2015 Hudson Valley Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit
Yesterday, John, Jackie and I got to take a field trip to the 2015 Hudson Valley Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit at the Culinary Institute of America. This conference got many of the craft beverage businesses in the Hudson Valley together in one place to share ideas and give updates on the state of the industry.
The summit included other breweries such as Brooklyn Brewery, Peekskill Brewing, Catskill Brewery, Westtown Brew Works and Chatham Brewing, and local distilleries like Tuthilltown Spirits, Prohibition Distillery and Black Dirt Distillery. Doc’s Hard Cider and Brotherhood Winery were among the highlighted cideries and wineries.
While acclaimed American wine educator Kevin Zraly was the Keynote Speaker at the opening session, John had the opportunity to speak in one of the breakout sessions, touching on topics that ranged from brewery-distributor relationships to the ways in which Yonkers Brewing goes about beer selling to consumers in both local and distant markets.
“We have created a portfolio of very approachable beers,” John said. “90% of the market, craft beer enthusiast or not, can appreciate the brews we come out with. We are really trying to bridge the gap between micro and macro brewing.”
He also spoke on the importance of the brewery doing its part in a relationship with distributors.
“We are making an investment into other markets to show our new distributor, Union Beer & Craft Beer Guild of New York, that we are serious about making this a success on both ends. We will be sending sales reps to these markets to help give the brand attention, which helps both the brewery and distributor.”
After the sessions ended, we got the chance to check out “The Egg” student center and the new brewing facility at the CIA, which was made for brewing students in collaboration with Brooklyn Brewery.
Most importantly, we got the chance to pour one of Sharif’s latest concoctions, Coco Caliente – dark strong ale brewed with cocoa nibs & serrano chili peppers (this beer was actually created by Kristina Califano as part of her Kickstarter pledge), for the great businesses that attend do the summit.
Overall, it was a solid day and we learned a lot, but nothing bigger than the fact that it is a great time to be in the craft beverage business in New York.