FF 2019 Symposium - Ale Sharpton

State of The Culture Address Pt. I - Diversity and Inclusion Beyond Browner Taprooms

It is well know by now that diversity and inclusion is a hot button topic across the craft beer industry, and across the country as a whole.  However, often times when asked, there is no clear definition to what the term means or how it is applied within a given brewery or establishment. National beer writer Ale Sharpton hosts our Fresh Fest symposium, The State of The Culture Address, to delve into this discussion and hear what's on the minds of a few of the country's leading voices on the subject. In Part I, Ale moderates an insightful panel as his guests include:

  • Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter - Crowns & Hops Brewing Co., Inglewood, CA
  • Elle Rhodes and Nasreen Sajady - Brewing Change Collaborative, Minneapolis, MN
  • Justin Cross - New Belgium Brewing Company
  • Ashtin Barry - Radical Change, New Orleans, LA

Each panelist will be asked a series of poignant questions on their models for D&I and give expert opinions on the industry’s current status, and what to expect in the future.

State of The Culture Address Pt. II - Beer, Brand and Buildout - Creating an Empire out of Hops

Ale Sharpton returns to host another round of panelists for an enlightening conversation about the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur in the craft beer industry. Here, the industry's best talent speak to brewers and brands, large and small, who have dreams of joining the craft beer hustle.  His guests include:

  • Michael Ferguson - Taprite: Aalberts Dispense Technologies, Marion, TX
  • Kevin Blodger - Union Craft Brewing, Baltimore, MD
  • Celeste Beatty - Harlem Brewing Company, Harlem, NY
  • Ray Berry Jr. - White Lion Brewing Company, Springfield, MA

The panelists will discuss their entries into the beer industry, and give valuable tips and insight to aspiring brewers looking to break into the business.


We cap off the weekend's first day of activities with the much anticipated Black Brew Culture bottle share at Ace Hotel from 6-8 pm. BBC and The Partners, along with several other enthusiasts and collectors, are bringing out the whales for a warm-up evening to the big day! Tickets for the full day of events (Symposiums I and II plus The Share) are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, or receive an all inclusive 3-day admission with the VIP purchase.


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