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Brew Talks Austin: Lessons of a Serial Food & Beverage Entrepreneur

Deep Eddy Vodka founder, Clayton Christopher

The process of building a successful beverage company isn’t easy, especially when you lack the kind of capital it takes to compete in a crowded marketplace.

These days, at least in craft beer, there are thousands of brands all vying for wholesaler, retailer and consumer attention. But the most prudent brand owners are resourceful entrepreneurs who understand that core values, a long-term vision and talented employees will ultimately lead to success.

So, as Brewbound continues to look for creative ways to discuss these topics at our live events, it is with distinct pleasure that we introduce a triple-threat food/beverage/spirits startup expert, Clayton Christopher, to our Oct. 21 Brew Talks meetup in Austin, Texas.

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The event — which will be hosted at the world headquarters of popular entertainment website, The Chive — will feature a special presentation from Christopher, who has helped launch food and beverage companies like Sweet Leaf Tea, Deep Eddy Vodka and Rhythm Superfoods. Christopher also serves as a mentor to companies through Austin’s Incubation Station, a consumer products accelerator that offers services and education for entrepreneurs.

Christopher started Sweet Leaf in 1998 with $15,000 in savings, an old delivery van and an ice tea recipe from his grandmother. Over the years, Christopher helped grow Sweet Leaf from a brand that was sold at a few stores in Austin, into one of the fastest-growing beverages brands in the country — one that would eventually be acquired by Nestle Waters in 2011.

During his Brew Talks presentation, Christopher will share lessons from his own entrepreneurial journey and explain the key decisions that have led to success. Following his talk, Christopher will engage in moderated question-and-answer session with the audience and with Brewbound editor, Chris Furnari.

Designed to provide brewers, distributors and retailers with an intimate opportunity to network and learn the business of beer in craft-friendly locales, Brew Talks Austin will also explore federal and statewide legislative issues impacting craft brewers.

In addition to hosting conversations with beverage industry experts, which will begin at 6:00 P.M. local time, Brewbound will also be raising funds for The Chive’s non-profit organization, Chive Charities, which is dedicated to championing underdog causes; especially those geared towards rare medical conditions, disabled veterans and underfunded special needs programs. 100 percent of the suggested contribution proceeds ($10 – $100) will be donated to Chive Charities.

About Brew Talks:

Launched in 2013, Brew Talks are gatherings designed to provide craft brewers, distributors and retailers the opportunity to come together and have in-depth discussions on the business side of craft beer. The events serve as an educational and networking opportunity for beer industry professionals and all events are broadcast globally via a free live stream. Brew Talks is sponsored by Owens-Illinois and Portland Kettle Works.

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