MBDA 2019 Convention Recap

Beer distributors from across Pennsylvania joined their local, national and regional brewers and allied trade suppliers at the Kalahari Resort & Conference Center in Pocono Manor, as the Malt Beverage Distributors Association (MBDA) celebrated its 83rd annual convention and trade show, May 4 & 5, 2019.

The convention opened on Saturday afternoon with a luncheon and business session.  Athan Koutsiouroumbas of DigiCo gave a presentation on the “Importance of Social Media”.  Joe Thompson, president of the Independent Beverage Group, spoke on the overall landscape and trends of the beer industry on a national level. Please contact Stephanie Eckert at the MBDA executive office if you’re interested in receiving a copy of our speakers’ presentations. 

Attorney Rob Dillman of Caputo Law Office discussed MBDA’s legal initiative to have PA’s beer distributors gain sales tax parity.  Our Executive Director Carson Baker gave a legislative review and spoke on our opposition to House Bill 763 to allow clubs to sell six-packs to go, thereby creating 3,000 more take-out establishments, and Senate Bill 548 to benefit grocery and convenience stores by creating retail franchise stores to sell wine and spirits.  He concluded by reporting on Wal-Mart’s purchase of a restaurant liquor license in Fayette County allowing them to sell beer for off-premises consumption.

Distributors, brewers and allied trade suppliers attended our Saturday evening cocktail reception and banquet. They feasted on scrumptious food, sampled great beer, and listened to a fabulous musical performance by Clarence Oliver.  We thank Anheuser-Busch and Straub Brewery for their generosity in contributing prize awards for our banquet auction.

Sunday morning, distributors, brewers and allied trade suppliers gathered for another informative business session.  The program’s objective was to help distributor’s merchandize and sell more effectively. Our first guest speaker, Mike Provance, CEO of 3 x 3 Insights, champions the independent alcohol retailer by providing tools, analytics, and services that give them a deeper understanding of their customers and how they can better serve and market products to them.

Amy Foster of LGA-Partners, a premier architectural firm based out of Pittsburgh, gave a presentation on concept layouts and designs for a retailer’s store, as well as the best way to make changes and renovations to improve its flow pattern. Our audience viewed floor plans suggesting optimal locations for domestics, craft, imports, growler stations, chilled beer, candy & snacks, tobacco, etc. We thank Mike and Amy for a tremendous program. Please contact the MBDA executive office if you’re interested in obtaining a copy of their presentations.  They are also available for consultation. Emily Newton, 3 x 3 Insights Director of Retail Partnership Development, can be reached at 646-442-5829.  You can contact LGA’s Amy Foster at 412-224-6589 or Paulette Burns at 412-224-6548. 

On Sunday afternoon, brewers and allied trade suppliers showcased their products and services in thirty-one hospitality and exhibit booths. Distributors taste-tested the newest products, saw demonstrations of products and services to improve their business operations, and sampled from creative food stations placed throughout the ballroom. Our thanks go out to the following firms whose participation made our trade show a huge success:  3 x 3 Insights, Anheuser-Busch, Atlantic Systems, Boston Beer, DISPAC, Dotmark Promotions, FIFCO USA, Flightware Solutions, Lancaster Brewing, Harold Levinson, Lion Brewery, Longley Insurance Agency, Micro Matic, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, MillerCoors, mPower, Petrosoft, Pinnacle Business Products, PNC Merchant Services, Pomodo, RITE, Schubert Equipment, Sofranko Advisory, Stockertown Beverage, Straub Brewery, Troegs Brewing, Victory Brewing, Yards Brewing, and Yuengling Brewery.  Distributors who are interested in contacting any of the participants can call or email our executive office.

MBDA’s 83rd annual convention drew to a close Sunday evening as attendees gathered for a superb Hibachi dinner at the nearby Desaki Restaurant.

Our best wishes are extended to Banko Beverage in Allentown and Penn Distributors in Philadelphia for their generosity in serving as convention sponsors.

MBDA appreciates that Representatives Donna Bullock, Torren Ecker, Jeanne McNeill, Tom Mehaffie, and Jesse Topper took time from their busy schedules to attend the convention and meet with our members. 

We thank John McElroy of Harmony Beverage in Blakeslee for running our raffle drawings and Skip Link of Link Beverages in Coopersburg, Arun Patel of Beer Belly’s in State College, and Jim Yaple of Westy Beer in Camp Hill for staffing our Distributors Political Action Committee booth.

In closing, we thank all who attended the convention. Special recognition is given to MBDA convention chairman JJ Bromwell of Link Beverages in Coopersburg, convention coordinator Stephanie Eckert, and their team members, Alexis Shipula and Sharon Shipula of Beer Super in Wilkes-Barre, for a job well done.

Mark Your Calendar

MBDA 2020 Convention Scheduled

We look forward to seeing you at our 84th Annual Convention and Trade Show scheduled for April 25 & 26, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in King of Prussia, PA.


Details and registration forms will be mailed to all distributors and vendors in early February 2020