Opening Statement & Keynote
Michael Kiser, Founder and Director of Good Beer Hunting
The Future of the Relationship Between the UK and US Beer Industries
This year we were invited to return to the Beavertown Extravaganza to run the now annual symposium, bringing together brewers and leaders from all over the world to discuss the topics of the day — some of which inspire the industry and some that keep it up at night.
Last year’s fist ever symposium for the Extravaganza covered the spread from terroir in beer to hazy IPA, and this year was no less ambitious. But the context for this year’s symposium naturally shifted as beaver towns own ambitions came to light in the months leading up to their minority partnership with Heineken. Some brewers took offense and pulled out, others soldiered on, and still others rallied to their side and joined the festival, sending a clear message that as the beer industry continues to evolve and grow more complex, the simple notions that once seemed to spur it on are perhaps not as simple as many thought after all.
The topics for this year’s extravaganza followed nationally on that signal - covering topics such as how beer and wine are sold differently, the value of independence and investment, and of course, what’s going to happen to hazy IPA after all this.
Congrats to Beavertown and their crew for forging ahead and throwing a spectacular event in the midst of a challenging time of change. Thanks for inviting us to come and co-host the symposium with you all. After all, the purpose of the symposium is to dig into these issues, not shy away from them, and that’s exactly what we did.
You’ll hear from a number of GBH team members hosting these talks, and I’m quite proud of that. Our U.K. team is growing, and our bench is deep. So for some of you, it’ll be the first time you’ve heard form folks like Chris Hall, Johnny Garret, and Claire Bullen, all lead by our U.K. Editor, Matthew Curtis. But it surely won’t be the last.