Meet the Session Planners
A coalition of 3 leading beverage trade publications have come together to form an alliance and create three distinct conferences together under one roof: Craft Beer & Brewing, The American Distilling Institute, and Vineyard & Winery Management. These industry leaders have worked to develop their own high level program within their own discipline under the general heading of Craft Beverages Unlimited.
WINE PROGRAM - David Bower
In conjunction with Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, David Bower has created and developed the wine session tracks for the Asheville event. David is an Enologist and Enology Instructor at Surry Community College in Dobson, North Carolina.
For the last three years, David has been responsible for teaching all Enology Classes at Surry, with oversight of over 40 students. In addition, he runs the 1200 case winery facility on campus and makes wine from its campus based 6 acre vineyard. He is responsible for the harvest decisions, production, aging, bottling, sale and marketing of Surry Wines. He also serves as the North Carolina State Cordinator for the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance a NSF funded grant position as a National Center of Excellence.
Goal driven and goal oriented, David started work last year with his new full service enology consulting firm. He also developed a new Sparkling wine project and Dessert wine project at Surry in addition to its ever growing wine portfolio. Prior to that, Mr. Bower performed undergraduate research at Cornell University where he worked with Dr. Alan Lakso on canopy management and shading of Riesling as part of the Nelson J. Shaulis Undergraduate Research Program. As winemaker at Lake Ontario Winery, he also assisted with wine production, tasting room activities, and Viticulture for on-site Vineyard. Responsible for lab work and custom-crush duties.
Vineyard & Winery Management magazine has the highest circulation of any North American wine trade publication. In addition it produces regional trade shows and conferences and wine competitions. Family owned and independently operated, VWM is dedicated to delivering its customers the quality, service and value needed to make their businesses thrive.
CRAFT BREWING PROGRAM - John Bolton
As CEO, Craft Beer & Brewing magazine John Bolton built the niche craft publisher from shoestrings into a multimillion dollar business. John first publishing business was acquired by craft publishing heavyweight Interweave in 2007, and John remained with the business as Senior Vice President/Group Publisher, ultimately responsible for the entire P&L of this business, and leading the transition from print-centric publishing model to a diversified media approach featuring 17 frequency magazine titles plus over 25 yearly SIPs, a 40 books per year book publishing program, an internal video studio producing 75+ workshop videos per year, three PBS television programs, nine major online communities sending over 1.5 million emails per day, and more. Interweave was acquired in 2012 by F+W Media, upon which John became a member of the senior executive team, directing strategy and execution for the Interweave and Martha Pullen divisions of F+W Media. John left F+W Media in April 2013 and Co-Founded Unfiltered Media in November of 2013. John has been a craft beer aficionado for many years. He also loves to homebrew. John Enjoys all types if craft beer including IPA’s, Sour, Lagers, Stouts, and Pilsners.
DISTILLING PROGRAM - Bill Owens
Founder and Persident of the American Distilling Institute, Bill Owens has many achievements to his credit in his life so far—among them are: photographer, photojournalist, brewer, distiller and publisher.
A recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and two NEA grants for his photography, Bill is best known for his work "Suburbia," considered one of the top 100 seminal photographic books of the twentieth century. Seven monograms of his photographic work have been released by various publishers. His photographic work is collected by many museums internationally.
In 1983, Owens founded Buffalo Bill's Brewery in Hayward, CA—the first brewpub in California since prohibition. In 1992 he wrote "How to Build a Small Brewery" which sold 30,000 copies. He later founded Beer and American Brewer, which he published for 14 years reaching a circulation of 7,000.
In 2003 Bill founded the American Distilling Institute (ADI) which promotes the art of craft distilling. Attendance at its annual conference has grown exponentially from 86 attendees the first year to over 900 at last year's 10th anniversary conference. He has been responsible for creating a vibrant community of distillers and vendors who are all contributing to the recent boon in the craft distilling movement. ADI's Distiller magazine is a quarterly with a press run of 4,000 and produces an annual Resource Guide and Directory of craft distillers and suppliers to the industry. The book-publishing arm of ADI, White Mule Press, has 20 titles in its library that cover technique, history and appreciation of craft distilled spirits.
For his dedication to educating and inspiring young brewers and distillers while being an innovator in the craft distilling industry, in 2013 Owens received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Craft Distilling at The International Craft Brewing and Distilling Convention in Dublin, Ireland.