Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference gets a makeover

MSU Extension, Michigan Brewers Guild and Master Brewers Association are bringing hop and barley growers expanded educational and networking opportunities via a conference Jan. 12-14, 2022. Registration is open!


This year, the Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference is sporting a fresh name and expanded scope as a new collaborative conference. The Great Beer State Conference and Trade Show will unite the former Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference and Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference, providing content focused on beer, hops, barley and malt. This will expand opportunities for brewers, growers and processors to develop relationships and share information. The conference will be held on Jan. 12-14, 2022, at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, Michigan.

Hop and barley sessions will include research updates from Michigan State University faculty, grower panels on important topics and time for discussion. Featured hop topics include a spotted lanternfly update by Rufus Isaacs, a Diaporthe presentation by Tim Miles and a panel addressing the status of the hop supply chain. Featured barley topics include research reports from MSU and Cornell, a look at alternative barley markets with Alyssa Hartman of the Artisan Grain Collaborative and updates from representatives of the American Malting Barley Association and Michigan Craft Beverage Council.

Attendees will also have access to brewer topics of interest. See the tentative agenda below for more information.


Registration includes access to all educational tracks, materials and meals as indicated in the draft agenda. Registration starts at $300. Register now at the link below for the best rates and to ensure your spot! Growers need to select the “Member Registration” option and on the next page click the “MSU Affiliate” box.

Participant Registration for the 2022 Great Beer State Conference

If you plan to host a booth at the trade show, register using the vendor link below. Vendor registration includes conference access.

Vendor Registration for the 2022 Great Beer State Conference

For previous sponsors of the Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference that choose not to purchase a tradeshow booth but are still interested in supporting the Hop and Barley Conference Tracks, please contact us (Rob Sirrine,; Erin Lizotte,; James DeDecker, to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Hotel reservations

Rooms at the Grand Traverse Resort are available starting at $109 per night plus a $18.95 daily resort fee and tax and CVB fees of 11%. To receive this rate, you must book your room by Dec. 10. There are various room options available. The resort is requesting that you use the link below to book your room online:

Book Your Room Online

2022 tentative conference schedule

Wednesday, Jan. 12

10:00 a.m. Registration open

11-12:15 p.m. Raw Materials Sensory Evaluation Workshop

12:15-1:00 p.m. Chinook Cup Competition judging

12:30-1:30 p.m. Master Brewers Association of the Americas District Michigan meeting

1:00-6:00 p.m. Allied Member Trade Show

  • Food and beer are included
  • Allied Member Trade Show is Wednesday only
  • Attendance required for discounted MBG member registrations

6:00 p.m. Registration desk closes

7:00 p.m. Dinner on own

Thursday, Jan. 13

6:30-9:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00-10:30 a.m. MI Brewers Guild Annual Meeting & Election

11:00 a.m.-noon Keynote Address: Susan Welch – Industry veteran, Proximity Malt, MBAA Diversity & Inclusivity Task Force Chair

Noon-1 p.m. Lunch

1:15-2:15 p.m.

  • Session A – Style Trends in the Brewhouse
  • Session B – Annual Sales Planning
  • Session C – Hop FUNgal Diseases
    • Disease management update for Michigan hops
      Tim Miles, MSU 
  • Investigating chemical control options for halo blight of hop
    Ross Hatlen and Tim Miles 
  • Session D – Barley Industry Updates
    • Barley, Malt & Beverage Industry Updates
      Ashley Mcfarland, American Malting Barley Association; Jenelle Jagmin, MI Craft Beverage Council

2:30-3:30 p.m.

  • Session A – Fluid Dynamics
  • Session B – Self Distribution
  • Session C – Hop Virus
    • Hop virus research update
      Carolyn Malmstrom and Kota Nakasato, Michigan State University
    • Sampling hops for virus and viroid testing
      Laura Miles, Plant and Pest Diagnostics, Michigan State University
  • Session D – Winter Barley Research I
    • Winter Barley Variety, Management and Winter Hardiness Trials in Michigan
      Brook Wilke, James DeDecker, Manni Singh, Michigan State University

3:45-4:45 p.m.

  • Session A – World of the Small Brewery
  • Session B – Attract, Engage and Retain Your Team Through Culture
  • Session C – Hop Pests
    • Plant-eating worms? How soil dwelling nematodes could be limiting your yields
      Ellie Darling and Marisol Quintanilla, Department of Entomology, MSU 
    • DON’T PANIC! Identification, status, and risk of the next invasive insect pest, spotted lanternfly
      Rufus Isaacs, Department of Entomology, MSU 
  • Session D – Winter Barley Research II
    • Winter Barley Disease Management in Michigan and Research Update from New York
      Marty Chilvers, Michigan State University; Karl Kunze, Cornell University

5:00-6:00 p.m.

  • Session A – Hop Marketing Discussion, Eric Desmarais, CLS Farms
  • Session B – Beverage Style and Market Trends
  • Session C – Hop growers encouraged to attend Session A during this time.
  • Session D – Barley Marketing
    • Alternative Barley Markets for Milling, Distilling and More
      Alyssa Hartman, Artisan Grain Collaborative; Wesley Rieth, Granor Farm

7:00-7:30 p.m. Great Beer State Dinner hoppy hour

7:30-10:00 p.m. Great Beer State Dinner and Announcement of the 2022 Chinook Cup Winners

Friday, Jan. 14

6:30-9:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00-10:00 a.m. General Session: John Mallett will lead a presentation focused on the work being done by the BRU Coalition to develop tools for preventing discrimination, harassment and violence within the brewing industry.

10:15-11:15 a.m.

  • Session A – Haze Stability in Beer
  • Session B – MBG DEI Committee – Resolving Conflict
  • Session C – Hop Terroir
    • Michigan hop terroir
      Alex Adams, Cambium Analytica and  Rob Sirrine, Michigan State University
  • Session D – Spring Barley Research
    • Spring Barley Breeding and Variety Testing with a focus on Pre-Harvest Sprout
      James DeDecker, Michigan State University; Travis Rooney, Cornell University

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

  • Session A – Beer Clarification Options
  • Session B – Government Affairs
  • Session C – Hop Market and Supply Chain
    • Navigating the hop supply chain and Michigan’s Role
      PANEL- Eric Desmarais, CLS Farm; Paul Bashaw, Bell’s Brewery; Mike Moran, MI Local Hops; Aaron Staples, Michigan State University;  Trey Malone, Michigan State University
  • Session D – Grain and Malt Quality
    • Barley and Malt Quality Updates from Michigan and New York
      Harmonie Bettenhausen, Hartwick College; Christian Kapp, MSU

12:30-1:30 p.m. Parting or Pints

Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Erin Lizotte at Requests will be honored whenever possible.

This material is based on work supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection Pest Management Program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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