Meet Our Panelists

Jim Vandergiessen
Pro Refrigeration

Jim Vandergiessen is CEO of Pro Refrigeration, Inc., which he co-founded in 1990. He continuously seeks out new and emerging uses with a commitment to system efficiency, serviceability, and reliability.

The Pro Chiller System products are industry leaders serving the Craft Beverage, Dairy, and hundreds of other industrial applications that require chilled fluids operating from +45 F to -45 F. Pro operates from their headquarters in Auburn, WA and their production facility in Mocksville, NC.

Kevin Weaver
Founder |

Kevin Weaver is the founder of Brewmation. Before starting Brewmation, Kevin worked for 24 years in various manufacturing management, and controls positions for Georgia Pacific, Lafarge, and Zumbach Electronics. 

In 2003 his home brewing hobby collided with his background and passion for automation, and Brewmation was born.  Brewmation, now has well over 1,000 installations in various breweries and distilleries in North and South America, as well as several overseas installations.

John Watt
Founder |
Stout Tanks & Kettles

John Watt is the founder of Stout Tanks and Kettles.  He was the first to bring commercial designs to home brewing equipment.  He began homebrewing in 1988 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In 1996, he opened the 20 bbl Sonora Brewing Company in Phoenix, Arizona and operated it until late 2004 when he sold it to relocate back home to Oregon. 

In 2009, John started Stout Tanks and Kettles, LLC with an initial focus on high end, commercial quality homebrew equipment.  The company began serving the nanobrewery and microbrewery markets in 2011 and now offers brewhouses up to 30 bbls in size.  John became interested in LODO brewing in 2016 and began making design changes in the company’s homebrew equipment to better serve this unique brewing method. 

Damon Reed
Pro Refrigeration

Damon joined the team at Pro Refrigeration in 2005, after spending more than a decade working as a Service Technician and in Sales for a refrigeration contractor. Currently Pro’s Chief Revenue Officer he leads the Technical support, R&D, Field Service and Application Engineering teams.

Damon has worked with hundreds of breweries on system design for; new construction, expansion, relocation and he has also presented at multiple MBAA technical meetings including the Engineering and Utilities course.

Trey Senney
Sales/Engineering |
Micropure Filtration

Trey Senney is the head of Sales and Engineering at Micropure Filtration Inc. where he specializes in filtration applications for food and beverage facilities. Trey Graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with a mathematics and chemistry degree. He has been working at Micropure for the past 9 years.

Over the past 9 years, Trey’s focus has been on improving system quality and purity in food and beverage facilities. As a part of that focus, He has been working on adding mash presses into new brewhouse setups along with existing breweries to help improve efficiency and speed of the overall process.

Jason Nadeau
Sales Manager and Vendor Relationship Manager |
North Star Leasing Company

Jason has been at North Star Leasing since 2016 and specializes in providing competitive equipment financing options and working capital to the entire craft beverage industry – including brewing, distilling, hard cider, wine, kombucha, and coffee.

He manages a portfolio of $30 million across his sales team and has successfully helped hundreds of breweries and other craft beverage facilities to open or expand nationwide. To that end, he has become an expert in what startup beverage company’s need to open their doors and helps expanding businesses manage their cashflow as they grow. 

Mike Paladino
Brewery Design
Consultant |
Stout Tanks & Kettles

Mike became a professional brewer in 2002 in the great state of Oregon. He has won many awards for his craft brew, and is well known throughout the pro brewing community. His career entailed more than 15 years of brewing, the last three of which have included brewing beer & cidermaking at Sasquatch Brewery & New West Cider.

Mike has personally opened multiple breweries throughout his career as a professional brewer. He now works with Stout Tanks and Kettles as a Brewery Design Consultant where he has helped dozens of new breweries plan and configure their brewing systems to fit their unique brewing styles and equipment needs.

Michael O’Neill
Brewery System Sales Specialist  

As employee number 2 at Brewmation, Michael has been at the forefront of our brewery sales process for the better part of a decade. His time in the restaurant industry provides a unique perspective to brewpub operations, along with a wealth of knowledge to the art and science of custom brewhouse builds.

With over 500 brewery installations and countless homebrews to his credit, Michael is continually expanding upon his expertise in brewery design and his mastery of the brewing process, equipment, and controls, making him an invaluable partner for any brewery build.

Don Marcil
Brewery Design
Consultant |
Stout Tanks & Kettles

Don left his life as a graphic artist to pursue his dream of brewing beer. He enrolled in the American Brewers Guild in 2009 and did a 5 week apprenticeship in Portland Oregon at Hopworks Urban Brewery. In 2010 he was working from the bottom up washing kegs, cleaning brites and fermentation vessels, packaging and finally mastering the hot side operations.

Living the brewing dream for many years. The growth was extraordinary and what started as 2,500 BBLs was nearly 15,000 BBLs upon his departure of a leading role in the brewery. During the 1000’s of batches he was part of he was fortunate to learn many styles, techniques and gain the friendship of many incredible brewers.

Kevin Tweet
Technical Sales & Engineering |
Thermaline Inc.

Kevin currently works in technical sales and engineering for Thermaline Inc. Thermaline Inc. is an innovative heat transfer solution provider for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries.

Processors worldwide have come to depend upon Thermaline products.

Jabien Letlow
Brewery & Distillery Sales Specialist

Building on a career in high-tech sales and seeking to turn his love of beer and brewing into a full-time job, Jabien joined the Brewmation team to provide his expertise in brewing and now leads our Distilling Systems group.

Jabien has designed custom brew houses and craft distillery systems for hundreds of installations, and his passion for and outspoken knowledge of sour beer has earned him multiple appearances on The Sour Hour podcast.

Scott McCormick
Brewery Design
Consultant |
Stout Tanks & Kettles

Scott has helped over 100 startup breweries plan and configure their brewing systems to fit their unique styles and equipment needs. Scott’s philosophy on brewing and brewing systems is to keep it simple, easy to use, maintain and robust for ease of production.

As an avid homebrewer, Scott served as President of his local homebrew club in Bozeman before moving to Portland, Oregon where he began working for Stout Tanks and Kettles after completing the Oregon State University Craft Brewery Startup Workshop. Scott has completed the Siebel Institute of Technology Concise Course in Brewing Technology and is a member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

David Antonacci
Commercial Sales  |
Columbia Boiler Company

David Antonacci is a mechanical engineer responsible for all industrial and commercial sales of Columbia Boilers in the PA Tri-state area.

David specializes in building client relationships and providing value added solutions to craft breweries.

Bryan Rabe
Founder |
Low Oxygen Brewing

Bryan started brewing in 2000, he has over 1000 batches of beer under his belt. He started brewing with low oxygen methods 2 years ago and has now has over 250 of those. He has translated Narziss to english, and has read Kunze cover to cover a dozen times.

Brewing the best beer humanly possible is his passion!

Thomas Bleigh
Co-Founder |
PH Experiment

Thomas Bleigh is the Innovation Brewmaster for Craft Brew Alliance where he leads a team of Innovation brewers to create new products, explore new ingredients, and engage in brewing Research & Development.

Tom was born in Augsburg, Germany and is a graduate of UC Davis with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and the University of Wisconsin with a Master of Fine Arts. A 19 year Craft Beer industry veteran, Tom’s interests are all things fermented (meats, cheese, beer/cider/wine), and kimchi.