Craft beverage summit on tap for April 8

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) will sponsor “Craft: A Farm to Bottle Summit” April 8 in South Charleston to gather a variety of statewide business interests to support growth in the emerging craft beverage economy – from soda and teas to beer, wine and spirits.

Participants will explore ways that craft products can engage various interests in agriculture, hospitality and tourism to build markets for this growing business sector.

“This event is a must for craft brewers, farmers, retailers and others in the region who are interested in becoming a part of this rapidly growing West Virginia industry,” said Bill Woodrum, director of entrepreneurship and agricultural innovations at RCBI. “Plus, it will provide attendees the opportunities to sample some of the unique and tasty beverages already produced here.”

The Keynote speaker will be entrepreneur Todd Boera, owner of Fonta Flora Brewery in Asheville, NC, who has been instrumental in transforming the Asheville area into a popular stop along the craft brewing tourism trail. He utilizes a large percent of locally produced grains and fruits in his brewing operation.

Breakout sessions will include locally sourcing products and ingredients, legal and regulatory issues for bottlers, recent legislative changes affecting the craft beverage industry, and tips and resources for starting your own beverage company.

The event will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn & Suites (400 2nd Avenue SW, South Charleston) followed by a craft beverage tasting event, Pour It Forward, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is $25 per person. Register at

For more information, contact Woodrum at 304-781-1670.

Article submitted by The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI).