Join fellow Madison marketers for a night of learning with a twist!
On May 9, we're visiting local hotspot Wisconsin Brewing Company to explore how local brewers and spirits companies market their brands and differentiate their small businesses in a competitive marketplace. In addition to a riveting panel discussion, you will enjoy appetizers and samplings of various local beers, wines, and spirits! Brewery tours are also available for anyone interested in learning more about the facility.
- 4:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Registration, networking, cash bar
- 5:00 - 5:45 p.m. - Panel discussion*
- 5:45 - 7:00 p.m. - Tasting and appetizers
- 6:00 & 6:30 p.m. - Brewery tours
Panelists include: Wisconsin Brewing Company, Ale Asylum, J. Henry Bourbon, and Toot & Kate's Winebar!
Don't miss this fun night of casual marketing education and networking!
Meet Your Panel
Wisconsin Brewing Company - Carl Nolan
Carl Nolen’s beer career started behind the wheel of a beer truck, delivering kegs to bars & restaurants along State Street in Madison, WI. Back then, it was all about the beer. Which, Carl notes, is still the mantra today. “A lot about the industry has changed, but if you have a great product, brew it & they will come!”
That philosophy has been the basis for Carl’s 30+ year career in Wisconsin’s beer industry - much of it spent at the executive level, where he helped spur development of iconic beer labels & remarkable growth in revenue. But Carl gives all the credit to the people around him. “If I’ve done on thing consistently right through the years, it’s been building a strong team around me. Brewmasters, distributors, store & tavern owners, they’re more than my partners; they’ve my friends.”
That tradition of teamwork continues at Wisconsin Brewing Company. Carl has partnered with his brother Mark & long-time friend Kirby Nelson. A Wisconsin native team with deep roots, this trio is determined to honor the state’s brewing heritage while building on it: “We always remember where we’ve been, and where we came from. Which isn’t difficult, because it’s right here.”
Ale Asylum - Hathaway Dilba
Hathaway Dilba is Co-Owner and Director of Promotions at Ale Asylum, a Madison-based regional craft brewery. She manages Ale Asylum’s public relations, email marketing, website, social media program, philanthropic relationships, and enjoys landscaping their beer garden. Hathaway grew up in Southern California and moved to Madison to attend college in 1992. She earned an Associates Degree in Apparel Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management from Edgewood College. Hathaway is active in the community and enjoys her roll as Board Secretary of the Heartland Farm Sanctuary.
Toot + Kate's Wine Bar
Megan Clark, Ryan Biechler, Katie Biechler
Toot + Kate's is made of up of myself, my sister, Kate, and her husband Ryan. In spring of 2013, I hosted a bridal shower for Kate at a wine bar in Wauwatosa. I immediately came home and told my husband how amazing it was, and Madison would be a perfect fit! As a stay at home Mom, it was a pipe dream at best, but fun to think about it. Fast forward a year and a half and we endured an unexpected family tragedy, which left myself and my three children alone. After some deep grief, much of which Kate and Ryan witness firsthand, the kids and I moved to Verona. About nine months after my husband passed away, I spoke with Kate about needing something beyond "day to day life"... to help me move forward. It was at that moment, we decided to revisit the wine bar idea and give it a shot. Not thinking we stood much of a chance, given it was an unknown start-up, accompanied with our relatively modest finances and lack of experience - we went in hopeful, but not overly confident. After meeting with a wonderful, local banker, the plan was set in motion and we somehow gained approval to make this dream a reality. There are so many instances of things "falling in place" that truly made us feel this project was meant to me. Ryan did the bulk of the paperwork and business plan, while Kate and I focused on the design and décor. We put our trust in Frank Liquor to handle the initial distribution needs of all 16 wines we wanted to carry, as well as beer and champagne. We opened March 10, 2016, on a wing and a prayer - literally - but we knew fairly quick we had filled a void in the area. The motto of "our happy place" had come to life with good wine and a friendly, down to earth vibe. 14 months later, we have grown leaps and bounds. We now work with multiple distributors, expanded our menu, provide a sales outlet to local etsy artists, host hundreds of private parties, as well as monthly live music. We also recently tied of 3rd place in the wine bar category for the annual Best of Madison in Madison Magazine (amongst much larger, more established restaurants). To say it has been an honor and a blessing, is an understatement. The three of us really just wanted something fun and positive for our family after an incredibly difficult time. We feel so grateful to be in such a wonderful and supportive community, making new friends daily. When it comes down to it, we're just two small town sisters... learning more about wine, business and life. And enjoying every minute.
J. Henry Bourbon - Liz Henry
Liz brings a wealth of experience to her small business. In addition to having served on a wide range of boards from Madison Opera to MATC to the Wisconsin State Fair, she also holds a B.S. of Natural Science majoring in Meat & Animal Science and Dairy Science. This led her to such firms as the American Breeders Service to Renk Agribusiness Institute to Kraft Foods, as well as a stint as "Alice in Dairyland" marketing Wisconsin agricultural products for the WI Dept of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection.
But her most fulfilling role so far has been as co-owner and chief marketing officer of J. Henry Bourbon. She and her husband began making Wisconsin Straight bourbon in 2009 as a valued-added agricultural venture and "hobby". They released their first, five-year aged product in 2015 and won their first Gold medal for that product, that same month. They continue to receive accolades and recognition for all three expressions of Wisconsin Straight Bourbon they produce the slow, old-fashioned way.