Press Release

Record-Breaking BREW and Alliance for Women in Beer: Making Moves Event Draws 335 Attendees Across all Three Tiers

Annual Convention Culminates by Inspiring, Empowering and Connecting Women in the Beer Industry

Las Vegas, NV – The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) yesterday hosted the second annual Alliance for Women in Beer and BREW (Building Relationships & Empowering Women) joint event. Taking place on the last day of the NBWA’s 86th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Las Vegas, beer distributors and industry stakeholders from across the country gathered to celebrate women’s success in the beer and beverage industry, hear from an all-star roster of keynote speakers and enjoy unparalleled industry networking.

NBWA’s BREW initiative aims to provide a space for women to grow professionally in the beer distribution industry, while the Alliance for Women in Beer unites the three tiers (suppliers, distributors and retailers) to open doors and establish exciting opportunities for women in beer.

“This event is an inspiring opportunity to create and expand relationships within the industry,” said NBWA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kim McKinnish. “By bringing women and men together for a common purpose, we can learn from one another, network and strengthen the opportunities that are available for other females within the beer industry.”

Keynote speakers and panelists discussed the benefits all-female teams can provide, experiences of women in senior leadership positions, insights on the current landscape of the industry, and how to build successful brands and companies.

After a stirring call-to-action from Jacy Dunham of event sponsor Cirrus Tech, the action-packed agenda kicked off with a Boston Beer Company panel about the company’s success utilizing female-led sales teams, featuring Founder and Chairman Jim Koch, Pacific Division Director Whitney Stevenson and Chief Sales Officer John Geist.

Assist Group founder Emily Jaenson delivered an energetic presentation on tips for building professional confidence (“Celebrate constantly — we are not celebrating enough and that means we’re not priming our confidence pump to achieve more”) then Molson Coors Beverage Company CFO Tracey Joubert and Heineken USA CEO Maggie Timoney took the stage for an insightful discussion about women’s career paths and growing presence in the beer industry, moderated by Beer Business Daily Director of Content Jenn Litz-Kirk.

Timoney noted that for the beer industry to have more female representation in senior leadership, it’s critical for the beer industry to focus on helping women advance through middle management positions. “As an industry, we get a lot of female talent at the lower levels but we need to fix that middle rung of the ladder,” she said.

The future of the beer category was highlighted during an industry state of the union panel featuring NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser, Mark Anthony Ventures VP & General Manager Tracey Sivak, Gulf Distributing Holdings SVP for Legal and Government Affairs Rebecca Maisel and Whole Foods Market Global Principle Category Merchant, Beer Mary Guiver.

As suppliers and distributors look to expand the beer category, “women and people of color are a solution,” said Guiver, urging the industry to invest in marketing to these demographics.

Dogfish Head Co-Founder and Boston Beer Social Impact Leader Mariah Calagione shared stories from her life in beer before introducing Brilliant Balance Founder and CEO Cherylanne Skolnick, a trusted advisor to women leaders across the world. Skolnick highlighted strategies women can use to find balance in their daily lives. The morning closed with a rousing networking activity.

After a lunch break, Lone River Founder/Diageo leader Katie Beal Brown moderated a panel on brand-building featuring Crowns and Hops CEO and Co-Founder Beny Ashburn, Saint Spritz Co-Founders Jojo Fletcher and Mallory Patton and The New Bar Founder Brianda Gonzalez.

The energy stayed high through the next panel on choosing your next challenge, moderated by Lori Scheiffler from Tamarron Consulting and featuring valuable insights from Michelle St. Jacques, Chief Commercial Officer, Molson Coors Beverage Company;  Kris Carey, Chief Human Resources Officer, Constellation Brands; Ruchi Desai, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, EIGHT Brewing Co.; and Adeline Druart, CEO, Lawson’s Finest Liquids.

Finally, Anheuser-Busch Group Vice President for Innovation and Marketing Chelsea Phillips closed out the day by speaking about her long and impactful career in the beer industry with Doll Distributing Managing Partner Lauren Doll-Sheeder.

BREW officially launched in 2021 at NBWA’s 84th Annual Convention & Trade Show to address the underrepresentation of women in management roles in the beer distribution industry. For more information about BREW, click here.

The Alliance for Women in Beer is made up of women leaders from all three tiers in the beer industry and NBWA is proud to play a leadership role in this collective. For more information about the Alliance, click here.