Industry News | April 22, 2015

NRA Partners With Craft Beverage Expo

image used with permission.

In an effort to unify the craft beverage community, a partnership has been announced between the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and the Craft Beverage Expo (CBE). Influencers from both organizations have agreed to speak at their respective events, CBE and Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants (BAR) at NRA Show, to open the channels of communication between craft beverage producers and the restaurant industry as a whole.


Thousands of craft industry professionals are expected to attend the second annual Craft Beverage Expo on May 6-8 in Santa Clara, California. Touted for bringing together producers from all craft market segments, CBE attendees receive the rare opportunity for a real exchange of ideas between other attendees and 200 exhibiting companies, all to broaden their business and find competitive advantages in areas other than cost and volume—a key inspiration for the NRA partnership.


“We’ve always believed that collaboration is the key to success for this evolving craft industry,” says Kellie Shevlin, executive director of CBE. “Which is why we are so pleased to join forces with the National Restaurant Association. Opening the lines of communication between these two industries will create a better understanding and allow both markets to ensure everyone’s, the producers, restaurants and the consumers, needs are being met.”

The NRA is set to direct two sessions at CBE. The first, “What’s in a Brand? How to Sell in Retail Chains” is tailored for producers looking to leap into larger buying fields. Whereas the second session, “How Do I Get My Brand Onto Restaurant Menus?” is targeted to help the smaller producer expand in local markets. These NRA sessions sit amongst a line up with topics ranging from branding and advertising, negotiation strategy, trends in packaging and distribution to bring attendees’ learning and opportunities for success full circle.


“This will be our first time we have worked to provide education for craft producers looking to gain a foothold in the restaurant and hospitality industry,” says Mary Pat Heftman, executive vice president, convention and strategic alliances at the NRA. “Delivering operator insights to the craft producers helps ensure that the lines of communication between the two industries are open and productive.”


CBE ambassador and regular contributor Ginger Johnson will speak at BAR 15 (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants): the two-day international event on May 17-18 focused on how beverage alcohol both attracts guests and enhances profits in a restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality operation. BAR is co-located with NRA Show, which is the largest annual gathering of the foodservice industry in the world. NRA Show 2015 takes place May 16-19 in Chicago. The CBE hosted session will provide restaurant owners with the hottest craft trends such as mead, cider, wild, and sour craft beers and provide guidance on how to use these beverages to attract the consumer masses.

CBE is the leading trade exposition and conference for the entire craft beverage industry, with the primary goal of creating and defining a cohesive craft beer, wine, cider, mead, and spirits market. As the premier show for the industry, CBE offers education, marketing strategies, and turnkey solutions to the challenges facing craft beverage producers today.


The NRA Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest annual gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals in the world. NRA Show 2015 will be held May 16-19 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2015 BAR (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants, formerly the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event), held in conjunction with NRA Show, will take place May 17-18. The events attract 65,000-plus attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100-plus countries, and showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues, and growth opportunities.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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