The state of California stretches over 1,000 miles from north to south. This provides an obstacle for the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) when scheduling meetings with members. The solution is to provide two meetings each year–one in the south and the second in northern California. The CCBA recently held their second meeting of the year at the University of California, Davis. Brewers Association staff Acacia Coast and Sarah White were in attendance.
The CCBA kicked off the meeting with a pre-event informational seminar on the Affordable Care Act. Hosted at Sudwerks Brewing, a local insurance service company provided information about what is already in-place and what California brewery owners can expect in the future from this program. Following the seminar, Rubicon Brewing Co held a barbecue for all attendees at their new West Sacremento facility.
The full meeting began the following day at the conference center at the University of California, Davis. Tom McCormick, the CCBA Executive Director, opened the meeting with a welcome before introducing the first speaker. Candace Moon, the Craft Beer Attorney, who provided some basic legal information for brewers to be aware of–from trademarks to label approval and employment law.
Next up was Beginning QC and Advanced QC (which was held in a break-out session). The importance of quality is stressed by the CCBA and these seminars provided information to members of all sizes, including suggestions for introductory lab equipment.
After lunch was provided to attendees, Tom took the stage to update the group on the CCBA's activities including legislative information and introduction to the association's board of directors.
The second half of the day ramped up with a presentation by Charlie Bamforth on the University of California, Davis brewing experience. The final seminars of the day included a panel discussion on the possibility of growler sales at retail establishments, the 2014 hop supply review, and finally "The State of the Industry" presented by Joe Whitney of Sierra Nevada.
The California Craft Brewers Association represents a large community of diverse breweries. It also feels the pressure of being a national bellwether, setting legislative precedent for states across the country. Educational meetings such as this help build strength for the association so it can continue to be an important player in the national craft beer scene.