Last month, Denver hosted the 31st annual Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) & BrewExpo America, presented by the Brewers Association, Boulder, Colo. From2014 Craft Brewers conference
April 8 to 11, more than 7,000 attendees and 450 exhibitors flocked to the conference to network with peers, gain knowledge from more than 85 educational seminars, and even compete in the world’s largest global beer competition, the World Beer Cup.

On April 9, Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza and staff economist Bart Watson presented the “State of the Industry,” which called out the continuing growth of craft beer. According to the presentation, craft beer volume grew 18 percent last year, compared with a 2 percent decline in overall beer volume. It also noted that India Pale Ales (IPAs) topped craft beer varietal sales with 41 percent volume growth, according to data from Chicago-based Information Resources Inc.

At the tradeshow portion of the event, BrewExpo America, suppliers showcased numerous ingredients and equipment for brewers. The following are some highlights from the show floor:

  • Alfa Laval, Richmond, Va., promoted its Scandi Brew Carlsberg flask, which is used for sterilizing wort and propagating pure yeast culture for yeast propagation plants in laboratory scale.
  • Ball Corp., Broomfield, Colo., showcased its Crowler container, which is a growler-sized can that holds 32 ounces of draft craft beer. Distribution for seamers and 32-ounce cans is managed by Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, Colo.
  • Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc.’s Cargill Malt Specialty Products Group highlighted its range of domestically and internationally sourced malts for craft beers.
  • CFT Packaging USA and SBC Bottling & Canning Inc., Vernon Hills, Ill., highlighted their specialties in filling and packaging equipment for the beverage industry.
  • CMC-Kuhnke Inc., Albany, N.Y., showcased its portfolio of double-seam inspection tools, including the Seamview System 5 and Seamscan SPC System.
  • Prosser, Wash.-based DMA LLC, a joint venture founded by The Döhler Group and Milne Fruit Products, highlighted its all-natural fruit juices, purees and concentrates for use in craft beers and ciders. It also introduced its line of 1890 Apple Juice concentrates for craft ciders as well as its DMD ready-to-use NBB Nutrient Media bacteria detection system for breweries and wineries.
  • Ferrum Ltd., Havre de Grace, Md., promoted its collaboration with manufacturers of cans, can ends and can-filling systems; academic institutions; cleaning experts; and inspection systems to develop can seamer systems. It also highlighted its new generation of can seamers.
  • Gamajet, an Exton, Pa.-based part of the Alfa Laval Group, highlighted its automated tank cleaning machines and systems, which it says decrease water and chemical usage by 80 percent and decrease time spent cleaning by 85 percent.
  • St. Louis-based HDA Architects highlighted its abilities to build or modify breweries to help meet projected sales volumes and design a layout for optimal material and process flow.
  • KHS USA Inc., Waukesha, Wis., highlighted its range of capabilities in areas including process technologies, PET bottle technologies, rinsing and cleaning technologies, filling equipment, kegging technologies, packaging equipment, labeling technologies, material handling, project management services, and other services.
  • Chicago-based Lightweight Containers BV showcased its KeyKeg system, which offers a line of sustainable, one-way kegs that provide maximum quality and extend the shelf life of beer, wine, cider and soft drinks, among other benefits, it says.
  • Mane Inc., Milford, Ohio, showcased its brewery starter kit, which includes a variety of flavors to help craft brewers draw consumer attention, it says.
  • The National Honey Board, Firestone, Colo., promoted the benefits of using honey in both alcohol and non-alcohol beverages.
  • NEPA Carton & Carrier Co. Inc., Moosic, Pa., highlighted its portfolio of custom folding cartons, beverage carriers and can wraps.
  • Atlanta-based Novelis Inc. showcased its Evercan, which features at least 90 percent recycled aluminum. At the show, it also announced that Marietta, Ga.-based Red Hare Brewing Co. will launch the first commercially available craft beer packaged in cans made of Novelis’ Evercan aluminum sheet material in select markets this month.
  • Owens-Illinois (O-I), Perrysburg, Ohio, promoted glass as the most sustainable package on Earth and called out multiple beverage-makers that use the material.
  • Montreal-based Phoenix Packaging showcased its packaging portfolio, including custom glass bottle molds, glass bottles, ceramic bottles, aluminum bottles, pewter labels, ceramic and transfer decals, print decorations, crowns, corks and swing tops.
  • Los Angeles-based Rehrig Pacific Co. highlighted its PubKeg Program per-trip rental solution that integrates with existing filling and tapping systems; provides new, clean kegs for each rental; and offers recyclability for the retailer or wholesaler, it says. It also highlighted its direct-store distribution (DSD) One-Touch Delivery System and KegRack Delivery System.
  • RockTenn, Norcross, Ga., promoted its portfolio of corrugated packaging with high-impact graphics, recycled and virgin linerboard, and high-performance corrugate designed to protect, promote and deliver beverages. It also highlighted its Meta cases, which feature increased stacking strength and sustainability.
  • RTS Packaging LLC, Norcross, Ga., showcased its portfolio of high-performance carriers, custom partitions and protective packaging.
  • Vacuum Barrier Corp., Woburn, Mass., promoted its Nitrodose line of liquid nitrogen injection systems, which provide the most precise liquid nitrogen dosing to add strength to non-carbonated beverages for lightweight packaging and displace oxygen to extend shelf life, it says.