2017 Nashville ACSA Conference & Vendor Tradeshow

2017 Convention Schedule At-A-Glance:

This schedule is subject to change; please check again for updates.

Pre-Convention Events

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.               Distillery Master Class with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (separate ticketed program)

Nicholas King and Antony Moss, MW, of Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) will present a Master Class that includes a professional certification, recognized globally in the spirits industry. For individuals wishing to gain immediate credibility in this industry, this comprehensive training is the means to do so. During two days of learning, plus a certification exam, these instructors will unlock in-depth distillation techniques and the specific factors that influence the final character of the finished spirits.  All materials, class instruction, transportation, certification exam and certificate, are included in the tuition fees.

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.               Vendor Pre-Registration and Check-In

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.               Distillery Master Class Wine & Spirit Education Trust – Continued; See above for program description.  (separate ticketed program)

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.               Private Tennessee Whiskey Bus Tour (separate ticketed event)

As the first state to pass a Prohibition law, Tennessee’s distilleries in the hills and hollers basically owned the market from 1838 until 1933, when the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution was finally passed and ratified.   After more than 80 years of Post-Prohibition freedom, join ACSA and the Tennessee Whiskey Tours for a journey back in time and sample the finest old and new batch recipes in the nation before we kick off the convention!  Enjoy stops at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Corsair Distillery and Taproom, Corsair Malt house and Speakeasy.  Tickets are $99 per person and includes a locally sourced boxed lunch and transportation.

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.               Attendee Pre-Registration Check In

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 pm [VIP]        ACSA/Tennessee Distillers Guild Consumer Tasting Event

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm                   at The Bell Tower (separate ticketed event)


Join us at The Bell Tower, one of Nashville’s historic venues, for a consumer tasting that acclaims craft spirits from Tennessee and beyond! This event kicks off with an hour and a half VIP experience.  Come enjoy a quieter setting with special and reserve pours before the tasting officially opens to the general public at 6pm. All are welcome for an evening of spirits, hors d’oeuvres, music and fun!

Tickets are discounted for ACSA, USBG and TDG members at $59. Early Bird General Admission tickets are $69 when purchased before 12/31/16 and $79 from 1/1/2017 until 2/13/2017. $89 at the door. You can enhance your experience by upgrading to a VIP ticket for $99. Doors open to VIPs at 4:30pm, an hour and a half before opening to the public. Beat the crowd, mingle with distillers and receive access to the VIP loft for the entire evening where we will be serving premium pours and appetizers.


Convention Program

Thursday, February 16, 2017

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.               MEET, GREET, and EAT with ACSA’s Keynote Speaker, Ken Grossman, Co-Founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (separate ticketed event)

This is your chance to have some exclusive, quality time with ACSA’s esteemed keynote speaker, Ken Grossman, Founder, President, and Owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Before he addresses the larger convention audience, Meet, Greet, and Eat with Ken — the godfather of the craft brewing movement.  During an intimate breakfast celebrating the rise of craft in America, you will have the opportunity to meet Ken, have a photo taken, and receive a signed copy of Ken’s book: Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co (Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2013). This book is a must read for any distiller or supplier who is serious about the business of taking a dream and making it a reality.  Ken will also share some personal anecdotes about his early, unconventional years and share his views on those personal characteristics that are critical to the path of success. Enjoy a non-routine breakfast where the preparation and presentation will demonstrate the meaning of craft, bearing witness to the flavor of locally sourced provisions. Price for this exclusive hand-crafted breakfast and session with Ken is $99 per person.  Seats are limited, and registration is required in advance.

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.               General Session Breakfast

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.               ACSA Keynote Address with Ken Grossman, Co-Founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

How do you take your business to THE NEXT LEVEL?  Ken Grossman, Co-Founder, President, and Owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is no stranger to hard work, long days, and recognizing what batches to dump and what batches to save.  Ken will share the challenges he’s faced, from his early distribution system (one that may closely parallel your own), to a shortage of product, to perfecting quality, to securing funding, to purchasing the right equipment.  Come hear a firsthand account of what Ken confronted as a pioneer and witness his rise from a young home brewer in Chico, California, to the owner of one of the first and most successful craft breweries in the U.S., now producing over one million barrels per year. It’s the story of the renaissance of American craft brewing – straight from the man who led the charge. This keynote address is NOT to be missed and will officially kick-off the 4th Annual Distillers Convention and Vendor Trade Show.

9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.             Town Hall Meeting for ACSA Members and Supporters

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.           Legislative Update:  What’s New on Capitol Hill?

11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.             Exhibit Hall Open/Ribbon Cutting

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.               Education Programs

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.               Mingle with the Vendors:  Exhibitor Happy Hour

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.               Awards Dinner to Honor Spirits Competition Medalists – Open to All

                                                Presenting Medalists, Best in Class and the Best of Show from the 2017 ACSA Spirits Competition.

8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.             Complimentary Tasting of Judged Craft Spirits

                                                Sample some of the best craft spirits from those submitted in our 2017 ACSA Spirits Competition.


Friday, February 17, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.               Open Buffet Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.             Exhibit Hall Opens – Come Learn About New Products and Services

                                                Learn about new industry products and services or greet old friends in the 100 plus exhibit hall.

8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.             Guild Meeting

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Educational Programs

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.             Lunch Break

1:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.               Educational Programs

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.               Craft Spirits Data Project Briefing

5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.               Last Call Reception

                                                Meet the 2017 nominees of the ACSA Board of Directors!

9:00 p.m.                                 Closing Party at BB King’s Blues Club

Let the good times roll with your colleagues as we close the 2017 Distillers Convention and Vendor Trade Show!  All are invited as a part of your convention registration fees.