Started the day off at the Bellco Theatre with the Welcome Presentation and the Keynote Speaker. Very interesting to hear from Bob Pease the President of the Brewers Association that we now have over 7,000 breweries in the US. People are embracing local breweries and the industry is growing. Next up was Bruce Dickinson. Now I’m going to be honest, I have never heard of Bruce Dickinson, but he is the front man of Iron Maiden. The guys running into the theatre to be in the front row had heard of him! Bruce is a very interesting guy – rock star, airline pilot, and brewer. He clearly does not sit still and he embraces his passion. What a great way to start off the conference!

Next was the Pink Boots Society Meeting. The Pink Boots Society is a international group of women active in the beer industry with a mission “to assist, inspire and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education.” During the meeting I happened to sit next to Amanda from Resident Culture Brewing. It was great to catch up with her and hear about the things they are doing. But I had to laugh because I came half way across the country and met up with our neighbors again!

I kept the girl power moving by going to the Girl-Bosses Seminar with Kim Jordan from New Belgium Brewing and Sarah Frey from Frey Farms. Wow, what cool women! They really built some incredible companies and their honesty about how they got there was terrific.

I also attended a seminar by Ann Handley about how you have to create memorable stories that connect with your business. She was entertaining and full of energy. It was impressive how well she could speak in front of a big crowd. I would be in a puddle on the ground.

This year’s conference definitely has more women, which is great. I always tell the story about the first conference I attended that there was a line outside the men’s restroom and none in the women’s. Well, today I had to wait for one person.

Did a quick look at the Brew Expo Exhibit Hall. It is the size of over 10 football fields and full of brew related products. Planning on going to check it out in more detail tomorrow.