We’re less than 24 hours away from the 2016 Brewbound Session in San Diego, and it’s time to introduce our presenters and judges for Startup Brewery Challenge 7, our on-of-a-kind business pitch competition presented by Craft Brew Alliance.
Six craft brewery entrepreneurs who have been on the market for two years or less will take the stage tomorrow to show off their business plans, sample one core product offering and receive immediate feedback from a panel of five expert judges.
The six brewery owners competing in the Thursday afternoon showdown are:
- Devon Ponds, CEO, Friends and Allies Brewing Company
- Eugene Simor, Founder and President, Alamo Beer Company
- Eddie Leon, Co-Founder & CEO, M.I.A. Beer Company
- Kristen Lyons, Owner, Binghamton Brewing Co
- David Favela, CEO, Border X Brewing
- Shannon Carter, President, Shannon Brewing Co.
During the competition, which is scheduled to begin at 1:35 p.m. PST, our industry veteran judges will evaluate Startup Brewery Challenge finalists and critique contestants on their elevator pitch, branding & packaging, marketplace potential and product quality.
Judging this year’s competition are:
- Karmen Olson, Senior Manager of Emerging Business, Craft Brew Alliance
- Amy Gutierrez, Category Manager — beer, BevMo!
- Daniel Lust, Co-Founder, Pints LLC
- Tom Bleigh, Innovation Brewmaster, Craft Brew Alliance
- Stephen Bossu, Co-Founder, Hopewell Brewing Company (Startup Brewer Challenge 6 Winner)
The brewery owner with the best overall pitch and product will receive $5,000 to be used to fuel the growth of their emerging business. The winning brand will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Portland, Ore., where key members will meet with and learn from Craft Brew Alliance executives, take an extensive tour of the company’s production brewery, participate in Widmer Brothers’ daily taste panel and receive business coaching from the CBA team.
Past winners of the Startup Brewery Challenge include Hopewell Brewing, Wynwood Brewing Company, Braxton Brewing Company, CODA Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and 5 Stones Brewing.
In 2014, as a direct result of participating in the Startup Brewery Challenge, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and CBA formed a strategic partnership. That partnership has evolved into a master distribution arrangement and a commitment from CBA to market, sell and distribute AMB products exclusively throughout its wholesale network.
About Brewbound Session:
Focused on the business side of craft brewing, Brewbound Session events offer an unmatched strategic learning opportunity for beer industry professionals by combining the best in business information and networking. The full-day program features a hand-selected roster of industry experts and leaders who, through presentations and panel discussions, will touch on topics including investment, emerging trends, distribution strategies and more. 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 future storms.