Meet Our Keynote Speaker!

Julia Herz: Craft Beer Program Director  | Brewers Association

Julia is craft beer program director at the Brewers Association and publisher of CraftBeer.com. She is a homebrewer, a BJCP beer judge, Certified Cicerone®, co-author of the CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Course and co-author of Beer Pairing (Voyageur Press). In her role at the BA she serves as an educator on behalf of small and independent U.S. craft brewers and is a spokesperson for the association.

Julia Herz

Julia Herz

Keynote Speaker

Amy Spackman

Amy Spackman

Beer Ambassador - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

As many industry rock stars, Amy left a 7 years career as a preschool teacher to land in the beer industry and has never looked back. Amy is a Certified Beer Server, frequently judges with BJCP, and graduated as a Level 2 from San Diego State University’s Business of Craft Beer. She is the Pink Boots San Diego Secretary and  teaches as The Craft Yogi #drinkbeerdoyoga, In her free time she can be found nerding out in the local home-brew shop and obsessively snapping photos of her pug, Noli. Continued beer education and fostering community are her true passions.

Averie Swanson

Averie Swanson

Head Brewer - Jester King Brewery

Averie Swanson is the Head Brewer of Jester King Brewery in Austin, TX. Averie is a Houston, TX native who moved to Austin as a homebrewer hoping to advance her career in the beer world. With a degree in biology from the University of Houston and a love for mixed culture beers and fermentation, she has been helping to shape the beers and the culture at Jester King for the last five years. Averie is also involved in community outreach and education at the brewery and in the Austin area, helping to bring the knowledge of beer and mixed culture fermentation to the thirsty people of Texas.

Candace L. Moon, Esq.

Candace L. Moon, Esq.

Partner, Dinsmore & Shohl

Candace L. Moon, Esq. discovered the need for specialized craft beer counsel while working as a bartender at craft beer bar during law school. While she met countless brewers, there were no attorneys catering to the legally complicated industry. Accordingly, Candace opened ‘The Craft Beer Attorney’ serving the San Diego’s suds industry in 2009.

As of August 2017, Candace has joined Dinsmore & Shohl LLP as a Partner, expanding her craft beer specific legal services across the country. She has worked with over 350 craft breweries and craft breweries-in-planning nationwide, handling business entity formation, alcoholic beverage law, contract review, trademark law, as well as other legal needs.

Candace has also spoken to brewers guilds and at brewers association meetings nationwide on matters such as distribution laws and trademarks, to ensure clients and breweries-in-planning are complying with industry standards and regulations. She has also been a resource for brewery-related issues in newspapers, magazines, TV segments, online and at conferences across the country. Candace’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Virginia and her juris doctorate is from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif.

Christine Healy

Christine Healy

Founder & CEO - Craft’d Company

Christine Healy is the Founder & CEO of Craft’d Company, a events and marketing company that specializes in working with craft brands. She has over nine years of event planning experience ranging from intimate meetups for 25 guests to festivals for over 2,500 attendees. Prior to launching Craft’d Company, Christine was the National Events Director at American Inno, the digital media and events division of the American City Business Journals. She graduated from The George Washington University with a Business Degree concentrating in Marketing & Event Management.

Christie Merandino

Christie Merandino

New Jersey born Christie Merandino entered the Florida brewing scene in 2015, but for years her life has been focused on the craft beer industry. She discovered her love for craft beer back in college and has been actively researching and involved in the expansion of it in untapped areas for a long time. Merandino’s passion for beer and confidence in what she does helps her overcome all the haters. With a strong focus on inclusion and gender dynamics of females in the brewing industry, Christie has made it a priority to travel and educate women everywhere.  

Forward and strong doesn’t even begin to describe Merandino, whose attitude towards women in the brewing industry is just as badass and real as one might expect being from New Jersey. “Proving myself in a brewing industry full of all males hasn’t been easy, there have been very many gender-based challenges and you have to work a lot harder just to prove yourself, but it has been the best thing I have ever done. The most important thing is that everyone has a fair chance at being part of this craft-beer-culture and does their job for the love of beer. If great beer doesn’t care who makes it, why should we?”

Dionne Roberts

Dionne Roberts

Editor - Rocky Mountain Food Report

Dionne Roberts is the editor of Rocky Mountain Food Report, an online publication that provides news coverage of the craft food and beverage industries in the Rocky Mountain region. Roberts is also published in Colorado Collective, Springs Magazine, The Gazette, Colorado Fun, and is a current contributor for Thirst Magazine and a cannabis writer for The Independent. Roberts additionally serves as a food expert for USA Today “10 Best” lists and appears regularly on FOX News as a culinary correspondent. A former military spouse, Roberts has had the opportunity to travel extensively both domestically and abroad as a communications intern for E! Entertainment in London, and writing independent film reviews in New York. While living in Northern California she chose to further her food and beverage knowledge working for Del Dotto Vineyards in Napa and St. Helena, California, and after moving to Colorado Springs, in 2015, Roberts chose to embrace the craft beer industry, brewing and managing in local establishments before transitioning back to her journalism roots.

Jamie Currivan

Jamie Currivan

Merchandise Manager & Events - Austin Beerworks

Jamie Currivan initially joined the industry on the production side at Austin Beerworks. The brewery’s swift growth however posed an opportunity for her to spearhead the development of their merchandise and event departments. Each day she balances coordinating with vendors, artists, and event patrons while taking care of the brewery’s on-premise and online stores. Today Austin Beerworks has one of the more diverse brewery merchandise menus in the country with continued plans to evolve. Since ABW is always producing new beers there is never a shortage of opportunities to create unique merchandise pairings that compliment the guest experience.

Jana Woelfel

Jana Woelfel

Member - Clark Hill Strasburger

Jana H. Woelfel is a Board Certified labor and employment attorney with experience in a wide variety of labor and employment issues, including representing management in anticipating and responding to all types of employment issues, including litigation, compliance and policy formulation with respect to federal employment laws, including Title VII, ADA, ADAAA, ADEA, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, FLSA, FMLA, USERRA, Section 1981, WARN, COBRA, GINA, CFAA, FCRA, as well as their state counterparts. In addition to providing advice and counsel to employers who are beginning to face HR issues, Jana counsels HR professionals and senior management in navigating complex employment issues. She has experience negotiating employment contracts, noncompetition and nondisclosure agreements, preparing employment handbooks and HR policies, developing affirmative action plans and provides advice regarding enforcement of leave policies, termination procedures and pay practices, as well as defending claims of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, both before the appropriate administrative agencies and in court.

Jessie Smith

Jessie Smith

Lab Technician - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Jessie’s day to day involves running tests and performing sensory to ensure the quality and consistency of St. Arnold’s beer. She runs forced diacetyl and VDKs every day, and performs IBU/SRM and micro work throughout the week. She finishes out the week by leading the sensory panel where she trains employees on the various off flavors that they might encounter. Her favorite part of the job is that she’s able to use her degree in a way she never thought she’d be able to. She still has the challenges that come with the science side of this job, but it’s balanced by the always exciting world of brewing.

Meike Rossman

Meike Rossman

Head Brewer - Blue Owl Brewing

Meike Rossman is the Head Brewer at Blue Owl Brewing, an all sour-mash brewery in Austin, TX. She received a degree in Computer Science and brings the scientific methodology of that background into shaping experiments and operating procedures at the brewery. A Certified Cicerone®, Meike enjoys pushing herself to learn all she can to make beers that are delicious, balanced, approachable and, of course, sour.

Priscilla Walker

Priscilla Walker

PR & Brand Marketing - Saint Arnold Brewery

Priscilla Walker, Public Relations and Brand Marketing for Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Houston, Texas, oversees the coordination and development of the brewery’s media strategies locally, state-wide, and nation-wide. Mrs. Walker also assists with the social media efforts of the brewery, keeping it at the forefront of the media landscape. She has been with Saint Arnold Brewing Company since October 2016, and previously led the planning of social media strategies and implementation in the hospitality and political campaign industries. Mrs. Walker successfully completed an undergraduate program in journalism, with a primary focus on multimedia at the University of Texas in 2009.