Station One – Future of Wine in Kegs w/Free Flow Wines: More and more restaurants are offering wine in kegs, including R+D Kitchen and Kitchen Door. Join Rich Bouwer, Chief Executive Officer of Free Flow Wines and Barclay Webster, VP of Business Development & Trade at Free Flow Wines to learn about the opportunities and challenges to offering wine in kegs.
Station Two – Refillable Bottles & 2024 CRV with Conscious Container: Napa Green wants to explore a collaboration with members to create a branded, refillable bottle that could be washed and reused 3-4 times. As of 2024, all wineries will have to work with the TTB to add CRV to their labels. Hear from Caren McNamara, Founder & CEO of Conscious Container, about refillable options and how the new CRV will accelerate closed loop solutions for wine bottles.
Rich joined Free Flow as Chief Operating Officer in 2018 to oversee Operations, Finance & Supply Chain. Rich began his career in the wine industry in 1990. Since then he has held senior positions with Saxco International, Beringer and Gallo, sourcing wine bottles in the US, Central America, Europe and Asia and providing packaging to more than 1,000 wineries. Rich is delighted to be part of the Free Flow team and relishes the opportunity to change the way premium wines are delivered to consumers. In his free time Rich enjoys open water swimming, college sports, and spending time with his family.
Barclay was fortunate to discover his career path in the wine industry at the young age of 19, while a student at the University of British Columbia. Over the past couple decades, Barclay has gained experience in all three tiers of the U.S. industry and completed a “Wine MBA” at the University of Adelaide in Australia. His diverse experience and cross-functional expertise, enables Barclay to quickly assess scenarios, implement proven best practices where applicable and develop unique solutions to address unprecedented challenges as needed. Barclay is proud to currently be Vice President of Business Development at Free Flow Wines. His primary responsibility is helping On-Premise operators discover how wine on tap can greatly improve the profitability, service speed, and environmental sustainability of their by-the-glass wine programs. Barclay is incredibly passionate about sustainability and is an active member of the National Reuse Network and Climate Reality Project Bay Area Chapter.
As the pioneers of premium wine on tap, Free Flow’s mission is to deliver the freshest, best tasting, most sustainable glass of wine. Their keg leasing, filling and logistics services have allowed the wine and hospitality industries to move to a greener, fresher, better way to serve wine by the glass. They are passionate about what they do and always looking for new ways to think outside the ‘bottle’.
Founded in 2009, Free Flow has more than 250 wine brands in keg from wineries throughout the world. Premium wines in Free Flow kegs and cans are available at restaurants, hotels, retail stores, sports and entertainment venues across the US. Free Flow Wines currently has locations in Sonoma, California and Bayonne, New Jersey.
Caren founded Conscious Container, a California Benefit Corporation, to bring refillable glass bottle marketplace back into US economy and infrastructure to reduce single use packaging waste. After 20 years as a successful project and change management consultant Caren was inspired by the circular economy solution refillable bottles presented around the world. She conducted multiple proof-of-concept pilots proving the demand from consumers and beverage producers for a refillable packaging option. Caren quickly gained traction, collaboration with global and regional wine and beverage producers, glass manufacturers, policymakers, leading non-profits and now investors to scale this sustainable and economically viable refillable glass bottle business. On the side Caren loves mountain sports, traveling and inspiring conversations over a glass of wine with family, friends or anyone who wants to dialog about refillable bottles!