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Distribution and Sales in Craft Beer

Offered: Summer

Distribution and Sales in Craft Beer Syllabus

This course focuses on the various strategies and tactics required to sell beer and promote a brewery’s brand. With the growth of taprooms as a focus for many breweries, we will also examine how to maximize revenue opportunities and engagement with customers. Whether you are planning a brewery or a career in beer sales, this course provides essential details to gain success in today’s crowded retail market.


  • Exploring the full sales landscape including how the three-tier system impacts the sale of beer, understanding the buyer/seller landscape, modeling the sales forecast, and increasing its accuracy
  • Understanding the margin structure for beer pricing
  • Examining a range of sales techniques to handle retailer objections, gain the retailer buy-in, and close the sale.
  • Building a successful relationship with your distributor and how this relationship informs the sales process
  • Maximizing taproom sales
  • The sales process for breweries who elect to self-distribute
  • How VIP and Ekos Brewmaster can assist in the sales process


Jon Reynolds
President, BrewPlan Inc., Onalaska, WI

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.

 Headshot __KRS_8672Kary Shumway 

Founder, Beer Business Finance

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

Industry Guest Speakers

Drew Brosseau, Founder & President at Mayflower Brewing Company (MA)

Rob Burns, Co-founder, Night Shift Brewing (MA)

Dani Hoyler, Director of Sales, 3 Floyds Brewing (IN)

Jeff Nowicki, Chief Strategy Officer, Bump Williams Consulting

Matt Schoenherr, Area Sales Manager,  Pabst Brewing Co. (WI)

…and others

on the Blog

What is Craft Beer?

“Hey, what is craft beer anyway? What’s the definition?” It’s a really good question. The answer is subjective, and I certainly have my own opinions.

Read More.