Street Sign Brewing Company attended our first California Craft Brewers Association’s General meeting earlier this month and it was great! Normally the general meeting is held in a member brewery. However, so many California craft breweries attended this year that they had to hold the meeting at UC San Diego to accommodate them all.

Officiated by CCBA’s Executive Director, Tom McCormick the all day meeting was non-stop information and up to the date data presented by some really great speakers. We took in so much in one day that our heads were spinning - and that wasn't because of the free beer. Who knew California Craft Brewers have their very own lobbyist in Sacramento? Oh excuse me, I miss spoke; we have a Senior Policy Advisor by the name of Chris Walker. Chris is an energetic and charismatic speaker who is working with lawmakers in our State Capital to help, protect and to promote the Craft Beer industry through legislation. An extremely interesting topic; we wish we could have heard more form Chris. We’re sure through the CCBA that we will.     

Other interesting topics included Roger Hanney’s discussion on Trade Practice and ABC key issues. These topics got everyone to sit up and take notice. Roger was direct in his presentation and just as direct in his answers to questions put to him. The biggest thing we took from Roger’s sessions is to know ABC and follow it; ABC is there to help us brewers. It is not worth the fine(s), temporary ban on sales or worse, the loss of your license just because you didn’t bother to ask. (C.Y.A.) 

The board of the CCBA was introduced by Tom McCormick, they are:                     Steve Wagner, Stone Brewing Co.; David Walker, Firestone Walker Brewing Co.; Joyce Turner, Mammoth Brewing Co.; Natallie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Co.; John Dannerbeck, Anchor Brewing Co.; Ron Lindenbusch, Lagunitas Brewing Co.; Chris Cramer, Karl Strauss Brewing Co.; Brain Hunt, Moonlight Brewing Co. and Joe Whitney, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.  It was great to see and meet some of the big names in the California craft beer industry; every one of them willing and eager to help and answer questions.

During lunch we were able to speak to the Brewers/Owners of Eagle Rock Brewery. What nice people. They graciously answered our questions, and we had a lot. If you haven’t stopped by their Taproom, you should. They have some really great beers. I think their Black Mild is fabulous but, order a flight and you decide which you like best. 

 We were also fortunate to meet up with the Brewers/Owners of Macleod Ale Brewing Co. also really nice people. But then, I don’t recall anyone not being helpful and friendly at the conference. Macleod Ale brewing is really unique. They are brewing up some really specialized and traditional cask conditioned British style ales. We can’t wait to try them… That’s a hint Macleod. Watch for their opening very soon. Maybe we’ll see you there.  

We did not see any of our other local L.A. brewers at the general meeting but as we said, the place was packed. Street Sign Brewing Company would just like to say thanks to all the people that put the CCBA general meeting together. It was interesting, informative and fun. There were many other great topics and speakers not mentioned here but definitely deserve our thanks and gratitude. A lot of time and effort was put into each and every topic. Thanks to you all for a meeting well done.