Ontario Beer Summit

Making great beer, better.

A gathering focused on education and idea sharing to improve brewery quality, performance, tap room culture, and marketing. All while celebrating the strength that equality and diversity brings to craft beer and our communities.

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Conference Event


Day 1 Brewing Science

March 10, 2020

9:00 am - 10:00 am: coffee + registration

10:15 am - 10:45 am: welcome address

11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Session 1 

  • Jen Nadwodny + Aaron Spinney + Sarah Casorso

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm: Session 2

Sustainability: Best Practices in Farm Breweries and Distilleries

  • Matt Giffen + Cam Formica + Dusty Zamecnik

3:15 pm - 5:00 pm: Session 3

Quality is Not a Four-Letter Word

  • Louis Savard + Kelly Byer

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Summit Party​

  • At Collective Arts Brewing

Day 1: Marketing + Sales

March 10, 2020

9:00 am - 10:00 am: coffee + registration

10:15 am - 10:45 am: welcome address

11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Session 1 

Social Media Panel: Social Media

The Business of Marketing Craft Beer Online

  • Tiffany Davey + Vanessa Cheng + Juan Gonzalez-Calcaneo + Craig Thorn

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm: Session 2

Ownership and Community

  • Tej Sandhu

3:15 pm - 5:00 pm: Session 3

Restaurants and Pubs Working with Breweries 

  • Vicki Henton + Andrea Nicholson

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Summit Party​

  • At Collective Arts Brewing

Day 1 Hospitality + Culture

 March 10, 2020

9:00 am - 10:00 am: coffee + registration

10:15 am - 10:45 am: welcome address

11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Session 1 

Women in Beer

  • Karyn Bosco + Lexi Pham + Sarah Dawkins + Wilma Zondag

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm: Session 2

Aboriginal Issues and Influences in Beer

  • Eric Saulis + Garret Saulis + Brett Croft

3:15 pm - 5:00 pm: Session 3

Making an Impact or Leaving no Trace

  • Paul Jones

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Summit Party​

  • At Collective Arts Brewing

Day 2  Brewing Science

March 11, 2020

9:00 am - 10:00 am: coffee + pastries

10:00 am - 11:30 pm: Session 4

Beer Science

  • Toni Byce

11:30 pm - 12:30 pm: Lunch

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm: Session 5


2:30 pm - 4:30 pm: ALL IN FOR BEER DIVERSITY

  • At Collective Arts Brewing

Day 2 Marketing + Sales

 March 11, 2020

9:00 am - 10:00 am: coffee + pastries

10:00 am - 11:30 pm: Session 4

Branding and Marketing

  • Catherine Oppedisano + Travis Persaud + Josh McJannett

11:30 pm - 12:30 pm: Lunch

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm: Session 5

Marketing to Unique Communities

  • Day Bracey + Ren Navarro

2:30 pm - 4:30 pm: ALL IN FOR BEER DIVERSITY

  • At Collective Arts Brewing

Day 2 Hospitality + Culture

March 11, 2020

9:00 am - 10:00 am: coffee + pastries

10:00 am - 11:30 pm: Session 4

Building a Strong Beer Community

  • Geriz Ramirez

11:30 pm - 12:30 pm: Lunch

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm: Session 5

Sustainability of Staff and Business

  • Cam Formica

2:30 pm - 4:30 pm: ALL IN FOR BEER DIVERSITY

  • At Collective Arts Brewing

We want to encourage maximum participation, and as such, have set up tiered pricing. What that means is that the registration fee of $500 applies to the first attendee from your team and then you pay only $250 for every subsequent team member!


Brewing Science + Brewery Operations

Marketing + Sales

Hospitality + Culture


Tiffany A. Davey

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, High Season Co.

Tiffany directs social strategy and designs campaigns for multinational brands and business owners across the continent - including craft breweries, of course. She has played major roles in the creation, production and development of BAOS Podcast, one of Canada’s premier craft beer podcasts and web series, along with her own wine, spirits and coffee brand, LiquidxHappiness.

Tej Sandhu

Co-Founder of MERIT Brewing

Tej is co-founder of MERIT Brewing; a brewery, restaurant, and bottle shop located in the heart of downtown Hamilton. Tej is a passionate advocate for the city of Hamilton and how it's creative businesses can drive inclusive social growth in the city.

Sarah Casorso

Head Brewer and Director of Brewing Operations at Bench Brewing

Sara was born and raised on a heritage property in Kelowna, BC where her family farmed apples, pears, table grapes, and wine grapes.  While completing a Bachelor's degree in English Literature at the University of British Columbia, she was a member of the UBC Thunderbirds varsity hockey team. After one year of playing professional hockey in Vienna, Austria, she spent three years with the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL. While playing for Buffalo, she lived and commuted from St. Catherine's, where she found her first brewing job in 2016. Having joined the Bench Brewing team in 2018, she now works as their Head Brewer and Director of Brewing Operations.

Paul Jones

Co-Founder Cloudwater Brew Co.

Paul Jones co-founded Cloudwater Brew Co in 2014, and has since charted a people-oriented course that’s gained the small brewery in the centre of Manchester UK a global reputation. With no prior formal training in beer production or management, Paul leads his team in an exploration of both beer and the community of beer enthusiast’s ability to ease life’s pressures and stresses from the inside out. 

A passion for mental wellbeing, straightforwardness, and equal opportunities propels Cloudwater Brew Co forward as much as a love of rousing sensory experiences.

Dusty Zamecnik

Co-Founder Hometown Brew Co.


Kelly Byer

Lab Technologist at CFWI

As Lab Technologist with the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre at the Niagara College, Kelly is responsible for managing the College’s research labs – facilities which allow students to explore such areas of food science as microbiology, chemistry, sensory analysis and shelf-life testing. She is also works with Ontario craft brewers in the areas of beer analysis, sensory testing and quality assurance.


Kelly brings experience in quality and food safety programs; compliance with regulatory programs and standards; and new product development. She has an Honours Biology degree with a minor in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph, has HACCP and SQF certifications, and is perusing her Master Taster (Wine) and BJCP (Beer) certifications.


In addition to her role at R&I, Kelly is a part-time professor of NC’s Applied Plant Pathology course in the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, and Brewing Chemistry in the Canadian Food and Wine Institute.

Aaron Spinney

 Head Brewer at MERIT Brewing Co.


Receiving his Economics degree from St. Francis Xavier University, Dusty went on to work for a national brewery in sales and innovation brands where he left to return home bring his gained professional beer experience to Norfolk County. In 2016 Dusty launched Hometown Brew Co. with his two cousins, Matty & Tommy Devos. Growing 100% of their hops, 100% of their blueberries and other ingredients is a staple of the Hometown brand. 


Dusty is a director on the Berry Growers of Ontario board, member of the CHC’s Berry Working Group, chair of Norfolk County’s Agricultural Advisory Council, was the 2017 winner of the Ontario Outstanding Young Farmer Award and Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer and recently awarded Greenhouse Canada’s top 4 under 40 award. Dusty is also an owner of EZ Grow Farms Ltd. EZ Grow farms is a blueberry production and plant propagation business for customers across the world and is Ontario's largest commercial blueberry production farm. 




Cam Formica

Co-Founder of Willibald Farm Distillery, Brewery & Kitchen

Cam is a co-founder of Willibald Farm Distillery, Brewery & Kitchen. He is an environmental grad who loves cocktails, funky saisons and sweets. You can find him at farm during dinner service greeting guests, polishing glasses and sharing samples with anyone who’s thirsty.

Spinney believes that breweries and brewers can do more than just make and sell beer; he believes that they can be a beacon for change and community involvement and support. With ten years of brewing experience, he continues to take a culinary and dreamers approach, with a pinch of Nonna over the stove, to crafting beer. A big fan of knitted goods, a good day of cooking and wine, he avoids traffic and mint chocolate chip at all costs.

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Lexi (Alyxandria) Pham

Independent Beer Educator


Karyn Boscariol

Founder of Queen of Craft

Seven years ago, Karyn developed a program for Wellington Brewery that addressed craft beer curiosity amongst women while also supporting local charities. As a committed fundraiser for women’s causes and a craft beer enthusiast, Karyn married these two passions and “Queen of Craft,” was born. Since then, the program and team have grown and evolved, exploring cutting-edge topics as part of an annual month-long series of events in Guelph, Ontario and at year-round events throughout the region. Over the past seven years, Queen of Craft has raised over $40,000 for Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis and other local charities.


Lexi has been in the beer Industry for 4 years. She is Prud'homme certified and looking forward to becoming a Beer Sommelier Master. She worked at Royal City Brewery and wore many hats while she was there; a server who provided education through brewery tours, assistant front of house manager, and  event coordinator. She continues her education in career in beer by studying to become a Brewing Technician.


Travis Persaud

Ontario Sales Manager at Collective Arts Brewing

Travis Persaud stumbled into the beer world more than six years ago when he noticed it was more fun than the magazine gig he had at the time. He currently oversees Ontario sales for Collective Arts Brewing. He spends too much time scouring for new music and agonizing over the Raptors. 

Geriz’s background in high-end dining hospitality has allowed him to transfer the skills that he developed in that capacity and bring them to Other Half Brewing. His approach to hospitality is simple: be nice, always. It is truly remarkable what can happen when you approach everyone and every situation with a baseline of just being nice. Some years back, Geriz wrote a definition for hospitality for himself and is what guides his daily interactions; hospitality is a virtue or quality that consists in treating the neighbour well, with kindness.

Matt Giffen

Founder of Bench Brewing

Born and raised in London, Ontario, Matt spent 25 years working in the finance sector in big cities before changing careers to pursue a family passion for farming and agriculture. In 2018, after 18 months of construction renovating the historic Maple Grove Schoolhouse into a tap room, Matt opened the doors to Bench Brewing. Situated in Ontario's wine country, Bench takes a farmhouse approach to brewing; the Bench Brewing site also features a three-acre hop field and they partner with neighbouring farms to source locally-grown Twenty Valley tender fruit and wine grapes which are then incorporated into their brewing process. Bench also uses local wine barrels to age and ferment beer, with a cellar of over 400 barrels and 14 Foeders sourced exclusively from wineries in the Twenty Valley region of Niagara, Ontario. The philosophy at Bench is that the fertile ecosystem of the Twenty Valley provides the ideal environment for terroir driven beers.


Andrea Nicholson

Chef/Owner of Butchie's Restaurant

Simply put, Andrea Nicholson makes #DamnTrastyFood which is why she was not only selected to compete on Food Network's Top Chef Canada, she was also brought back for the recent Top Chef Canada: All Stars.

A busy businesswoman and modern mom, Andrea is as real as it gets and her authenticity jumps off the menu at her newly-opened restaurant, Butchies, where her elevated comfort food has patrons lining up outside the door. Andrea has done it all, butcher, chef on a cruise ship, educator, culinary contributor to the Marilyn Denis show, co-host of Restaurant Takeover, and just about everything in between. She's an everywoman - with an edge.

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Josh McJannett

Co-Founder of Dominion City Brewing Co.


Geriz Ramirez

General Manager at Other Half Brewing Co

Eric Saulis

Brewer at Dominion City Brewing Co.

Founded with a mission to craft quality, artisanal beer emphasizing a connection with the land and the people who make it possible, Dominion City opened its doors in 2014. Over the last five years Dominion City has earned a reputation for brewing quality beer, operating as a caring and contributing member of their community and a leading voice in Ontario's craft beer community.


Before Dominion City Josh spent a decade in public affairs advising elected officials and providing strategic and regulatory counsel to some of Canada’s largest and most successful companies in a range of industries, including media and telecommunications, financial services as well as food and beverage manufacturing.

Eric is a Wolastoqi brewer who worked in the food industry doing almost everything he could but found his passion and voice through beer. Every aspect of brewing is fascinating to him, and the finished product is a story being told. Language is incredibly important to Eric as his belief is that language comes from the land we live on, and is used as a tool to understand our place in our surroundings. He has been influenced by the likes of Jeremy Dutcher to rekindle his relationship with his heritage, and embrace everything that comes with it.


Day Bracey

Comedian + Writer + Co-Founder of Fresh Beer Fest

Braddock native. Comedian. Co-host of the Drinking Partners podcast. Co-founder of Fresh Fest Beer Fest. Author of Day Drinking, a beer column for the Pittsburgh Current. Former Stand-up director of the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival.

Jen Nadwodny

Jen is the former head brewer at Dieu du Ciel and now a brewer on hiatus. Currently powering up at a cidrerie and gin farm in the Basses-Laurentides area of Quebec.


Garrett Saulis

Brewer/Cellerman at Dominion City Brewing Co


Catherine Oppedisano

Director of Innovation and Ontario at Collective Arts Brewing

Catherine leads the Ontario sales team and all new to world innovation for the company. On the go right now, Catherine is working on Collective Project Cannabis Beverages and Collective Arts Distilling Gin and Ready-to-Drink Cocktails.
Catherine studied Psychology with a background in business at Queen’s University and has loved the creative chaos of this industry for the 8 years since.

Kwe (Hello). Garrett Saulis is a Wolastoqi and Anishinaabwe brewer/cellerman with Dominion City Brewing Co. from both the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick and Nipissing First Nation in Ontario. He graduated from the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program at Niagara College in August 2019 and began to work with Dominion City in September 2019, right out of school. While acknowledging that he has much to learn about the industry, he believes he offers a  fresh approach and view. Before Dominion City, he spent many years around the food industry and his passion for baking led him towards his love for brewing.

Lifelong pride in both his Wolastoqiyik and Anishinaabek heritages and identities has always formed a core foundation of who Garret is and he has  always held a deep admiration for both of his communities. Fighting post-residential school impacts in his cultures has been a strong personal goal that he has adopted from his parents and he continues to  work towards learning the languages and traditional values to maintain his heritage. 


Vicki Henton

Owner at Ronnies Local 069

"Do you know how hard it is to find me in clothes drinking beer."

-Vicki Henton

Brett Croft

Founder of Red Circle Brewing Co.

As a second-generation beer baron, Brett pretty much grew up in a brewery. He began his career over a decade ago on the marketing and sales side of the business. After a few years working in the office, he decided to take his passion for beer and apply it to the arts and science of brewing. 

Brett received his formal brewing education from Siebel World Brewing Academy, where he studied in Chicago and in Germany. After brewing school, he perfected his craft at breweries both large and small within Ontario, and in 2018 founded Red Circle Brewing Co. 

Louis Savard

Program Leader at RiverLabs

Louis is the Program Leader of the RiverLabs branch of the River Institute. A double graduate of St. Lawrence College (Microcomputer Electronics & Environmental Sciences) he also holds a PMP designation and is the OACETT (Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists) Chair for the Cornwall Chapter.


Louis’ role as Program Leader is to oversee all operational aspects of Applied Research and Technical Services at the River Institute. Specifically, over the past 5 years, he has worked closely with Ontario breweries to identify the current analytical needs and, through their ISO 17025 laboratory has developed specific brewery analytical service offerings. In addition, RiverLabs is able to leverage the in-house expertise of the River Institute to address most concerns in terms of water management as water is the focus area for the River Institute.


We often get the “River Institute….why breweries?” to which we quickly respond “Good water makes good beer!”


On a personal note, Louis has been an avid homebrewer for over 7 years and has concocted well over 50 unique recipes….a few medal winners!

Toni Boyce

Analytical Chemist at New Begium

Toni is an Analytical Chemist at New Belgium Brewing Company.  In addition to being a Certified Cicerone and a BJCP Recognized Judge, she holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California.  Toni’s passion for beer stems from both her engineering background and related communal experiences. She has 10 years of engineering experience in aerospace with both aircraft and spacecraft prime contractors. Her hometown is Memphis, TN, and she currently resides in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Sarah Dawkins

VP of Finance and Administration at Wellington Brewery

Sarah has a degree in Civil Engineering and has been on the payroll of Wellington Brewery since 1991. Over the years, Sarah has seen the company through multiple ownership changes, including the passing of her brother Doug (2016), has been an integral part of developing relationships with major retail channels, has helped diversify revenue through contract brewing relationships, and was a key figure during the companies expansion from 2015-2017. With over 25 years of experience, Sarah has been and industry leader and advocate for craft brewing in Ontario.  

Wilma Zondag

VP Queen of Craft

Who doesn’t love Wilma?  Deemed the “Queen of Craft Heartthrob” for a reason, she brings an incredible energy to each and every event she’s a part of.  Her unquenchable thirst for craft beer study drives her to take time to read, brew and experiment so that she can impart her knowledge to you.  Wilma specializes in hops, but is well-rounded in her craft beer knowledge and is skilled at answering any questions you may have about the brewing process, ingredients, recipe development and current trends. 

Juan Manuel

Communications Manager at Bandit Brewing

Juan has worked tirelessly assisting brands in finding their core identity while leading them into the growingly complex and often puzzling world of brand communications, helping them direct their message to desired, targeted audiences. He began his career working in some of Canada's most recognized non-profit arts organizations. Juan’s dynamic career also includes a successful four-year run as a panelist on a hit MTV show promoting LGBTQ+ inclusivity and acceptance . Working as Bandit Brewery’s Communications Manager since its inception in 2016, Juan has developed their ever-evolving social media and marketing strategy from scratch. When not working at the brewhouse you can find Juan developing social media and publicity strategies for Arts & Culture clients such as Jane’s Walk and Buffer Festival through his boutique firm, G2 PR+Events.


Sponsors and Supporters

Great partners, in the best industry.

Venue Sponsor

Party Hosts

Speaker Sponsors

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We hope you're able to attend!

If you have questions about the registration process, our schedule, are willing to sponsor the event, wish to speak, want to share a beer with us, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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