The Business of Craft Beer1

Kick off Vancouver Craft Beer Week by hearing from and networking with the best in B.C.’s booming local craft beer industry. Interact with a panel of local beer experts hosted by Joe Wiebe, author of Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries, while enjoying delectable food stations by Cocktails & Canapes and (of course) beer along with a keynote by Jamie Floyd, from Ninkasi Brewing.

Thursday, May 29, 2-6 p.m.
2:00 Doors open & Networking
2:30 Keynote from Jamie Floyd of Ninkasi Brewing
3:00 Beer Break
3:20 Premier Screening of “Brew Love”
3:30 Local panel – Opening a Brewery in BC
  Don Farion, Bomber Brewing
  Anthony Frustagli, Parallel 49 Brewing
  Jim Dodds, Red Truck Beer
4:10 Beer break
4:30 Local panel – Marketing & Selling Craft Beer
  Adam Mills, Four Winds Brewing
  Ian McKay, Driftwood Brewery
  Tim Barnes, Central City Brewers
5:00 Mix & mingle
Joe Wiebe, The Thirsty Writer – Moderator

Joe Wiebe, the “Thirsty Writer,” is the author of Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries (Douglas & McIntyre, May 2013), the definitive guidebook to British Columbia’s burgeoning craft beer industry.

Joe has been a freelance writer for 15 years, writing hundreds of articles a wide range of subjects including arts and culture, sports, business and travel, but since 2008 he has mainly written about craft beer with regular columns for the Northwest Brewing News, Vancouver View,  and the BC Craft Beer News, as well as beer-soaked stories in BCBusiness, WestWorld, Beer West, Taps, Publican, NUVO, Taste and Boulevard.

One of Canada’s top beer writers, Joe is working on a book about the history of brewing in Vancouver called Tales from Brewery Creek, and has his sights set on a national beer book in the next couple of years. He is also a co-founder of Victoria Beer Week. Connect with Joe on Thirsty Writer, Craft Beer Revolution, Twitter, or Facebook.  

Tim Barnes, Central City Brewers – Panelist

A senior marketing & sales professional, Tim comes to Central City with over 17 years of marketing and sales experience in Canada, USA and Australia. Barnes has managed some of the most revered beverage brands, including Tim Hortons Coffee & Beverages. He also oversaw Retail & Category Management at Labatt and holds his Master’s in Business Administration from York University.

In 2003, Central City started as Central City Craft Brewpub and the craft beer became so popular that in 2005 they were able to launch a canning line.  Central City is the Canadian Brewery of the year and the 2013 World Cup of Beer’s Gold and Bronze Medal winner.  

Jim Dodds, Red Truck Beer Comany – Panelist

Jim Dodds has been in the beer industry for over 21 years and started his career selling beer at Pacific Western Brewery in Prince George, B.C. Two years later, Jim began his 14 year run at Labatt Breweries working various positions in sales, marketing, training and development. Taking a break from the beer business, Jim started working in industrial distribution, not knowing how valuable the experience would be in his future career. At this point, he had been out of the beer business for a few year but it drew him back when he noticed the traction craft beer was starting to get in the marketplace. When an opportunity to take the position of General Manger of Vancouver Island Brewery arose, Jim decided to take it and get back into the business. Years later, Jim joined the team at Red Truck Beer Company to be a part of their building expansion and development of their new packaging line. “The fun part of coming to a new venture is the challenge in making it a legacy. Red Truck Beer Company is moving into Historical Brewery Creek in East Vancouver where there is a huge amount of history of breweries of the past but the resurgence in the area of new craft breweries of the future. “  

Don Farion, Bomber Brewing – Panelist

Originally from Montreal, Don Farion started his first business, Incendio Pizzeria, here in Vancouver nearly 18 years ago.  He and his business partner went on to open BierCraft Cambie and BierCraft Tap & Tapas and it was here where Don’s long-time love of beer became a full blown passion; he went on to become both a Cicerone and a recognized BCJP Judge. 

Don’s newest endeavour is Bomber Brewing, the new kid on the block in Vancouver’s booming craft brewery industry.  Here, with his ‘Bomber’ hockey teammates, brewer Blair Calibaba, and marketing pro Cam Andrews, Don is happy to be part of a team that makes the kinds of beer he loves to drink.    

Ian McKay, Driftwood Brewery – Panelist
Ian McKay has been with Driftwood Brewery for 4 years and is a partner in the company. 2015 will mark 30 years in the beverage and alcohol business for Ian, representing beer and wine in both Canada and the UK.
Before finding his place at Driftwood, Ian held the position of Western Canada Sales manager for Constellation Brands, the largest winery in the world. But of the many facets to his career, his post passionate, most driven, is Driftwood. Self proclaimed fanatics for the company, they are fuled by the desire to make some of the respected beers in the country. “I’m the luckiest guy in the world to do what I do, and with they people that I work with. They are the best I’ve ever known.”  
Adam Mills, Four Winds Brewing Co-Sales and Marketing Manager – Panelist
As a long time craft beer enthusiast and relative new comer to the industry, Adam joined his brothers and father in late 2012 to begin the brewery building process.  Four Winds opened they’re doors June 1st 2013 while Adam put his many years in sales as well as his creative prowess to use as he embraced the role of Sales and Marketing manager.  

Working hand in hand with long time friend and artistic visionary Andy Dixon, the pair are responsible for all of Four Winds branding and aesthetics.