Craft beverage summit on tap

Courtesy photoAryn Jane Fonda, co-founder of Weathered Ground Brewery of Cool Ridge, will be a guest speaker at A Farm to Bottle Summit on Aug. 24.

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University, Brilliant Stream and the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition will host a statewide virtual summit Aug. 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to discuss strategies for strengthening and expanding the craft beverage industry in West Virginia.

Craft: A Farm to Bottle Summit will focus on ways to streamline the relationships between breweries and the farms that supply them in order to improve efficiencies, as well as the cradle-to-grave technique of turning waste into fuel, food and ultimately profit.

Guest speakers John Garcia, owner of Lookout Brewing Company of Black Mountain, N.C.; and Aryn Jane Fonda, co-founder of Weathered Ground Brewery of Cool Ridge, will share their experiences building strong farm-to-brewery connections and implementing measures to reduce waste in their brewing operations.

In addition, Garcia will share his plans to open another brewery in Huntington, where he spent his childhood.

“We invite everyone – whether you’re a grower, bottler, 

brewer or just someone curious about this fast-growing West Virginia industry – to join us for our craft summit,” said Evan Nelson, manager of Agricultural Innovations at RCBI. “This interactive gathering is a perfect opportunity to learn best practices for success.”

The digital forum will conclude with a Pour It Forward happy hour from 7 to 8 p.m. Participants are encouraged to grab a glass of their favorite West Virginia craft beverage for an informal networking session.

To register for the free event, visit Craft is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. For more information about Craft or any of RCBI’s agricultural initiatives, contact Nelson at or 304-781-1657.

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