Sixth annual Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference

This annual event will be held at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest, on March 5-7, 2020.

Two guys standing around a guy holding a trophy
Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference in Traverse City, MI. March 2019. Alex Mull, Founders, and John Mallet, Bells, present the Chinook Cup Award to Sean Trowbridge, Top Hops LLC. | Photo by Rob Sirrine

Registration for the first Great Lakes Hop and Barley conference of the decade is NOW OPEN!!! The 2020 conference will be the premier hop and barley production conference of the year. This year’s conference features national and international recognized hop and barley experts, all converging in Ann Arbor, MI to provide the most up-to-date production, market and industry trends for the craft beer raw material supply sector. Gary McDowell, Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development; Chris Swersey, supply chain specialist from the Brewers Association; Jesse Bussard, executive director of the Craft Maltsters Guild; Dr. Josh Mayich, Island Hop Company, Renaissance Man and more experts will be on hand to ensure the conference is educational and memorable.

The conference will feature an introductory pre-conference for beginners on March 5, individual hop and barley tracks covering advanced topics on March 6 and an exciting plenary session as well as an offsite beer tasting on March 7.  We are also excited to partner with the Michigan Brewers Guild once again, for a special networking reception for attendees.

During the registration process, participants will be asked to select their preferred track for Friday in order to determine space needs at the facility. To learn more about the schedule, including topics, speakers and times, click on the draft agenda link below.

Draft Agenda


March 5: Optional Pre-Conference Session - Introduction to Hop and Barley Production

March 6: Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference - Keynote presentation, Hop Track, Barley & Malt Track, Michigan Brewers Guild Reception

March 7: Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference – Single Hop Beer Comparison, Industry Updates, Guided tasting looking at malts, hops and processes, along with a beer pairing lunch at a local brewery

Participant Registration Cost

Pre-Conference Registration: $50 per person
Full Registration: $225 per person
Saturday Brewery Event: $30 per person

  • The pre-conference registration rate includes admittance only to the Introduction to Hop and Barley Production session on Thursday, March 5 from 1-5 p.m.
  • Full registration includes admittance into the Friday keynote presentation, the educational sessions, as well as breakfast, lunch and the Michigan Brewers Guild Reception on Friday, as well as breakfast, keynote presentation and industry updates on Saturday morning.
  • Saturday Brewery Event includes admittance to the guided tasting looking at malts, hops and processes, along with a beer pairing lunch at a local brewery from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. NOTE: This rate includes the cost of the tasting and lunch, but does not include transportation to the brewery.


Michigan Brewers Guild Reception

On Friday evening, join us for the Michigan Brewers Guild reception, a time to network and socialize with the vendors and other attendees.

Conference Location

Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest 
1275 S Huron St,
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Cancellation Policy

After Feb. 18, 2020, refunds will no longer be provided.


Discounted lodging is available at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. Call 1-877-757-7133 or 1-800-228-9290 by Jan. 31, 2020 and mention you are part of Michigan State University to receive the discounted nightly rate of $120 per night, plus tax. Parking for hotel guests is free.  Alternatively, you may Book the group rate for Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference online.

Sponsorship and Vendors

If you are interested in sponsoring or becoming a vendor, registration is now live.


For more information about sponsorship, having a display at the event, or to discuss payment options, please contact Betsy Braid at 517-884-7081 or


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for translation and persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

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