California Craft Beer Summit

Let’s climb together!

ccbsLogo_horizKnockoutIt’s not often that I see a line-up for a beer fest or convention that I get truly excited about.  That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty to look forward to, but for me it’s like going into Whole Foods and witnessing the craft beer section – Overwhelming!  Even with all the noise (most of it good), this event jumped out as a must attend, the California Craft Beer SummitIt looks to be a fantastic marriage of commercial and home-brewed beer knowledge-dropping. The convention is up north, in Sacramento, at the Sacramento Convention Center and wraps up at the Capital Mall with a craft beer festival. Time to get those breaks checked, tires rotated, and gas tank filled, because on September 11th, we’re going for a ride!

Prepare to Learn-ed

This summit Friday to Saturday (8/11 – 8/12) and contains a series of talks & workshops covering a plethora of subjects.  Friday Educational Sessions start at 9:00 AM and are broken up into 3 sessions, the last one ending at 2:15pm.  Saturday is similar, but has only 2 sessions starting at 9:00 AM and ending at 11:00.  There are so many to choose from, but you must choose wisely.  You can only attend one at a time!


Here are a few that I’m looking forward to on the homebrewing side:

  • Friday – Food and Beer Pairings – Speaker: Bill Sysak, Craft Beer Ambassador for Stone Brewing Co.
  • Friday – Beer 101: How Beer is Made – Speaker Dr. charlie Bamforth, UC Davis
  • Friday – Draft Systems Technical Workshop – Speaker: Michael Peacock, Instructor at San Diego Statue University College of Extended Studies Program, the Business of Craft Beer
  • Saturday – Beer Styles the Advanced Course – Speaker: Mike Moore “Big Mike”, Beer Judge, beer educator & food specialist

And here are a few that peak my hopeful-brewery-owner interest:

  • Friday – Step-by-Step Guide to Opening A Brewery – Speaker: Lynne Weaver, Three Weavers Brewing Co & Peter Hoey, Brewers Supply Group (BSG)
  • Saturday – A Personal Story: From Home Brewer to Microbrewery – Speaker: Miss Hess, Founder of Mike Hess Brewing Co.
  • Saturday – Craft Beer Higher Learning – UC Davis, Master Brewers Program, San Diego State University, Business of Beer

To see the full and up-to-date schedule go here.

Expo Floor

In addition to morning educational sessions, the expo hall promises some pretty unique opportunities to, as Kwato would say, “open your mind!”  Both Friday and Saturday showcases chef demos, CCBA raffle drawings, and Tap Talks, which are interactive demo/discussions given by prominent craft beer people.

Here are a few I’m interested in attending.  There are some hard decisions ahead!

  • Friday – Chef Demo – Chef Adam Dulye, National Brewers Assn. Alexandra Nowell, Three Weavers Brewing
  • Friday – Tap Talk – Women in Brewing – Speaker: Natalie Cilruzo, Russian River Brewing Co.
  • Saturday – Tap Talk – Home Brewing – Speaker Gary Glass – American Homebrewers Association
  • Saturday – Tap Talk – Everything to Know About Craft’s #1 Selling Style – Speaker: Mitche Steele, Brewmaster, Stone Brewing
  • Saturday – Tap Talk – Tony Magee, Founder of Lagunitas Brewing Co
  • Saturday – Tap Talk – Beer you can Age & How to Store them at Home – Speaker: Matt Brynildson, Brewmaster, Firestone Walker Brewing Co
  • Saturday – Tap Talk – Sour Beers – Speakers: Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing, Patrick Rue, The Bruery
  • Saturday – Tap Talk – Keynote – Speaker: Greg Koch CEO of Stone Brewing

The Showcase

And here we are at the finale, the Craft Brewers Showcase at Capital Mall.  This is the festival portion of the summit which will feature some 150 breweries from all over the state pouring “coveted & unique beers” right in front of the state capitol.  The venue sounds patriotic, scenic, and awesome with a tremendous brewery line-up.  At this time, there isn’t an actual tap list, but I’ve been informed they’ll be posting a special release beer list soon, once the breweries have solidified their offerings.  A weekend of learning is definitely a good excuse to celebrate and is there anything more patriotically California that the capitol? Maybe the desire for more rain? Seriously though, I can’t wait, this is going to be a truly one-of-a-kind craft beer weekend.

List of attending breweries


If you’re interested in checking out the festivities up in Sacramento, be sure to grab a ticket HERE.  Ranging from $49 – $239, various tickets will get you into the panels, the brewers receptions, and, brewers showcase.  If you’re just looking for the fest portion of the event, it’ll run you $60.  The cheapest all weekend general admission pass is $119, which isn’t bad either.


Book your travel, drive, but make sure you have a place to stay. The event has a few recommendations Residence Inn Sacramento Downtown at Capitol Park, and the Holiday Inn Express, the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel is already booked solid.  Rates from $119 and up the closer to the Sacramento Convention you get.

For more information on the speakers, attending breweries, hotel accommodations, and festival, check out!


(Photos: Courtesy of Chantel Elder – Eleakis and Elder via CCBS)

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1 Comment

  1. Man, that looks like a cool conference! Worth it just to go see Dr. Bamforth talk, IMO. Though somehow I feel like Greg Koch doesn’t somehow belong with that group 😛

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