Today, Appalachian Mountain Brewery announced the addition of Justin Hamilton to its Strategic Advisory Board (SAB).

Hamilton is the chief executive officer of Wilmington-based Hempleton Investment Group.

” … we are focused on bolstering our advisory resources to best position [Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB)] as a social purpose entity committed to building longterm shareholder value,” the brewery’s CEO Sean Spiegelman is quoted as saying in the company’s press release.

“We are pleased today to strengthen that process with the addition of a well-known national leader in the hemp and CBD industry,” Spielgelman’s quote continues.

Via phone, Spielgelman stated, “Justin and his companies, and all of the people he has around him, bring to the table an immense amount of knowledge in the hemp and CBD arena.”

AMB joins Coca Cola (KO) and Constellation Brands (STZ-B), makers of Corona, Modelo, and Svedka, as leaders of U.S.-based beverage companies publicly announcing that they’re seeking avenues into the cannabis industry

Thus far, Constellation Brands is the only company of the three to make a major investment with a $4 billion investment in Canapy Growth, a Canadian company. That announcement was made Nov. 1.

In North Carolina, cannabis prohibition limits the cannabis industry to the state’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and cannabidiol (CBD) products containing less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The pilot program is in its second year and was authorized by the federal 2014 Farm Bill.

[READ: The rapidly evolving legal status of CBD by Asheville-based cannabis attorney Rod Kight]

The brewery’s eight-member advisory board includes individuals from various industries, Spielgelman told Carolina Cannabis News. Board members’ positions are strictly advisory, according to the press release.

More from the press release:

Mr. Hamilton has a great ”pulse” on the industry with many successful ventures including The Hemp Farmacy retail dispensary franchise, the East Coast Genetics research and distribution model and the N.C. Hemp Farm Research and Innovation Campus.

Education has been at the heart of each of Mr. Hamilton’s hemp endeavors allowing him to work closely with the universities and giving him the distinct honor of educating both law enforcement agencies and the military.

The Hemp Farmacy and East Coast Genetics are subsidiaries of Hempleton Investment Group which is privately held by Hamilton.

Founded in 1990, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Inc. (HOPS) is a publicly traded craft beverage company based in Boone, N.C., that provides beers and ciders, including Black Gold, the award-winning Boone Creek, Long Leaf, Spoaty-Oaty American, AMB Pilsner, Appalachian Belle Cider, Bad Mother Pucker and Belay on Saison V11.

Earlier this month, Hamilton announced that Hempleton has invested in New River Distilling, also based in Boone, for terpene extraction and hemp-infused craft beer production.

And, full disclosure: Hempleton is one of Carolina Cannabis News‘ annual sponsors.

Community Focused Businessmen

Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB), with a tagline that reads, “Community, sustainability, philanthropy,” is as well known for its community spirit as it is for its specialty beers.

“The Hemp industry needs more entrepreneurs like Sean Spiegelman who is practicing his core values through philanthropic endeavors, not just preaching them,” says Hamilton via the AMB press release.

Appalachian Mountain Brewery produced a short documentary about its We Can So You Can program, which you can watch by pressing the red play button above.

“I am extremely excited to bring my passion for social impact to this advisory board. We are excited to have found someone that stands for what they believe in,” Hamilton’s quote continues. “This type of opportunity is why I built Hempleton, to use hemp as an ingredient to change the world. Models like the one Sean is creating is part of a new age corporate structure we would like to be a part of.'”

AMB practices what it preaches in its tagline by offsetting its energy consumption with a five-kilowatt array of high efficient solar panels that help power the brewery’s tasting room and Farm to Flame food truck.

The brewing company also helped the New River Conservancy restore the riparian zone of Boone Creek and Hodges Creek, according to its website. The project included planting native North Carolina plants, restoring the creeks’ banks and creating a rain garden in front of the brewery to help mitigate its storm water runoff.

In addition to its Pints for Non-Profits program which donates a portion of the profits from all sales in its taproom, AMB also created the We Can So You Can Foundation described on the company website as “a mission driven public charity funded in part by Appalachian Mountain Brewery and the Farm To Flame food truck to support the communities it serves through investment in social-minded businesses engaged primarily in education, agriculture and renewable energy.”

And, like Hamilton, AMB finds ways to help farmers. The company donates spent grain used in its brewing process to farmers for use as cattle feed.

The brewery also supports its local government and community. Evidence is seen in a bike barn built to help support taproom patrons live “a healthy, sustainable lifestyle” and in support of the Town of Boone’s 2030 Town Transportation Model.

The company even has a venture capital fund to help local start-ups. “It’s all about sustainability, locally sourced and locally employed; the Venture Capital Fund is our vision of a local green economy,” Spiegelman says.

BY Rhiannon Fionn

BY Rhiannon Fionn

Editor & Publisher

Rhiannon Fionn is an award-winning journalist based in Charlotte, N.C.