Director of Business Development, Denizens Brewing Co.
Silver Spring, MD
What unique skills do you bring to the board?
Prior to opening Denizens with my wife, Emily Bruno, and brother-in-law Jeff Ramirez, I had years of experience doing advocacy work on the municipal, county, state, and federal level. I have continued to work on behalf of small and independent breweries since we opened. Further, I am a licensed attorney and manage the self-distribution wholesale side of our company. In the past three years, we have self-distributed more than 2,000 bbls throughout two jurisdictions, but still sell a majority of our beer in our taproom. My role at Denizens is to form community partnerships, identify philanthropic causes to support, and create business development opportunities. Having the perspective of owning a small brewery that opened within the last four years allows me to bring ideas and perspective to the conversation that will help shape policies of the Brewers Association to benefit the smallest breweries within our current membership.
What part of the craft brewing industry needs the most support?
The breweries who are scaling up after being open for a few years. Quality control and assurance, as well as figuring out how to plan for and make financial decisions, are issues that impact growing breweries. I believe the Brewers Association is in a great position to educate its membership on these issues even more than it already has.
What are the biggest opportunities for small and independent craft brewers?
Small and independent breweries are naturally positioned to help their communities at a deeper level than our larger counterparts. Partnering with other small businesses and community organizations is an opportunity we should all take with gusto to expand our impact and grow our brands.
If you were a beer style, what would you be? Why?
Witbier. I tend to be approachable and get along with most people I meet. I also like complex conversations, and a witbier done well is complex as hell.
What’s your most memorable beer drinking experience?
Definitely drinking the first beer we made at Denizens Brewing Co. in early 2014. Southside Rye IPA is still my go-to in the taproom.
Julie Verratti is co-founder of Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, Md. The brewery has the distinction of being the only female- and minority-owned and operated brewery in Maryland.
Verratti earned her Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, where she played varsity soccer. After college, she directed and advised on electoral and issue campaigns in various states before earning her law degree from the George Washington University Law School. Prior to co-founding Denizens Brewing Co., she was a Presidential Management Fellow and senior policy advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration, where she focused on the Affordable Care Act, veteran’s entrepreneurship, women’s business ownership, and local economic development policies. She has also worked as a policy aide on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship under Chairman Landrieu’s leadership.
Verratti currently serves on the diversity committee for the Brewers Association, is co-chair of the government affairs committee for the Brewers Association of Maryland (BAM), is treasurer of the BAM PAC, and is on the government affairs committee for the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce. In 2016, she was named to the Washington Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40.” She has testified before the U.S. Congress, Maryland state legislature, and Montgomery County Council on matters impacting small businesses and breweries. Verratti directs all business development and distribution sales for Denizens Brewing Co. The best decision she ever made was to jump into the beer business.