We believe that there’s more to Imbibe than just killer music and tasty brews. We think that our BrewU Craft Education Stage programming could likely stand on its own, and it’s all thanks to the outstanding lineup of industry professionals that we have on deck this year. We can’t thank them enough for their collaboration, and for sharing their knowledge and expertise with our guests.




2:30 - 2:45P

It’s not beer, but there are a lot of similarities in the way that kombucha is brewed and fermented. Learn about the history, health benefits, brewing techniques, and MTO Kombucha’s two cultures in this interactive (and tasty!) demonstration.

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PRO: Ruddy Chavez, MTO Kombucha

ABOUT: Vint Hill, Virginia-based MTOK began in the home of founder, Ralph Crafts. His homemade brew made a significant difference in the health of his ailing wife, as well as friends and neighbors. His home-based efforts evolved into a business with a mission of helping people stay healthy and/or become healthier. MTOK has set, and continues to maintain, the highest standards to produce and deliver a top-quality, 100% organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, hand-crafted, locally brewed functional drink that provides clear, significant health benefits to drinkers.

BIO: Ruddy has been with MTOK for over two years. He is a jack-of-all-trades and has assisted in every position at MTOK. He is currently MTOK's master mixologist and go-to kombucha know-it-all. He attended the Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute and the Creative Health Institute. He is passionate about healthy living and eating and loves animals.



2:50 - 3:05P

Tim Bornholtz, co-owner of Adventure Brewing Company and rep for the Stafford Brewers Club will be sharing his experience with homebrewing and what it takes to make the move from homebrewer to brewery owner.

PRO: Tim Bornholtz, Co-Owner, Adventure Brewing Co. and rep for the Stafford Brewers Club

BIO: Tim is a long-time software developer, consultant and private business owner who describes himself as an “Hop Fanatic”. While his business and IT experience lend significant value to the company, his experimentation with all manner of hop varieties help define Adventure Brewing Company’s versions of the craft beer industry’s most popular beer style, the IPA.


pairings 101 & the importance of sourcing locally

3:10 - 3:25P

Enjoy (read: TASTE!) a brief session on the art of pairing charcuterie and craft beers. The pros at Spencer Devon will detail the importance of sourcing local ingredients, both for their food and brews, what this connection to the farmers means to the product and to the environment, and why they chose to operate this way.


PRO: Shawn Phillips, Owner, Spencer Devon Brewing

ABOUT: Spencer Devon Brewing has built their business on the premise of being an exceptional craft brewery with a kick-ass kitchen. The ‘kick-ass’ part comes from directly purchasing their proteins from local farmers. In fact, 80-90% of their food costs go directly to local farmers.

BIO: Retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 24 years, Shawn Phillips established roots in downtown Fredericksburg to nurture and grow the collaborative, community effort to brew the best quality craft beer in the region. With the integrity and commitment developed through his years in the military, he's dedicated to bring the highest quality craft beer dining experience to the Fredericksburg region. Spencer Devon Brewing reflects the many months of meticulous planning Shawn has invested to bring the fun, friendships, and adventure so many craft beer fans enjoy.



3:30 - 3:50p

Craft brewing has changed our understanding of beer, improved the communities it serves, and disrupted the beverage industry itself.  But how different is it, really? In the age of 30-tap tasting rooms, hazy and Brut IPAs, and barrel-aged...everything, the answer seems easy. But making local beer truly local is a challenge, and it begins with the supply chain. In this segment, two perspectives from opposite ends of the production line share insights into the promising world of diversified sourcing, and how it could change the paradigm of local craft beer.   


PROS: Harry Pagan & Brandon Pallen, 1781 Brewing + Jeff Bloem, Murphy & Rude Malting

BIO: Harry Pagan grew up with his brother and five sisters on the family farm where 1781 Brewing Co. and Wilderness Run Vineyards were conceived. Over the years with the help of family and friends, especially his dad, David Pagan and his best friend Brandon Pallen, they pieced together a brewery, a team and a setlist of farmhouse creations to please the community in which they call home.

BIO: Brandon Pallen is a brewer of 10 years that takes a culinary focus to crafting his recipes. He considers himself a lifelong student of brewing and winemaking and loves to challenge himself on how to best combine his culinary creativity with his brewing and winemaking.

BIO: Jeff Bloem started malting in 2013 after observing a wholly overlooked supply market for the brewers and distillers behind Virginia’s booming craft beverage culture. Armed with two books and a basement, Jeff honed a craft out of self-built equipment. In February 2017, he opened the doors of Murphy & Malting Co., a full capability 200-ton annual capacity specialty malt house in Charlottesville, VA sourcing 100% of his barley, wheat, and rye from Virginia farmers. 


Exploring Hop Varieties

3:55 - 4:10p

Bobby Faithful will be holding a hop tea seminar where different varieties of hops will be explored and discussed through ranging temperatures and times of steeping.

PRO: Bobby Faithful, the University of Richmond SCPS Beer Brewing Program

ABOUT: The University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies, in collaboration with community partners around the metro-Richmond area, offers a multi-dimensional beer brewing program for those interested in entering and advancing in the growing craft beer industry.

BIO: Bobby Faithful is known for his work in all aspects of the brewing industry. Bobby has worked with Dogfish Head, Lost Rhino Brewing Co as a Regional Sales Manager, The Answer Brewpub as Front of House Manager, Final Gravity Brewing and Brewer at Alewerks Brewing Co. to become one of the most recognizable names in the Virginia brewing scene. Mr. Faithful’s family roots going back in the Virginia brewing industry to the late 1700’s as a direct descendant of Sally Hemings, her brother Peter Hemings took charge of the brewing and malting operations at Monticello in 1813. Bobby has been an advocate of brewing education for over a decade and is part of the Brewing Education Roundtable at the Brewers Association. His efforts with workforce development and staff training have been a major impact in helping Virginia sustain and retain employees.

The History of virginia craft beer

4:20 - 4:35p

What makes Virginia special when it comes to beer history and the current craft beer scene?" Virginia is unique in that its beer history dates to 1607, when the Jamestown settlers arrived with beer onboard, and has a vibrant craft scene that is an extension of this rich history.


PRO: Lee Graves

BIO: Lee Graves is a lifelong Virginia resident with a bachelor's degree in English literature from the College of William & Mary. A journalist for roughly 30 years, most of it as an editor and writer at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he began writing about beer in 1996 with a weekly column in the Times-Dispatch. The award-winning column was syndicated for several years by Tribune Media, based in Chicago. "Virginia Beer: A Guide from Colonial Days to Craft's Golden Age" is his third published book; he also has written "Richmond Beer: A History of Brewing in the River City" and "Charlottesville Beer: Brewing in Jefferson's Shadow." He is married (his wife, Marggie, is his favorite editor) and has two daughters. Graves writes regularly for beer-related publications and is president of Richmond Beeristoric, a nonprofit group that provides tours of historic beer sites in the Richmond area.


4:35p - 4:55p

Learn about (and taste!) the renown Old Fashioned. Get a brief history of where it got its name, as well as its history and evolution over the years. You’ll be taken thru the ins and outs of the distilling process from Catoctin Creek, and gain a firm understanding of what bitters are, how to use them, where they come from and more.

PROS: Craig Rudewicz, Crude Bitters & Sodas + John Shope, Catoctin Creek Distillery

BIO: Craig Rudewicz began making bitters and mixers at home to avoid high fructose corn syrup and additives found in commercial products. His experimentation gave him leftovers, which graced his friend’s doorsteps. Eventually, his at-home production grew to the point that he had three options: find more friends, stop making bitters or open a business. He was the first bitters manufacturer in North Carolina—only after reading the entire ABC code book, finally finding his product classification at the very end. The question answered: Bitters are considered a food additive, similar to vanilla extract. Rudewicz has a gift for finding that perfect balance of bold, light and the unexpected in his flavor combinations. Most bitters are historically used in combinations with heavier liquors, such as bourbon or whiskey. His desire to use bitters in lighter liquors, such as tequila or gin, drives both his flavor combinations and his popularity (Raleigh Magazine, 2016).

BIO: John Shope has been with Catoctin Creek is going on his eighth year with Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. From the distillery itself to the tasting room, he has learned the ins and outs of all things CCDC. He now spends the bulk of his time hosting events for them, doing ABC store, bartender and server trainings throughout the area, and educating people on the basics of the distilling process, the CCDC product line, and some of the history of VA distilling.

cooking with beer

5:00 - 5:20p

In this segment, Chef will be doing a cooking with beer demo (and tasting!) featuring open-face chicken sandwiches with a Heritage Porter Sauce. The sauce is made with Maltese Brewing Company’s Over the Line, Smokey Porter and Nativo’s very own Heritage seasoning blend.

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PRO: Chef Katriel Mendez, Nativo Condiments & Seasonings

BIO: Chef began cooking for his family at an early age, learning from his grandparents how to cook traditional dishes from Spain and Italy, as well as cuisine from his first home, Argentina. As he built his career, Katriel traveled around the world studying a variety of cultural foods from five continents – areas like Patagonia, Dominican Republic, Dubai, Thailand, Senegal, France, Spain, and Italy.