It’s almost hard to believe, but we’re just a few days away from the start of our eighth full-day business conference, the Brewbound Session, happening on Dec. 3 at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego, Calif..
More than 200 entrepreneurs, brewery executives, distributors and investors are already planning to join us on Thursday and tickets are nearly SOLD OUT. If you haven’t yet registered, there’s still an opportunity to snag one of our last remaining seats.
In the meantime, we thought we’d share more details about the agenda, so our guests know what to expect from each presentation and panel discussion.
The first half of the day is jam-packed with presentations from a tremendous group of brewery founders, financial advisors and thought leaders. It is aimed at helping attendees improve their knowledge of business planning, exit strategies and trends.
Lessons on Growth, Succession Planning
Kicking off the day will be Wynne Odell, the co-founder of Colorado’s Odell Brewing Company, who will share lessons on brewery development and succession planning.
Launched in 1989, Odell Brewing was founded on a shoestring budget of just $130,000. Capital constraints forced the company to keep distribution tight and product quality at the forefront of every decision it made. 26 years and multiple expansions later, Odell products can still only be found in 11 states, a direct result of the company’s planned and managed approach to growth.
On Thursday, Wynne Odell will make the case for staying small and scaling slow, discussing why brewery owners should consider their core values and company structure as they analyze new growth opportunities and plan for the future.
Odell’s growth strategy and debt-averse mindset also played a key role in its decision to sell 70 percent of the company back to employees and the management team. It’s also why we’ve invited a group of expert financial advisors to discuss exit strategies — from private equity and strategic buyouts to employee stock ownership plans.
Three of those experts — Spencer Fane’s Mike McCann, Prairie Capital Advisors’ Rocky Fiore and First Beverage Group’s Ryan Lake — will present on the main stage before breaking off to coach, in intimate work sessions, with brewery attendees.
Bank of America’s Brian Mulvaney, Scion Advisors’ Deborah Steinthal and Zepponi & Company’s Kevin O’Brien and Cody Jennings will also be on hand to teach attendees in the ins and outs of bank lending, generational transfers and brand valuation.
Trends, Profitable Business Planning on Tap
While a handful of attendees break for the work sessions, the main stage will feature two dynamic presentations from a pair of VP’s: Danelle Kosmal, the vice president of Nielsen’s beverage alcohol practice, will share the latest industry trends and new consumer survey data.
Later, Adam Lambert, the vice president of sales for New Holland Brewing, will provide an in-depth analysis on critical areas of business planning like capacity management, portfolio structure and distribution strategy, explaining how to properly manage each and drive profits to the bottom line.
In the afternoon, Duvel Moortgat’s Simon Thorpe will take the stage to discuss the internal and external challenges facing mid-size breweries as the industry becomes increasingly fragmented. He’ll also discuss a variety of factors that will impact those breweries caught between the dominant regional/national players and the smaller, more niche outfits.
The conference will also feature a number of talks focused on the future of craft, including a presentation from Devils Backbone founder Steve Crandall as well as COO Hayes Humphreys. During their talk, the pair will detail how Devils Backbone assesses new growth opportunities during periods of rapid expansion.
In the late afternoon, Brewbound editor Chris Furnari will conduct two key interviews on the future of craft: Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Felipe Szpigel, the president of the company’s high-end division, will join Furnari in a one-on-one discussion about its craft brands and its plans to continue growing in the segment.
The day’s final discussion will feature four California-based industry stakeholders — including BevMo! category manager Amy Gutierrez; Reyes Beverage Group craft category development director Steve Almaraz; Saint Archer vice president Jeff Hansson and California Craft Brewers Association Executive Director Tom McCormick. Together, the group will breakdown California’s changing craft landscape, discussing retail trends, acquisition activity, wholesaler consolidation and what lies ahead for more than 600 in-state craft brewers.
Still need another excuse to join us on Thursday? In addition to multiple structured networking breaks on Dec. 3, attendees are also invited to imbibe and socialize at a pre-event welcome reception, hosted by Mission Brewery, as well as an after party, hosted by Coronado Brewing.
About the Brewbound Session
Focused exclusively on the business side of craft brewing, Brewbound Session events offer an unmatched strategic learning opportunity for craft brewers and wholesalers by combining the best in business information and networking. The one-day program features a hand-selected roster of industry experts and leaders who, through presentations and panel discussions, will touch on topics including investment, marketing, distributions strategies and more.
Panelists and presenters will help brewers weigh the impact of portfolio choices, branding elements like design and packaging decisions on brand building and shelf appeal, as well as long-term distribution strategies. Marketing, merchandising, and the overall state of the craft market are looked at as opportunities for brewers to improve revenue and profitability, and to build the capital structure that will allow them to weather any storm.