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Brewbound Pitch Slam 2018: Meet The Players

Brewbound’s one-of-a-kind business pitch competition, called Pitch Slam, will take place on Tuesday, November 27, and Wednesday, November 28, at the Lowes Hotel in Santa Monica, California.

Presented by Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), the Brewbound Pitch Slam gives entrepreneurs behind the beer industry’s next breakout brands an opportunity to sample their innovative products and showcase their business plans in front of hundreds of attendees at the two-day Brewbound Live business conference.

A hand-selected group of new, innovative beverage companies will compete for a trip to Portland, Oregon, to meet with and learn from CBA, as well as a $10,000 industry awareness package from Brewbound. The winning entrepreneur will also receive a free entry into the 2019 Brewbound Live conference.

This year’s contestants are:

  • Fred Sotelo, co-founder, Cerveza XTECA
  • Kyle Pool, CEO and co-founder, New Motion Beverages
  • Robert Jaggers, co-founder, South Beach Brewing Company
  • Margaret Link, director of marketing, Sufferfest Beer Company
  • Tom Whisenand, co-founder, Indeed Brewing Company
  • Bill Shufelt, founder, Athletic Brewing Company
  • Jennifer Newman, CEO and owner, Young Lion Brewing Co
  • Caleb Tenenbaum, head of business development, Willie’s Superbrew

After an opening round of elevator pitches on Day One, five finalists will be selected by a panel of expert judges to present on the Brewbound Live main stage. On Day Two, the five brands will have three minutes to deliver their pitches and sample their brews while making a lasting impression on the following judges.

  • Karmen Olson, director of innovation, CBA
  • Tom Bleigh, innovation brewmaster, CBA
  • Fred Hart, partner and creative director, Interact Boulder
  • Ryan Lake, managing director, OMAC Beverage Advisors
  • David Fields, managing partner, Wormtown Brewery

During a trip to Portland, Oregon, the Brewbound Pitch Slam winner 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.

Those who are unable to make the trip to Santa Monica will be able to watch the Pitch Slam, and portions of Brewbound Live, via a free live stream on Tuesday, November 27, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. PT, and Wednesday, November 28, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. PT.

In addition to streaming all of the presentations and panel discussions from the main stage, members of the Brewbound edit team will conduct a dozen interviews with conference attendees, including former New Belgium CEO Christine Perich, Atwater Brewery owner Mark Reith, and Karl Strauss Brewing CEO Chris Cramer, among others.

Past winners of the Pitch Slam, originally called Startup Brewery Challenge, include Novo Brazil Brewing, Armada Brewing, Border X Brewing, Hopewell Brewing, Wynwood Brewing Company, Braxton Brewing Company, CODA Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, and 5 Stones Brewing.

In 2018, as a direct result of participating in the Startup Brewery Challenge, Craft Brew Alliance acquired Wynwood Brewing and Appalachian Mountain Brewery.

Attended by hundreds of brewery entrepreneurs, distributors, retailers and investors, the two-day Brewbound Live conference will examine strategies for driving an increasingly more complex industry forward.

About Brewbound

Published by Inc., Brewbound is a leading industry trade publication providing comprehensive information about the beer space, analysis of industry trends and in-depth interviews with industry leaders. In addition to providing daily news coverage, Brewbound also gathers entrepreneurs and executives to exchange ideas, discuss the state of the industry and hear strategies for succeeding in the alcohol beverage segment via a series of nationwide meetups and multi-day business conferences.

About Brewbound Live

Brewbound Live is a multi-day conference for serious brewing professionals who are interested in engaging in high-level business discussion while networking with emerging and established players alike. The program features a hand-selected roster of industry experts and innovators who, through presentations and panel discussions, address trends, challenges and the future of the brewing industry.

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