Day One Focuses on Industry Changes, Challenges and Opportunities
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) kicked-off Day One of its 72nd Annual Convention & Trade Show at its new location, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
NBWA Chairman of the Board Phil Terry addressed the group about the future for America’s beer distributors. “It’s a dangerous world out there,” Terry said, referring to the challenges threatening to tear down a state’s ability to regulate alcohol.
NBWA President Craig Purser talked about the impact recent economic and political changes have had on the beer distribution industry. “While corporate America has used the economy and their challenges to make significant cuts, beer distributors have sustained the 95,000 quality jobs across this great country. Why is that? I think it is because beer distributors know that employees are their strongest asset, and because distributors understand the importance of doing the right things during difficult times,” said Purser.
Purser also discussed the meaning of a distributor focused agenda; contrasted the effective, time-tested system of alcohol regulation in the United States to the deregulation of alcohol in the United Kingdom; and highlighted the fact that there are now over 1500 breweries in the United States, up from fewer than 50 in 1983.
Harry Schuhmacher, the editor and publisher of Beer Business Daily, and Benj Steinman, president of Beer Marketer’s Insights, moderated the panel “It’s Not Your Father’s Beer Business: How the World Has Changed.” They asked three industry insiders questions about changes in the beer distribution industry. Don Blaustein, former president & CEO of Heineken USA; Victoria Horton, president of the California Beer & Beverage Distributors Association; and Aldo Madrigrano, president of Beer Capitol, Inc., in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, discussed topics including the relationship between brewers and distributors; craft beer and import trends; consolidation in distribution, supplier and retail tiers; the role of state-based alcohol regulation; and the global economy.
Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench energized the crowd with inspirational remarks. “Catch every ball thrown to you,” he said, referencing not just his own baseball career but also his attitude toward life. He started his baseball career as a two-handed catcher, broke his thumb and learned to catch with one-hand. “I did it because I had to do it. That’s the way you adjust,” Bench continued.
NBWA’s 72nd Annual Convention & Trade Show continues Thursday, September 24, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents the interests of America’s 2,850 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution.