Business of Craft Beer Advisory Board

Business of Craft Beer Advisory Board

Key figures in craft beer from the Chicago area serve on the Business of Craft Beer Program advisory board to identify course content, develop curriculum and instruct courses.

John Barley is co-founder and president of Naperville-based Solemn Oath Brewery, with his brother Joe. Barley's passion for the brewery's distinctive Belgian-inspired beers developed after numerous trips to Belgium in college. Solemn Oath launched into the market in 2012 and his since shown double-digit growth each year. In addition to his role at Solemn Oath, Barley is a board member of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild.  

Don DiBrita is the President of Craft to Craft Marketing, a marketing company in the Chicago area, which works with clients in North America, South America and Europe. His company specializes in working with small businesses that are struggling to engage their audience and helps them to build communities that convert into sales. Don is also the creator of Beer Dogging which is one of the largest beer clubs in the United States.

Jim Ebel is the co-founder of Two Brothers Brewing Company with his brother Jason. His love of craft beer was formed in Europe, where he was fortunate enough to have studied in college. Upon returning to the United States, he became an avid home brewer and founded The Brewer's Coop, a homebrew shop in 1993. In 1996, Jim and his brother founded Two Brothers Brewing Company, which they started with a 20-HL brewhouse and two dairy tank fermenters. Today the brothers own a craft beer distributor, four restaurants and a small-batch coffee roasting company in addition to the brewery, which distributes in 11 states. Jim was also a licensed architect and maintains his law license in Illinois.

Dave Hawley is the owner of The Beer Cellar in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, an independent bottle shop dedicated to providing the best and freshest selection of craft beer in suburban Chicago. He started the store in 2014 as a way to share his passion for great beer with his local community. He is a certified beer server and a beer educator, and has been featured in Suburban Life,, and The Mash Tun Journal.

Eric Hobbs is a Certified Cicerone® with 12 years of beer industry sales/marketing experience, most recently with Goose Island and Anheuser-Busch/InBev (ABI). Hobbs left ABI in 2013 to open Penrose Brewing Company in Geneva, Illinois.

Sarah Huska is a Certified Cicerone® and started her career in the beer industry as the first employee hired at the Cicerone Certification Program, performing as the program administrator. After her experience at Cicerone, Sarah managed bars and restaurants for several years, where she cultivated beverage menus and built craft beer culture. Currently, Sarah is a Field Quality Specialist at Bell's Brewery. Sarah has also completed studies in the Culinary Arts as well as an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship.

Richard Jarman has been a Professor of Chemistry at the College of DuPage since 2003. Prior to joining COD, he spent twenty years in scientific research and development. His interest in brewing dates back to 1974 with the emergence of the Campaign for Real Ales in his native Great Britain, and has naturally continued with the craft beer revolution in America. He is an award-winning home brewer. He is currently interested in incorporating themes of brewing and fermentation into the chemistry curriculum and has developed an experiential credit course called, "Distilling Knowledge: When Chemistry and Humanities Meet Over Drinks."

Erin Lowder is the general manager of operations at Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville, Illinois. Erin went to college for fashion design with the intention of entering the fashion world, but ended up stumbling into the beer world instead. Beginning as a taproom employee, Erin worked her way up the ranks at Solemn Oath Brewery.

Marty Nachel has been following the craft brewing industry for three decades. An award-winning homebrewer and beer writer, Nachel has also been a Certified Beer Judge since 1986. He has written three books on beer including Beer for Dummies and Homebrewing for Dummies. Marty has formerly judged beer at the World Beer Championships in Chicago, the Samuel Adams LongShot finals in Boston and is currently a judge at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beer in Chicago and the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Samu Rahn is a Certified Cicerone® and on-premise key account manager for Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., an independent Chicagoland distributor established in 1888. He received an MBA from North Park University in 2011 and has also worked in journalism covering beer, travel, music, and culture. He is currently a tasting panelist at the Beverage Testing Institute and a judge for the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition.

Vikki Reed is the head of marketing and events for BuckleDown Brewing. She is a taproom beertender and certified beer server for the brewery located in Lyons, Illinois, and is a familiar face in the Chicago craft beer scene. She has taught English at Lyons Township High School for the past 16 years and holds an MA in curriculum and instruction in secondary education.

Emily Slayton, Skeleton Key Brewery

Paul Schneider is an experienced educator, writer, Certified Cicerone®, and brewer. He is currently production manager at Solemn Oath Brewery, where he has worked on the brewery floor since opening in 2012. Schneider is also a key part of the company's sales, marketing and training efforts.

Matt Tanaka is the founder and creative director of Matt Tanaka Marketing, a marketing and design studio built for the beer industry. His team of strategists, writers, designers, photographers, artists and web designers help breweries, distributors and retailers all over the country tell their stories to beer drinkers. He's also the founder of the industry website, Working For Beer, a collection of stories and interviews about what it's really like to work in the beer industry.

Contact Us

To learn more, or if you are interested in teaching or hosting a course at your facility, contact Danielle Kuglin Seago, program manager, at (630) 942-2412 or  

Contact Continuing Education

To register or for detailed program information, call Continuing Education at (630) 942-2208 or email You may also register online. To view our complete program listing, see the Spring 2019 Continuing Education Schedule of Classes.

Contact Information

Continuing Education
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110, (630) 942-2208
Fax: (630) 942-3785

Office Hours
Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday

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