Keep scrolling for a detailed look at last year’s agenda.


2018 Alberta Craft Brewing Convention agenda

Pre-Convention - Monday, March 12

8:45 am to 3:30pm

WORKSHOP: Exploring the Potential for Craft Beer Tourism Experiences

Interest amongst travellers to taste, learn about and experience local craft beer continues grow and your brewery can benefit from this upward trend. Aficionados in pursuit of great beer are increasingly looking for unique, memorable food and beverage experiences that allow them to delve into learning about what they are drinking, meet local brewmasters and get a feel for the unique vibe of the local beer culture.

Join us March 12th at Tool Shed Brewing for the first ever introduction to experiential travel targeted specifically to small craft brewers. Be inspired by learning what others in your industry are doing that is amazing and innovative.

Presented by Tourism Café through the support of an Alberta Culture & Tourism grant aimed at expanding the tourism potential of Alberta's brewing industry.

About Tourism Cafe.

4:00PM to 6:00PM

Canada Malting Tour & Malting Sensory Experience. Limited slots available.

5:00Pm to 7:00pm

NETWORKING EVENT: Big Rock Brewery Koelschip Tour & Kriek Tasting

Limited to 50 people, this is your exclusive opportunity to tour Big Rock's exciting koelschip program and be one of the first to taste a kriek 3 years in the making. Includes a tour, kriek sample and pints.

6:45PM to 11:00PM

NETWORKING EVENT: Canada Malting Co. Pre-Convention Networking Event

Join Canada Malting Company for a pre-convention networking event at Common Crown Brewing. Attendance at this private event is free and is for ACBC attendees only.

There will be food, live music and beer, including beers from three other Alberta breweries: Last Best Brewing & Distilling, Blind Enthusiasm & Alley Kat!

A shuttle will be provided between the Calgary Marriott Downtown and Common Crown Brewing. The first shuttle will leave the hotel at 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, March 13

All Tuesday events take place or start from the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre 120 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB

7:30am t0 11:45am

New Brewery Workshop sponsored by Masuch Albert LLP

If you are planning to open a brewery or have opened in the past year, these sessions are for you. Essential information and contacts designed to strengthen your business in the startup phase.

Location: 104/105/106

7:30 to 8:15 - Registration & Coffee
8:15 to 8:30 - Welcome
8:30 to 9:15 - Working with AGLC
   - Rajeev Bastiampillai, Policy Analyst
   - Robin Carter, Inspections Supervisor
   - Graham Wadsworth, Sr Mgr Inspections, South
9:15 to 9:45 - Working with Connect Logistics
   - Robert McDonald – Client Services Manager
9:45 to 10:30 - Grants, Financing & Planning
   - Avery Sales, Alberta Agriculture
   - Jory Sourbiran, MNP
   - Landon Feser, ATB Financial
10:30 to 11:00 - Legal Considerations
   - Lev Kramar, Masuch Albert LLP
11:00 to 11:45 - Sales & Marketing Success
   - Dave Gingrich, Willow Park Wines & Spirits
   - Rob Swiderski, CRAFT Beer Market
   - Bill Robinson, Alberta Beer Festivals
   - David Clarke, Craft CRM

Location: 102 (Roundtable)

9:45 - 11:45 Roundtable begins, featuring one-on-one consultation opportunities with:

City of Calgary:
Sonya Sharp, Customer Coordinator, Small Business, Partnership Services
Laurie Kimber, Senior Planner
Daniel Bronson, Planning Service Technician (intake and licence requirements)
Ulrik Seward, Commercial Plans Examiner (supervisor)
Todd Wagstaff, Construction Inspector

City of Edmonton:
Adam Shamchuk, Program Manager, Local + Emerging Economy

Industry Vets:
Phil Brian, Bear Hill
Charlie Bredo, Troubled Monk
Jeff Orr, Tool Shed
Liz Karman, Big Rock
Greg Zeschuk, Blind Enthusiasm

11:45am to 1:30pm

Lunch & AGM sponsored by Rahr Malting

Location: 104/105/106

ASBA Members only. This is ASBA's annual business meeting featuring a "State of the Industry" presentation, election of directors, and approval of financial statements. Special guests will be in attendance.

Alberta Craft Distillers Association Meeting

Location: 102

2:00pm to 5:00pm

Cask Brewing Systems Tour

Bus leaves from in front of the convention centre at 2pm sharp.

100 spots available. Jump on a bus with the team from Cask Brewing Systems and visit Wild Rose Brewery, Tool Shed Brewery and Trolley 5 Restaurant & Brewery to see Cask's pioneering micro-canning equipment in action, with Cask experts on hand to answer your questions. We're proud to call this Calgary pioneer an industry partner!

2:15pm to 3:15pm

Sensory 101: Building Your Flavour Vocabulary

Location: 101-102

Presented by Crystal Luxmore, Cicerone Certification Program

SOLD OUT. Second session added Wednesday, March 14th at 4:30pm, rush seating.
Advanced Cicerone Crystal Luxmore leads you through a series of sensory exercises, and shares insights to teach you how to build your palate, deepen your sensory perception of beer, and describe flavour in a meaningful way. You'll leave the workshop armed with new ideas to build your sensory memory and better prepared for the next sensory panel in the brewery.  

3:30pm to 5:15pm

Olds College Brewmaster Program - Student Beer Tasting Salon

Location: 104

Meet Alberta's next generation brewers while tasting their brews in a casual session.

6:00pm to Midnight

Opening Reception & Trade Show presented by ATB Financial

Location: Exhibition Hall E & Annex

This year's opening reception features a dynamic new concept to promote networking within the trade show. Earn the opportunity to taste beers from across the province by visiting trade show booths and answering trivia questions, scavenger hunt style! At over 60 exhibitors from across North America and China, this trade show is over double the size of 2017! Opening reception attendance is included with your full convention registration. You are encouraged to bring members of your brewery team to Tuesday night only.

Wednesday, March 14th


Registration, Trade Show Open, Coffee & Muffins

Location: Exhibition Hall E & Annex


Greetings from Hon. Joe Ceci, Minister of Finance & President of the Treasury Board

Keynote: John Holl, Author & Senior Editor, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

Location: ATB Financial Room (Hall D)

From Passion to Action: How to Talk People into Drinking Your Beer
Introduction by Jim Bladon, ATB Financial

How we talk about beer and the beer industry is more important than ever before. Styles are continually changing making it difficult to find new consumers while retaining existing ones. How can brewers successfully ride the waves of an ever-changing industry? How you choose to communicate your beers and your company can have a profound impact on sales and general perception.

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JOHN HOLL is the Senior Editor of Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine and the author of the forthcoming book "Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint." He previously worked as editor of All About Beer Magazine. A journalist since 1996 his work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, and many other publications. He's judged beer competitions around the globe, regularly lectures on craft beer, and appears often on television. He is the author of the best-selling "American Craft Beer Cookbook" and is co-host of the Steal This Beer podcast. On Twitter @John_Holl


9:55 to 10:45

Concurrent Sessions 1

Location: ATB Financial Room (Hall D)

State of the Industry: AGLC Update

  • Jody Korchinski, VP Liquor Services, AGLC

Location: Rahr Room (104-106)

From Local to Global: Hops Trends & Opportunities

  • Moderator: Tom Firth, Culinaire Magazine

  • Jason Altmiks, Alberta Hops Producers Association

  • Will Konantz/Stefan Lillos, HopsConnect

  • Diana Powers, Aratinga Extracts

Location: Connect Logistics Room (101-102)

Being Wise with Water and Waste

  • Moderator: Andrew Ironmonger, Alberta Craft Beer Guide

  • Ronald Morrison, Sustainability North

  • Kim Caron, CEO, Eco-Growth International

  • Mike Dixon, PhD, CTO, WaterNEXT


Coffee on the Trade Show Floor

11:15 to 12:15

Concurrent Sessions 2

Location: ATB Financial Room (Hall D)

The Future of Interprovincial Trade: Working Together to Make it Work

What options do Alberta breweries have to compete across Canada? The panel will discuss the current state of interprovincial trade in alcohol, and will examine short and long term options to get our product out to other provinces.

  • Moderator: Terry Rock, ASBA

  • Robert Martz & Paul Chiswell, BD&P Law

  • Steve Thibault, 49th Parallel Group

  • Derek From, Canadian Constitution Foundation

Location: Rahr Room (104-106)

Quality Management Essentials

  • Liz Karman, Manager, Quality Assurance and Food Safety, Big Rock Brewery

  • Jeremy McLaughlin, Quality Assurance Manager, Village Brewery

  • Jordan Ramey, Professor, Brewmaster & Brewery Operations Management, Olds College

Location: Connect Logistics Room (101-102)

Trends and Tips in Logistics and Distribution

  • Stephen Dougans, BD Manager , Connect Logistics

Connect Logistics is the preferred distributor of Alberta Beer.

12:15 to 1:15

Lunch & Tradeshow

Location: Exhibition Hall E & Annex

Continue networking with a bagged lunch & a brew on the Trade Show floor.

1:15 To 2:15

Guest: Susan Welch, President of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas

Susan will join us to share exciting news about the future of the MBAA!

Keynote: Chris Shepard, Senior Editor, Craft Brew News from Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS

Button Up: New Winds Blowing
Introduction by Bob Sutton, Rahr Malting

Chris will look at what the data is telling us about how to survive and thrive in the market post-legal cannabis and post-craft beer boom. What can Canadian brewers learn from the experience of our American counterparts? Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS has been the leading source of information about the US beer industry for over 40 years.

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Christopher Shepard joined BMI in the summer of 2010, when the company launched CBN and has spent much of his time devoted to the publication since day one. A language and semiotics geek and a avid number-cruncher, he's enjoyed exploring the craft's evolution and tracking its growth. Assistance to his father, Eric, on BMI’s Alcohol Issues INSIGHTS publication helped lead to Chris’ interest in state-based legislative issues and other alcohol policy matters.

Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS has been the leading source of information about the US beer industry for over 40 years. We provide readers with the most up-to-date, accurate information and news with perspective, context and insight. Alongside our flagship newsletter, Beer Marketer's Insights, we publish our fast-news service, Insights Express, craft-focused Craft Brew News, alcohol science and policy news in Alcohol Issues Insights and developments in the non-alc world in Beverage Business Insights. We also host 2 annual conferences and an annual compendium of beer biz stats, Beer Industry Update.

2:30 to 3:30

Concurrent Sessions 3

Location: ATB Financial Room (Hall D)

What’s in a Place? How Can a Brewing Region Stand Out?

We've invited some of our visiting guests to join in a conversation with Dan Evans, of Evans Hunt to look at what Alberta can learn from other regions of the world that have created "place brands" for their industry. Evans Hunt is ASBA's digital marketing and branding partner.

  • Moderator: Laurie MacKay, CBC Columnist

  • Dan Evans, Partner, Evans Hunt

  • Chris Shepard, Senior Editor, Craft Brew News

  • John Holl, Senior Editor, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

  • Crystal Luxmore, Cicerone Certification Program

Location: Rahr Room (104-106)

Making the Most of Malt: What’s New and What’s Coming?

  • Moderator: David Nuttall, Beer Educator

  • Susan Welch, President, MBAA

  • Dr. Patricia Aron, Manager, Brewing Research & Innovation, Rahr Malting

  • Matt Hamill, Founder, Red Shed Malting

  • Matt Letki, National Sales Manager, Canada Malting Co.

Location: Connect Logistics Room (101-102)

Financing Your Growing Brewery

  • Ryan Mackiewich, Partner, SR&ED Tax, MNP

  • Jim Bladon, ATB Financial

  • Avery Sales, Alberta Agriculture


Coffee on the Trade Show Floor

4:00 to 4:45

Concurrent Sessions 4

Location: ATB Financial Room (Hall D)

Working with Social Media Influencers

  • Mike Morrison, SocialWest

Mike Morrison is the writer behind Mike's Bloggity Blog, popular Canadian website based here in Calgary that attracts more than one million unique readers a year. Morrison runs SocialWest, which will be holding it's third conference in June 2018.  The conference is focused on digital marketing and social media for business and is attended by nearly 500 people

Location: Rahr Room (104-106)

Contract Brewing from Startup to Expansion: How Does it Fit in Your Business?

  • Moderator: Jason Foster,

  • Anthony van Hecke, General Manager, Last Spike Brewery

  • Andreas Althof, Head Brewmaster, Last Spike Brewery

  • Jochen Fahr, Founder, Braurerie Fahr

  • Brad Goddard, National Director of Sales, Big Rock Brewery

Location: Connect Logistics Room (101-102)

D System Keg Valves – Safety and Quality Assurance for your Draft Beer

  • Jon Graber, Sales Manager, North America, Micro Matic

What's going on in your kegs? Learn how to solve the mystery! In this presentation you will learn all about the D System, aka "American Sankey" keg valve - from guidance on safe repair and maintenance techniques, to tips on keg washer interface with D System valves, to overall quality assurance and customer satisfaction for your draft beer. Draft beer quality and customer satisfaction begins with your kegs. Every brewery that owns its kegs should have properly trained staff who know how to safely and effectively inspect and maintain them; kegs are a safe and robust container for beer – until they are not.


4:45 to 5:30

Concurrent Sessions 5

Location: ATB Financial Room (Hall D)

Are Spirits in Your Future? Pros and Cons of Diversifying Your Product Line

  • Moderator: Jim Bladon, ATB Financial

  • Charlie Bredo, Troubled Monk Brewery

  • David Farran, Eau Claire Distillery

  • Brett Ireland, Bear Hill Brewing

Location: Rahr Room (104-106)

Alberta Brewers Roundtable: Planning To Collaborate

How can Alberta's brewers better plan and collaborate? Unity Brew, professional development, quality management... join the discussion with your industry colleagues, hosted by:

  • Paul Gautreau, VP Operations and Brewmaster, Big Rock Brewery

  • Phil Brian, Brewery Operations Manager, Bearhill Brewing

Location: Connect Logistics Room (101-102)

Sensory 101: Building Your Flavour Vocabulary

Advanced Cicerone Crystal Luxmore leads you through a series of sensory exercises, and shares insights to teach you how to build your palate, deepen your sensory perception of beer, and describe flavour in a meaningful way. You'll leave the workshop armed with new ideas to build your sensory memory and better prepared for the next sensory panel in the brewery.

  • Crystal Luxmore, Cicerone Certification Program

6:00 to midnight

First Annual Alberta Beer Awards, presented by Avenue Magazine and at The Palace Theatre

Hosted by Käthe Lemon, Editor-in-Chief, Avenue Magazine and Don Tse, Alberta Beer Personality

Doors: 6pm
Show: 7:30pm
After Party featuring Napolean Skywalker and DJ Devo goes until midnight