NBWA’s BREW initiative aims to unify and advance women who work in the beer industry

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) launched the Building Relationships and Empowering Women (BREW) initiative at its 84th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas. Through the BREW initiative, the Alexandria, Va.-based association is committed to offering a robust forum for women leaders to grow professionally within the beer industry.

Although there have been important gains since 2016, women still are significantly underrepresented at all levels of management across all industries nationwide; women represent only 21% of C-suite roles, the association states. The BREW initiative, which was developed by distributors and the NBWA Next Generation group, seeks to unify and advance women who work in the beer industry. NBWA also will create opportunities for women to network, share best practices and build connections while also providing leadership development and educational and mentorship resources.

“Points of entry into the beer distribution industry have eluded women in the past, but thankfully, that dynamic is changing. NBWA and our members value gender diversity and are committed to lifting up and empowering women across the country. The BREW initiative will support this important goal,” said Kim McKinnish, NBWA senior vice president and chief financial officer, in a statement.  

At the event launch, Jenn Litz-Kirk, executive editor of Beer Business Daily and Craft Business Daily, addressed women and Next Gen leaders and discussed the benefits of and need for more women in the industry.

“With women in beer, there’s a stewardship and a sisterhood that’s hard to describe if you haven’t lived it,” Litz-Kirk said. “Right now, women are not as visible as we should be. Ladies, we’re here to make our industry look and be more like us. When that happens, I believe other great things will follow. And this is the right moment for it. We might not all have the same vision for women in beer and that’s ok. But I do know one thing about every single woman in this room — as different as we are, we get it done.” BI

Bend, Ore.-based Humm Kombucha, maker of probiotic kombucha drinks, announced it secured a $8 million line of credit from Gerber Finance, an eCapital company and the leading finance partner for companies experiencing accelerated growth. The deal was completed under the company’s Naturally Gerber Finance division, which focuses on CPG brands in the natural, organic and wellness space.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo and Bally’s Corp. announced an exclusive partnership, naming PepsiCo the official beverage provider at Bally’s casinos and resorts nationwide. The partnership expands PepsiCo’s entertainment and hospitality portfolio with a presence in marquee properties in top tourist destinations in the United States, bringing the PepsiCo beverages portfolio ― including carbonated soft drinks, teas, energy drinks, bottled and sparkling waters, and coffee-based beverages ― to more than 14 Bally’s properties across 10 states.

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Breakthru Beverage Group strengthens CBD portfolio

Breakthru Beverage Group, New York and Chicago, announced it is enhancing its CBD beverage portfolio through partnerships with Sprig and Cloud Water. The expansion comes on the heels of Breakthru’s entry into the CBD beverage space last month and reflects the company’s growth strategy that includes investments in emerging categories to meet changing consumer demands.

“We are committed to building a strong and diverse portfolio that includes innovative expansion opportunities like CBD beverages to meet evolving consumer demands,” said Drew Levinson, vice president of business development and emerging trends for Breakthru Beverage Group, in a statement. “By building out our CBD beverage portfolio with Sprig and Cloud Water, we broaden our offering, expand our expertise, and ensure we are at the forefront of innovation for our customers.”

Josh Rosinsky, Sprig’s vice president of sales, added: “As the most widely distributed CBD drink in the U.S., we have had strong market reach, and see the partnership with Breakthru as a continued expansion opportunity with a team that is passionate about our brand.”

Breakthru will carry Sprig’s four flavors in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Virginia and Connecticut through its CDI affiliate.

Breakthru also will distribute Cloud Water’s Hemp and Immunity beverages in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Virginia and Connecticut through its CDI affiliate.

“We sought a partner with the right footprint to bring our CBD beverages to the markets in a smart, strategic way,” said Marc Siden, co-founder and CEO, Cloud Water, in a statement. “Partnering with Breakthru and leveraging the insights they have gained through their Canadian cannabis brokerage, Kindred, positions us well to continue our journey and expand our reach.”

Building on the company’s best-in-class technology foundation, Breakthru will employ an enhanced route-to-market approach for CBD beverages centered on BREAKTHRU NOW, the company’s proprietary eCommerce solution, along with third-party eCommerce partner Provi and the company’s customer service department. BI

Atlanta-based Kill Cliff appointed Todd Thomason as its chief customer officer. Thomason is renowned for his ability to transform brands into major household names, the company says. As the vice president and general manager of Red Bull, he grew the Midwest region from its first sale to becoming a multi-million dollar division of the company. He also led the international growth for soda company Big Red. “Our brand is experiencing serious growth, and we’re at an important inflection point,” said John Timar, Kill Cliff CEO, in a statement. “With Todd’s background and industry relationships, we have the opportunity to build on our success by creating sustainable growth, building new points of distribution and becoming a household name across the country.”

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November 2021    |

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