New England Craft Brew Summit Talks Diversity, Growth

Craft brewers from across New England gathered in Portland, Maine for the fourth annual New England Craft Brew Summit to talk about diversity, growth and all things beer. Hosted by the Maine Brewers’ Guild, on March 1, 2019, the event drew more than 450 attendees, including a record number of out of state brewers.

The New England Craft Brew Summit was launched in 2016 as the first conference in the region to focus on the business of brewing, bringing brewers together with legal experts, hop farmers, bankers, maltsters and more. As the Summit has grown, so has the reputation of Maine craft beer and of the Maine Brewers’ Guild for being one of the most progressive guilds in the country.

“The New England Craft Brew Summit provides the Rhode Island Brewers’ Guild membership the most relevant and rewarding experience our organization can offer each year,” said Joshua Karten, co-owner of Proclamation Ale Company and president of the Rhode Island Brewers’ Guild. “The value has been so great that the RIBG attendees have doubled year over year to 35 this year. This proves that the Brew Summit truly speaks to the needs of everyone in our industry.”

This year’s summit theme was The Craft Beer Economy, with more than 20 workshops and speakers built around sustaining the industry’s growth through quality beer, business processes and taproom operations. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Ph.D, diversity ambassador for the Brewers Association, delivered a keynote presentation on the reality of diversity in craft beer and creating a welcoming environment for nontraditional craft beer drinkers.

“Equitable and inclusive business practices aren’t just the right thing to do, more and more they are a competitive differentiator that leads to greater employee satisfaction, authentic connections with communities, and growth in the size and diversity of consumer markets,” said Jackson-Beckham.

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