The Ohio Craft Brewers Association will return to Dayton for its annual conference in 2020.
Photo: FILE/JIM WITMER
Photo: FILE/JIM WITMER

INVASION OF THE BREWMASTERS: Ohio beer-making conference kicks off in Dayton

Annual two-day event returns to Dayton Convention Center Wednesday, Thursday

***UPDATE (Feb. 4, 2020)***

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association (OCBA) liked Dayton so much the first time, it decided to bring its annual conference back.

The two-day Ohio Craft Brewers Conference — the sixth conference that the OCBA has organized — will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 5-6, at the Dayton Convention Center in downtown Dayton.

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Dayton was selected to host for the second time after previously hosting in 2016. The 2019 conference, held in Columbus, drew about 650 brewing-industry professionals, and this week’s conference in Dayton is expected to draw about the same number of attendees. 

Although the conference itself is open only to those who have paid the conference fee, some Dayton breweries and beer bars are hosting special tappings and events that are open to the public in conjunction with the conference. Branch & Bone Artisan Ales, for example, will tap a special keg Wednesday of a foeder-aged wild ale made in collaboration with Antiques on High brewery in Columbus, and The Barrel House will tap a few kegs of assorted beers from the Athens brewery Little Fish Brewing Co. on Wednesday.

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The conference itself also includes a trade show in the convention center’s main exhibit hall, where 100 OCBA allied member businesses will set up displays and answer questions about their products and services.

The event will feature 30 educational seminars, covering technical brewing topics, sales and distribution, business operations, legal compliance and other matters of interest to brewery owners and brewers. 

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The event features two keynote addresses. Christopher Shepard, senior editor of Craft Brew News, will detail trends and trajectories of the U.S. craft beer market on Wednesday, Feb. 5. The following day, Neil Witte, quality ambassador for the Brewers Association, will deliver an overview of quality assurance in the craft brewery. 

“As the craft beer industry continues to grow, making sure breweries have access to continuing educational resources is vital,” OCBA Executive Director Mary MacDonald said in a release. “In this mature beer market, breweries need to learn and adopt best practices not only for making great beer, but also sales and marketing, providing positive customer experiences, occupational safety and a whole host of other facets of running a brewery business.”

“Our conference gives breweries a unique opportunity to learn from each other to continue elevating Ohio as a craft-beer destination.” 

***ORIGINAL STORY (Nov. 8, 2019)***

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association annual conference will return to Dayton in February 2020, the association announced this week.

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The two-day event — the sixth conference that the OCBA has organized — will be held Feb. 5-6 at the Dayton Convention Center.

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Dayton was selected to host for the second time after previously hosting in 2016. The 2019 conference, held in Columbus, drew about 650 brewing-industry professionals. 

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The conference will feature 30 presentations, panel discussions and seminars covering technical brewing techniques, sales and distribution, business operations, legal compliance and other brewing-industry topics. In addition, about 100 OCBA-allied member businesses will hold a trade show in the convention center’s main exhibit hall during the conference.

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“As the craft beer industry continues to grow, making sure breweries have access to continuing educational resources is vital,” OCBA Executive Director Mary MacDonald said in a release. “In this mature beer market, breweries need to learn and adopt best practices not only for making great beer, but also sales and marketing, providing positive customer experiences, occupational safety and a whole host of other facets of running a brewery business. Our conference gives breweries a unique opportunity to learn from each other to continue elevating Ohio as a craft-beer destination.” 

For more information, go to ohiocraftbeer.org/conference.

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 Founded in 2007, the Columbus-based Ohio Craft Brewers Association is a nonprofit member organization designed to promote, preserve and unify Ohio’s craft brewing industry.

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