Presented by The Cincinnati Insurance Companies


Join us for OCBA’s 3rd Annual Craft Brewers Conference. Packed with an exclusive keynote session, educational seminars, and fun networking opportunities. Whether you’re a brewer, vendor, or craft beer enthusiast, there’s sure to be something for everyone… and a few beers too.

Interested in going to the conference on Feb 8th and 9th?


Tuesday, February 7th

Trade show set up 12:00 – 5:00 PM at the Duke Energy Convention Center (2nd Floor)

OCBA Quarterly Member Meeting 

MadTree Brewing, 3301 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45209

3:00  4:00 PM Aaron Sprowl, engineer with M.G Newell “10 Things You Need to Know About Pumps”,

4:00 – 5:30 PM OCBA Member Meeting. Speakers include Donald Seitz, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies,  Joseph Klatt and David Foulkes, Sustainability Specialists in the Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention at Ohio EPA “Introducing the Ohio Materials Marketplace”

5:30 – 7:00 PM OCBA reception at MadTree Brewing sponsored by BLEFA Beverage Systems, Blucher, BW Container Systems, Sprinkman Brewing Systems and WestRock

7:00 – 10:00 PM Open house at Blank Slate Brewing Company

7:00 – 11:00 PM Barrel Aged Night at Listermann Brewing Company. Come pull some pins and try some BA beers (including the FOBAB winner!) Sponsored by BSG Craft Brewing, and Grandstand Glassware + Apparel and LemonGranade Creative

7:30 – 11:00 PM Barrel Aged Night at Listermann Brewing Company

8:00 – 11:00 PM Evening brewery tours optional provided by Craft Connection Brewery Tours (space is limited)

What IS INCLUDED ON THE TOUR: This Craft Connection tour includes transportation and tours at each brewery. Guests are responsible for their pints and for driver gratuity. Each bus holds 14 guests.

WHAT IS ON THE BUS: The bus is equipped with a cooler, ice, bottled water, and room for beer storage. We also provide light snacks. You may bring beverages and food on board to enjoy on the bus if you’d like. There is bluetooth and an aux cord for music.

TOUR GUIDE: Your tour guide is also your bus driver and your host. This individual will be able to answer any and all questions about the brewery. Since this is a special event, a brewery representative will also be present for a tour of each brewery.


Bus #1
Tuesday Evening, February 7 

7:55 PM – MadTree
8:15 – 9:00 – Fifty West Production Works
9:15 – 9:50 – BadTom
9:55 – 10:30 – Blank Slate
10:35 – 11:10 – Streetside
11:30 – Drop off at Hyatt


Bus #2
Tuesday Evening, February 7 

7:55 PM – Depart MadTree
8:20 – 9:05 – Fibonacci
9:20 – 10:10 – Brink Brewing
10:20 – 11:10 – Urban Artifact
11:30 – drop off at Hyatt


Bus #3
Tuesday Evening, February 7 

7:55 PM- Depart MadTree
8:10 – 9:00 – Listermann
9:20 – 10:05 – Brink Brewing
10:15 – 11:10 – Urban Artifact
11:25 – drop off at Hyatt




Wednesday, February 8th

Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

7:30 – 9:00 AM Breakfast and registration

Trade show hours 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

8:00 – 10:30 AM Breakfast Beverage Bar sponsored by Proforma Graphic Services

9:00 – 10:00 AM Main room: Welcome address with Mary MacDonald, OCBA Executive Director and Chris Alltmont, Fat Head’s Brewery, OCBA Board President

Keynote speaker: Dr. Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewers Association

10:00 – 10:45 AM Main room: Franchise Law and the Impact of Recent Case Decisions with James Niehaus and Colleen Murnane of Frantz Ward

Fundamentals room: What’s the deal with commercial leases? With Adam Armstrong and Kevin Connell of Ohio Beer Counsel

Special topics room: R&D tax credits with Stephen Smith of Graydon Head and Kevin Begley of MCM CPA

11:00 – 11:45 AM Main room: Panel Discussion: Building a Relationship with your Retailers with John Lane of Winking Lizard, Jason Milburn of Kroger and Todd Wiggs of Jungle Jim’s. Moderated by Adam Lane of MadTree Brewing.

Fundamentals room: Trademark Overview with Calder Mellino of The Mellino Law Firm

Special topics room: Brewing Strategically for a Small Brewpub with Chris Davison of Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

12:00 – 1:00 PM TRADE SHOW TIME Main room: Recruiting and Motivating Sales Reps for Independently Distributed Breweries with Nick Bowman of Warped Wing Brewing Company and Justin Carson of Platform Beer Co.

12:45 – 2:00 PM Lunch in the Junior Ballroom

2:00 – 2:45 PM Main room: Multiple Knock Out Brewing: Maintaining Consistency with Subsequent Brews with Eric Baumann of Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

Fundamentals room: Brewery Layout and Basic Overview of Applicable Codes with Brian Grafton of FMD Architects, Inc., Colin Vent of Seventh Son Brewing and Andy Tveekrem of Market Garden Brewery

Special topics room: Ohio Malts and Trends in Malts with Andrew Martahus of Haus Malts and Matt Cunningham of Rustic Brew Farm

3:00 – 3:45 PM Main room: Panel Discussion: What do Distributors want from Their Brewery Partners. Moderated by Jacob Evans of the Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio. Participants include Dale Cox of Premium Beverage Supply, Jason Edwards of Superior Beverage Group and Austin Philips of Southeast Beverage Company

Fundamentals room: Site Selection and Economic Incentives Available with Gary Horsfall of RSM US LLP

Special topics room: Conservation Goals and Energy Usage in Your Brewery with Kevin Ely of Wooly Pig Brew Farm (formerly with Uinta Brewing)

4:00 PM – 4:45 PM Main room: Souring Organisms and Yeast with JT Rea of Moody Tongue Brewing Company

Fundamentals room: Demystifying Digital Advertising with Matt Moore of Great Lakes Publishing and Stephanie Cooper and Jackie Meddles of Scripps Digital

Special topics room: Strong Beer Production Tips and Tricks with Andy Tveekrem of Market Garden Brewery

Evening activity: Join us for a Happy Hour in the Trade Show Room at Duke Energy from 5:00  – 6:30 PM sponsored by Save Graydon

6:30 – 8:30 PM Shuttle available to the reception at Christian Moerlein Brewing Company with food, beer and music, including tours of the Kaufmann Cellars. Sponsored by Heidelberg Distributing and Ohio Beer Counsel

8:00 – 11:30 PM Shuttle among downtown breweries provided by Craft Connection Brewery Tours

8:00 – 11:00 PM North Row Brewery and Distillery tours and tasting in the former Christian Moerlein ice house (108 Henry Street, 45202)

8:00 – 12:00 AM Ohio Rare at Taft’s Ale House featuring 9 rare beers by 9 Ohio breweries including The Brew Kettle, Fat Head’s, Great Lakes, Jackie O’s, Little Fish, Taft’s Ale House, Triple Digit, Willoughby Brewing Company and Yellow Springs Brewery. Sponsored by Festivals Unlimited and Madison Chemical.

8:30 – 10:30 PM Rhinegeist FREE specialty food and beer pairing with Head Brewer/Quality Control Jim Matt and local chef and restauranteur Jimmy Cornwell including some rare and never released offerings from our sour, barrel and unique beer creationists including 2015 GABF silver medal winning Sherry Ink paired with meat and cheese small plates at 8:45, 9:15 and 9:45. VIP tours on the ½ hour. Rhinegeist employees around for sharing. Conference badges required.

Thursday, February 9th

Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

8:30 – 10:00 AM Breakfast and registration

Trade show hours 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (3rd Floor Lobby)

9:00 – 10:00 AM Trade Show Time

10:00 – 10:45 AM Main room: ODLC overview with Elaine Moore, Assistant Chief, Beer and Wine Division, Ohio Dept. of Commerce

11:00 –11:45 AM Main room: Ohio Hops State of the Union, Sourcing and Trends with Frank Rogers of Full Circle Hops Farm and Dave Volkman of Ohio Hop Growers Guild

Fundamentals room: Quality Control in Canning with Terry Royse, Retired Expert in Canning and Seaming from Anheuser Busch, BJ Solomon of Iron Heart Canning and Mike Raczynski, Double Seam Specialist of PackTech International

Special topics room: Panel discussion: Best in class and How to achieve it with Brady Duncan of MadTree Brewing, Jack McCraine of Baker Tilly, Greg Michalec of Heidelberg Distributing and moderated by Scott Ebert of Baker Tilly

Special topics room: Panel discussion: Best in class and How to achieve it. Moderated by Jack McCraine of Baker Tilly

12:00 – 1:00 PM TRADE SHOW TIME

12:45 – 2:00 PM Lunch in the Junior Ballroom (Trade Show ends at 2:00 PM)

2:00 – 2:45 PM Main room: OSHA Record Keeping & Creating a Culture of Safety with Cliff Gerbick of Great Lakes Brewing Company and Ryan Blevins of MadTree Brewing

Fundamentals room: Five Critical Quality Checks for Small Breweries with Trent Leslie of MadTree Brewing and Larry Horwitz of Four String Brewing Company

Special topics room: Starting a Barrel Program with Brad Clark of Jackie O’s Brewery and Sean White of Little Fish Brewing

3:00 – 3:45 PM Main room: Production Planning for Small and Medium Sized Breweries with John Haggerty of Warped Wing Brewing Company and Matt Rowe of MadTree Brewing

Fundamentals room: Sanitation 101: Basic Plant and Environmental Sanitation with Gary Graf of Ecolab and Rudy Othmer of Enerco Corporation

Special topics room: Wastewater Solutions for Small to Medium Breweries with Mitch Long of Quasar Energy Group


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