While everyone’s talking about the beer bubble, Reuben’s Brews in Seattle’s Ballard District just keeps chugging (figuratively and literally). The brewery just sent out this report, saying it has experienced impressive growth across the board (especially in the last six months) with an increase in production, recent expansions and new hires.
2017 highlights for the brewery include:
- Industry-leading growth in Washington State. In IRI data for the six months ending 6/30/17, Reuben’s Brews was growing at 104 percent in dollar sales— the highest growth rate among the top 30 brands in Washington.
- Production is on track to increase by more than 50 percent compared to 2016.
- A Pacific Northwest distribution footprint has been built by adding Northern Oregon, Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.
- The brewery has continued to win awards for its brews, with more than 30 awards received in 2017 so far.
- Numerous new beers have been brewed, including Reuben’s Crush Series, the release of Pilsner in cans, and the launch of the annual Hop Idol Pro-Am competition and release.
Given all of this, Reuben’s Brews needed to bolster its existing staff by adding key leadership positions and promotions to add strength and depth to its already amazing team. Those include:
Grace Robbings, co-founder: Although she’s always had a hand in things behind the scenes, Grace Kim Robbings (a.k.a. Reuben’s Mama), officially joined the team earlier this summer. She left her teaching position at Bellevue College to focus more on the business side of the brewery. She’s managing the taproom and administrative teams, running communications, and building a sustainability program at the brewery. She will continue her work on tax compliance and running the brewery’s charitable programs, in particular the Thank You Thursday program.
James McDermet, head brewer: McDermet joined the company last April and came to Reuben’s from Fremont Brewing. He has been using his experience at a fast-growing brewery to help Reuben’s Brews’ continued growth with a focus on brewing the highest-quality beers. Leading production, he’s working closely with co-founder Adam Robbings, along with Mike Pfeiffer and the rest of the brewing team.
Mike Pfeiffer, production manager: As the brewery has grown Pfeiffer’s role has also grown. Mike helped open the brewery — he literally built large parts of the original brewery, he now regularly brews production batches while also managing the production schedule to ensure the right beers are brewed and packaged in the right format. Not an easy task with five distributors and 23 fermenters!
Thor Stoddard, New Beer Manager: Previously the taproom manager, Thor now helps founder Adam Robbings manage new beers, particularly with the barrel program and the development of the sour and brett program. Thor has a hand in the brewing process, brewing small batch beers and production size batches, while also experimenting with infusions and the cask program.
In addition to these leadership changes, Reuben’s has further strengthened its taproom team and brewery team. Regulars to the taproom may have noticed some new faces with team members Dave Patania, Jess Keller, Matt Ellis and Ashley Hermosillo. Many of these new hires were (and still are) regular customers of the taproom, they’ve just shifted roles! And in the brewery, Khris Lloyd recently joined in a cellar role, and Nigel Lassiter has joined part time too.
That’s the update. Back to your regular programming.