ellen Winterburn, Vice President of Human Resources for BarFly Ventures.

John Mallet, author and Director of Operations for Bell’s Brewery Inc. will moderate two group discussions focused on Michigan Hops, Barley & Malt featuring industry experts including Alec Mull, Vice President of Brewing Operations for Founders Brewing Co.; Jason Salas, Head Brewer at New Holland Brewing Co.; Derek Stepanski, Quality Assurance Manager for Bell’s Brewery Inc., Dr. Rob Sirrine, Señor Educator – Michigan State University Extension, Christian Kapp, Research Assistant at the Upper Peninsula Research & Extension Center – MSU-Extension; and Ryan Hamilton, Michigan Barley Advocate;

Another panel discussion will focus on the brewer education programs available around the state, with speakers Dr. Werner Absenger, PhD, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College; Mike Babb, Sustainable Brewin Curriculum Developer & Instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College; Tom Block, Director of Brewing & Distillation Technology at Schoolcraft College; and Cordell DeMattel, Director of Fermentation Science at Central Michigan University.

A group session on wastewater issues includes Tyler Glaze, Quality Manager at Short’s Brewing; Cody Green, Environment, Health & Safety Specialist at Founders Brewing; Peter Manthei, Co-owner of Beards Brewery; and Steven M. Rochow, Senior Environmental Services Supervisor for the City of Kalamazoo Department of Public Services; moderated by Walker Modic, Sustainability Manager at Bell’s Brewery.

The conference ends with a Government Affairs Update featuring panelists Scott Breslin, Public Affairs Associates; Senator Dave Hildebrand; Representative Brandt Iden, Representative Klint Kesto; and Senator Peter MacGregor.

The complete conference schedule can be found here (and, also as a PDF).

Among the public events tied to the MBG conference is a special program on Wednesday, January 11 (7-9pm) at Arcadia Brewing Company (701 E. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo) called HERstory: A History of Women in Beer with Ginger Johnson presented by Fermenta: Michigan Women’s Craft Collective. The cost to attend is $18 for Fermenta members and $22 for the general public.

Public music events include Brews, Booze & Blues Bonanza with The Strapping Owls (Wednesday, 8-Midnight) at Old Dog Tavern and The Concussions (Thursday, 11pm-1am) at Arcadia Ales.

The conference also leads into the annual Kalamazoo Beer Week, January 14-21, which includes events around town featuring MBG member breweries.

The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in 1997 and held its first festival in July 1998. Today, the Guild hosts four festivals dedicated exclusively to Michigan craft beer produced by its nearly 225 member breweries (a number that increases almost on a monthly basis).

The Michigan Brewers Guild is the network of innovative and passionate brewers that serves as the recognized advocate for the Michigan craft beer industry. The mission of the Michigan Brewers Guild is to promote and protect the Michigan craft beer industry with an overarching goal to help craft beer acquire 20% of the market by 2025.

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry conservatively contributes more than $144 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $277 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #5 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.” 

#MiBeer #MiBeer20Years #MiBeerConf17

Thank you to Alliance Beverage Distributing, Argent Tape & Label,  Conifer Insurance Company,
The Country Malt Group and Imperial Beverage for sponsoring the Guild hospitality.

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

Proud Supporters

  • Imperial Beverage
  • The Country Malt Group
  • Brewers Professional Alliance
  • Alliance Beverage Distributing Co.
  • Craftwerk Brewing Systems
  • GW Kent