A wrap-up of the 5th Annual Indiana Craft Brewers Conference

Indiana Craft Brewers Conference logo

Nearly 200 brewery owners, brewers, employees, and breweries in planning joined dozens of affiliated businesses for the 5th Annual Indiana Craft Brewers Conference (#INCBC), March 10 – 12, 2019 at the Indianapolis Marriott East.

Attendees enjoyed educational sessions on technical brewing, business operations, and legal and regulatory issues, in addition to networking events and more.

Brewers of Indiana Guild members gather for the 2019 annual meeting.

Brewers of Indiana Guild members gather for the 2019 annual meeting.

Annual Meeting and Board of Directors Elections for Brewers of Indiana Guild Members

Following a lively hospitality suite on Sunday evening, members attended the Guild’s annual meeting for a summary of the organization’s 2018 activities and an update on 2019 plans.

Elections for the Board of Directors took place before educational sessions began, with Jenny Drewry (VP Government Affairs and Compliance, Sun King Brewery), Scott Fergusson (Founder, Chapman’s Brewing Company), Lauren Frederick (Sales and Marketing Director, Metazoa Brewing Company), and Barb Kehe (Owner, Ironwood Brewing Company) joining the board.

Along with Erica Hemphill (Owner, 10-56 Brewing Co) and Kaitlyn Hendricks (Quality Control/Public Relations, Three Floyds Brewing Company), one third of the Brewers of Indiana Guild Board of Directors is now comprised of women, more than ever before in the organization’s nearly 20-year history.

Thank you to Jon Lang (Director of Brewing, Triton Brewing Company), DJ McCallister (President/Head Brewer, Black Swan Brewpub), and Andy Meyer (Owner/President/Brewer, TwoDEEP Brewing Co) whose terms ended after years of dedicated service to the Guild’s mission. Jon made significant contributions to the creation of INCBC and the Education Committee, DJ has been instrumental in providing structure and guidance for the Guild’s finances, and Andy has devoted his time to the Guild’s annual events.

Tim Brady, Brewers Association Beer Server Manual Instructor, gave tips on how to improve beer server training in brewpubs and breweries.

Tim Brady, Brewers Association Beer Server Manual Instructor, gave tips on how to improve beer server training in brewpubs.

Educational Sessions

KEYNOTE: Regulatory Recap

Pete Johnson, State and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Brewers Association

Strategic E-mail Marketing for Your Brewery

Alex Standiford, Fill Your Taproom

It’s not about trying to get people to buy your stuff. It’s about building the relationship and then providing the information that empowers them to make a decision.

Your Annual Update and Q & A with the Indiana ATC

Chairman Cook and Master Officer Stewart

Updates on recent rulings and enforcement from the Indiana ATC and excise police. Use this opportunity to ask questions related to permits and the approval process, interpretations of the Indiana alcohol code, and how those laws are enforced.

Additional Capital Raises and Investor Relations

Kate Lumpkin, Live Oak Bank

As the industry evolves, hear from an experienced brewery lender about options for expansion capital raises. Learn about typical expansion requests four years ago compared to today, qualities of a successful brewery, and how to protect yourself when raising equity. This is no longer a “build it and they will come” environment, so expansion should be deliberate.

Managing and Limiting Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in your Brewery

Terence Shackleford, Packaging Manager, Sun King Brewery

A discussion on brewery processes and how to minimize DO pickup through best practices. Topics will include use of bulk CO2, purging fermenters and brite beer tanks, the transfer process and carbonating your beer, as well as best practices for packaging into kegs and cans. The discussion will also cover the importance of taking DO readings.

How Safe is Your Brewery?

Jeremy Daughtry, Industry Consultant, Food and Beverage, Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership

OSHA requires all employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace. Breweries are considered a high-hazard industry and present many risky conditions such as hot liquids, confined spaces, caustic chemicals, pressurized tanks, frequently wet floors, noise, and fire concerns. In this session, we will focus on the safety of your brewery, the types of common injury and illness prevention programs, and we’ll review common OSHA violations associated with breweries.

Making Sense of These Interesting Beer Times

John Holl, Senior Editor, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

The beer industry has never been more dynamic and full of worry. We’ll look at how businesses can succeed in these uncertain times and look beyond the pint glass to achieve a better future. From questioning the norms to truly following passions, beer can still be a lot of fun.

“Your Service Sucks!” – That Guy on Yelp

Tim Brady, Brewers Association Beer Server Manual Instructor

The number one complaint about a restaurant or bar is almost always about service. We know that customers barely notice a small change in product or price but quickly notice an off moment of service. The key to success is great service; great service comes from great staff, and great staff comes from great training. In this fast paced and information filled hour, we will talk about the most important aspects of good service as perceived by your guests and offer tips and takeaways about how to creatively use the BA’s brewpub server training manual and make your staff shine.

Practical Safety and Maintenance Considerations for Draft Packaging

Steve Bradt, Micro Matic

A discussion on the inner working of your kegs, from keg valves and how they work, to common causes of damage to keg valves and how to avoid them. The discussion will include keg safety features, the mechanics of operation, five common valve failures, and an overview of keg tools and best practices for safe service of your keg fleet.

Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In): An Overview on Bottle Conditioning

Adam Covey, Upland Brewing

An overview of the history and theory of bottle conditioning up to and including current best practices, as well as the challenges associated with successfully bottle conditioning your beer.

Pulling Back the Curtain on Music Licensing

Dan Spears, Vice President of Industry Relations and Licensing, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)

This seminar will help you understand the legalities of using music in your brewery. We will provide an in-depth look at the copyright law and when a brewpub or taproom needs a public performance license. The session will also focus on how licensing fees are determined and where the money goes.

Practical Yeast Management from the Brewery and Supplier Perspectives

Lance Shaner, Omega Yeast, and Kevin Smolar, Lab Manager, Sun King Brewery

A practical discussion on yeast management from two vantage points. First, the discussion will be from a brewery’s perspective including maintaining cultures, propagating from both single cell cultures and pitchable quantities from yeast labs, pitch rate calculations, and best practices. The second part of the presentation will cover yeast management from the supplier’s perspective and will include production, pitch rates, and cell counting.

Why the Hell is My Beer Foamy? Adventures in Draft Issues

Chris Jones and Alex Petersen, Proper Pour

An overview of how to tackle draft foaming in your brewery. The discussion will cover small issues and parts that cause big problems, troubleshooting beer foaming problems, the value of dynamic cleaning for your draft system, and the art of beer gas (“What am I paying for?”). They will also discuss what the “perfect” draft system might look like.

Five Reasons You Should Not Use Reverse Osmosis in Your Craft Brewery

Mark Timmons, US Water Systems

Indiana is notorious for hard water, but even in Indiana not all water sources are the same. This presentation will discuss the variability of water sources and how total dissolved solids (TDS) can impact the beer that you brew. There will be additional emphasis on water treatment options and how each option can alter the TDS profile, for better or for worse, on the most essential ingredient in the beer making process.

Members' social at Sun King Brewery

Members’ social at Sun King Brewery

Networking Opportunities

The Guild hosted brewery and business members in the hospitality suite for the two evenings of the conference, and members shared some of their best beers.

Sun King Brewery also graciously hosted the annual brewery social, featuring socializing, food from Oca, and great beer, of course.

Save the Date for the 6th Annual INCBC

The 6th Annual Indiana Craft Brewers Conference will take place March 8 – 10, 2020 at Indianapolis Marriott East.

Cheers to Our Sponsors!



Learn more about sponsorship here or contact us.

The INCBC trade show featured dozens of affiliated businesses and the new passport program.

The INCBC Trade Show featured dozens of affiliated businesses and the new passport program.

Trade Show and Passport Program

Dozens of affiliated businesses shared schwag and resources with brewery members at the INCBC Trade Show, and for the first time, members could win great prizes by visiting 15 vendors and getting their Trade Show Passport marked.

Trade Show Passport prizes included:

  • Pallet of Malt from Origin Malt
  • Trademark service from Reichel Stohry
  • Portable foam unit from Enerco
  • Free bulk tank CO2 fill (up to 750 lbs.) from Sutton-Garten Co.
  • 11 pounds of Cashmere hops from BSG
  • ½ BBL Multi-Keg with a 4” to 1 ½” Adapter Top from Deutsche Beverage Technology
  • 11 pounds of Cryo Hops from Yakima Chief Hops and Country Malt Group
  • Drink Indiana Beer gear

Trade Show vendors included:

Acorn Distributors
Advantage Engineering
Anton Paar
Blichmann Engineering
Blue Label Digital
Briess Malt
Can Source
Corporate Thread
Country Malt Group
Crosby Hops
Deutsche Beverage
Fill Your Taproom
Ideal Canning
ISU Insurance Services The May Agency
JBT Bottling
Keg Logistics
Kitto Insurance
Live Oak Bank
Micro Matic
Midwest Draft Solutions
Omega Yeast
Origin Malt
Prestige Glassware
Proper Pour
Reichel Story LLP
Sugar Creek Malt
Sutton Garten
US Water Systems
John Holl of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine talked about current trends and future possibilities in the brewing industry.

John Holl of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine talked about current trends and future possibilities in the brewing industry.

Presenter Bios

Steve Bradt, Eastern Regional Sales Manager, Micro Matic – Packaging Division

Prior to coming to work for Micro Matic, Steve spent nearly 30 years as a brewer – ranging from pub scale operations to a 10,000 bbl./yr. production brewery. He brings a depth of knowledge on the proper application of best safety, quality, and maintenance practices to keg packaging lines.


Tim Brady, Brewers Association Beer Server Manual Instructor

Tim Brady, owner of Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, has been passionate about craft beer since his first homebrewing experience 25 years ago. His front line experience in hospitality includes owner and operator of an inn, craft beer bar, campground, and entertainment complex as well as the brewery, restaurant, and biergarten. Brady shares his passion for beer, technology, and marketing as an active member of the Brewers Association Board of Directors, a strategist with a Vermont marketing firm, and an instructor for the UVM Business of Craft Beer program. He also spends several months each year traveling the country in his RV, visiting breweries and pubs. At the center of all of his businesses, Brady believes that the key to success is great service; that great service comes from great staff; and that great staff comes from great training.


Adam Covey, Upland Brewing

Originally hailing from Evansville, Adam began working at Upland in 2009 while studying Biology at I.U.   From humble beginnings cleaning kegs after class, he moved through several production roles before ultimately assuming the role of Quality Manager in 2012, initially to manage the risks inherent with balancing both clean and wild fermentation programs.  He has continued to grow the Quality program to include responsibilities of fermentation management, sanitation control, sensory training and panel development, finished product analysis, R&D process development, & Waste-stream management. Over the past 2 years Adam has worked to increase the beer knowledge of employees at all of Upland’s retail locations through education courses and sensory training.  Adam is a member of the ASBC and has previously presented at Indiana & Arizona brewers Conferences.


John Holl, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

John Holl is an award-winning journalist covering the beer industry. He’s the author of several books including Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint and The American Craft Beer Cookbook. He is the senior editor of Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine and the co-host of Steal This Beer, a podcast. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast and more. John has lectured on the culture and history of beer and judged beer competitions around the world.


Chris Jones, Proper Pour

Chris Jones is a beverage consultant and draft installation specialist that has been in the restaurant industry for over a decade. With experience in Quick serve/coffee shops, Casinos, Full service Bars, and Breweries; Chris has ran into many of the common issues troubling our industry. As a former brewer at Blind Owl brewery and Beverage Director for Lux Restaurants, he has learned how to build a better beverage program, make great beer, and ensure that the product gets to his customers how the producer intended. Chris is the Co-Owner and CMO of Proper Pour.


Kate Lumpkin, Senior Lender, Live Oak Bank

Kate focuses on brewery financing and has been lending to expanding breweries for 4 years.          


Alex Petersen, Proper Pour

Alex Petersen is a jack-of-all-trades in the beer world. With 7 years in the industry and his current stint as Head Brewer at Blind Owl Brewery, Alex has been able to troubleshoot everything from the keg to the glass. As an award winning brewer, he understands how to brew an exceptional beverage and how to deliver it. Alex graduated from Butler University with a Bachelors in business which he used to launch Blind Owl and which he currently uses in his role as COO and Co-Owner of Proper Pour. Any project, big or small, Alex is the guy to bring your project to life.


Terrance Shackleford, Canning Line Manager, Sun King Brewery

Terrance has been canning line manager for Sun King brewing since 2012. He is an avid mountain biker and disc golf player, and enjoys the outdoors, particularly when with his family. He has a wife and two girls ages 14 and 10, and his mother thinks that he’s cool.


Lance Shaner, Omega Yeast

Lance is the co-owner and co-founder of Omega Yeast Labs (OYL) in Chicago, IL.  OYL has been providing yeast and bacterial cultures to craft breweries all over the world since 2013.  Lance received a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of Texas – Houston. He has 9 years of laboratory experience, including 5 years of original research on the stress response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (a.k.a. brewer’s yeast).  


Kevin Smolar, Sun King Brewing Lab Manager

Kevin Smolar has a B.A. in Biochemistry from IU Bloomington, an M.S. in Biology from IUPUI, and an M.S. in Forensic Biology from IUPUI.  He’s been at Sun King since 2012 and managing the lab since 2014. He has a Certificate of Essential Quality Control from Siebel and a Certificate of Sensory Panel Management from Aroxa.  He loves beer, hockey, hot sauce, my dog (and wife/kids), White Castle, and books on tape.


Dan Spears, Vice President of Industry Relations and Licensing, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).

In his capacity as Vice President, Mr. Spears works closely with BMI’s Licensing management team to create strategic,value-driven sponsorships and customer events. He  serves as a pivotal bridge between the company’s Licensing, Writer/Publisher and Business Affairs teams. In this role, Mr. Spears continues to develop new customer initiatives and strategic partnerships that feature BMI songwriter performances and help  educate key accounts, while providing new sources of revenue for affiliates and licensees.


Alex Standiford, Fill Your Taproom

Alex Standiford started Fill Your Taproom in Akron Ohio, to help breweries attract more customers. He does that through website development, social media management, branding, and email marketing.

Alex believes that your marketing focus shouldn’t necessarily be about trying to get people to buy your stuff. He believes that it should be about building relationships and then providing the information that empowers a person to make a decision.


Mark Timmons, US Water Systems

Mark Timmons has over 45 years of experience in the water treatment and plumbing industries. He served a four-year apprenticeship and became a licensed journey plumber in Ohio at age 23. He is currently certified by the Water Quality Association as a Master Water Specialist and a Certified Installer. He is the longest tenured Master Water Specialist and Certified Installer by the WQA in the USA. Mark is the President of US Water Systems a family-owned business, whose world headquarters are in Indianapolis. They are the largest suppliers of water treatment systems for Craft Beer Brewing in the United States and count many of the larger craft brewers as their clients. He is also on the board of The Gift of Water, an Indiana-based not-for profit that provides water treatment in Haiti. Providing water for craft beer brewing is niche US Water Systems has been involved in for over ten years. He also adds that while he doesn’t know how to brew beer, he is accomplished at drinking it, but he does know how to make water to brew beer.

See speakers, session info, and more from past Indiana Craft Brewers’ Conferences.

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Brewers of Indiana Guild: Drink Indiana Beer