Last year’s keynote speaker Professor Charlie Bamforth


The Independent Brewers Association (IBA) has announced its schedule of talks and seminars for BrewCon 2018.

Running from Tuesday 26 June to Thursday 28 June at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, BrewCon will feature two days of conferences and talks, before the Indie Awards celebrate the brewing industry on Thursday 28 June at Paddington Town Hall.

On Tuesday 26 June, a welcome reception for delegates will be held from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, with brewery tours taking place throughout the day, from a walking tour of the eclectic Sydney inner-west breweries, to a funk, barrel and sour tour, and a northern exposure tour.

The conference itself will begin at 9am on Wednesday 27 June with the keynote speech, delivered by Kim Jordan, co-founder, executive chair and former CEO of New Belgium Brewing, who has cultivated her passion for social work, the environment, and community to create one of the most successful corporations in the US. Jordan was recently named one of 2018’s 30 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business.

Day one will feature a seminar on the value of brand from Four Pillars Gin’s Stuart Gregor, while a talk on American hops and modern late hopping techniques will be delivered by Matthew Brynildson of Firestone Walker. At 12:15pm Dan Farthing of Kegit will be discussing logistics and freight for independent brewers, while Great Western Malting’s Teri Fahrendorf will talk about specialty malts. The first day will end with two panel discussions – one featuring growers and brewers and one featuring independent and national retailers.

Day two begins with the AGM of the Pink Boots Society Australia, the society that champions women in the brewing industry. At 9am the IBA will present its State of the Industry address, while at 9:30 the Independent Brewers Industry Report will be delivered by Marcella Merck of The Amber River Group. Following this, there will be a series of lectures for brewers: safety culture from Richard Crowe of Stone & Wood; travelling for beer from James Davidson of Bright Brewery and Dave Phillips of Dave’s Travel and Events Group; dry hopping from Stone & Wood’s Caolan Vaughan; a talk about IPAs and unusual ingredients with Dick Dantwell of Magnolia Brewing Co; legal advice from Colin Biggers and Paisley; and a lecture about building a barrel a program with Matthew Brynildson of Firestone Walker.

The Indie Awards will kick off at 6:30pm on Thursday, with trophies available in Pale Ale, Amber/Dark Ale, Porter/Stout, Hybrid Beer, Lager, India Pale Ale, European-style Ale, Session Beer, Strong Beer and Mixed Culture Beer categories. In addition there are three trophies for Champion Australian Independent Brewery – for small, medium and large breweries – as well as the Champion International Independent Beer and the Champion Australian Independent Beer.

“Independence is a word that carries enormous meaning in the consumer beer market,” says IBA chair Ben Kooyman. “Independence communicates the passion, commitment and connection of the brewers and staff to their beer, the beer drinker and the local community.”

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