We have assembled instructors and guest speakers from across the US and Canada, with expertise in the craft beer industry to guide each of our courses. Many of these individuals work for breweries or distributors, while others represent leading consultants and law firms that specialize in this industry.
Marketing and Branding Your Brewery Instructors
Joel Hueston, M.B.A.
Director of Commercial Strategy, First Key Consulting Inc., Vancouver B.C.
Joel has 25+ years of experience in the brewing industry, including 20+ years with Molson and Coors Canada. Currently he leads the Commercial Strategy division for First Key Consulting, a major craft beer consulting firm. His recent brewery projects include over twenty craft start-ups with a focus on market assessment and analysis, volume projections and development of comprehensive marketing, sales and organizational strategies.
Michael Kallenberger, M.A. (Economics)
Brand and Commercial Strategy Consultant
Mike has over 30 years of experience in the beer business, with almost three decades at Miller Brewing Company followed by the last eight years as an independent consultant. An economist by training, Mike has spent most of his career in marketing, specializing in brand positioning and strategy, consumer insights, situation analysis, marketplace assessment, and interpretation of cultural and consumer trends. He’s a six-time speaker at the Craft Brewers Conference and he’s written seventeen articles for The New Brewer, the magazine of the Brewers Association. He has also taught Consumer Behavior at the University of Wisconsin.
Partner & Designer, CODO Design
Isaac Arthur is a cofounder of CODO Design, an Indianapolis-based branding and web design firm founded on the belief that they can create better work by directly including clients in the creative process. Since 2009, he’s led branding efforts within the food and beverage industry, and spends most of his time traveling around the country helping to bring startup craft breweries and food artisans to market through foundational positioning and brand strategy, naming, package design, responsive web design, and environmental design.
Brewery Finance and Accounting Instructors
Audra Gaiziunas, M.B.A.
Owner, Brewed For Her Ledger, LLC
CEO of Bhramari Brewing Company and Owner of Brewed For Her Ledger, LLC, an Asheville NC-based management consultancy firm focused on providing guidance to the craft brewing and cider communities. Over 180 breweries and brewpubs have been clients. Previously CFO of Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston, NC and Controller of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, DE.
A graduate from the prestigious Kenan-Flagler OneMBA program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2008), Audra possesses over a decade and a half of experience in senior leadership roles in craft brewing, manufacturing, services, non-profits and startups. She earned her undergraduate degree in accounting and business management from Loras College (Dubuque, IA) in 1997.
Audra is a frequent speaker at craft beverage conferences, including NanoCon, the Brewers Association’s Craft Brewers Conference, and various state brewers’ guild annual meetings. She writes for the Brewers Association’s The New Brewer and is a nanobrewing columnist for Brew Your Own Magazine. She also teaches multiple courses through the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast.
Founder, McLaughlin PC
Matthew McLaughlin is the founder of McLaughlin, PC, a boutique commercial law firm specializing in the beverage industry. He has represented breweries and distilleries throughout the Southeastern United States and beyond for 13 years advising clients on business entity formation, ownership structure, startup financing and expansion financing, federal and state regulatory matters, and intellectual property. Matthew also oversees the land use approval process for the construction, renovation, and operation of breweries and distilleries, and drafts and reviews distribution agreements, licensing agreements and employment related agreements.
Matthew also serves as the executive director of the Mississippi Brewers Guild. In April 2017 at the Brewers Association’s annual Craft Brewers Conference, Matthew received the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award, an award given each year to the individual that aids and supports the causes of small, independent brewers and vigorously defends the craft beer industry.
Maria Pearman, CPA
Founder, Radix Accounting
Maria founded Radix Accounting in 2012 after spending five years at a large local CPA firm. Radix was created to provide accounting expertise and a deep operational knowledge to two specific industries that she enjoys – craft beer and creative services. Maria was the Portland Lead Instructor for Becker CPA review courses for five years, and taught Finance and Accounting for the Craft Brewer in Portland State University’s Business of Craft Brewing program. She also has held committee chair positions with the Oregon Society of CPAs and was selected by the American Society of CPAs to participate in their Leadership Academy as one of thirty-four young industry leaders in 2015. Outside of work Maria loves to travel and explore the far-flung corners of the globe.
Digital Marketing and Social Media Promotion in Craft Beer Instructors
Mathiew J. Medeiros, M.B.A.
Marketing Advisor for Revival Brewing
Mathiew’s marketing career began over 10 years ago helping revive the classic New England beer brand, Narragansett Beer. While at Gansett, he met Sean Larkin from Revival Brewing and became fascinated by beer drinkers’ gravitating towards an IPA from one brewery while ignoring an IPA from another brewery. After finishing his M.B.A. from Johnson & Wales, Mathiew joined NAIL Communications where he analyzes media and behavioral data to understand a brand’s target audience, and plans and develops media, content, and communications’ strategies. He then joined Revival Brewing as marketing advisor to assist in the planning and implementing of the brewery’s marketing strategies. Mathiew currently develops digital marketing plans through sales funnel optimization with the goal of customer acquisition for igus, global manufacturer of high-performance plastic components for automation and motion control systems.
Strategist for Mondo Mediaworks; Lead Brewer and Co-Owner of Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Tim’s diverse experience runs the gamut from marketing to hospitality, tourism, and most recently, alchemy — enhancing his reputation as a knowledgeable source in every industry he enters.
Tim lives in Brattleboro, Vermont, with his wife, business partner, and fellow beer-lover Amy, and their dog, Thor. When he’s not speaking at conferences or strategizing for Mondo clients, he’s concocting the next batch of beer in his downtown micro-brewery, Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery. Tim will be the lead instructor of the social media component in the Sales & Social Media in Craft Beer.
Distribution and Sales in Craft Beer Instructors
President, BrewPlan, Inc.
Jon is a brewing industry veteran, with strong beer marketing and sale credentials. He has over 38 years of consumer packaged goods with beer, wine and craft spirits experience. Jon assisted Abita Brewing to successfully launch in 9 States; supported City Brewery in La Crosse, WI as Director of Marketing & Sales from 1999-2007 and reach annual sales of $70 million.
Currently, Jon is President of BrewPlan, Inc., a consulting firm that provides strategic planning, marketing, sales, production forecasting/logistics, new brand launches, revenue generation and setting up distribution networks for expanding craft breweries, artisan wineries and craft distilleries. Jon is an instructor in the University of Vermont’s Business of Craft Beer Certificate program, and has been with the program for the past two years.
Kary Shumway is the founder of Beer Business Finance and Craft Brewery Finance, online resources for beer industry professionals. Shumway has worked in the beer industry for more than 20 years as a Certified Public Accountant, chief financial officer for a beer distributor, and currently as CFO for Wormtown Brewery in Worcester, MA. Craft Brewery Finance publishes a weekly beer industry finance newsletter, offers guide books on topics such as cash flow planning and basic budgeting, and an online course to improve taproom profits. The newsletter with a free trial, industry guides and resources are available at www.CraftBreweryFinance.com.
Business Operations in Craft Beer Instructors
Oralee Corbett, B.Sc.
With over ten years of quality systems experience in the food and beverage industry and a degree in Food Science, Oralee has a wealth of knowledge on brewing quality assurance, microbiology, food safety and team leadership. Her career in the brewing industry has included hand’s on experience at many levels, beginning as a lab technician and eventually managing quality assurance laboratories in both craft and large-scale breweries with success. Oralee’s key areas of expertise at First Key include: quality system improvements; quality audits and standards and procedures for Quality Management Systems (QMS); laboratory management; microbiology; HACCP and GMP.
Patrick Greer, M.B.A.
Director of Supply Chain Services, First Key Consulting
Patrick is a strong commercial strategist with a deep level of supply chain and procurement expertise in the brewing industry. With more than 30 years of experience, he has completed supply chain projects and assignments in 26 countries and is a CSCMP Certified “Supply Chain Pro”. With hands-on experience at every echelon of the organization, Pat has had roles ranging from customer service clerk to director of international logistics at Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Patrick Truman, M.A. (Digital Media)
Director of Operations, First Key Consulting
Patrick is a passionate, organized and experienced project manager, with award-winning craft brewing experience. He is a strong and adaptable leader in complex project environments, effectively managing scope, resources and schedules with an emphasis on understanding client needs and effective communication. Patrick is also proficient in social media, content marketing and web content management. He delivers efficient project management on a diverse range of projects for First Key, including business plans, product development and technical due diligence for acquisitions. Patrick also provides digital media strategy development for brewing industry clients.
Mark Benzaquen, M.Sc., Dipl. Brew., PMP
Director of Craft Breweries, First Key Consulting
Mark is an accomplished Master Brewer (M.Sc., Brew. Diploma) and Project Manager (PMP). He has led teams of quality, production and packaging technicians in overcoming business challenges to successfully ensure consistent high production and quality standards. In addition to successfully managing all aspects of brewery operations (large scale, microbrewery, brewpub), Mark has used his brewery production and packaging expertise to successfully develop and launch new beers into the market, hire and train staff, implement new quality and environmental programs, optimise brewery processes, and oversee the design, start-up and commissioning of new brewery systems around the world.
Nick Posloski, M.Sc. (Brew.), Dipl. Brew.
Senior Advisor, Technical Services, First Key Consulting
Nick’s career has led to significant experience in brewing, operations management, product development and quality services with both large and small brewers, as well as overseeing liquid production of sodas and spirits. He has participated as guest speaker in a special panel on modern dry hopping techniques, and has won multiple awards for a variety of beer styles. Having completed a Brewmaster Diploma (VLB), and Master of Science (Brewing and Distilling) at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, Nick specializes in refining and scaling recipes, optimizing operations, assisting with business planning, developing and implementing quality and operations management systems, and providing technical troubleshooting services within the industry. He currently resides in Victoria, British Columbia.
Michael Kallenberger, M.A. (Economics)
Brand and Commercial Strategy Consultant
Mike has over 30 years of experience in the beer business, with almost three decades at Miller Brewing Company followed by the last six years as an independent consultant. An economist by training, Mike has spent most of his career in marketing, specializing in brand positioning and strategy, consumer insights, situation analysis, marketplace assessment, and interpretation of cultural and consumer trends. He’s written twelve articles for New Brewer, the magazine of the Brewers Association, and he’s also taught Consumer Behavior at the University of Wisconsin.
Previous Industry Guest Speakers
Rich Ackerman, VP of Human Resources, Harpoon Brewery (MA)
John Baker, Harpoon Brewery (MA)
Adam Beauchamp, Creature Comforts (GA)
Mark Boelman, Director of Finance and Administration, Left Hand Brewing (CO)
Chris Bonacci, VP of Marketing, Harpoon Brewery (MA)
Drew Brosseau, Founder & President, Mayflower Brewing Company (MA)
Sam Hendler, Jack’s Abbey Brewery (MA)
Chris Herron, CEO, Creature Comforts Brewing Company (Athens, GA)
Dani Hoyler, Director of Sales, 3 Floyds Brewing (IN)
Val Lang, Head of Finance, Singlecut Beersmiths (Astoria, NY)
Liz and Nate L’Etoile, Four Stars Farms (MA)
Matt Malloy, Dorchester Brewing (MA)
J Michael Mooney, Director of Operations, Firestone Walker (CA)
Jeff Nowicki, Chief Strategy Officer, Bump Williams Consulting
Matt Pope, Controller, Russian River Brewing Company (CA)
Matt Schoenherr, Area Sales Manager, Pabst Brewing Co. (WI)
Naomi Smith, VP of Sales, Allagash Brewery (ME)
Drew Vetere, Communications Manager, Long Trail/Otter Creek (VT)
Anthony Whalen, Senior Accountant, Oskar Blues (CA)
Mike Whitty, VP of Marketing and Sales, Von Trapp Brewery (VT)
Course Teaching Assistant
Michelle Forster recently returned to her home state of Wyoming after leaving a diverse career in Opera and Title Insurance in Los Angeles. While in LA, she also worked as a brand ambassador and back office consultant for various LA breweries. She completed her professional certificate in the Business of Craft Beer from the University of Vermont in 2016 and has been a Course Facilitator for the same program ever since. Michelle is a Certified Cicerone® and the Executive Director of the Wyoming Craft Brewers Guild where she proudly represents the collective voice of all breweries in the Cowboy State. When she’s not desperately trying to understand the ins and outs of WY liquor laws or drumming up exciting new promotions for WY breweries, she can be found cross-country skiing, hiking or fishing in the beautiful Big Horn Mountains.