Virginia Craft Brewers Guild

2023 Virginia Craft Beer Conference

August 15 – 17, 2023 – Virtual

The Virginia Craft Beer Conference (VCBC) focuses on topics that help brewers in the Commonwealth produce world-class craft beer. The Conference will be held virtually and feature guest speakers and peers sharing information and best-practices on quality, technology, good manufacturing practices, safety, workforce training, marketing, and other topics. All sessions are free!

Register Now!
DAY 1 – Tuesday August 15

Quality & Operations | 10:30AM-11:30AM – Virginia-grown Barley for Craft Brewing: Evaluation of Free Amino Nitrogen Content and Malt Sensory CharacteristicsKyle Carmody, Master’s Student, Virginia Tech

Regionally-grown barley is in demand for craft malting and brewing in Virginia, and barley lines suited to both Virginia’s climate and craft brewing applications are of interest. The production of beer requires high quality malt, which is defined by many parameters; one of which is free amino nitrogen (FAN), which plays a critical role in yeast nutrition and beer flavor through yeasts’ metabolism and chemical reactions. FAN is a general measurement of nitrogen and its individual components (including amino acids) are rarely measured, despite their major role in beer flavor. The objective of this project was to assess the development and changes in FAN and amino acids that occur over the course of the barley supply chain – which will better inform breeders, growers, maltsters, and brewers of the raw materials they use and how they can affect their processes. A second objective was to assess the flavor of newly developed barley lines and varieties, and compare them to established varieties currently being grown in Virginia through sensory evaluation methods designed to determine similarities between samples. Results from the analysis of FAN and the amino acid composition identified significant differences between varieties, and results from sensory evaluation identified 5 distinct groups with similar flavor characteristics. Taken together, these findings will help inform the selection process for barley lines for craft brewing, and add to the knowledge of the extent to which free amino acid composition varies among barley lines and along the brewing processes.

Quality & Operations | 12PM – 12:45PM – Craft Beer Category and Packaging TrendsMoira Stein, Berlin Packaging, Insights and Strategy Consultant 

Berlin Packaging, the World’s Largest Hybrid Packaging Supplier, will be highlighting the latest trends in the Craft Beer Market as well as Packaging Trends. The first half of this session will be focused on what’s driving consumer behavior. The second half will focus on Packaging Trends, Innovation and Sustainability.

Quality & Operations | 1:30PM – 2:30PM – Crafting a Sustainable Supply Chain Steve Thompson, Yakima Chiefs

For breweries with limited personnel and resources, the prospect of standing up a sustainability program can be daunting. Never fear! Brewers often don’t realize how many incremental gains can be made by using sustainability as a purchasing criterion within their existing supply chains. Yakima Chief Hops will discuss practical ways brewers can simultaneously increase sustainability efforts and beer quality by making smarter decisions within their hop supply chain. This presentation will include how varietal selection, recipe design, purchasing strategy, and vendor relationship management can make meaningful impacts on reducing a brewery’s carbon footprint while also helping the bottom line.

DAY 2 | August 16, 2023

Marketing & Tourism | 9AM-9:45AM  – Protecting Your Brewery Trademark: Registration & Beyond – John Szymankiewicz, Beer Law Center 

Everyone knows about “trademark,” but do they? Let’s talk why you may (or may not) want to *register* your mark and what to do *after* that. We’ll talk about cease & desist letters, litigation, and the role of the USPTO in protecting (or not) your brand.

Quality & Operations | 10:30AM – 11:30AM – Top Tips for Starting or Expanding Your Brewing System – L.J. Coverdale, Business Development Manager, Deutsche Beverage

Join Deutsche Beverage to discuss the critical things you need to consider when building or expanding your brewery.  There are important considerations to make to ensure your start-up or expansion runs efficiently as possible.

Quality & Operations | 1PM – 2PM – Ransomeware: Don’t Get It, Don’t Spread It, Respond to It – Chris Moschella, Senior Manager, Keiter

Ransomware is one of the most common cybersecurity threats today.  The impact of an attack ranges from a minor and isolated interruption to a complete and total work stoppage.  There is no silver bullet to stop ransomware, but the risk of total technological calamity can be mitigated by implementing a variety of security layers, each one increasing the difficulty of a successful ransomware attack.

In this discussion, you will learn about some of the key things breweries can do to reduce the risk of ransomware focusing on it from three angles: prevention, containment, and response.

Quality & Operations | 2:30PM – 3:30PM – Profitable Taproom Experiments: Real experiments with real results – Rachel Kesley, Head of Partnerships, Arryved

Did you know that taprooms that run experiments see higher revenue growth and increased guest engagement? The tricky part is choosing a worthwhile experiment, evaluating its performance, and implementing the changes long term. But Rachel is here to help! Rachel Kesley, Head of Partnerships at Arryved POS, will break down how to run successful experiments in Profitable Taproom Experiments. She’ll cover:

  • Real experiments with real profitable results
  • Ways to quantify your success post-experiment
  • Practical examples to try in your own taproom
DAY 3 | August 17, 2023

Quality & Operation | 11:30AM – 12:30PM Your Brewery Financial Toolkit: A Crash Course about Financial KPIs to Guide Your Brewery to Better Profitability – Chris Farmand, Founder and Principal of Small Batch Standard

During this presentation we will share how to understand the profit centers of your brewery, learn the key financial metrics you must know to make strong and healthy decisions, explore how to build your key performance indicators, and discuss which benchmarks improve bottom line.

Quality & Operations | 1PM – 2PM – Innovations in Labeling – Mark Heeley, Director of Marketing + Sales, Hub Labels, Inc. 

In this session, members will hear about innovations in labeling to include a new line of Golden Spectrum inks, stick around labels and design ideas around variable art in printing.