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December 3, 2015
San Diego, CA
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Apply NOW for Startup Brewery Challenge 5 at Brewbound Session Winter ‘15

The 5th edition of the Startup Brewery Challenge, Brewbound’s one of kind business pitch competition for emerging craft brands, will return to the upcoming Brewbound Session, taking place on Dec. 3 in San Diego, Calif.

Presented by Craft Brew Alliance, the Startup Brewery Challenge gives U.S. craft breweries who have been on the market for less than two years a chance to show off their business plans, sample one core product offering and receive immediate feedback from a panel of five expert judges.

Apply TODAY >>>


Participants are given three minutes to explain their business propositions, and company mission statements, and will receive immediate feedback from a judging panel that will include accomplished beer executives, innovative brewers and savvy craft retailers. Pitching in front of a more than 200 industry professionals, Startup Brewery Challenge participants will also be allowed to visually showcase their brands with Powerpoint slides.



Competing for the chance to become the Widmer “Brother for a Day,” the winning company will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Portland, Ore. and the opportunity to craft a new collaboration beer with Widmer Brothers Brewing. Winners will also take an extensive tour of the company’s production brewery, participate in Widmer Brothers’ daily taste panel and receive business coaching from CBA executives as well as sales, marketing, graphics, quality assurance and packaging department leaders.

Additionally, the winning company will have an opportunity to participate in one-on-one strategy consulting sessions with Startup Brewery Challenge judge, brand strategist and the founder of Good Beer Hunting, Michael Kiser.

Winning companies will also be featured in Brewbound’s soon-to-launch documentary series, “Learning Curve,” which follows Startup Brewery Challenge winners on their entrepreneurial adventures.


Think you’ve got what it takes to be crowned the winner of Startup Brewery Challenge 5?

Simply visit the application page for a complete listing of rules and selection criteria. Applicants must be registered to attend the Brewbound Session and will be evaluated and chosen by the Brewbound team. Questions about the competition can be directed to Jon Landis at or 617-231-8834.

Confirmed judges for the December challenge include:

  • Karmen Olson, Senior Manager of Emerging Business, Craft Brew Alliance
  • Ben Dobler, Brewing Innovation Manager, Craft Brew Alliance
  • Michael Kiser, Brand Strategist, Good Beer Hunting

Past winners of the Startup Brewery Challenge include Braxton Brewing Company, CODA Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and 5 Stones Brewing.

Last December, as a direct result of participating in the Startup Brewery Challenge, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and CBA formed a strategic partnership. That partnership recently evolved into a master distribution arrangement and a commitment from CBA to market, sell and distribute AMB products exclusively through its wholesale network.

About Brewbound Session:

Combining the best in business information and networking, the Brewbound Session offers an unmatched strategic learning opportunity for craft brewers and wholesalers. Focused on the business side of craft brewing, the event will take place in San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 3. Current speakers include Duvel Moortgat president Simon Thorpe; Odell Brewing co-founder Wynne Odell; Devils Backbone founder Steve Crandall and chief operating officer Hayes Humphreys and New Holland vice president of sales Adam Lambert, among others.

The Brewbound Session provides an excellent opportunity to learn marketing, investment, and distribution strategies, as well as hear case studies of successful brands in a highly collaborative atmosphere. The upcoming conference is aimed at supporting both established and emerging craft brands, with a focus on helping brewery owners improve their businesses as the craft category becomes increasingly competitive.