Strategic Discussions Fuel Learning Curve at CBC

After attending the annual Craft Brewers Conference in previous years, this year was a little different for Managing Partner Bobby Slattery and Vice President of Operations, Max Fram of Cincinnati’s Fifty West Brewing Company. 

The first year Slattery and Fram went to CBC, they had a checklist of everything they needed. 

Their joint goal was to educate themselves on all the vendors and their products.

Now that they’ve purchased some of the machines on display at the conference, the aim this year was more focused on having conversations.

“It’s really important to go to CBC with an intention of solving some kind of problem or learning more about a subject that you’re interested in,” Fram said.

He sent an email to the Fifty West team prior to the conference, asking them to consider a goal for learning something at CBC.

His personal goal was figuring out the next step in relationships with retailers. Fifty West began selling cans in February of 2018, with the main retailers being grocery stores, and Fram’s goal at CBC was to learn what the next step should be in those relationships.

“What will our next offer be?” Fram asked. “There are different options for ‘what is that next ask?’ and maybe it’s nothing, maybe we just roll with what we’ve got and we ask for more stores.

“If we’re going to ask for a new product, is it one of our current products in a different pack size; is it a new product at a new price point?”

The broad-spectrum goal was to learn more about the options available to the brewery and decide the best move going forward to continue to grow in the Cincinnati market.

The 2020 Craft Brewers Conference is scheduled to begin on April 19 in San Antonio, Texas.


Executive Editor Jon Sicotte contributed to this story.

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