IBA rearranges Good Beer Week and BrewCon
The Independent Brewers Association has made the difficult decision to postpone and rearrange both Good Beer Week and BrewCon this year.
Good Beer Week, which was set to be held in May, has been cancelled, whilst BrewCon, the major brewing industry conference set to be held in Queensland, is being rescheduled for August 2023.
It follows major announcements globally such as the cancellation of international brewing conference BrauBeviale earlier this year, an event which was not set to be held until November 2022.
The Indies will still be held later in 2022, having successfully been managed as virtual events for the past two years.
The IBA team said the decision with regards to BrewCon and Good Beer Week had not been made lightly, but the board had weighed up its options, and given the current ongoing uncertainty surrounding travel and events, decided it was the best way forward for its members in 2022.
“It’s been so wonderful to have operated in an environment of optimism for the last two years…but given the situation that we ended up in in 2021…we actually needed to be realistic about some of the things that we might be able to do and might not be able to do,” IBA chief executive officer Kylie Lethbridge explained to members in a video update today.
“We were very conscious that over the last two years, we’ve geared up to spend a whole lot of time and effort on events and festivals only to either have to downscale or cancel altogether.”
IBA chair Richard Adamson said that as the IBA only has limited resources, it made sense to prioritise activities that could go ahead.
“It’s important that we adapt those resources to deliver the best outcome for members… asking the hospitality sector particularly to gear up for large scale events that they may have to staff and maybe people are still hesitant to attend events where there are a lot of patrons, we have made the difficult decision to cancel.”
While the decision has been a tough one, the IBA are optimistic and looking forward to some major projects in the year ahead.
“I’m a little bit excited at the same time as disappointed… this time allows us to really consolidate some work that we’ve been doing over the last couple of years to clean house, as you do when you have some time to be able to think about that, and some clear space, but the agenda is jam packed,” said Lethbridge.
IBA in 2022
In more positive news, the IBA is set to launch its 10-year roadmap in conjunction with KPMG which will outline a growth plan for the industry as it looks to capture further beer market share – an issue which has been raised recently in the US.
The IBA is also rolling out state and regional networking lunches and Mash Ups, and implementing the Indies Awards Review which will address some of the challenges it experienced in previous years.
The industry organisation is also focusing on providing more educational and regulatory materials to members.
“One of the important things again, as as you told us last year, is that members want resources, you want more technical resources, things like sales tools, guides on how to process recall, tools, the guidelines on navigating regulatory obligations, shared buying power, which is something that certainly would be very new to us. But we’re just turning our mind as to how we might go about that.
“We’ve also refreshed our project groups, and we have some amazing skills and talent and a significant amount of enthusiasm and understanding of what members’ needs are.”
Hear more about the decision and the IBA’s plans for 2022 with IBA chief executive officer Kylie Lethbridge and chair Richard Adamson.