The Craft Maltsters Guild is pleased to announce early bird registration for the 2022 Craft Malt Conference is now open. In June, the Guild revealed details about the new proposed event format and the vision for 2022. The fifth annual conference will be the Guild’s first hybrid event with in-person seminars, receptions, a trade show, and networking sessions taking place in Portland, ME on February 18-19, followed by two days of live online talks one week later on February 25-26.

Pre-conference activities tentatively planned for Thursday, February 17 include tours of Allagash Brewing Company, Blue Ox Malthouse, and University of Southern Maine’s Quality Control Collaboratory. Additionally, a welcome reception will be held Thursday evening for attendees.

Seminar planning is still underway, but attendees can expect an array of sessions spanning topics from across the craft malt supply chain. We are working hard to fill out the conference docket with topics and experts on subjects such as malting process and equipment design, the latest malt flavor research updates, and several brewing and distilling-related sessions. 

New for 2022, the Guild will also offer a 90-minute sensory workshop for craft maltsters taught by Lindsay Barr of DraughtLab and Jen Blair of Orpheus Brewing. In this session, attendees will learn how to apply tools like the Hot Steep Method and Malt Flavor Maps to engage brewery and distillery customers and inform product development decisions.

Additional confirmed speakers include the following:

  • Chuck Skypeck, Brewers Association
  • Kyle Hurst & Jon Keilty, Big aLice Brewing Company
  • Harmonie Bettenhausen, Hartwick College Center for Craft Food & Beverage
  • Sean Sullivan, Maine Brewers Guild
  • Luci Benedict & Sam White, University of Southern Maine Quality Control Collaboratory
  • Becky Harris, American Craft Spirits Association and Catoctin Creek Distillery
  • Jason Parker, Copperworks Distilling Company
  • Hannah Turner, Montana State University Barley, Malt & Brewing Quality Lab
  • Bruce French, BJF Consulting
  • Randy Thatcher, West Branch Malts & Distillery
  • Jay Hamachek, Elk Rock Solutions and formerly GrainCorp Malt
  • Austin Schumacher, TexMalt
  • Rhonda Hallman, Boston Harbor Distillery
  • Emily Hutto, RadCraft

More speakers and our 2022 keynote will be announced in the coming weeks and a full schedule with detailed session descriptions is set to be released in mid-October.

The Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland, ME will serve as our base for lodging and most activities for the conference. Room reservations can be made online.  

As the conference draws near, the Guild has also not forgotten our community is still living through a pandemic. Our organization is working carefully with hotel staff and our other Maine partners to produce this event in a controlled, safe, and enjoyable manner.

With this in mind, we have updated our health and safety policy for the 2022 conference. In response to the growing threat of the Delta Variant, and in addition to the measures the state of Maine and local governments have in place, proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of entry will now be required for all Craft Malt Conference attendees. 

“With the ongoing concerns about COVID-19 and its many variants, this move just makes sense,” says Jesse Bussard, Guild Executive Director. “The safety of our attendees and our community is paramount.”

Early bird registration rates will be available until December 15th. After that time, all registration rates will increase by $50. Register early to get the best deal. 

General questions and sponsorship inquiries can be directed to Guild Executive Director, Jesse Bussard ([email protected]). 

Contact Emily Hutto at [email protected] with media inquiries about the 2022 Craft Malt Conference.