How Craft Beer is Tapping Growth in the Central Coast

Cold beer has become a hot market. The Central Coast has experienced a strong pace of openings with many more on the horizon. What does it take to create a successful craft beer business in a highly competitive market that some argue may be reaching a saturation point? Our three brewery panelists make great IPAs, lagers, stouts and a multitude of other delicious quaffs. They also make great businesses.

Our experts will offer insights about the current state of the craft beer market as well as what is on the horizon for the U.S. craft beer market.  They’ll also offer insight on what it takes to develop and grow a successful craft beer business.

Brewing has large initial capital requirements for equipment, materials and marketing. Therefore, our panel also has an expert in the financing of breweries. And, because we are the MIT Enterprise Forum, we’ll discuss the technology that plays an important role in such places as chemistry and process controls, big data, and automation.

We have an exciting keynote speaker in David Walker, one of the namesake founders of Firestone Walker Brewing Company, one of the premier craft brewer success stories in the United States.  Rounding out our panel are Jaime Dietenhofer, CEO of another hot Central Coast brewery, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Shaun Crowley, the brewmaster at a beloved local brewpub, Rincon Brewery, and Brian Mulvaney, Senior Vice President in Beverage Finance with Bank of America Merrill Lynch with a focus on financing for breweries, wineries, distilleries, distributors and suppliers.

Finally, what would an event about craft beer be without craft beer??? We will have samples from our breweries to enjoy throughout the evening.



Keynote Speaker
David Walker, Founder, Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Featured Speakers

Jaime Dietenhofer, CEO, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

Shaun Crowley, Brewmaster, Rincon Brewery

Brian Mulvaney, Senior Vice President in Beverage Finance, Bank of America


About Our Speakers

david_walkerDavid Walker
Firestone Walker Brewing Company

David is a British expatriate who co-founded Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in 1996 with his American brother-in-law Adam Firestone. Early on, Walker’s love for the beers of his homeland greatly influenced the brewery’s portfolio. Its first release was Double Barrel Ale, an English-style ale made using a Burton Union system that had been jury-rigged on the brewing floor. In 2006, its Firestone Pale Ale was named “Best Beer in America” by Men’s Journal. Today, Firestone Walker is California’s fourth-largest craft brewery and it releases a series of complex barrel-aged offerings—from Parabola (an imperial stout), to Sucaba (a barleywine), to a slew of wild ales made at a separate “Barrelworks” facility in Buellton. And, of course, there’s its immensely popular lineup of Jacks—uber-hoppy IPAs running the gamut from Easy Jack (a session IPA) all the way up to Double Jack (a DIPA).

Walker isn’t just a British beer fan misplaced in America, though. Behind his laid-back demeanor, he’s one of the more shrewd businessmen in the entire industry. In July, 2015, Firestone Walker announced it would be partnering with privately owned Duvel Moortgat, a Belgian beer conglomerate known for their Belgian strong pale ale. The partnership allows Firestone Walker to operate independently and manufacture their own beers while expanding its production and distribution. In 2014, Firestone Walker produced 151,000 barrels.



Jaime Dietenhofer
CEO and Co-Founder
Figueroa Mountain Brewery Co.

Growing up in the Santa Ynez Valley, Jaime Dietenhofer was surrounded by wine. So it was a bit of a surprise when his family discovered his passion for craft beer and dream of starting a brewery.  Before he was able to follow his dream his father, Jim, told him he had to go to college. While attending Whitman College, his year abroad in Austria fed his craft beer passion but his father said he need to continue his education so he graduated with a Masters in Environmental Studies from UCSB Bren School. Soon after, Jaime co-founded a startup called Garage Envy which he sold in 2014.  Meanwhile his passion for craft beer never subsided and he concurrently worked on starting Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company with his father. In 2010, his dream came true with a production brewery opening in Buellton, California. Four years later he and his family now operate six taprooms and a production brewery that provides craft beer throughout the state.


Shaun Crowley
Rincon Brewery

Shaun Crowley is co-founder and Brewmaster at Rincon Brewery in Carpinteria.  A native Santa Barbarian, avid surfer, and outdoor enthusiast, Shaun can trace his love of craft beer back to his early college days at UCSB.  Shaun’s entry into the craft beer business started from the ground up. Shortly after turning 21 years old, he began working at a local craft brewery starting out in the cellar, cleaning kegs and scrubbing floors.  It wasn’t long before he started engaging in hands-on brewing as he worked his way up to assisting with brewing operations and working on the packaging line.

Around this time he also became an avid home brewer, experimenting and expanding his passion for beer five gallons at a time on his small, home-built, brew system.  It was through this synergy of professional and home-brewing skills that led Shaun to eventually become head brewer, where he continued to refine his craft and lead a team of skilled brewers and cellar workers in day-to-day operations of a craft brewery.

In 2014 Shaun left his brewing job of 10 years and co-founded Rincon Brewery.  There he has continued his passion for brewing, focusing mainly on Belgian inspired beers and IPAs. Rincon Brewery’s beers are found not only at their brewpub in Carpinteria, but at select restaurants and bars in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.


Mulvaney-BrianBrian Mulvaney
Senior Vice President in Beverage Finance
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Brian Mulvaney is an SVP in Bank of America’s Global Commercial Bank with a focus on the beverage sector. Brian’s role is to work with the various constituents in the beverage industry, from suppliers, distributors and service provides, to deliver the bank’s various commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking services.

Prior to joining Bank of America, Brian Mulvaney was a Managing Director at Headwaters MB, a middle market investment banking firm, where he was responsible for managing the firm’s food & beverage practice. Brian began his capital markets career at First Chicago in the Corporate Banking group.  In 1995 he was part of the team which opened First Union’s west coast leveraged finance office and in 1998 transferred to Charlotte to join the Corporate Banking group covering the consumer products accounts.  Brian returned to Southern California in 2000 to work at Roth Capital Partners where he continued his focus on the consumer sector. In 2004, Brian and one of his colleagues formed their own M&A advisory firm, ISI Capital Partners, which became the west coast office for Headwaters in 2007. Brian’s corporate finance experience has included credit facilities, term debt, public securities, junior capital, sell side & buy side advisory and fairness opinions for public, PE-backed and privately held companies.

Brian received his MBA from the University of Southern California and his BS from the University of Vermont.

Mr. Mulvaney lives in Newport Beach with his wife and four teenage daughters.


Event Registration:

When:  Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93103


  • Student $15.00
  • Regular (Online pre-registration only) $30.00
  • At the Door $40.00
  • Parking $4.00 – $6.00 (separate; paid at lot)


  • 5:00 – 6:00 Networking Hour, Check-in & Registration for Walk-ins
  • 6:00 – 7:30 Discussion
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Q&A

Registration includes appetizers and refreshments.

If you miss the early-bird registration, not to worry! We welcome walk-in guests to register at the registration table in the lobby of the venue.

Online event registration for I’ll Drink to That powered byEventbrite

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