The Craft Brewers Conference takes place in Denver this week and more than 7000 industry professionals are expected to attend. The event will take place at the Colorado Convention Center from Wednesday to Friday. The CBC actually rotates to cities around the country, and this year Denver can expect to fill its hotel rooms to capacity and generate significant revenue for its bars and restaurants.
Local breweries will also be able to feature their work. More than one brewery opened a week in the state of Colorado in 2013. As Steve Kaczeus, the co-owner of Boostrap Brewing of Niwot said,“I just think it’s a chance to learn for us, and to network. We’ll have a bunch of people stopping by. They get to try our beer … There’s still a lot of technical information we can gather, a lot of networking we can do.”
During the conference, close to 400 exhibitors will show off their brewing gadgets, their canning equipment and other specialty items.
The country is brimming with opportunity for brewers at the moment. As of March of this year, there are 2966 operating breweries in the US with 99% of them meeting the definition of craft breweries, according to Bart Watson, the staff economist for the Boulder-based Brewers Association, which is running the event. Craft beer hit a record 14.3% share of the national beer sales in 2013, and this is an area of interest for the conference as well. One of the conference goals is to have craft beer retain a 20% sales share nationwide by the year 2020. Time will tell how they do.
For now, it’s drinking time in Colorado.