The Florida Brewers Conference will provide brewery personnel and industry trades with a high quality educational experience, plus an opportunity to network and share delicious Florida craft beers during the two-day trade show. Come join the Florida Brewers Guild and hundreds of other brewery industry professionals for this annual gathering.

August 5-7, 2019
Orlando, Florida

FBG Member: $185 (plus tax and fees)
Non-Member: $285 (plus tax and fees)
Sensory Training: SOLD OUT

Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite:

SPECIAL GUEST - Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Brewers Association Diversity Ambassador


A professor of Communication Studies at Randolph College, Dr. J. Jackson-Beckham has dedicated her career to the study of American beer. She has published social commentary, journal articles, and book chapters; delivered keynote addresses and guest lectures; and provided expertise as a guest on radio shows, podcasts, and in news and entertainment media on the culture and inclusiveness of craft beer. Dr. J. works to provide industry members with effective strategies for aligning inclusive organizational practices with overall organizational goals and tactics for diagnosing and removing barriers to access for populations that are underrepresented among craft beer drinkers and producers.


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When he is not busy defending his title as a Noted Twitter Villain, Andy Crouch is an award-winning freelance writer whose thoughts on beer have been featured in National Public Radio’s The Splendid Table, USA TODAY, the Washington Post, and many other publications, podcasts, and media outlets. A founding writer for BeerAdvocate Magazine, Crouch’s column, Unfiltered, appeared in more than 130 issues of the publication. He is also the author of two very outdated books, Great American Craft Beer, published by Running Press in 2010, and The Good Beer Guide To New England, published by UPNE in 2006.

Andy Crouch lives, writes, and practices criminal law in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has long run, a website dedicated to the art, complexity, and business of beer. He is a devoted lager enthusiast and pilsener apologist.


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Once again, the Florida Brewers Guild will offer a sensory course as an additional component to our conference. We will cover a multitude of aromas found in beer, not just limited to off-flavors! Covering twenty (possibly more) flavors, split between commonly encountered off-flavors and positive attributes. We will look at each aroma's origins in beer, and then wrap up the course with practical application of the information we have covered (how to troubleshoot, setting up a panel at a brewery, general considerations for conducting/maintaining a panel). This course requires additional registration.

The training will be held on Monday, August 5th from 9am until 4pm. Lunch will be provided.

This course is sponsored by our friends at Best Florida Beer.
Special thanks to Country Malt Group and Brew Hub Brewing for their support!

The 2019 conference will return to the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. Located directly across the street from SeaWorld, and close by to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Discovery Cove, this resort hotel in Orlando will be our home for the conference, as well as providing a great place for those who want to bring their families along for a vacation. 


Hotel Accommodations

Rooms at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld are available at a special conference rate, starting at $149 per night that includes free self-parking. The resort fee of $15 is included in this rate.

Book your room now!

The Resort Fee includes:

  • Scheduled shuttle service for Orlando Premium Outlets, Disney World, and Universal Studios. (Reservations must be made the day prior before 9pm at the Navigator Desk)

  • Enhanced wireless internet in guestroom & meeting spaces

  • Welcome resort beverage - 2 coupons per room, per stay (beer/wine)

  • Breakfast for children - Two children (ages 12 & Under) per one adult entree purchased


We are very excited about this year’s lineup of presenters, panels, and events.
These topics and speakers are subject to change.

9:00-4:00 - Sensory Training Course
3:00-6:00 - Registration/Check-in Desk Open
6:00-8:00 - Welcome Reception

8:00-10:00 - Registration/Check-in Desk Open
7:00-9:00 - Breakfast
9:00-10:00 - General Session: Welcome and Keynote Address with Andy Crouch
10:00-4:00 - Trade Show Open

10:30-11:30 - Session A

Track 1 - Fans, Hands, and Brands: Strategies and Tactics for Being Inclusive and Building Diversity in Craft Beer - Dr. J. Jackson-Beckham (Brewers Association Diversity Ambassador) - What do a black belt in Jiu Jitsu, a colony of ants, and a recipe for a brown ale have in common?  In the real world, very little. But in Dr. J.’s talk, this eclectic list of common objects will inspire attendees to rethink how we approach diversity and inclusion in the craft beer industry. In this interactive presentation, Dr. J. will open the door for an honest and judgement-free conversation about the realities of authentically reaching populations that are underrepresented among beers drinkers and brewery employees. Though there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to the many different challenges organizations face when seeking to diversify, this talk will use established best practices, craft brewing industry data, insights from social-science, and consumer research to help attendees begin to craft individualized plans for aligning inclusive practices and diversity outcomes with their overall organizational goals.

Track 2 - Festival Faux Pas: Jockey for Successful Event Presence - Jason Ley (COLDBREAK® Premium Jockey Boxes) - During a beer festival or special event away from your brick and mortar, consumers may only have enough time to judge a book by its cover. Maximize your event presence with reliable portable draft systems that will alleviate common frustrations and effective marketing best practices to attract people back to your taproom, converting strangers into loyal customers.

Track 3 - All About Them CANS - Andrew Ferguson (Wild Goose & Meheen) - Are you purchasing your first canning line or want to make yours more efficient? We will talk about how to lower DO, lower labor, increase uptime, improve ergonomics, increase shelf stability and make more money.

Track 4 - A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Your Chiller Anti-Freeze - Hortencia Barton and Felix Largaespada (Kilfrost, Inc.) - This presentation gives a basic understanding of the various choices available for chiller anti-freezes and their advantages.

11:45-12:45 - Session B

Track 1 - Growing Your Brewery and Understanding How and When to Invest Your Profits - Audra Gaiziunas (Brewed for Her Ledger) - You have a slew of numbers and data assembled in financial statements, but face making decisions quickly, without knowing where to start or how to prioritize your profits. What if you could learn key areas of focus, the math behind each area, and the methodology to confidently make decisions to bring you the greatest amount of return?

Track 2 - Arming Your Reps for Success - Thomas Barris (Prince of Galacia/Tampa Bay Beer Week), Barry Elwonger (Motorworks Brewing), and Chris Fairchild (JJ Taylor/Tampa Bay Beer Week) will discuss how to set up sales representatives for success through training, relationship expectations with distributors and retail accounts, and communication best practices.

Track 3 - Stopping the Guessing Game - Pablo Gomez (White Labs) - Yeast is obviously the workhouse of any brewery, but how a commercial brewery can get the most of their yeast? Learn about the keys to managing your yeast in a brewery from re-pitching, taking yeast counts, and keeping the yeast healthy for a good fermentation.

Track 4 - Managing Production Scheduling and Execution During Expansion - Sean Sasscer (Cigar City Brewing), Casey Hughes (Coppertail Brewing), and Khris Johnson (Green Bench Brewing) discuss managing production and employee scheduling during times of construction, expansion, and market growth, with a focus on sustainability and balancing innovation with meeting market demand.

12:30-2:30 - Lunch and Networking

3:00-4:00 - Session C

Track 1 - Managing Your Brewery's Digital Presence - Mark Denote (Cone Distributing) - This session will talk about managing a brewery or taproom's digital presence beyond social media. The session will focus on topics like search engine optimization, WordPress web tools, local search engine optimization, and map sites in order to engage more potential drinkers.

Track 2 - AB&T 101: Licensing and Common Procedures - Josh Aubuchon (FBG Lobbyist & Legal Counsel) - Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco are the regulatory agencies that oversee much of what our industry does. Join the discussion and learn some of the most common practices to keep you and your team in compliance.

Track 3 - From Bine to Brewery - Richard Smith (Florida Hops, LLC) - Florida's climate makes it ideal for growing a wide variety of crops, from acerola to ziziphus, and breweries are focused, more than ever, on the quality of ingredients used to make beer. In this presentation, we learn of Florida's local brewing ingredients, how they can be used to create terroir, and the impact of standing out in an increasingly crowded industry. 

Track 4 - Health Insurance for Brewery Employers and Their Employees - Kevin Witt (Trusted Insurance Professionals, LLC) - Health insurance discussion and optional solutions for brewery owners attempting to cover themselves and their employees for medical cost coverage and other benefits, with goals of administration ease and obtaining/ retaining quality people for their organization.

4:00-6:00 - Hospitality Lounge, sponsored by ABS Commercial & 3 Daughters Brewing - Come enjoy some great Florida beer, socialize and network with fellow conference attendees, and check out what ABS is doing for our industry.

6:00-10:00 - Special Event at Crooked Can Brewing


8:00-10:00 - Breakfast
8:00-10:00 - Registration/Check-in Desk Open
10:00-4:00 - Trade Show Open

10:00-11:00 - Session D

Track 1 - Tap into Tourism Marketing - Jen Carlisle (VISIT FLORIDA) - 126+ million people traveled to Florida last year and spent nearly $112 billion dollars. In this session, Jen will guide you through the best ways to connect and collaborate with your state and local destination marketing organizations to showcase your brewery. You'll also learn about little to no-cost marketing opportunities, tools and resources available, and creative initiatives and campaigns highlighting Florida's beer scene.

Track 2 - Legislative Panel Discussion - Rep. Mike La Rosa (R-42), Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff (R-26), Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-32), Rep. David Santiago (R-27) - Hear directly from your elected representatives in Tallahassee and learn how they impact your business.

Track 3 - Flaws and Off Flavors from Malt & Grain - Matt Letki (Canada Malting) - A presentation on malts and the proposed effects on flavors of beer.  This includes flavor profiles of malts and effects on beer to go with the negatives.

Track 4 - Wellness and Well-Being in the Brewing Community - Jenni Mastal Adams, Ph.D - This presentation will demonstrate the effects of employee wellness and well-being on an organization--including productivity and profitability.  The presentation will conclude with a discussion on the feasibility and affordability of implementing an employee wellness/well-being program.

11:30-12:30 - Session E

Track 1 - Nikki Fried - Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Join the Commissioner of Agriculture for a discussion of the importance of Florida agriculture, the cultivation of Florida hops, and the role her department plays in protecting the interests of Florida farmers and consumers.

Track 2 - Distributor Fireside Chat - Doug Cone (Cone Distributing), Jay Martin (J.J. Taylor Distributing), Ken Daley (Tri-Eagle Distributing), and Matt Sokolowski (Great Bay Distributing) - Come discuss how to make the most out of your relationship with your distribution partners, learn about resources that are available, and get questions answered.

Track 3 - CO2 Safety Monitoring - Insuring Brewers Safety and Compliance - Josh Pringle (CO2Meter, Inc.) - This session is designed to educate Florida brewers about the health effects of elevated CO2 as well as the code requirements now in effect in Florida. 

Track 4 - Survey Says, You Need to Survey Your Customers - Sara Pletcher (Zephyr Conferences) - Not enough breweries with taprooms survey their patrons. In this presentation we will cover why it's important to tap into the customers who walk through your door, how to design a good survey, get people to take it, and what to do with the results.

12:00-2:00 - Lunch and Networking

2:00-3:00 - Session F

Track 1 - Ask Me Anything - Josh Aubuchon (FBG Lobbyist & Legal Counsel) - The legal and legislative side of the industry is complex and confusing, so who better to clear it up than our own Man on the Inside?!

Track 2 - Tasting Room Best Practices Panel - David BuShea (Sailfish Brewing), Cindy Halley (Marker 48 Brewing), Charles Frizzell (Broken Strings Brewery) - Tasting rooms can be not only a significant profit center for your brewery but a tremendous driver of your brand development. Maximizing the potential of your tasting room should be a priority in your overall operational strategy. This panel will share their experience, ideas and best practices on the crucial elements of this ever important topic.

Track 3 - Analyzing Beer: Data Driven Decision Making in the Brewhouse - Arthur Rudolph, Ph.D (First Magnitude Brewery) and Javiera Rudolph (University of Florida) - Brewery quality programs often focus on doing chemical and microbiological quality checks, but don't follow up with data analysis, leaving brewers without clear guidelines for decision making. This presentation provides a brewery focused demonstration of the capabilities of the programming language R, a free and open source platform that will allow brewers to analyze, restructure, transform and visualize their quality data.

Track 4 - Choosing the Right Partnerships - Ian McHarg (Country Malt Group), Jonathan Sikes (Yakima Chief Hops), Emily Wendt (Brew Bus Brewing), Chris Geib (Brewing Funds the Cure, National Pediatric Cancer Foundation) - Panel discussion looking at why partnering with non-profits for events and various giveback opportunities is beneficial for your brewery. Moreover, of the thousands of charitable organizations, how to choose the right ones?


5:00-8:00 - Closing Session and Hospitality Event: Spooky Stories and Brewhouse Nightmares: A Fun Retrospective - Eddie Leon (MIA Brewing), Devon Kreps (7venth Sun Brewery), hosted by Thomas Peter Barris - Join us at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games for beer (provided by Tampa Bay Brewing Company) and food (sponsored by Orlando Weekly) and our final session. Opening a brewery sometimes can be a marvelous trend setting golden road of opportunity, or a sad, wild, dirt road where dreams go to die. We are going to talk about those wacky hi-jinx of failure to the mundane dumping of 30 bbls of beer because it was infected and you could not even sell it as a sour. All of these fun experiences we've encountered over the years while working in the best industry in the world! We'll have a Q&A session following the panel, so bring your own stories of ridiculousness and horror. A fun time for all!


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Sponsoring or advertising at the Florida Brewers Conference will provide your company with an increased level of exposure in front of brewery owners, managers, brewers and other industry leaders. Opportunities at all levels are available.

Sponsorship opportunities are now open to all Guild members for the event. We have a *lot* of new members this year, many of whom are excited to participate. If you are interested in a particular level of sponsorship, I encourage you to act quickly. Preference has been given to last year's sponsors, some some are already sold out. Only FBG Allied Trade members in good standing are now invited to submit, but it will be open to non-members on a first-come first serve basis after May 1st.

This year, exhibitors will be limited to three (3) individuals at their booth. Additional tickets may be purchased at the member rate. This is very important because it becomes a significant factor in our cost.



(NOTE: Sponsorship availability subject to change. Please contact the organizer if you have any questions).


Thank you to our sponsors! We could not do this without you!

 Advanced Refrigeration & Air

Kilfrost, Inc.

Best Florida Beer

ABS Commercial

3 Daughters Brewing Company

Tampa Bay Brewing Company

Brew Hub Brewing

Orlando Weekly

Consulate General of Canada

Atlas Labels & Packaging


One Team Financial Group

COLDBREAK® Premium Jockey Boxes

Yakima Chief Hops

Alpha Brewing Operations

Hawkins, Inc.


Trinity Graphics

Country Malt Group

Whelchel Partners

Small Batch Standard

Tampa Bay Beer Week/Tampa Bay Ale Trail

Standard Kegs

Plastridge Insurance


MSM/Wild Goose/Maheen

BayTech Label



BRU Growler Bar

THIELMANN – The Container Company

Cone Distributing

Lallemand Brewing

Sticker Wolf

USFSP Brewing Arts Program

LD Carlson

Global Keg


Roque Pub