San Jose, CA – As the ever-growing selection of unique, high-quality options at any local tavern or café attests, handcrafted, small-batch beverages are in the midst of a true renaissance. With the dual aims of celebrating and capitalizing upon their hard-won popularity, over 1,300 attendees comprised from the artisan wine, craft beer, craft spirits and craft cider industries gathered in San Jose May 6 – 8, 2014 for the inaugural Craft Beverage Expo.
Created as a forum for collaborating, exchanging ideas and sharing best practices, Craft Beverage Expo is the only event that brings together producers from all segments of the industry. “The turnout was simply incredible—the educational sessions were thought- provoking, and the networking events had great energy.” said Kellie Shevlin, Executive Director of Craft Beverage Expo. “These folks work very hard at their craft and as small business owners it’s challenging for them to get away for educational and networking purposes. We’re so proud and pleased they chose our event not only for connecting with like-minded people, but also for finding sustainable competitive advantages.”
Several luminaries from the craft beverage sector were on hand to speak to the theme for this year’s event, “Get Here. Get Noticed.” Among them were: Stephen Hindy, Co- Founder, Chairman and President, The Brooklyn Brewery; Ken Grossman, Founder, Sierra Nevada Brewing; Ralph Erenzo, Distiller and Co-Founder, Tuthilltown Spirits; and Leslie P. Berglund, Co-Founder and Chairman, WISE Academy.
Between the packed addresses and panels, the show floor was a hub of constant activity. Attendees connected with over 160 exhibitors offering products and services tailored to the size and scope of their craft- and artisan-scale operations.
The importance of the event is also underscored by the support of several major sponsors and associations, including O-I, SGS International LLC, Topi, The Engine is Red, Ardagh Group, Stoel Rives and GreatVines.
Organizers have already announced that the 2nd annual Craft Beverage Expo will take place May 6 – 8, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. “Building on the momentum of this year, we decided to stay close to the South Bay to strengthen our relationships. Northern California has both a thriving craft industry and the forward-thinking, hands-on attitude that really speaks to our audience,” said Shevlin.