Brew Talks Next Gen 2018 Speakers
VP of Sales, Dogfish Head
Todd celebrated his 30th year in the beer industry this summer. He started his career on the wholesaler side of the business as a driver salesman in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over the next 11 years, he held various roles across two distribution companies in New Mexico, including general manager of New Mexico Beverage in Albuquerque. In 1999 Todd moved to the supplier side of the business, working for Barton Beers. During his 16 years with Barton-Crown-Constellation, he experienced the evolution of the company, and lived in following locales -- Boise, Phoenix, Denver, Northern Virginia and Chicago. During his stint at Constellation Brands, he held vice president, division manager, and sales operations roles. Over the last three years, Todd has served as the vice president of sales at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.
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.
Founder & President, Hops & Grain Brewing
Josh Hare is the founder and president at Hops & Grain Brewing in Austin, Texas. He fell in love with artfully crafted beer and the fantastic community that supports it when he was living in Boulder, Colorado in the early 2000’s. He moved to Austin in 2005 to pursue a career in triathlon and the running specialty retail industry, and eventually helped to open the city’s most successful running retail store. After searching for beer sponsors all over the state with no success, Hare decided to open his own brewery, focused on the highest quality products and marketing them to an active city loyal to locally produced goods. Since 2011, he has been overseeing the day-to-day operations of the brewery -- from recipe & product development to quality management. Since day one, the mission at Hops & Grain has been to enhance the human experience through the medium that inspires them the most: the artful and deliberate expression of thoughtfully crafted beer.
Co-Founder, Independence Brewing Company
Little did Amy Cartwright, the co-founder of Independence Brewing, know that taking a job at the Bitter End Brewpub in 1996 would lead to a lifelong pursuit for the perfect IPA, and an obsession with craft beer. While enjoying a killer American Pale Ale brewed by her husband, Rob, Amy decided to dedicate herself to a more worthy endeavor: craft beer. It was then that the idea for Independence Brewing Co. was born. Years of research, planning, and fundraising culminated in October 2004, when Independence opened its warehouse doors in South Austin. Amy’s passion for brewing handcrafted beers for Texas comes through in every batch, every keg, every bottle and every can of beer that Independence brews.
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.
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.