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Specialty Wholesaler Conference in San Diego, April 13-14.

Greg Koch of the Stone Brewing Co., together with the Brewers' Association of America and the Association of Brewers, has organized the first gathering of independent specialty beer wholesalers, April 13 &14, at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, in San Diego, CA.

According to Koch, the conference is designed to allow specialty beer wholesalers to gather in round tables to discuss practical issues.

"Stone Brewing Co. is not only a regional specialty brewer, but we are also an independent specialty wholesaler in Southern California," Koch says. "Like many independent specialty beer wholesalers, we have issues in business that are not always addressed at the major distributor's conferences such as NBWA (National Beer Wholesalers Association) or state beer wholesaler association conferences.

"The Specialty Beer Wholesalers Conference is specifically designed to address the concerns of smaller, independent specialty beer distributors," Koch reports.

Koch says that the conference will be in roundtable format that will "enable participants to interact and learn from each other's experiences."

The conference was organized in cooperation with the Association of Brewers (AOB), the Brewers Association of America (BAA), industry consultant Tom McCormick, and other specialty beer wholesaling professionals. The Conference will be held for two days prior to the Association of Brewers Craft Brewers Conference at the Town & Country Hotel (same hotel as the Craft Brewers Conference) in San Diego.

"It will be 100% Round-table style.," Koch says. "A series of 'presentations' won't really be the style. Instead we want to stimulate a back-and-forth discussion of ideas, practices, techniques, and so on."

Koch says days will be broken down into sessions. "For example," he says, "there will be a session that will cover Driver incentives, Driver/Route Sales and such..

"You should attend if you are an independent specialty wholesaler interested in sharing ideas with other specialty beer wholesalers," Koch says. "This includes specialty breweries that might only distribute their own brands, or those that distribute other brands in addition to their own brands.

"If Specialty beers are not the core, driving force of your wholesalership this might not be for you," Koch adds. "Also, if you are looking for a seminar on how to start a specialty beer distribution business, this is not a 'How to get Started as a Specialty Beer Wholesaler' conference."

Koch stressed that the conference is not the appropriate venue for brands to try to gain access to wholesalers. For details, check the web at www.beertown.org/events/cbc/attendee/ whole-saler.html
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Title Annotation:Weekly Specialty & Import Beer Report
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2004
Words:413
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