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MBAA members meet in Calgary.

MBAA members meet in Calgary

The Master Brewers Association of the Americas recently held its 104th annual convention, with the membership gathering in Calgary, Alberta to exchange technical information and cement old friendships. Attendance at the convention was strong, with almost 900 registered.

The convention started off with a rodeo held at the Elkana ranch, located just outside the city. After exhibitions of calf-roping and saddle-bronc riding, a posse filtered through the audience, searching for MBAA president John Britnell. Once located, Britnell was dragged from the crowd and forced into a jocular public "hanging."

Following the "hanging," several district chapters fielded teams for the "calf scramble." The teams, of four persons each, faced off with a dozen strapping calves in the rodeo ring. The intent was to capture the calves, place a large pair of white boxer shorts over their hindquarters, and drag the squalling animals to the other end of the ring.

After this event, the Elkana ranch served dinner to the hundreds of chemists and spouses in a large barn. The supper was followed by dancing, and long lines for the school buses back to Calgary.

Next morning, the technical program kicked off. A total of 26 technical papers were delivered at the convention, and 20 technical posters were displayed.

In addition, one afternoon was devoted to an environmental seminar. The seminar served as a forum for brewing chemists from all over the world to discuss environmental regulation.

Leading off the seminar, Charles Bennett of Coors offered a thumbnail sketch of the regulatory climate in the U.S. "Time magazine has called this as an |age of anxiety' in the U.S," he said, "because the public is concerned about many things-- the recession, the deficit, American competitiveness and the environment.

"There has been a consistent upward trend in public concern about the environment," Bennett observed, "and this manifests itself in the marketplace, where products are being scrutinized by |green consumers.'

One area that Bennett highlighted was packaging. "I think we'll see great change in regulations affecting packaging in the next few years," he said, "because there is a trend towards |product lifecycle,' in which products are evaluated by environmental costs from cradle to grave."

Bennett also pointed to growing public interest in environmental regulation. "This public concern leads to an |emotional public policy'," he said, "and while some areas of risk get disproportionate attention, other areas don't get the attention they should."

Bennett noted that regulatory bodies are becoming stronger and wider reaching. "We are even starting to see international environmental compacts, which are added to federal, state and local regulations. And, since not all of these entities are on the same wave length, business decisions are being complicated by sometimes conflicting regulations."

According to Bennett, industry will have to adjust to meet this challenge. "We are facing tighter standards and increased costs," he said, "but the challenges facing the brewing industry are not unlike those facing business in general. The brewing industry will have to give these issues a great deal of consideration and commitment."

The business of the convention continued at the final banquet, where achievement awards were presented. The first award of the evening was given to Reuben Schneider, former MBAA president. In his presentation of the award, John Britnell paid tribute to Schneider's long service to the industry, particularly his work on closed vs. open fermentation vessels.

An Award of Merit was then presented to John Ladish of Ladish Malting. Britnell complimented Ladish's long service with the malting company, which he joined in 1940, and now heads as chief executive officer.

The awards for individual papers followed, starting with the award for the outstanding technical paper presented at last year's technical meeting. Dr. Peter Meier of Millipore Corporation received this award, and Britnell noted his work on studying cold filtration.

Jeffrey Raasch, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Enerfab, was also commended for his paper "Stainless Steel and Corrosion in Brewing Vessels."

Additional awards included the Quality Control Paper Award, which was presented to Michael Barney, of Miller Brewing Co.; The Presidential Award for Quality Control, which went to Dr. Alexandra Ronteltap for the paper "Beer Foam Physics,"; and the Presidential Award for Packaging, awarded to Tsunehiko Yokoi of Suntory for the paper "New Packaging Lines with High Productivity."

The award for the outstanding poster at the Monterrey convention went to Dr. Inge Russell of John Labatt, for her poster on spontaneous mutation in brewing yeast.

Arnulfo Canales of Cerveceria Cuauhthemoc received the Life Membership Award, and John Britnell was commended for his service as president of the MBAA during the past year.

In his outgoing remarks, Britnell noted that the MBAA might have to compete with other brewing organizations for membership, and the Association will have to maintain a high level of technical achievement to compete successfully. He noted with pleasure the presence of brewers from 29 countries at the Calgary convention, and expressed his hope that international membership would expand in the years to come.

At the close of the meeting, the president's gavel was turned over to this year's president, Warren A. Peter, director of brewing process technology at Anheuser-Busch. Peter expressed his thanks to the association and to Anheuser-Busch.

PHOTO : YEE-HAH!--Buckin' broncs helped kick off the 104th annual Master Brewers Association of the Americas Convention in Calgary, Alberta. The broncs were part of a rodeo exhibition, which was held at the Elkana Ranch.
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Title Annotation:Master Brewers Association of the Americas; Calgary, Alberta
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Oct 7, 1991
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