Craft Beer Biz Vancouver

Doing it Right: The Business of Craft Beer

The #craftbeer community owes BCBusiness a debt of gratitude for kicking off Vancouver Craft Beer Week yesterday with its 2015 incarnation of the Business of Craft Beer event. The 250+ attendees at this industry-insider conference and trade show is a strong indication that brewing culture is alive and well in British Columbia.

As a lawyer who is required to attend countless hours of continuing legal education seminars annually, most of which are rather dry and academic, I was genuinely impressed with the engaging style and anecdote-laden presentations of the event’s expert-panels. The engaged audience, paired with the practical and insightful information coming from the panelists, made the agenda feel very “hands on” despite being held in the Convention Centre.

It is easy for an event organizer to advertise “expert panels” – it’s an entirely different thing to deliver. Moreover, sometimes I’ve left presentations convinced that the adage “those who can do, those who can’t teach” is an inarguable truth. Fortunately the panelists at this year’s Business of Craft Beer event delivered on both fronts: not only were they leading authorities in their field, but each of the panelists actually worked in the brewing industry on a day-to-day basis.

It’s worth noting that the Business of Craft Beer event is more than just a networking event for brewers – it’s truly a forum for anyone even tangentially involved in the business side of #craftbeer in British Columbia. Hops brokers, glassware distributors, insurance companies and advertising agencies were all represented in the audience as well as at trade booths in the foyer. Whether you already operate a business that services the #craftbeer sector, or are considering entering the market, attending next year’s event should be a priority.

While BCBusiness is clearly Doing it Right, members of the #craftbeer community are also doing a lot right. The attendees at Thursday’s event were an overwhelmingly friendly and open bunch, making smalltalk and networking seamless and natural.

It’s too bad business couldn’t always be done in jeans over a mid-afternoon pint.

Dan Coles
Retired bartender. Young lawyer. From the East, living in the West. Interested in British Columbia's producers and purveyors of wine, beer and spirits.

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