Sustainability at the Craft Brewers Conference 2008

CBC 2008Back in 2004 when Fermenting Revolution was just a twinkle in my eye, I dreamed that one day sustainability would be on the agenda of the brewing industry. So wasn’t I giddy with beer activist pride when Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza recently contacted me to enlist my help with a sustainability-themed track at the Craft Brewers Conference. It turns out sustainability is officially on the actual agenda of the craft beer industry!

This will be my first time at the conference so I’m pretty excited. I’ll get to wander the halls of brewery equipment and fawn over the fermenters, canning machines and steam-capture technology I dream of one day using in my own B, B & B – that’s short for Bed, Breakfast and Brewery. I’ll enjoy the endless complimentary California craft brews. And of course, I’ll benefit from the wisdom of all the seasoned brewing professionals attending and making presentations in all the other seminars.

As for the seminars, it looks like – gasp, my first presentation on brewing and sustainability is scheduled for 8:15 am on Thursday morning! Yikes, this must be the rookie slot. The hospitality pavilion is open until 1am Wednesday night. This is going to be a rough schedule. I better start chanting my mantra now: “pace yourself, drink more water.”

World Beer CupThen there is the World Beer Cup, probably the most prestigious beer competition in the world, which is piggy-backed with the conference and culminates in an awards dinner gala.

For those of you already penciling in your plan of attack for the conference, here’s the schedule for and description of the Sustainability track:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
An Overview of Sustainability and the Life Cycle of Beer
Chris O’Brien, beer activist and Jennifer Orgolini, New Belgium Brewing Co.
Chris O’Brien provides an overview of sustainable practices in breweries and Jennifer Orgolini shares results of a life cycle audit for beer.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Energy Opportunities for the Craft Brewer Panel
Chris O’Brien (moderator), http://www.beeractivist.com; Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Jim Spencer, New Belgium Brewing Co.; Patrick Conway, Great Lakes Brewing Co.
The Energy Opportunities Panel looks at sustainable energy sources and opportunities to recapture and reuse energy for other brewery operations.

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Waste (Wasted) Opportunities for the Craft Brewer Panel
Chris O’Brien (moderator), http://www.beeractivist.com; James Soares, Squatters Pub; Brendan Weaver, New Belgium Brewing Co.; Patrick Conway, Great Lakes Brewing Co.
The Waste Opportunities Panel checks out more sustainable alternatives and potential opportunities other than sending waste products down the drain or to the dumpster.

Hope to see you there!

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7 Responses to Sustainability at the Craft Brewers Conference 2008

  1. timjo62 says:

    I have a feeling there won’t be too many “wasted” beer drinking opportunities at this conference. I raise my glass of St. Arnold’s Stout (last of the seasonal batch) to you for getting invited to this confab!

  2. […] as a nod to the sustainability of this little group writing project, perhaps in reference to recent trends in the craft brew industry, or more likely as a result of his long standing passion and dedication, Chris O’Brien has […]

  3. Christopher says:

    hey…that is great….

  4. […] Sierra Nevada Goes Organic I visited the Sierra Nevada brewery last fall and spoke with founder and owner Ken Grossman about their sustainability efforts. Given the limited role sustainability plays in the company’s marketing, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how far the brewery has already traveled down the road to sustainability. Then in April I had the distinct honor and pleasure to join Ken on a panel about sustainability programs at the Craft Brewers Conference. […]

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