Distinguished Professionals Speak on the Evolving Industry
We are honored to have trailblazers, trendsetters and rising stars join us on stage. They speak at Brewbound Live because they’re focused on the future of the beer industry. Expect a first-rate speaker roster delivering the highest quality business discussions. Our on-stage content is specifically designed with founders, C-level executives, and decision-makers in mind.
Past Brewbound Live Speakers
CEO, Craft Brew Alliance
Andy Thomas has served as Chief Executive Officer for Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) since January, 2014, where he brings more than two decades of leadership experience in consumer packaged goods and the beer and beverage industries to his role. As President of Commercial Operations for CBA from 2011 to 2013, Andy helped establish the company’s distinctive portfolio strategy which combines the power of national lifestyle brands such as Kona Brewing Co. with strong, authentic regional craft brands. Prior to joining CBA, he served as an independent consultant and senior advisor to The Monitor Group, a global management consulting firm. From 1995 to 2007, he spent 12 years at Heineken, working with brewers and beers in more than 55 countries across four continents, and served as president & CEO of Heineken USA from 2005-2007. He 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, Bissell Brothers
VP of Innovation, MillerCoors
In late 2017, Colucci took over marketing the No. 2 U.S. brewer’s innovation portfolio. She’s been busy. She led the successful April 2019 launch of Cape Line Sparkling Cocktails, which ranked among the category’s top ten growth brands for 14 weeks, according to Nielsen. She also spearheaded the launch of MoVo wine spritzers and the push behind a La Colombe branded hard cold-brew coffee drink for fall. A year earlier, she spearheaded the successful national rollout of Arnold Palmer Spiked, another innovative co-branded product. If that seems like a lot in a little time, it’s because she’s worked to make the brewer more agile, in one case cutting 10 months off the usual timeline for a national launch. Prior to joining MillerCoors, Sofia spent seven years at PepsiCo in a variety of roles, including leading innovation for its North American Nutrition portfolio, which includes brands such as Tropicana, Quaker and Naked Juice. The Canadian-Uruguayan Colucci began her career at Toronto-based Maple Leaf Foods. She’s fluent in Spanish and her out of office interests include music, food, fitness and travel.
CEO & Co-Founder, Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Chris Cramer has been a pioneer in the craft brewing industry for more than 30 years. When Chris and his college buddy, Matt Rattner, co-founded Karl Strauss Brewing Company in 1989, it was the first new brewery to open in the City of San Diego since Prohibition. Since then, the Karl Strauss locations have grown to include a main production brewery, a tasting room & beer garden, and ten brewpubs throughout Southern California. Karl Strauss is one of the top 50 craft breweries in the United States, while still only distributing in its home state of “Karlifornia”! Chris is the current Chair of the California Craft Brewers Association and a community activist who has personally championed many business and legislative reforms that helped pave the way for San Diego to become the world’s capital for craft beer. He takes particular pride in having introduced many Californians to their first craft beer, and his passion for continued innovation ensures that many new fans will have that same opportunity for years to come.
Former Diversity & Inclusion Director, Founders Brewing Co.
Graci Harkema, former Diversity & Inclusion Director of Founders Brewing Co., is a Diversity & Inclusion Consultant with graci LLC. She specializes in equity and inclusive leadership training within beverage, technology, and Fortune 100 industries. She is dedicated to driving inclusion and integrating diversity to ensure an open and safe work environment. She helps evolve strategies to attract and engage a diverse and inclusive workforce and workplace. Graci is committed to empowering employees to perform to their potential as their authentic selves. She partners with clients to help them achieve successful business results by maximizing talent and inclusion strategies. Graci is passionate about serving her community by volunteering her time on LGBTQ non-profit boards and committees in Michigan. She is recognized as a “40 Under Forty Business Leader of West Michigan” by Grand Rapids Business Journal and has her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Grand Valley State University.
Co-Founder & COO, The Lost Abbey,Port Brewing & The Hop Concept
Director of Product Development, Deschutes Brewery
Veronica Vega is the Director of Product Development at Deschutes Brewery, the 10th largest craft brewery in the U.S. Veronica is a member of the senior leadership team at Deschutes and brings a high level of expertise to the brewery’s daily operations as well as the strategic vision for the company. She started at Deschutes in 2006 as a tour guide and in 2015, at the age of 35, Veronica became the Brewmaster of Product Development and is now in one of the top positions in the company as Director of Product Development. Veronica is a member of the Master Brewers Association of Americas, shares her passion for brewing and beer in many respected speaking engagements and has been highlighted in several craft brewing and lifestyle publications. Veronica is extremely creative, enthusiastic and passionate not only about craft beer and brewing, but in her life and activities outside of her career as well. Veronica is very involved in the brewing community and is a mentor for many women both in and out of the industry. Veronica is devoted to her husband and two children, her passion for farming and outdoor recreation and her Deschutes Brewery family. Veronica can be reached at email@example.com.
Matt leads the charge to reinvent some of America’s most iconic beer brands, embracing the significant transformation required to reconnect with emerging generations and unlock the potential of the Pabst brands, people, and everyone we touch. Over the years Matt has worked all over the world in diverse industries - from cigarettes to breakfast foods to alcohol to the building sector. Matt enjoys building diverse teams that bring together courageous thinking that’s divergent and unique while focused on actionable outcomes.
Co-Founder, Three Weavers Brewing Company
Lynne Weaver is the founder and president of Three Weavers Brewing Company in Inglewood, California. Lynne leads all aspects of the brewery, including operations, finance and sales. Three Weavers Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery with a mission to build a positive sense of community through the collective passion for craft beer. Three Weavers is one of the largest independent craft breweries in Los Angeles County and currently expanding production and distribution on the West Coast. Led by award-winning Brewmaster, Alexandra Nowell, Three Weavers craft beers have received critical International acclaim, winning a World Beer Cup Gold Medal in 2016, a GABF Silver Medal in 2017, a European Beer Star Bronze in 2017, and the Australian International Beer Awards Best IPA and Champion International Beer in 2018. Three Weavers is proudly brewed in Inglewood, California.
Co-Founder, Firestone Walker
Firestone Walker co-founder David Walker is originally from Devon, a county in southwest England. He relocated to the West Coast in 1991, and established the brewery in Los Olivos, California with his brother-in-law Adam Firestone a few years after that. The company relocated Paso Robles in 2001. Walker makes regular trips home to see his family and check on his beer, which, along with 20 U.S. states, is distributed in the UK.
Co-founder, Brewmaster, Reuben's Brews
Since moving from the UK in 2004, Adam was blown away by the diversity and quality of the brews in the Pacific Northwest. As a home brewer, Adam and Grace poured their beer at the 2010 PNA Winter Beer Taste and won First Place in the People's Choice. Then the brewing bug took over and Adam continued to hone his craft and he won several more awards, including a Silver Medal at the 2012 National Homebrew Competition, and attended UC Davis. This all led to the desire to share his brews with more people and the opening of Reuben's Brews in August 2012.
Founder, CERIA Beverages
Keith Villa is a third generation Coloradan, whose higher education began with an undergraduate degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His first job out of school in 1986 was with Coors Brewing Company, conducting molecular biology research on yeast. In 1988, Keith and his wife, Jodi, traveled to Belgium where Keith earned a Ph.D. in brewing science and fermentation biochemistry from the University of Brussels. Keith is credited with creating Blue Moon Brewing Company in 1995 as an operating unit of Coors, which later became MillerCoors. Blue Moon’s Belgian White, garnished by a Valencia orange slice, grew to become the number 1 craft beer in the U.S. During this time, and Keith became a well-known brewmaster in the industry, appearing in Blue Moon TV commercials. Now retired from MillerCoors after 32 years, Keith and Jodi are focusing on the next stage in their careers – the creation of non-alcoholic brews infused with THC that offer consumers a socially acceptable and responsible way to enjoy cannabis. These new products will be offered by their CERIA Beverages Company and sold first in Colorado.
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