BREW TALKS: INDUSTRY NETWORKING &
Dogfish Head presents Brew Talks, Brewbound's industry meet-up series. Engage with like-minded professionals and network with fellow brewers, distributors, retailers
Attendees must register to attend Brew Talks at GABF 2019. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Colorado Brewers Guild.
BREWERY FOUNDERS & INDUSTRY EXECS SPEAK AT BREW TALKS
The Brew Talks GABF 2019 speaker lineup has not been released. Stay tuned for updates.
Leah Wong Ashburn
Family Owner, President, Highland Brewing
Leah is a second-generation family owner of Highland Brewing Company. Her father, Oscar Wong, founded the company in the sleepy town of Asheville in 1994, when Leah was two years out of school. After being turned down by her father for a job, she found a career in the printing industry in Charlotte, always with an eye on Highland and a drop of ownership. She turned down the same brewery job years later, as she enjoyed city life and financial success. But life priorities change, and in 2011, fleeing the nice income and abundant free time, she joined the family business. Leah began at Highland as a sales representative and board member, eventually moving into Marketing and Administrative leadership. Today she serves as President, living happily in Asheville with her husband Brock with occasional visits from her two terrific stepdaughters.
Founder and CEO, The Bruery
Patrick Rue is the Founder and CEO of The Bruery, located in Orange County, California. The Bruery -- along with Bruery Terreux and Offshoot Beer Co. -- are widely known for being flavor driven, innovative, and style defying, which in many ways is influenced by Patrick’s love of food and culinary arts. Patrick started his career in brewing after graduating from law school and hasn’t looked back. He is one of 16 individuals to achieve the rank of Master Cicerone.
Director of Analytics, The BWC Company
Dave Williams is the Director of Analytics for The BWC Company, an alcohol industry consulting firm. After graduating from Penn State University in 2006 with a degree in marketing, Dave began his career at Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) as a data analyst, running sales regression models and market level analytics across various retail and CPG clients. He left MMA and joined The Nielsen Company in 2010, quickly working up to the role of Client Manager. In this role, Dave lead a team dedicated to market mix and price/promo analysis for Procter & Gamble globally across multiple categories and brands. In 2015, Dave left Nielsen for his current position at The BWC Company, where he runs high-end analytics across the Beverage Alcohol universe. His key focus areas include consumer behavior, pricing, promotion and retail landscape for BWC’s supplier, distributor and retailer clients.
Founder, Calicraft Brewing Company
Blaine Landberg is founder and CEO of Calicraft Brewing Co., an innovative craft beverage company based in Walnut Creek, California. Opened in 2012, Calicraft takes inspiration from the ingredients, places and people of California. With over 18 years of beverage industry experience, Landberg has a strong track record of creating innovative beverages and brands, first with Honest Tea and now with Calicraft. Through Calicraft, Landberg focuses on thoughtful innovation - whether its using locally sourced ingredients such as anise hyssop and wine pomace, engaging in community events and collaboration, or developing new categories of beverages like Sparkling Ales – Calicraft seeks to answer the question: What if beer was created in California?
Director of Sustainability & Strategy, New Belgium Brewing
From bottling line to CFO and COO, Jenn’s roles have evolved since her start at New Belgium in 1993. As a B Corporation, New Belgium makes decisions that incorporate impact on planet and people as well as profit and invests in a sustainability team to drive that effort. Jenn leads the team developing and implementing the sustainability management system, corporate responsibility reporting, greenhouse gas accounting, natural resource management, legislative advocacy, and philanthropy. She has a special interest in the intersection of environment, economics, and policy, such as ecosystem services, carbon and water credit markets.
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.
Senior Director of Finance, Great Divide Brewing Company
Bryan Slekes is the senior director of finance for Great Divide Brewing Company. In this role, Bryan oversees finance, HR, and national sales. Prior to joining Great Divide, Bryan’s background and experience stems from private and public finance, commercial real estate development and sales. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys biking, skiing, and spending time with his family.
COO, Left Hand Brewing Company
Chris Lennert is the Chief Operating Officer for Left Hand Brewing Company. Starting in 2005, he has guided the brewery into one of the Top 50 breweries in the U.S. Building & leading strong teams within the brewery is a passion of Chris’ – with over 125 employees at the brewery, effective communication and ‘One Team’ is critical to the brewery’s success. He also is the Captain of Team Left Hand, a network of teams across 6 states with over 500 employees & friend that has raised over $2.2 million for Multiple Sclerosis since 2008. On a person side, Chris has been married to his wife, Heather, for 19 years and has two rough-n-tumble boys, Noah & Evan. He’s worked tirelessly with non-profits for the last decade and a half, from Bike MS to the VP of the Colorado Brewers Guild.
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.
Senior Category Manager, Lowes Foods
Charles Slezak is a 25-year retail veteran and the current senior category manager for beer and wine at Lowes Foods. Based in North Carolina, Lowes is a family-owned regional supermarket focused on local products. It operates 76 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Charles is a Certified Cicerone®, Certified Specialist of Wine and holds an MBA from The University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business.
Owner, Artisanal Imports
Bob Leggett, a lifetime Austin-ite, has been active in the beer industry for more than 40 years. His accomplishments include, investing in “Shiner of Austin,” one of the first Shiner Bock distributors in 1977, and the first to distribute Modelo, Dos Equis, and Corona in the U.S. Bob is credited with developing the concept of packaging Corona in a clear bottle with a blue and white label, which stands out to consumers. Over the years, Bob established other distributorships across Texas and the U.S. He is one of the first to import Belgium beers such as Duvel, and Chimay into the U.S. Bob pursued the early pioneers of the American craft beer industry, and was the first to distribute Sierra Nevada outside of California in 1982. In 2001, he founded Artisanal Imports, which has become one of the largest importers of Belgium beers in the U.S. In June 2017 Bob became the managing partner and owner of Uncle Billy’s.
Co-Founder, Austin Beerworks
Adam DeBower, a native of Austin, Texas, is the co-founder and co-owner of Austin Beerworks, a regional craft brewery. Adam is a brewer by trade, with more than 11 years experience in the brewing industry. Most days he is occupied with managing plant operations at Austin Beerworks. He is also in his 4th year of service on the Texas Craft Brewers Guild Board of Directors, where he is currently the Vice Chair of the Board, Legislative Committee Chair, and Chair of the Guild's political action committee, CraftPAC.
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