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A Chat With Ryan, En Route To CBC

Well, our guy Brian made it safely to Portland yesterday evening for the Craft Brewers Conference, which he says is “very welcoming.” But CMB Prez Ryan Krill has just finished making his way through the Philadelphia Airport, where he ran into some of the Origlio guys (Origlio is CMB’s distributor). Apparently, they were a mite bit upset the bar wasn’t open before 7am. Go hard or go home, right? Ryan also ran into 200 rambunctious high schoolers with plastic lays heading to Orlando at the next gate over. “Is it spring break already?” he says.

Now, he’s juuuuust about to take off. See? (And no, he’s not actually a nervous flyer… he’s a pilot!)

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We caught up with Ry-guy before the flight attendants scolded him for using a cell phone (or making that face!) and this is what he had to say about the week ahead…

What will you do on the plane? I am working on pictures for our marketing team — going through all of the photos of the brewery’s evolution up to today. And then I’ll geek out on my spreadsheets.

Is this your first time going to CBC? Yes, and I’m really excited. We’ve always been too busy or didn’t have the resources, so this is the first time where I can actually break away and do it.

Is there one seminar or one component of the next few days for which you’re especially excited? There’s a whole bunnch of them. The Conference even has an app that lays it all out, which is pretty cool. There’s a bunch of Guild-related stuff (Blogger’s note: Remember, Ryan is the President of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild), so all of the guild leaders are getting together for a meeting of the families. I’m looking forward to that.

Ryan's 7am view...
Ryan’s 7am view…

What is your ultimate goal? Education? Networking? Mostly networking and then education. It’s great being out there and seeing all the different brewers and talking  about what’s happening in the industry. And then there’s all of the free dinners from our vendors…

Is there one brewery in particular you admire, that you’re looking forward to connecting with? Let’s see… Dogfish Head. I mean, they’re right across the bay but we never talk to them. We’ll be attending a Dogfish event with our distributor, Origlio, and maybe we’ll have opportunity to meet some of those guys. Would be cool to have a relationship with them.

There are 12,000 people expected at this year’s CBC. What do you think the ratio of beards to non-beards will be? For men or females?

Touche. We’ll go with men. I think there’s going to be a lot. Wait, is mine considered a beard?

We’ll count scruff. Is there an over-under? I would say 80% facial hair.

Okay, we’ll check up on that. Are you bringing anything with you? I am bringing my cell phone and multiple chargers, because I’m going to be constantly interfacing with everyone back here. And I’m bringing one little, tiny carry-on, so I’ll be living out of that for over a week, since I’ll be in Phoenix afterwards visiting my sister.

How many shirts are you bringing? As many will fit.

What’s your schedule like? Action-packed. There’s a reception tonight, and then we have dinner and drinks with Grandstand, who do all of our glassware and dry goods. We’re a really big account for them, so they’ll be wooing us! Wednesday night there’s the Lagunitas party, there’s the Dogfish Kicking it Old School Party, and dinner with one of our malt suppliers based out of Minnesota, and then the guild stuff…

I asked you about breweries, but is there one guild you’re especially excited to connect with? I would like to talk with the Michigan Brewers Guild, they’ve got it going on. Maybe the South Carolina guys; I really like their website and we’re in the midst of redoing ours. Definitely some of the ones who are a bit more established than us.

Have you been to Portland before? I went with my girlfriend Kaycee. Did I tell you this story? So Christmas a year and a half ago, I wanted to get her a trip to Portland, so I had [CMB graphic designer] Courtney Rosenberg put together this really cool graphic with a picture of Oregon that says in the middle of it ‘We’re going to Portland,’ and then I framed it. So we have Christmas and Kaycee says to me, ‘Okay, you open your presents first,’ and it was all this Oregon-related stuff, so as I’m looking at it she says, ‘I got you a trip; we’re going to Portland!’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ I gotta marry this girl; we’re like totally on the same page.

What stereotype about Portland is most accurate? Tons of flannel. And definitely a lot of breweries. There are more breweries in the city of Portland than in the entire state of New Jersey.