Presented by The Cincinnati Insurance Companies


Join us at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, OH, on Jan. 9-10, 2019 for the
5th annual Ohio Craft Brewers Conference. Packed with educational seminars, featured speakers, industry vendors and awesome networking opportunities. Whether you work for an operating brewery, have a brewery in planning or are a craft beer industry vendor, there’s sure to be something for everyone…and a few craft beers too!

Interested in going to the conference on Jan. 9th and 10th?


Monday, January 29, 2018

Trade show set up 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland (Hall A)
300 Lakeside Avenue E., Cleveland 44113


OCBA Quarterly Member Meeting

Great Lakes Brewing Company – event space (2701 Carroll Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113)

3:00 – 7:00 p.m. Conference badge pickup for registered attendees

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Health insurance update by Eric O’Brien of Mosaic Employee Benefits, legislative update by Kevin Schmidt of SPP.

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. OCBA Member Meeting. Speakers include Bush Refrigerated Vans, Clifton Larson Allen CPAs, BMI and Ohio Magazine

5:30 – 7:00 PM OCBA reception at Great Lakes Brewing Company (event space)

Evening activities:
4 – 9 p.m.: Fat Heads’ Brewery & Taphouse – $1 OFF Fat Head’s Drafts (18741 Sheldon Rd. Middleburg Hts., OH 44130)
7 p.m.: Great Lakes Brewing Company Brewpub – Holy Moses Happy Hour (2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113)
7 p.m.: Platform Beer Co. – Lorain Ave. taproom party. First beer on the house with your conference badge! (4125 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113)
7 p.m.: Willoughby Brewing Company – $2 beers and 10% food discounts to all badge holders (4057 Erie St., Willoughby, OH 44094)
8 p.m.: Saucy Brew Works – New beer releases – rum barrel aged Russian imperial stout and a Lacto-yeast red ale sour (2885 Detroit Rd., Cleveland, OH 44113)

Shuttle loop among downtown breweries provided by Cleveland Brew Bus 7 – 11 p.m.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland 300 Lakeside Avenue E., Cleveland 44113

7:30 – 9 AM Breakfast and registration/badge pickup

8 AM – 5 PM Trade show hours (Hall A)

8– 11 AM Breakfast Beverage Bar sponsored by Mosaic Employee Benefits and ProForma Graphic Services

9– 10 AM

Main room: Welcome address with Mary MacDonald, OCBA Executive Director and Collin Castore, Seventh Son Brewing, OCBA Board President

Keynote speaker: Mary Pellettieri, Co-Founder at La Pavia Beverage Inc. and Quality Instructor at the Brewers Association


10– 10:45 AM

Main room: Raising the Bar: Internal & External Education Programs Drive Sales & Elevate the Beer Conversation with Chris Shields, Director of Education and Matt Steinke, Director of Sales for Rhinegeist

Internal & external beer training and education programs are important for sales success. We’ll discuss training strategies, resources, implementation plans, & the impact on greater craft community.

Fundamentals room: Protect Your Investment: Preventative Maintenance Scheduling with Keith Symonds of Quality Tank Solutions

This presentation will identify the importance of a preventative maintenance schedule for all systems in a brewery. A model schedule will be presented.

Special topics room: Calculated Restraint: Brewing, Blending, and Formulating Beer for Clean, Consistent, and Balanced Flavor with Chris Davison of Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

The focus of this presentation is on making clean and consistent beer. I will touch on topics such as recipe development, fermentation temperature, yeast selection and pitching, ingredient selection, adjunct usage, and blending among other topics. The goal is to encourage simple best practices that will improve beer and promote restraint – resulting in better drinkability.

11–11:45 AM

Main room: Analyzing Sales Data for Impact with Rob Gerrity of Armadillo Insight and Jason Davis of Columbus Brewing Company

When selling a beer brand on “New” or “Local” no longer works, a brewery must sell on the merits of its beer and service to its customers across several tiers. Jason and Rob introduce the terminology of fact-based selling and distributor management, discuss ways in which sales data is analyzed for action in the marketplace, and explore techniques where insight can be used to provide profitable business solutions to retail buyers.

Fundamentals room: Safety Hazards in Brewery Operations with Cliff Gerbick of Great Lakes Brewing Company and Keith Bullock of Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

This presentation will give attendees information on the most common hazards associated with brewing.  It also will compare the top OSHA cited standards for breweries, give examples of the violations in real work place situations and provide ideas to abate any such hazards.  The presentation will also allow time at the end for extensive Q & A with the presenters.

Special topics room: Taking the Fear Out of Brewery Expansion with Brian Grafton of FMD Architects, Mark Moore of FMD Architects, Sam Holloway of Crafting A Strategy, Keith Merklin of Live Oak Bank and Kelly TerWisscha of TWC Construction

Growing any brewery is an enormous challenge, but it can also be downright scary. Choosing to expand your business sounds awesome, but often requires lots of knowledge, planning, energy and money to make it happen. The good news is that expansion doesn’t have to be so intimidating! With the right innovative strategies and industry partners, you can take your brewery business to the next level with confidence.


12:45 – 2 PM Lunch in HALL A


2– 2:45 PM

Main room: Multistate Distribution Issues – Ohio and Surrounding States with Jim Niehaus of Frantz Ward


Fundamentals room: Glycol Piping Design Considerations: How They Work and Safe Maintenance of Them with Dan Stromberg of George Fischer Ltd.

Some guidelines to make to make your glycol piping installation correct from the beginning. I will give you the 45 minute crash course on things to consider and also pitfalls to avoid when designing/installing your glycol system.

Special topics room: Special Event and Experience Marketing with Bill Bakan, Co-owner of Maize Valley Brewery and Katie Alsip, Marketing Manager of Rhinegeist

As the craft beer industry becomes increasingly competitive, brand loyalty and consumer attention become fractured, forcing breweries to get creative when it comes to brand culture and awareness. Tap rooms are traditionally a main artery of any craft brewery and provide the consumer with direct access to both the beer and the culture. So how can craft breweries, especially those in early stages of growth, best utilize their existing tap rooms to create memorable, talkable, and emotional connections with the consumer? Experiences. Truly unique, finely curated, slightly weird, and professionally executed experiences.

3– 3:45 PM

Main room: Sensory Training 101 with Mike Buckley of Great Lakes Brewing Company and Trevor Self of MadTree Brewing

This presentation will go over training and maintaining a sensory panel. It will also discuss different types of sensory training tests/techniques as well as what items to test in your brewery. Lastly, it will cover sensory checkpoints throughout the brewing process all the way from raw ingredients through packaged product.

Fundamentals room: Employee Handbooks – The Key Ingredients with Adam Russ and Megan Bennett of Frantz Ward

In this presentation, we will explain how and why employers use employee handbooks in the workplace.  We will provide employers with an overview of key provisions that handbooks should include.  Finally, we will examine recent substantive changes in the law surrounding handbooks that are anticipated to offer greater clarity and certainty to employees, employers and unions and provide meaningful consideration to the real-world complexities associated with today’s workplace.

Special topics room: Carbonation and Nitrogenation Techniques with Mimi Cartee of M.G. Newell, Andy Tveekrem of Market Garden Brewery and Sean White of Little Fish Brewing

You’ve heard the saying – “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”  The same applies in carbonating beer.  Our three presenters will provide an overview of carbonation techniques commonly used in processing and filling.  Topics include the use of carbonation stones and hollow fiber membranes in production, pros and cons of each and methods of carbonating during packaging or filling.

4– 4:45 PM

Main room: Brew Beer Grown Here with Dave Volkman of Ohio Hops Growers Guild and Andrew Martahus of Haus Malts

This presentation will include a brief overview on the status and growth of the hop industry in Ohio, advances in quality assurance and processing, as well as how to locate Ohio hop growers and varieties; and a brief overview of the malting process, statistics on raw barley production, and finished malt analyses. Next, we will cover unique grains that are grown and malted in Ohio. Lastly, a summary of current malt house operations and future growth of the malt industry in Ohio.

Fundamentals room: So You Want to Start a Brewery – Panel Discussion featuring Collin Castore of Seventh Son Brewing, Bret Kollman Baker of Urban Artifact, John Haggerty of Warped Wing Brewing and Jimmy Stockwell of Little Fish Brewing


Special topics room: Community Building through Beer with Jackie Kemble of Land-Grant Brewing Company and Jen Burton of Seventh Son Brewing

The Community Building Strategy Presentation is an exploration of different ways to develop business and build patron engagement through sustainable philanthropy, events, taproom experiences and more. We will explore successful strategies and provide resources for growing a meaningful and loyal customer base in 2018. Land-Grant Brewing Company and Seventh Son Brewing consistently rank in the top 3 breweries in Columbus and are known for their popular taprooms, community events and philanthropy – and their great beer!

5 – 6:30 p.m.: Happy Hour in Trade Show area sponsored by BMI. Featuring live music by Nashville recording artist, Paul McDonald



Official Reception 6:30– 8:30 PM Market Garden Brewery Production Facility (1849 W. 24th St.)


Evening activities:
4 – 9 p.m.: Fat Heads’ Brewery & Taphouse – $1 OFF Fat Head’s Drafts (18741 Sheldon Rd. Middleburg Hts., OH 44130)
4 – 9 p.m.: Thirsty Dog East Bank OCBA Meet & Greet (1075 Old River Rd., Cleveland, OH 44113)
7 p.m.: The Brewers’ Ball at Masthead Brewing Co. Wear your finest workshirts and brewery regalia! Conference badge required. (1261 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114)
7 – 9 p.m.: Wonder Bar event featuring beers from Fat Head’s, MadTree and Jackie O’s (2044 E. 4th St., Cleveland, OH 44115)
7 – 10 p.m.: Butcher & the BrewerJoin us for appetizers, draft special and check out our brewpub (2043 E. 4th St., Cleveland, OH 44115)
7:30 p.m.: Haus Malts facility tour. Guests must sign up at the Haus Malts table at the Conference trade show. (6107 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland, OH 44103)
8 p.m.: Saucy Brew Works – Stainless Steel Draft Line Tutorial (2885 Detroit Rd., Cleveland, OH 44113)
8 p.m.: Willoughby Brewing Company – $2 beers and 10% food discounts to all badge holders (4057 Erie St., Willoughby, OH 44094)
9 – 11 p.m.: Noble Beast Brewing Co. – $2 off all house beers sponsored by Nyman Construction and Sixmo Architecture. Barrel aged beer releases (1470 Lakeside Ave. E., Cleveland, OH 44114)

Shuttle loop among downtown breweries provided by Cleveland Brew Bus 7 – 11 p.m.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland 300 Lakeside Avenue E., Cleveland 44113

8:30– 10 AM Registration (breakfast on your own)

Trade show hours 9 AM – 2 PM (Hall A)

9– 10 AM Trade Show Time

10– 10:45 AM

Main room: Keynote: Jim Canepa, Superintendent, Ohio Dept. of Commerce


11– 11:45 PM

Main room: Fruiting Techniques with Brad Clark of Jackie O’s Brewery

An in-depth look at multiple ways of fruiting many different styles of beers in multiple settings. The use of real fruit and purees will be explored from small barrel projects, brewpub operations, larger production brewery scenarios and sour/mixed fermentation applications.  Equipment, techniques and ingredients will be discussed from a practical viewpoint to ensure that brewers are getting the most consistent, efficient and cost-effective fruit infused beers.

Fundamentals room: Building a Better Brewery with Brian Grafton and Mark Moore of FMD Architects, and Andy Tveekrem of Market Garden Brewery

Let’s face it, when it comes to building a brewery, there are almost unlimited products, buildings and equipment to choose from. We’ll discuss best practices and lessons learned that help you build a better brewery. Expanding on our topics from the 2017 OCBA conference session, we will focus on frequently overlooked items critical to operations in addition to discussing programming and building layout for an effective and efficient business.

Special topics room: Leveraging Your Financial Software Package to Help Create Better Processes with Gloria Atika of Baker Tilly

Whether your brewery uses QuickBooks, OBeer, Ekos Brewmaster or another software package to manage the brewery’s business functions, building and following processes can maximize your package’s functionality – and your operations. This breakout will discuss how you can use software packages to decentralize and optimize functional duties, work processes and reporting to enhance your tool’s effectiveness. We’ll also provide answers to questions related to cost accounting, month-end pitfalls, budgeting and sales and financial forecasting, as well as cover the most common real business scenarios, along with pointers and direction on how to navigate through them.


12:45 – 2 PM Lunch in Hall A (Trade Show ends at 2PM)


2– 2:45 PM

Main room: Practical Yeast Management in the Small Brewery with Victor Pool, QA/QC Manager at Columbus Brewing Company

This presentation will provide practical information on how to properly care for yeast. It will cover topics including proper pitching rates, wort composition, oxygen and zinc requirements, harvesting and storage conditions, sanitation, and finally yeast cell counting and staining. The aim is to provide those working in small breweries with the information needed to ensure complete and consistent fermentations every time.

Fundamentals room: Finance. The Other F Word with Kate Smith of Live Oak Bank

This presentation will provide a high-level overview of financing options and identify what banks look for on loan applications. We will also discuss recent brewery statistics and ideas for forecasting projections.

Special topics room: Kettle (Wort) Souring for Consistency and Quality Assurance with Bret Kollman Baker of Urban Artifact and Cole Hackbarth of Rhinegeist


3– 3:45 PM

Main room: Benchmarking: How Does Your Brewery Stack Up Against the Competition? with Gloria Atika of Baker Tilly

Knowing industry benchmarks is important to your business. This presentation will provide financial guidelines and operational best practices to help you benchmark your brewery with others.

Fundamentals room: Effective care and Maintenance of Keg Spears, a Practical Guide with Steve Bradt of Micro-Matic

Kegs may be the ultimate beer can. Sturdy, reusable and cleanable. But, they are pressure vessels and they do have some moving parts and wear parts, so they deserve some respect, routine maintenance and a good work environment. Learn what you need to know to keep your kegs in top shape, and to do it without injuries or incidents. There’s more to it than meets the eye!

Special topics room: Small Scale Canning and Seaming with Kyle Kelleher and Mark Pirog of Pneumatic Scale Angelus and Neil Morris and Jon Cole of OneVision Corporation

This joint presentation is focused on the importance of cans and a well-formed double seam to maintain consistent craft beer quality.  Our presentation will describe how to form a good double seam plus good double seam inspection procedures and predictive methods to ensure double seam integrity. We expect our session to be highly interactive with panel members and attendees.


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Exhibitor spaces for the 2019 Ohio Craft Brewers Conference are not yet available, but will be offered first to OCBA Allied Members. To become an Allied member, click here.