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Jan. 6

Imbibe Magazine’s “Beer Person of the Year” Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham to Keynote Michigan Brewers Guild Annual Conference this Week in Kalamazoo

(LANSING, Mich)—More than 700 individuals are expected to attend the Michigan Brewers Guild (MBG) and Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA) - District Michigan Annual Conference & Trade Show, January 8-10, 2020 in Kalamazoo.


This year’s Keynote Speaker is Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, who was recently named “Beer Person of the Year” by Imbibe magazine. Dr. J (as she prefers to be called) is executive director of Craft x EDU; equity and inclusion strategist for Craft Beer For All and diversity ambassador for the Brewers Association. She will present “Fans, Hands, and Brands: Strategies and Tactics for Being Inclusive and Building Diversity in Craft Beer” on Thursday morning at 11am following the Guild’s annual meeting and board elections.


Dr. J works to provide industry members with effective strategies for aligning inclusive organizational practices with overall organizational goals and tactics for diagnosing and removing barriers to access for populations that are underrepresented among craft beer drinkers and producers. She has dedicated her career to the study of American beer and regularly writes and speaks on the culture and inclusiveness of craft beer.


This three-day conference kicks off with a Sensory Evaluation Workshop at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo, hosted by Meghan Peltz of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. That afternoon, the organization’s annual Allied Member Trade Show takes place at the Wings Event Center.


Throughout the day on Thursday and Friday, a series of breakout sessions will be held at the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center focusing on topics of interest to the growing craft beer industry. The complete schedule, including all speakers, can be found on the Annual Conference Page on MiBeer.com.


A highlight of the conference is the “Great Beer State Dinner,” a strolling food and beer pairing meal developed by The Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann and the culinary team at the Radisson.


During that reception, the Guild will present two esteemed awards to industry leaders: The Tom Burns Award (given to a person whose hard work, passion, and perseverance has been a guiding force in creating the Great Beer State while being supportive of the entire craft beer industry in Michigan) and The Michigan Beer Champion Award (given to a person or organization who is a partner of this craft beer industry and who continually strives to promote or protect the industry in Michigan).


The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in 1997 and held its first festival in July 1998. Today, the Guild hosts five festivals dedicated exclusively to Michigan craft beer produced by its more than 290 member breweries (a number that increases on a monthly basis).


The Michigan Brewers Guild is the network of innovative and passionate brewers that serves as the recognized advocate for the Michigan craft beer industry. The mission of the Michigan Brewers Guild is to promote and protect the Michigan craft beer industry with an overarching goal to help craft beer acquire 20% of the market by 2025.


Michigan’s thriving brewing industry contributes more than 17,000 full-time jobs and $700 million in labor income / wages, with a total economic impact of over $2.4 billion. In terms of overall number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #4 in the nation—supporting its title as “The Great Beer State.”








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2020 Michigan Brewers Guild Festivals


Michigan Winter Beer Festival

Saturday, February 22

Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park



Michigan Spring Beer Festival

Saturday, May 16

Turtle Creek Stadium – Home of the Pit Spitters in Traverse City


Michigan Summer Beer Festival

Friday, July 24 & Saturday, July 25

Riverside Park in Ypsilanti


U.P. Fall Beer Festival

Saturday, September 12

Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette


Detroit Fall Beer Festival

Saturday, October 24

Eastern Market in Detroit

Detroit Fall Beer Festival

2024 Michigan's Great Beer State Conference & Trade Show

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