Below is the agenda for BBC17 in Milwaukee. All sessions will take place at Best Place unless otherwise indicated. To receive updates on the 2017 event, please subscribe to our blog, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. This agenda can change so please stay tuned!
Friday, August 4
10:00 – 11:00 AM Registration
11:00 – 11:10 AM Conference Opening
11:10 – 11:40 AM Introduction: Julia Herz of the Brewers Association – Julia has provided the introduction on every single BBC since its inception and always offers a dynamic presentation of the current state of craft beer and how that is pertinent to beer bloggers.
11:40 – 12:00 PM Welcome to Milwaukee: Greg Deuhs Master Brewer for the Pabst Brewing Co.
12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch with the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery – Conference attendees will walk one-block to the new Pabst Milwaukee Brewery for lunch and small group tours of the facility.
1:30 – 2:20 PM The Beer Industry in Milwaukee and Wisconsin – Hear how the beer industry in Milwaukee and Wisconsin has evolved and changed, from its early days as the “capital of beer” to the thriving beer hub it is now. Our panelists include moderator Tim Cigelskie from Draft Magazine, beer writer Kathy Flanigan from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Executive Director Mark Garthwaite of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild, and Russ Klisch of Lakefront Brewing.
2:20 – 3:10 PM Identifying and Describing Flavor, Smell, and Color – If you are a beer writer, you have a responsibility to conduct your beer tastings with professionalism, guarding against your own biases, past experiences, and external factors that might affect your opinion. And once you do taste a beer, you have an equal responsibility to your readers to describe it not just accurately but, ideally, without using the same old words each time. Learn how to taste with integrity and write using more descriptive, evoking terms.
3:10 – 4:00 PM Keynote Speaker Susan Evans, Director, Smithsonian Food History Programs at the National Museum of American History
4:00 PM Buses Depart for Beer Expo at Hilton Hotel: The Beer Expo is your opportunity to taste beers and meet representatives from all our sponsors. The Expo will run from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.
6:45 PM Buses Depart Dinner at MillerCoors
9:00 PM Buses Depart for Hilton Hotel
Saturday, August 5
9:10 AM – 10:00 AM Breakout Sessions – Choose One of Two
- The Two Pillars of Digital Marketing of Most Relevance to Bloggers and Breweries: Zephyr Conference’s own Beth Peluse presented on our proprietary Eight Pillars of Digital Marketing over three hours at the 2017 Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference. Here she will condense that and present the two pillars of digital marketing of most interest to bloggers and breweries: Search Engine Optimization and Email Marketing. If you have a blog or website, this is critical to expand your audience. (There are actually three most relevant pillars but social media will be covered in the following hour.)
- Local Beer Expert to Local Beer Entrepreneur: Looking to turn the vast knowledge of your local beer scene that you have built up over years of writing about it into an actual job that will pay you actual money? Beer writer Joe Wiebe from Vancouver, BC will offer some advice (and warnings) from his experiences doing just that via local guide books, ale trails, and beer events.
10:00 AM – 10:10 AM Break
10:10 AM – 11:00 AM Breakout Sessions – Choose One of Two
- Social Media 2.0: The most challenging part of social media sometimes isn’t content, but fitting it all in. There are several tools that make things a lot easier with busy schedules, and can fill in days when you’re not at events or trying new beers. From content calendars to scheduling apps, there’s a way to make your social media work for you. Our presenter is Leah Kuck, Marketing & Communications Lead at Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens, Georgia.
- Turn Your Hobby Into a Career: We will learn realistic ways to use your skills and experience as a blogger to make a full time income. Includes actionable steps to take blogging up a notch for monetized rewards. Session attendees will walk away with action items to turn your blog into a full time revenue stream. Our presenter is Mandy Carter from MMC Freelancer Marketing in Florida.
11:00 AM – 12:50 PM Lunch with Milwaukee Brewing Company: Milwaukee Brewing Company will feature their beer and host a Milwaukee Food Truck Lunch at their new brewery which is only a few blocks from the Best Place. The brewery will be under construction giving attendees a unique opportunity to see and learn about what goes into building a brewery.
1:50 – 2:00 PM Break
2:00 – 3:00 PM The Art of Spontaneous Fermentation – Hear from Frank Boon from Brouwerij Boon on the history of lambic beer and the art of producing great lambic beer through spontaneous fermentation. Brouwerij Boon is the premier producer and blender of geuze and lambic beers in Belgium and actually brews lambic for other blenders such as Tre Fontenien, Cantillon and Oud Biersel. More details to come but you will not want to miss this! Presented by a Global Beer Network – @globalbeer
3:00 – 4:00 PM Live Beer Blogging: Live Beer Blogging has been one of the most successful and fun events at the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference since our first year. You will have the opportunity to try 10 beers in 50 minutes. In each round, a brewery representative will have five minutes to pour his or her beer, describe the beer, and answer questions before moving on to the next table. It is a fast, fun, and crazy beer tasting experience that helps writers practice their tasting and reviewing skills and helps breweries distill their message.
4:15 PM Depart for Reception at Lakefront Brewery
6:00 PM Depart for Dinner at Good City Brewing
8:15 PM Depart for Evening Party at Brenner Brewing
Sunday, August 6
9:30 – 10:20 AM Breakout Sessions – Choose One of Two
- The Big Squeeze – 7 Market Forces Affecting Breweries and Bloggers: Hear from Sumit Vohra, CEO and “Chief Drinking Officer” at Lonerider Brewing Company in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Sumit will talk about seven market forces that define the current beer industry and how they affect relevant content creation for beer bloggers.
- Getting Serious – Professionalize Your Blogging: Passion only gets you so far. Learn how you can professionalize your blogging by setting your own writing standards, creating an editorial calendar for yourself, searching out stories, etc. Once you professionalize your own work practices, you can consider transitioning from blogging to writing for pay. We’ll cover pitching to publications, creating book proposals, delivering a good product on time, and much more. Our presenter is Ben Keene, Editorial Director of BeerAdvocate.
10:30 – 11:15 AM Lightning Talks by Beer Bloggers: We’ll hear from seven beer bloggers and writers in a “lightning talk” or “Ignite” format. Each blogger will have five minutes to talk about one subject. The catch is the blogger will have to submit 20 slides in advance and each slide will automatically forward after 15 seconds. This makes for a fast, fun event. Volunteers will be solicited approximately two months before the conference.
11:15 – 11:30 AM Wrap-Up and Announcement of 2018 Date & Location
11:30 AM Post-Con Excursion to Grand Rapids