Brewbound is pleased to welcome a trio of experienced craft beer wholesalers to participate in a discussion of the distribution challenges facing craft brewers as part of the Brewbound Session on Nov. 29 in San Diego, Calif.

This panel discussion will explore the relationship between the multitude of startups trying to get to market and the shrinking number of wholesalers. With 1,300 new breweries preparing to launch, many industry experts worry that distributor mergers will eventually reduce their routes to market.

Addressing attendees on the topic will be three California-based distributor representatives: Steve Zulanas, VP of Sales for Allied Beverages; Thomas Haas, VP of Sales for Matagrano, Inc., and Jace Milstead, Craft Brand Manager for Ace Beverage Co.

Combined, the three participants bring a vast knowledge of the distribution landscape and will be able to provide a road map for craft brewers looking to increase share of mind with their distributor partners. This moderated discussion will also allow for plenty of audience participation and questioning.

About the Participants:

Steve Zulanas has over 25 years of experience in the beer industry. Starting in his grandfather’s distributorship, Mr. Zulanas experienced every aspect of the day to day operations of the company from driving a route truck, to running the sales department. As the President and General Manager of the distributorship, he led the company through brand and territory acquisitions, doubling sales and revenue. After the divestiture of the business Steve went to work for Heineken USA’s Star Brand Imports, selling a great portfolio of small, hand-crafted brands for 15 states in the Central part of the country. Transitioning to Heineken USA as Zone Director for nine states, he led the sales launch for Heineken Light in these important markets. In 2008, Steve became the Director of Distributor Development, working on network strategy and business process. In 2009 Steve joined Allied Beverages, Inc. as its Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Representing over 25 craft breweries, Allied Beverages Inc. sells 1.3 million cases of craft beer annually, making it one of the leading Craft distributors in the country.

Jace Milstead is a graduate of the Seibel World Brewing Academy’s Master of Beer Styles and Evaluation Program, as well as one of Los Angeles’ first Certified Cicerones and one of a very select few to sit for the Master Cicerone exam. In 2011, Jace became the first Craft Brand Manager at two of the largest and most prestigious distributors in Los Angeles, Ace Beverage and Mission Beverage. Managing a staff of dedicated craft beer sales people, Jace’s sphere of influence stretches from the Azusa all the way down to Hermosa Beach, and North to Zuma. His brands include Golden Road, Drake’s, Speakeasy, Taps, Bootlegger’s, Hangar 24, New Belgium, Ace Cider, Sierra Nevada and Anchor.

Thomas Haas is the vice president of sales and GM with Matagrano Inc., the California-based beer distributor servicing San Francisco and San Mateo counties. Matagrano Inc. distributes a number of regional craft beer brands including Lagunitas Brewing, New Belgium Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

About the Brewbound Session:

The Brewbound Craft Beer Session is a business conference addressing the topics that most directly impact the decisions craft brewers are faced with as they look to grow their brands. The event focuses on the business side of craft, offering brewers a unique opportunity to learn from and network with industry experts. The Brewbound Craft Beer Session is sponsored by GEA Westfalia, Brewery Insurance Program, Reyes Beverage Group and BevForce.