Startup Brewery Challenge 9: Showcase Your Brewery on Stage
The Startup Brewery Challenge, presented by Craft Brew Alliance, is a showcase for entrepreneurs looking to expand beyond the tap room. Growth-focused brewery leaders will pitch against other emerging breweries, get instant feedback from a group of industry expert judges and compete for a cash prize and a trip to Portland, OR. A handful of breweries will be chosen to pitch their company on the Brewbound Session Summer 2017 stage. The brewery owners will have four minutes to deliver their pitch, followed by a three minute Q&A with the judges. Participants will provide two different beers, one to be consumed prior to the competition and one during, that the judges will evaluate.
Sports Business Reporter, ESPN
Darren Rovell is the sports business reporter for ESPN, where he has covered the beat for the network for 11 years. In this capacity, he writes for ESPN's website and appears on all its shows including "SportsCenter" and "Outside The Lines." He has a vast social media following, most notably his 1.8 million followers on Twitter. Rovell, who won an Emmy Award for his work on NBC's 2008 Election coverage during his six-year stint with business channel CNBC, has been involved with the food and beverage world for more than a decade. He wrote a book on Gatorade called "First In Thirst" and is a partner in Tastemaster Capital, which invests in early stage food and beverage companies.
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.
Co-Founder, Pints LLC
Daniel Lust, the former Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc., a family-owned beverage wholesaler based in Tucson, AZ, is an independent consultant with PINTS LLC supporting the beverage industry in strategic planning, data analysis, marketing and branding, territory expansion, and wholesaler management. During his tenure at GED he was focused on developing internal process improvements, profitable pricing initiatives, business intelligence tools and portfolio development. His sales leadership was recognized by supplier partners, including national recognition by Anheuser-Busch for developing innovative solutions to measure sales performance and execution. He is also an avid mountain biker, road cyclist, golf nut, home brewer and active member of various charitable organizations in the local community.
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.
Manager of Beer Operations, Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries
With 18 years of experience in beverage and restaurant operations, Jonny is an avid craft beer expert and Certified Cicerone®. Focused within Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries on the Old Chicago brand, Jonny executes and develops the beer strategy, manages 85-plus versions of the beer list, is Old Chicago’s beer content expert, and oversees 13 regional beer specialists across the country. Jonny seeks out up-and-coming as well as proven brewers to make collaborations and exclusive beer promotions for the brand. Old Chicago has over 4000 draft lines, at 108 restaurants, in 24 states and is focused on selling a blend of local, regional and national craft beer offerings.
Director of Emerging Business Partnerships, Craft Brew Alliance
Karmen Olson is the Director of Emerging Business Partnerships for Craft Brew Alliance, where she discovers and integrates strategic partners that leverage CBA's brewing and distribution expertise. Karmen previously served as the Redhook Brand Manager for CBA where she initiated a partnership strategy with national Retail and Media outlets that led the brand from negative to double digit growth. Karmen has more than 15 years' experience in the Food and Beverage industry, specializing in brand strategy and strategic partnerships. Ms. Olson holds an MBA from George Fox University, a Bachelor of Science from Portland State University, and serves on the Board of Directors for Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, OR.
Innovation Brewmaster, Craft Brew Alliance
Thomas Bleigh is the Innovation Brewmaster for Craft Brew Alliance where he leads a team of Innovation brewers to create new products, explore new ingredients and engage in brewing Research & Development. Tom was born in Augsburg, Germany and is a graduate of UC Davis with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and the University of Wisconsin with an Master of Fine Arts. A 16 year Craft Beer industry veteran, Tom’s interests are in meats, cheese and kimchi in addition to “Pursuit of the Perfect Pint!”
Presented by Craft Brew Alliance, this year’s Startup Brewery Challenge winner will receive:
- $5,000 to be used to fuel the growth of their emerging business.
- An all-expenses-paid trip to Portland, Ore. to meet with and learn from Craft Brew Alliance executives, take an extensive tour of the company's production brewery, participate in Widmer Brothers' daily taste panel and receive business coaching from the CBA team.
- Free entry into the Summer or Winter 2018 Brewbound Session.
Beer companies that meet the following criteria will be considered:
- Beer Companies that brewed/delivered their first commercial beer on/after December 2015
- Company must be based in the U.S.
- Must be able to provide samples of one or more beer styles and it must be packaged in a bottle, can or growler (no draft).
- Must be registered for Brewbound Session Winter 2017.
A handful of breweries will be chosen to pitch their company to a panel of expert judges on the Brewbound Session stage. The brewers will have four minutes to deliver their pitch, followed by a three minute Q&A with the judges. Participants will provide two different beers, one to be consumed prior to the competition and one during, that the judges will evaluate. The Startup Brewery Challenge application deadline is Friday, November 3rd.
The Brewbound Startup Brewery Challenge, sponsored by Craft Brew Alliance, gives new beer company owners a chance to pitch their brands and sample one core beer to a panel of expert judges.