Craft Brewers Conference: 5 Things We Learned

By Jeremy Martin

Last week, the Kinnek team headed to Philadelphia for the nation's largest brewing convention: Craft Brewers Conference. The conference is hosted by the Brewers Association.

The conference was an opportunity to learn about the hot topics in the craft brewing world and beyond. Here are the top three things we learned during the event:  

The Brewers Assocaition hosts Craft Brewers Conference once a year

1. Craft Brewers is Becoming the Brewstillers Conference

Attendees at Craft Brewers Conference in PhiladelphiaAs breweries expand they're diversifyingWe had the pleasure of meeting past Kinnek users this year at Craft Brewers Conference who've had success purchasing with us. What's interesting is many of them are now expanding their breweries to include a distillery alongside their brewing operation.

That's great news! With a high number of distillers also purchasing on Kinnek and plenty of suppliers to connect them with, we're looking forward to extending the same services to our brewer friends. 

2. Brewers Looking Beyond Brewhouses

Attendees at Craft Brewers Conference had a chance to enter the raffle to win free brewery merchandise and equipmentDuring Craft Brewers Conference many brewers told us brewery location maintenance and setup after equipment purchases are significant pain-points for them.

Questions included:

  • How do I install my drains?

  • What kind of ventilation is needed?

  • What kind of epoxy is best for the floors?

Thankfully for our customers, brewers can find suppliers for all of these things on Kinnek. Sometimes it helps to look at these problems in novel ways.

For example, industries like restaurants and warehousing boast many suppliers who can provide expertise and support to craft beverage producers too. Our team can help a customer identify where there's adjacency and make connections.

3. Fulfillment: Speed is an Issue 

Craft Brewers Conference in full swing. What happens afterwards is a hot topic for brewers.When it comes to your beer bottles, can labels, or keg caps, the most pressing concern among brewers is how quickly an order can get to your loading dock.

Kinnek is changing how quotes appear to you, how they're structured and how they can be sorted and compared more easily. We think factors like lead-time matter when you're purchasing for your business. Our quote comparison and purchasing processes will help you with that.

Aside from supporting brewers, Craft Brewers Conference is also a great opportunity for our suppliers. Here were their main takeaways from the event:

4. If you're a supplier, getting the word out is getting tougher...

Product Manager Allen shows a customer around the Kinnek websiteCraft Brewers Conference keeps getting bigger and bigger every year...With over 14,000 attendees this year, it's tough to stand out from the crowd. It's also super expensive transporting equipment, paying fees and generally being "present" at the trade show.

That's why we're happy to provide an easy way for brewers and brewing suppliers of all sorts to connect online, anytime. Luckily for our suppliers, our site provides a great way of showcasing useful information such as videos, photos and detailed descriptions that can help customers as much as an in-person meet.

5. Kinnek is a Record-Breaker

Attendees at Craft Brewers Conference visit the Kinnek boothBeing able to put a face and handshake to a name provides tremendous value to vendors. However, especially with new customers, getting through leads after the show takes weeks, sometimes months.

Luckily for suppliers who use Kinnek, our marketplace works 24/7. That means the ability to follow-up with customers, receive detailed leads and send quotes instantly as soon as the conference wraps up. For our customers, that means the ability to get quick follow-up and those important quotes as soon as the show is over too. 

Whatever your take was on Craft Brewers Conference 2016, we don't think those conversations should only happen once a year. If you're a supplier on Kinnek, you get to meet and quote our customers every day (even weekends). If you're a brewer or craft beverage producer (and beyond!), you can take part in a virtual trade show every day by visiting supplier profiles on our marketplace, requesting detailed quotes and purchasing from there. It's a chance to do trade show business every day!



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