Behind every beer brand you drink is an impressive team of beer professionals — brewers, barkeeps, bussers, canners, sales reps, CEOs, COOs, lab techs, interns and everyone from marketing and HR teams to warehouse and restaurant workers. “Beer professional” encapsulates a wide variety of jobs and skill sets, and breweries are constantly making moves to secure great employees and industry leaders. Oftentimes, it’s not even a beer pro, but a food or technology wiz that’s needed. Craft breweries and their suppliers and trade associations have many facets and require specialized employees. Here are a few of the big personnel headlines from the craft brewing industry in the last month plus. Send your beer pro news to [email protected].
Iron Hill Brewery announces Jim Roberts as new CFO
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant recently announced Jim Roberts as the its new chief financial officer. Roberts will develop and execute financial strategies to support the company’s business plans, as well as lead the finance department, continuing to strategically position Iron Hill as a premiere brewery and restaurant group throughout the Eastern seaboard.
“I am thrilled to announce Jim as our new CFO,” said Iron Hill CEO Chris Westcott. “The experience he is bringing to our organization, coupled with his dynamic leadership qualities, will drive profitability and stakeholder returns including a sharp focus on improved productivity.”
Most recently, Roberts led the finance departments of multiple dynamic high growth VC-backed companies as the consulting CFO of Xtreme Concepts Inc. Prior to this, Roberts served as CFO of Backyard Burger, a 40-unit regional restaurant concept. Roberts began his restaurant career as the director, FP&A at Sizzling Platter, a high growth restaurant franchisee that grew to 500+ units during his tenure. He holds an MBA and a B.S., Economics, from Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University
“I am honored to be joining Iron Hill, a champion in the restaurant and brewery scene for over 25 years,” said Roberts. “I look forward to working with the team to continue to drive strategic initiatives and implement best practices to continue to fuel growth at Iron Hill.”
Founded in Newark, DE in 1996 by Kevin Finn, Mark Edelson and Kevin Davies, Iron Hill is among the most enduringly successful restaurants and craft brewery concepts in the United States with 20 locations in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Georgia, and over 25 years of award-winning recognition at national and international beer competitions. Each Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant boasts its own kitchen and brewery, allowing the creativity to pair the freshest ingredients with the highest quality grains and hops mere steps away from the table.
In 2020, the group opened its first large, full-scale production brewery in Exton, Pennsylvania, to prepare the same delicious craft signature beer and seasonal favorites to larger consumer audiences through specific retail and distribution channels in PA, NJ, and DE. Iron Hill unveiled Iron Hill Brewery TapHouse, an elevated fast-casual concept offering innovative food, award-winning beer, and crafted vibes at the Exton brewery.
Angry Horse Brewing welcomes new brewer Daniella Lopez
Nestled in the heart of Montebello, California, Angry Horse Brewing has become a cherished fixture in the lives of local residents. Founded by Nathan and James McCusker in 2014 and opening in 2017, it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t just a place to grab a drink. It was a hub for community engagement and a testament to the power of local businesses. As the brewery’s reputation continued to grow, Angry Horse recognized the need to bring fresh talent on board. Enter Danielle Lopez an accomplished brewer with a strong track record in the craft beer industry. Lopez brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for brewing, making them the perfect fit for Angry Horse’s mission.
Lopez has been in the industry for almost nine years. She started at Sanctum Brewing where the team won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Fest for its Munich-Style Helles. From there she has continued in the professional brewing career at several other breweries. Her skills are all over the place, she likes to challenge herself and try to learn as much as she can and to continue to grow were needed. She loves to brew old school style beers. When not brewing, Lopez is often cooking or baking, her other true love
Even with their growth, Angry Horse remains firmly committed to its community-centric ethos. The brewery continues to host events that bring the neighborhood together, from live music nights to charity fundraisers. The brewery’s spacious and welcoming taproom is a gathering place for friends and neighbors, where stories are shared over pints of locally crafted beer.
Looking ahead, Angry Horse has ambitious plans to expand its reach while staying true to its roots. The brewery aims to collaborate with more local businesses and support community initiatives that align with its values. The addition of Lopez is just the beginning of an exciting chapter in the brewery’s story.
Angry Horse has always been more than just a brewery. It’s a testament to the power of community and the craft of brewing. With the arrival of Lopez, the future looks brighter than ever for this beloved local institution. As the brewery continues to craft exceptional beers that reflect the spirit of Montebello, Angry Horse remains a beacon of community pride and a place where good beer and good company are cherished in equal measure. Cheers to Angry Horse and its new brewer as they embark on this exciting journey together.
Meanwhile Brewing Co. announces Robert Fulwiler as thew new director of brewing operations
Meanwhile Brewing Co. recently welcomed Robert Fulwiler to the team as the director of brewing operations. Bringing his industry expertise from Fremont Brewing in Seattle, Fulwiler has 15 years of diverse experience in brewery operations and will join founder and Brewmaster Will Jaquiss to oversee the expansion of Meanwhile’s award-winning program.
“Robert’s creativity and passion for beer combine with an impressive technical background to make him the perfect partner to expand Meanwhile Brewing’s program,” said founder Will Jaquiss. “We’re excited to tap into his deep knowledge of quality standards, process efficiencies, and R&D to scale our operations and continue experimenting with unique flavors and styles.”
“Meanwhile has made a big impression on the Texas beer scene in a relatively short period of time through a focus on quality and innovation,” said Fulwiler. “That innovation is what initially drew me to the role, and the inclusive, community-centered culture of the brewery is what sealed the deal. The team is building something special here in Austin and I’m excited to help the operation grow.”
Fulwiler is a member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas and the American Society of Brewing Chemists and has been a judge for the Washington Beer Awards, the Oregon Beer Awards and the Best of Craft Beer Awards. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Washington and a certificate of Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in the United Kingdom where he is currently pursuing a Master Brewer qualification.
He will oversee Meanwhile’s Brewing Facility, which houses a 15-bbl, three-vessel brewhouse from ICC NW that can produce up to 10,000 bbls a year with the current tank space, with opportunities to expand in the future. Meanwhile Brewing now distributes its products to over 250 Austin bars, restaurants, and retailers and has made more than 200 new beers since its opening in 2020.
The Institute of Brewing & Distilling names Dr Megan Sheehy as new president.
Just like that headline says: The Institute of Brewing & Distilling recently announced that Dr. Megan Sheehy was its new president. The announcement was made at the 19th IBD Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in September, in which Bhavya Mandanna has finalized her two-year tenure. She will remain on the Board of Trustees in the role of Immediate Past President of the IBD. At the same AGM, Raphaël Grisoni has become vice president of the IBD. Grisoni is an international drinks industry leader with a wealth of experience in the Scotch whisky, champagne and rum industries. Sheehy, Grisoni and Mandanna reflect the breadth and global reach of the IBD, the world’s leading provider of professional development in brewing, distilling and related industries.
As the new President, Sheehy’s primary responsibilities will be board leadership, prioritizing the growth and development of the IBD. Sheehy will concentrate on promoting membership engagement and value at this exciting point in the IBD’s history following the recent granting of chartership status. Based in Adelaide, Sheehy has over 20 years of experience in the barley, malting and brewing industries, having worked with Joe White Maltings, Lion, and most recently Barley Australia, prior to joining Grains Australia Limited as general manager classification in February 2022.
Dr Megan Sheehy is a Fellow of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) and a former director and chairperson for the board of management for the IBD’s Asia Pacific Section.
“It is an honor and a privilege to accept the role of the president of the IBD and I would like to thank Bhavya and the Board of Trustees for the immense amount of work that has been completed over the last two years. The IBD is the leading technical education provider and global network of professionals working in brewing, distilling and allied industries which sets the gold standard and excellence in technical knowledge in the sector. I am proud to have the opportunity to lead the Board through this important time and to continue growing the global relevance and reach of the IBD,” said Sheehy, IBD President.