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Strategize, Network and Exchange Ideas at the Top Conference for Brewery Entrepreneurs and Executives
Serious beer industry professionals gather twice a year at the Brewbound Session to exchange ideas, discuss the state of the industry and learn strategies for succeeding in the most competitive alcohol beverage segment.
Attendees will hear thought-provoking conversations with industry leaders, listen to inspiring presentations from emerging craft brewery entrepreneurs and engage in interactive panel discussions with experts from all three tiers of the beer industry.
The program is specifically designed to help attendees better understand a dynamic and rapidly evolving marketplace, while networking with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, distributors, suppliers and retailers.
Brewbound Session will take place at the Metropolitan West Pavilion in New York, NY on June 15.
Past Brewbound Session Speakers
CEO, Craft Brew Alliance
Andy Thomas took the helm as Chief Executive Officer of Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) in January, 2014, after serving as President of Commercial Operations for the craft brewing company since 2011. Andy brings more than two decades of leadership experience in consumer packaged goods and the beer and beverage industries to his role as CEO for CBA. He spent 12 years, from 1995 to 2007, at Heineken, working with brewers and beers in more than 55 countries across four continents, including serving as president & CEO of Heineken USA from 2005-2007. Following that, he served as an independent consultant and senior advisor to The Monitor Group, a global management consulting firm. Andy holds an MBA from the Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester, and a Bachelor of Science, with a concentration in Marketing, from Bryant University.
Co-Founder & CEO, Founders Brewing Company
Mike Stevens is a co-founder of Founders Brewing Company and serves as the company’s CEO. Founders is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the nation, currently ranking among the top 20 largest craft breweries in the United States as of 2016. The brewery has received numerous awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival, and its beers are often rated among the best in the world by RateBeer and BeerAdvocate users. The company has seen its annual barrel output nearly double each of the last seven years while distribution has expanded from seven states to 46. Founders finished 2016 with a total of 347,780 barrels shipped.
CEO, Bell's Brewery
Laura Bell is CEO of Bell’s Brewery, Inc., the seventh largest craft brewery in the United States. A second generation co-owner (Laura was just 2 months old when Larry Bell founded the brewery), she has spent time working various odd jobs when she was younger like gluing labels to bottles and in the Eccentric Café’s kitchen while in high school. Laura officially started working at the brewery full-time in 2007 after graduating from Michigan State University. Since then, she has spent time in sales, all areas of beer production and built the marketing department from the ground up. She now oversees all brewery operations and planning for Bell’s and its sister brewery in Escanaba, Upper Hand Brewery.
CEO, Pabst Brewing Company
Simon Thorpe is the CEO of Duvel Moortgat USA, the US arm of Duvel Moortgat NV, an independent, family-owned Belgian brewer specializing in super-premium craft beers in Europe and North America. For the past six years, Simon has led the growth of the company's US breweries from a small base to its current position as a respected leader in the craft beer segment. He was instrumental in bringing Boulevard Brewing Company into the Duvel Moortgat family in 2014 as well as building the success of Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York.
Founder, Oskar Blues Brewery
Dale Katechis -- a passionate and engaging person who is fueled by doing things differently -- founded Oskar Blues Brewery in 1997. Since, Oskar Blues has spawned a number of diverse enterprises, including multiple brewpubs, a farm, a non-profit organization, a food truck and even a bicycle company. In 2012, Oskar Blues became the first Colorado brewery to open an expansion brewery in the East. In 2014, the Colorado and North Carolina breweries together produced 119,000 barrels, and the brewery was listed as the 24th largest craft brewery in the U.S. When he's not working, Dale spends time with wife and four children. He is an avid mountain biker, and served as president of the Lyons Chamber of Commerce from 1999-2006.
Former CEO, New Belgium Brewing
Christine Perich serves as the CEO of New Belgium Brewing and is a member of the company’s Board of Directors. At the end of 2012, she guided the company through a 2nd Stage ESOP transaction, which resulted in New Belgium becoming a 100% employee-owned company BCORP. Perich now has oversight of all day to day operations and the construction and integration of the company’s second production facility in Asheville, North Carolina, which is slated for completion in late 2015. Christine has been an integral part of New Belgium’s growth and success. When she started at New Belgium in 2000, the company operated a 165,000 barrelage production facility and distributed its products in 7 states. In 2014, New Belgium will produce more than 970,000 barrels and distribute its products in 37 states and throughout Canada and Sweden.
Founder, Heavy Seas Beer
A sixth generation Baltimorean, Hugh J. Sisson has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing. The Founder and Managing Partner of Heavy Seas Beer, Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sisson’s, located in Federal Hill. In the mid-eighties, Sisson, along with the help of Senator George W. Della, Jr., successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation required to open a brew pub in Maryland. With the initiation of pub brewing in Baltimore in 1989, Sisson immersed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's and its beers. In 1994, he left Sisson’s to begin a new venture, Clipper City Brewing Company. Clipper City has been in operation for more than 21 years and markets fine beers – under the brand name of Heavy Seas -- in 18 states, as well as Washington, DC. Sisson is a member of the Brewers Association, is past president for the Brewers Association of Maryland, and a former member of the Master Brewers Association of America. He was founder of the Cross Street Irregulars Home Brew Club, Maryland’s oldest such club, and co-hosts a weekly program on WYPR Radio, Baltimore, entitled Cellar Notes that critiques fine wine and beer.
Co-Founder & CEO, Harpoon Brewery
Dan Kenary serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mass. Bay Brewing Company, aka, the Harpoon Brewery. Dan graduated from Harvard College in 1982 with a degree in American History then earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1985 while working at the First National Bank of Chicago. Frustrated with the lack of beer options, Dan left the bank in 1986 to co-found Harpoon. Dan has served on the Institute of Brewing Studies Board of Advisors, as director and treasurer of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, a local environmental advocacy organization, president of the Boston Marine Park Business Association, and founding president of the Massachusetts Brewer’s Guild. He currently serves as Chairman of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Commonwealth’s largest employer association. In 2014 Dan led Harpoon through its transition to employee ownership through the creation of the Harpoon Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”). Originally from Worcester, Dan lives in Wellesley with his wife, Julie, and has four children.
CEO and Co-Founder, Odell Brewing Company
Wynne Odell is co-founder and CEO of Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, CO. Starting in 1989 with her husband, Doug, and sister-in-law, Corkie, the trio had no grand plans, but after five years of a draft-only format, bottles were introduced and rapid growth ensued. 26 years later, Odell Brewing Company ranks 34th in size among craft breweries in the U.S. Odell is a Colorado-centric company, with 65% of its sales coming from Colorado. With the addition of Texas in 2014, it now distributes in 11 states. Wynne, Doug and Corkie undertook two transactions in July, 2015 that sold the majority of their stock to a combination of an ESOP and a trio of long-term managers. Having chosen legacy over maximum wealth, the three founders sleep well at night. Wynne, Doug and Corkie, along with 3 of their children, remain active at the brewery. Wynne currently chairs the Colorado Brewers’ Guild Board.
Director of Beverage Strategy, Yard House Restaurants
Greg began his restaurant career over two decades ago in service and continued into management through multiple concepts eventually landing at Yard House in November of 2005 opening the 13th location. After spending two years in management serving several locations in Southern California he moved into a beverage support role at the home office in 2007 officially taking over the beverage program as Director in September of 2014. Greg and his team currently manage beer, wine, cocktail, sprits and non-alcoholic beverage programing for the 69 Yard House locations in 24 states supporting over 9,100 tap handles nationwide and $36 million dollars in beverage purchasing.
Chairman, Pabst Brewing Co.
Eugene Kashper is an American beer entrepreneur who acquired a controlling interest in Pabst Brewing Company in 2014. Mr. Kashper lives in Los Angeles where the company is headquartered, and currently serves as Chairman and CEO of PBC. Upon graduating from Columbia University, Kashper joined Ernst & Young as a consultant in International Business Services. In 1994, he left Ernst & Young to become the Stroh Brewery Company’s first and sole representative in the former Soviet Union. From 1995 to 1998, Kashper co-founded and served as CEO of North Winds Brewing, a beer and beverage import and distribution company based in Moscow, Russia. North Winds exclusively represented some of the brands Pabst owns today such as Strohs, Colt 45, Old Milwaukee, and Schaefer, as well as handling the marketing and distribution of Corona, Perrier, Heineken, Red Bull energy and other beer and beverage brands. In 1998, Kashper co-founded Ivan Taranov Breweries (ITB) and served as CEO until 2001. ITB grew to include 3 breweries and 23 wholly owned distribution operations in Russia. Kashper also co-founded the Syabr Brewing Company in Belarus and Vlad Pivo, a brewery in the Russian Far East. In 2008, Kashper co-founded Oasis Beverages, which currently has brewing and beverage operations in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. As CEO of Pabst, Kashper has worked to strengthen the company’s sales and distribution and supply chain capabilities, forge new partnerships with high-end brand owners, and take full advantage of the company’s unique portfolio of heritage brands which include such iconic brands as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Lone Star, Old Style, Stroh’s, Rainier, Colt 45 and others. Over the past 24 months Pabst has added 150 employees mainly in the sales and marketing functions, partnered with Small Town Brewery to launch Not Your Father’s Root Beer, become the exclusive importer for Tsingtao, and entered a partnership with Vermont Hard Cider Co., the maker of Woodchuck and other cider brands. Most recently, Pabst collaborated with Dog Tag Brewing Company founder Seth Jordan to launch Legacy Lager. Dog Tag donates 100% of its profits to benefit charities created or selected by Gold Star Families. Recent heritage brand innovations launched by Pabst include Stroh’s Bohemian Pilsner, Rainier Pale Mountain Ale, Ballantine Burton Ale and Old Style Oktoberfest. Mr. Kashper attended The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and graduated from Columbia University in 1992 with a major in East Asian Languages and Cultures. He is married and has two children.
Founder, The Lost Abbey
President, Rogue Ales & Spirits
Brett Joyce began his career at Rogue Ales & Spirits in 1989. At age 16 he worked as a keg washer and truck driver. Brett graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 1995 with a double major in History and Economics. He worked at Adidas for 10 years, principally in product marketing, and worked at Adidas-Taylor Made Golf in Carlsbad, California where he was Director of Global Golf Footwear. He spent two years at Fila North America, outside of Baltimore, Maryland, where he was General Manager. He eventually “returned” to Rogue in 2006, where he learned the business working along side of his father (Founder & Chief Wisdom Officer, Jack Joyce). Brett was named President in 2007. He is married 16 years to Rhonda, has two daughters -- Lauren (14) and Emily (13) -- and a dog named Rascal.
Chief Economist, NBWA
Lester Jones tracks the economic factors that impact the beer distribution industry and alcohol policy decisions at the federal, state and local levels. He evaluates and develops primary industry data, including economic impact, tax impacts, sales and volume data. Jones has more than 20 years of experience in research, survey methodology and applied economics. He previously served as chief economist at the Beer Institute, where he developed and executed significant research initiatives that helped shape America’s beer industry. Jones also has become a respected public speaker, offering in-depth technical, analytical and quantitative expertise. In addition to his decade of work at the Beer Institute, Jones previously worked for Arbitron Company (Nielsen) in Columbia, Maryland, and the Regional Economic Studies Institute in Towson, Maryland. Jones holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Delaware as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Category Manager – Beer, BevMo!
Amy Gutierrez, a native Northern Californian, started her beverage career, with Southern Wine & Spirits. The last two years there, she was the BevMo! Category Captain, where she helped open 19 stores. She joined BevMo! in 1997, in the same roll and then transitioned to Assistant Buyer for Food and Hardlines. Amy has always had a passion for beer, and in 2003 was promoted to the Assistant Buyer for beer. Then four years later, was promoted to her current position as Category Manager for Beer. She is responsible for all beer buying in 163 stores, in three states.
President, Alchemy & Science
A serial entrepreneur, Alan Newman's craft beer roots date back to 1993 with the launch of Magic Hat Brewing Company. Newman spent over 17 years at the helm of Magic Hat before turning to new opportunities in the industry. Newman brings his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for craft beer to his latest project, Alchemy & Science (A&S). The company is home to four brewery projects, including Traveler Beer Company, Angel City Brewery, Coney Island Brewing and Concrete Beach Brewery, all with a mission to expand the share of the craft beer nationally.
VP of Global Craft & Specialties, Anheuser-Busch InBev
Jerome Pellaud, Global VP of Craft & Specialties at ZX Ventures, entered the world of beer through flavor and fermentation in 1998. A chemist by education, he received a PhD in Biophysical Chemistry (the science of proteins) from the University of Basel (Switzerland). He moved to Belgium in 1998 to pursue a post-doctoral study on sulfur flavors produced by yeast during fermentation at the Brewing Technology Lab of the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, the same University where Jerome gained certification as a Brewmaster. With a passion for beer, food, flavors and beverages in general, Jerome joined ABI in 2000 in brewing science and new product exploration team. He is now realizing his dream to bring exceptional Specialty beer experiences to people across markets.
Co-Founder, Bronx Brewery
Chris is the General Manager and Co-Founder of The Bronx Brewery, a craft brewery that creates exceptional pale ales. His journey in the food and beverage industry has taken him throughout the world, from Boston, MA to Sao Paulo, Brazil, before settling in the South Bronx. As General Manager, Chris focuses on the business-related aspects of The Bronx Brewery. As with all startups, he wears a number of hats, but is generally tasked with setting the overall strategy for the company and on a daily basis oversees Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Investor Relations. Before starting The Bronx Brewery, he worked as an independent marketing, sales, and business development consultant to Heineken International, focusing on small or turnaround operating companies. Prior to his work with Heineken, Chris oversaw a number of engagements with Bain & Company, a management consultancy, helping food and beverage companies tackle a wide range of issues from sales strategy to organizational restructuring to acquisition diligence. Chris holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and a BS from Bentley University.
The High End President, Anheuser-Busch InBev
Felipe Szpigel is president of The High End, with responsibility for the development of the company’s craft and import beer brands in the U.S. market. His portfolio includes Stella Artois, Shock Top and the company’s craft businesses: Goose Island in Chicago; Blue Point in Patchogue, N.Y.; 10 Barrel in Bend, Ore.; Elysian in Seattle; Virtue Cider in Fennville, MI; and Golden Road in Los Angeles. Szpigel is also a member of the company’s North American management committee, who oversee all aspects of the business in the United States and Canada. Before his current position in the U.S. market, Szpigel was vice president of trade marketing for the global parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, in New York. There he led a series of key projects around the world such as the company’s renewed on-premise focus.
COO, Storied Craft Breweries
Adam has spent 20 years in the beverage industry. Prior to Storied Craft Breweries, he worked with three prominent craft brewers, serving as the VP of Sales New Holland Brewery and Distillery for two years and as VP of Sales for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery for seven years. He also spent six years as National Sales and Marketing Manager for Rogue Ales. His past experiences include owning a wine distribution company and beverage brokerage, and he is a long serving member of the Brewers Association. While at Rogue, Adam grew sales of the brand from 28,000 barrels to 78,000 barrels. During his time, the brand expanded distribution to all 50 states and 20 international markets. Rogue's distribution footprint consisted of 125 distributors across 50 states. Adam also helped grow Dogfish Head from 78,000 barrels to 230,000 barrels. During his time, Dogfish expanded to 30 states with a distributor network of 135 wholesalers.
Managing Partner, First Beverage Group
Townsend developed his love of beverages while at graduate school in Northern California, where he found an appreciation for wine that evolved into a 25-year collector’s history. Prior to joining First Beverage, Townsend spent over 25 years in investment banking and private equity at The First Boston Corporation, Wasserstein Perella & Co., and Wasserstein & Co. He has completed over $40 billion in mergers and acquisitions advisory assignments, and as a principal investor over 30 private equity investments ranging from leveraged buyouts and growth equity to venture capital. In this capacity, he served on numerous private and public company boards of directors. He is a former Director and Non-Executive Chairman of Imax Corporation, a leading large-screen film projection company, and a former Director of two other public companies: Collins & Aikman Corporation, a $2 billion automotive components company, and Maybelline, Inc., a leading mass market cosmetics manufacturer. While at First Beverage, Townsend has advised Firestone Walker in its partnership with Duvel Moortgat, Brooklyn Brewery in its investment from Kirin, Southern Tier in its investment from Ulysses, Boulevard in its sale to Duvel Moortgat, Hop Valley Brewing and Terrapin Beer in their sales to MillerCoors, 10 Barrel Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, Devils Backbone Brewery and Spiked Seltzer in their sales to ABInBev.
CEO of Craft, Anheuser-Busch
As CEO, craft, Andy Goeler oversees Anheuser-Busch's four craft breweries. Andy brings more than 30 years in the beer business at AB, holding multiple positions within the commercial team - including vice president of import, craft and specialty - and leading brands small and large with his broad experience in sales. Most recently, Andy held the role of CEO and president, Goose Island, where he led the successful national launch of Goose Island brands. Before the Goose Island partnership in 2011, Andy served on the board of the Craft Brew Alliance - owner of Kona Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewing - giving him great insights into the craft beer segment.
President, Tenth & Blake (MillerCoors)
Scott heads up Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the Craft and Imports division of MillerCoors. Tenth and Blake features craft beers and ciders from Blue Moon Brewing Company, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Crispin Cider Company and AC Golden. Imports include Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch. A veteran of more than 33 years in the beer industry, Scott previously was president of Coors Distributing Company in Denver. At Coors Distributing Company, Scott gained invaluable experience in growing a diverse portfolio of craft and import brands, including leading brands from Blue Moon Brewing Company and Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Scott previously held a number of senior roles, including vice president of integration planning at MillerCoors, vice president of global strategy at Molson Coors and chief market development officer at Molson Coors Canada. Scott holds an MBA from the University of Colorado and a BA from the University of California - Davis.
Chief Operating Officer, Drizly Inc.
Cory Rellas is the COO of Drizly, Inc., the technology company powering a superior shopping experience for beer, wine and liquor. Rellas joined Drizly full time in Dec 2013 as its third full-time employee and was instrumental in laying the foundation on how Drizly operates today. Rellas is responsible for crafting Drizly's business strategy, from expansion and strategic partnerships, to fundraising and recruitment of top-tier talent. Under Rellas' direction, Drizly raised $17.8 million in funding, expanded from one to 15 major metropolitan markets, grew from three to 42 full-time employees, and delivered hundreds of thousands of deliveries across the country. Before Drizly, Rellas served as an associate for Sankaty Advisors, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital. While at Sankaty, Rellas focused on high yield and distressed investments as well as working with middle market companies in turnaround and growth situations.