According to the Independent Craft Brewers Association, craft beer is a $30 Billion industry and makes up one quarter of all beer sales. While large brewers saw a decline in sales last year, the craft industry saw continued growth. Join us as we learn from three alumni in the craft brewing industry about their organization, business model, and how they have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Alumni Continuing Education Series (A.C.E.S.) is a free, non-credit granting, personal enrichment series that aims to stimulate intellectual growth and provide timely information to members of the JCU Community. We are excited that A.C.E.S. is going online to help bring this program to all of our alumni, regardless of where they call home. All A.C.E.S. Online sessions will take place via ZOOM Video Conferencing. To view our fall events, visit the Alumni & Friends Calendar.
Luis Castro '08G is the owner and head brewer of Del Cielo Brewing Co. located in Martinez, CA.
He is originally from Cali, Colombia and moved to the US in 2006 to pursue a Masters in Business Administration from John Carroll University.
He relocated to the Bay Area in 2010 and was blown away by the craft beer scene. Homebrewing in his garage started as a hobby, but quickly became his passion and the seed to build Del Cielo Brewing Co. Luis enjoys experimenting with hops, beer styles and fruits in his beer recipes. In fact, many of Del Cielo’s beers have their roots in the home-brewing recipes that Luis perfected during his previous career in finance.
Del Cielo Brewing Co. was the culmination of years of exploration and experimentation. Luis’ passion for craft beer led him to open Del Cielo Brewing Co. in 2018. His desire to express his interpretation of craft beer influenced by his heritage, inspired him to create a place for people to come together, explore the world of beer and feel a sense of community and belonging.
At Del Cielo Brewing Co., we believe that our beer tastes like it comes from heaven: It’s a bold statement, but for us, it means that we brew the best beer possible, from the hops, to the malts, and to the unique ingredients that we hand select – we want each sip to be a heavenly experience and of course, we believe beer tastes better together!
Education: Bachelor in Economics from Universidad de San Buenaventura, Cali, Colombia; Master’s in Finance from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Colombia; Master’s in Business Administration, John Carroll University, Ohio.
Molly Davis '97 grew up in a number of Ohio small towns and settled in Cincinnati for high school at Ursuline Academy. She received her BS in Marketing at John Carroll University in 1997 and MS Marketing degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2008. Davis rose to the position of Marketing Director at Cincinnati software company, Accountware. After 8 years marketing software, she shifted to marketing real estate for 3 years. She has taught 'Intro to Marketing' courses at several Cincinnati area community colleges.
In 2011 she and her husband opened the restaurant Firehouse Grill in the Blue Ash suburb of Cincinnati. Davis cites her marketing background in helping her defeat the odds and run a successful, privately owned, restaurant for nearly a decade. This past year Davis added an on-site brewery and her restaurant was renamed 'Firehouse Grill & Brewery'. She has 10 house beers on tap alongside 37 other local craft brews. She resides in Cincinnati with her husband and three children.
Leo “LJ” Govoni '09 is the CEO and co-founder of Seaboard Craft Beer Holdings, the parent company to Big Storm Brewing Company, Big Storm Distilling Company, Fat Point Brewing Company, and Blood Brothers Bloody Mary Mix. In addition to operating beverage companies, Mr. Govoni is the CEO and co-founder of Boston Capital Leasing, an alternative asset leasing and finance company that specializes in funding craft beverage manufacturers. Both companies are based in Clearwater, Florida.
Prior to founding Boston Capital Leasing, Mr. Govoni was Vice President of Boston Finance Group, a specialty lending corporation. Mr. Govoni acted as one of the company’s chief underwriters for collateral originating from a mixed portfolio of diverse asset classes.
Mr. Govoni earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from John Carroll University in 2009 and played football for the Blue Streaks. He also has Master of Science degree in Finance from the University of Tampa and is currently pursuing a Master of Accounting degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.