It’s been a tough year and a half for restaurants and breweries during the pandemic, and businesses are hoping to learn from their peers.
“We are all optimistic that next year will be better than last year,” said Michigan Brewers Guild executive director Scott Graham.
In an uncertain year for restaurants and breweries, the Michigan Brewers Guild is hosting its annual Great Beer State Conference to provide insight into industry trends.
“Our conference is divided into tracks and different categories,” Graham said. “One of them is about the technical aspects of beer making, the other being more business oriented. We also combined our annual conference with the Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference, so we have two agricultural streams. One focuses on growing hops and the other on growing malting barley. That’s a pretty wide range of beer-related topics.
As brewers learn about new developments, some issues have continued over the past two years, such as supply shortages.
“The raw material supply chain has been quite variable, and sometimes it’s more of a shipping issue than a materials issue,” Graham said. “Everything was complicated.”
Brewers say, however, that the insight of other brewers is valuable.
“It helps us plan a) how we’re going to pack, what we’re going to pack with, what hops we want to use, what malts we want to use, what’s in high demand, what’s in low demand,” said The Manager. of Traverse City’s Fresh Coast Beer Works operations and experimental brewer December Lee. “We can make adjustments to our little level based on the information we get.”
And learning from others is the goal of the conference, says Lee.
“As we grow and move into this type of packaging and distribution, I can take what we’ve learned here and move forward to see what’s more economically viable for us and our business,” Lee said. .