Author/educator Alex Lewin brings together views from the worlds of craft beer, wine, mead, spirits, cider, and hard kombucha on where the craft alcohol industry is headed.
What's Next in Craft Alcoholic Beverages?
Alex Lewin is the author of "Real Food Fermentation" and co-author of "Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond" (with Raquel Guajardo). Alex believes that food is "essential." His books make food fermentation as simple and unintimidating as possible. Given a choice, he will always prefer low-tech solutions, particularly when it comes to food.
Lou Bank, after a long and varied career in marketing, consumer products, alcoholic beverages, and pop culture, launched SACRED (Saving Agave for Culture, Recreation, Education, and Development), a not-for-profit that aims to help improve quality of life in the rural Mexican communities where heritage agave spirits are made.
Joshua Rood was born and raised in Maine, Joshua began his formal beverage training in his early twenties in Los Angeles. After almost a decade he shifted his focus to food and transformational healing. After moving to the Bay Area and working with lululemon in the yoga and fitness communities, Joshua fell in love with the innovation and authenticity brewing in craft beer and kombucha. He met a talented young brewer with similar passions, and together they founded Dr Hops Kombucha Beer in 2015. He committed himself to producing the world’s most delightful and health-conscious alcoholic beverages. With a BA in Economics from Swarthmore College and a diverse professional and experiential background, Joshua serves as the guiding light and CEO of Dr Hops Kombucha Beer. He is also currently training to lead The Self-Expression and Leadership Program for Landmark Worldwide.
Patrick Rue is the Winemaker in Training and Owner of Erosion. His career in beer started at The Bruery, which he founded in 2008. He has developed hundreds of different beers and experimented with many ingredients, techniques, and microorganisms to create unique and delicious flavor profiles. Along the way, he became a Master Cicerone in 2014. Patrick, co-founder & spouse Rachel, and daughter Charlotte moved to Napa Valley in late 2018 to start Erosion, an adventurous producer of fermented beverages. Their lineup currently consists of eclectic Napa Valley wines packaged in cans, and will soon include beer & mead.
Twin brothers Trevor & Nolan O'Malley started CiderScene in 2016 to create a space where individuals who like cider - or even are just trying it for the first time - could go to learn about this fermented wonder. Our goal is to open beer- and wine-drinkers' minds to the craft of cidermaking.
We started simply as cider enthusiasts trying to take an active role in growing the cider scene in North America and exploring the changes in the cider revolution. We do everything in good fun, trying to take an unorthodox approach to the industry to spark conversation, finding innovative ways to activate the cider & non-cider audiences on the web.
James Jin was born in Los Angeles but, with a dream to learn about the cultures and taste the food and drink of the world, he spent much of his time after college living abroad and traveling around the world.
He came back to LA and eventually found a job at a Japanese food and beverage distribution company where he had his first premium sake and felt that people had a misunderstanding of that drink. He became obsessed with studying alcoholic beverages and went on to receive Sake Sommelier and Shochu Advisor certification from SSA, WSET certification in wine and spirits, and Beer Server in Cicerone.
He found himself more interested in the topic of fermentation and production and, feeling that Los Angeles was lacking a craft sake brewery, started to practice fermenting both sake and beer at home. He then headed back to Japan to receive formal training in brewing at a sake brewery and a beer brewery.
In 2019, he co-founded Nova Brewing Co., a craft sake and beer hybrid brewery with his partner Emiko Tanabe. He is the Head Brewer and brews sake using both traditional and modern techniques. He also brews beer using sake yeast and other Asian ingredients. In the two years since opening he has won awards for his sake at 2021 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition.