Behind every beer brand you drink is an impressive team of beer professionals — brewers, barkeeps, bussers, canners, sales reps, lab techs 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].
Khisha Asubuhi joins Cincinnati’s Urban Artifact as new marketing manager
Khisha Asubuhi has been a headliner and team player throughout the entirety of her career. After developing her skill set at Indiana University and the University of Cincinnati, she moved to the United States Post Office where she has spent the last 16 years focused on business development and customer service. Asubuhi is also a small business owner. In 2009 she started Originalitees — one of Cincinnati’s hugely successful small businesses — where she was a finalist in Artworks’ Big Pitch competition. Over the years, Asubuhi has built a strong career as a community and relationship partner, bringing businesses and people together by teaching, coaching, and forging new connections. She will take Urban Artifact to the next level as its new marketing manager.
Urban Artifact has focused on brewing world-class fruit tarts since 2015, showcasing its signature beer style — the Midwest fruit tart. The brewery dove headfirst into the fruit niche and now uses more real fruit than any other brewery in the world. The brewery resides in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood, operating out of the historic St. Patrick’s church facility with a taproom, event space, live music venue, and radio station.
The brewery is focused specifically on owning the fruit beer market — offering retail distribution in 12 states and shipping direct to 10. Starting 2022 off by bringing Asubuhi on board is a part of the brewery’s goal to share its story and to build community within the craft beer space. Asubuhi will be responsible for refining and growing the company’s overall communication strategy, enabling even more people to explore perfectly balanced beers and seltzers that can be made only with real fruit.
Dan Moerman to join Lord Hobo Brewing as VP of sales
Lord Hobo Brewing, the well-known Massachusetts craft brewery, recently announced the appointment of Dan Moerman as vice president of sales. Lord Hobo Brewing has been a pioneer of authentic craft beer of the highest caliber in the United States since the company was established seven years ago. With a state-of-the-art brewery located in Woburn, Mass., it has grown to become a leading New England craft brewery with admired brands such as Boomsauce, 617, and Juice Lord.
“We’re truly excited to welcome Dan to our company,” said Brian Walsh (CEO). “We see the appointment of Dan as another key step in strengthening our leadership team. Dan has the right skills, right capabilities and right personality to help lead us on our growth strategy over the coming years. Dan is very well-known and respected in the beer industry. We see his deep experience, particularly in chain sales, wholesaler relations and team leadership as critical to the future development of our sales organization.”
Moerman brings his expertise from an exemplary career in beer, spanning 26-plus years at AB InBev. “I am delighted to be joining Lord Hobo at such a pivotal point in the company’s evolution,” said Moerman. “To be part of the growth plan that Brian, the Lord Hobo team and the board have put in place is an opportunity that I could not turn down and I look forward to a really exciting journey. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone I have worked with at ABI — I have been fortunate to be part of that company for over 26 years and to have had the opportunity to accomplish many things that I will always be proud of.”
Lord Hobo continues to grow its leadership team, starting with Master Brewer Keith Gabbett and now a new vice president of sales. “Through our partnership with CPG Search Firm, Protis Global, we were gratified to have been connected with Dan,” states Walsh. “We couldn’t be more honored to have his extensive experience lead our sales force as we continue our plans for rapid growth in 2022.”
New Orleans’ Urban South Brewery names Anna Jensen as Houston general manager
Urban South Brewery has named Anna Jensen as the new general manager of its Houston brewery and taproom. Jensen has 15 years of experience in hospitality and has spent the last eight years working in the craft beer industry. Previously Urban South’s on premise sales director in New Orleans, Jensen will start her new role as general manager in Houston this month.
As general manager of Urban South — HTX, Jensen will support and supervise the day-to-day operations of the brewery and taproom, developing a welcoming culture through high quality craft beer. She will continue to develop strong relationships throughout Houston and beyond, expand events programming and drive an increase in local and visiting guests to the taproom.
“Our Houston taproom provides a place for community members and visitors to connect while enjoying some of the city’s most progressive and innovative beer styles,” said Jacob Landry, founder of Urban South Brewery. “Our general manager needs to be a passionate leader, a hospitality pro and a community-minded agent for growth. Anna brings all of these qualities and more to the table and already understands Urban South’s mission on a deep level. We look forward to watching her succeed in this new role.”
Jensen first joined the Urban South team in New Orleans in 2018 as a brand ambassador and quickly transitioned to a sales role. Most recently she acted as the on premise sales director in New Orleans, overseeing on premise distribution for Urban South across its four-state distribution footprint and working closely with almost a dozen distribution partners. During this time Urban South doubled its production volume, expanded distribution into three additional states and added four employees to its sales team to keep up with demand. Prior to joining Urban South, Jensen was the general manager of a Florida-based craft beer franchise where she opened new locations across the United States. She has spent the last 15 years in the service industry working in roles ranging from hostess to general manager.
“While I am sad to leave New Orleans behind me, I am thrilled to continue working for such an amazing company and honored to take over our Houston location,” said Jensen. “We have an incredible team here in Houston with so much passion, creativity and energy. I am really looking forward to achieving big things with them in 2022.”
Urban South — HTX opened in 2020 with a team of three and has grown to a team of 12 employees today. The brewery will celebrate its two year anniversary in February. To learn more, visit: https://urbansouthbrewery.com/taprooms/houston.
Chad Atherton steps in as national sales director for Toppling Goliath Brewing
Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. recently announced the appointment of Chad Atherton as national sales director. Atherton comes to Toppling Goliath with over 20+ years of experience ranging from boots-on-the-ground sales to executive leadership in the craft industry.
Growing up in Colorado, Atherton was an early adapter to the craft beer movement and likes to believe he started his craft beer career as a consumer. He was often the person at social gatherings bringing the six-pack of a new IPA, porter, wheat, or amber ale to share with friends amongst the plethora of big domestic offerings.
While pursuing studies in Environmental Science, Economics, and Policy at the University of Colorado, Atherton began a decade long journey as the proprietor of a bar/restaurant concept that grew to three locations in Boulder and Denver Colorado. It was through this experience that he started in the business of craft beer, offering a variety of local, regional, and national craft beers to guests, and building relationships with numerous wholesaler and supplier reps.
In 2010, Atherton began work at the award-winning beer distributor Fleck Sales (now Iowa Beverage) as the craft brand manager. The task at hand was to manage the sales, marketing, and distribution of the Fleck Sales craft portfolio with the likes of MolsonCoors, Boston Beer, New Belgium, Boulevard, Gambrinus, and many other local/regional craft breweries. Over three years, a tremendous beer culture shift began to establish as ABV laws became more favorable to craft beer in Iowa. This created an inspiring environment for craft beer enthusiasts to shape a new landscape of beer in Iowa that expanded offerings in both on and off premise retail establishments and enhanced the craft beer consumer experience. This also opened the door for out-of-state breweries to consider Iowa as a viable marketplace for expansion. Atherton played a leading role in recruiting emerging craft brands to open distribution in Iowa and was instrumental in bringing Founders, Stone, Lagunitas, Oskar Blues, and others to the state of Iowa.
The arrival of Founders Brewing to Iowa in 2012 introduced Atherton to his next chapter in his craft beer career. He joined Founders in 2013 as they began to build a team in their expansion to a national distribution footprint. Over the past nine years, Atherton has played leading roles in regional sales, recruiting, training, process development, role strategy, and most recently leading a cross functional team to conceptualize and execute sales/distribution/marketing strategies in top priority markets as the director of market development.
“Chad is a proven winner in navigating and building relationships within the three-tier system. Moreover, Chad has a track record of leading successful teams, and a passion for cross-functional process improvement. We are grateful to welcome Chad to the Toppling Goliath family,” says Curt Wymer, general manager.
As Atherton transitions to assuming his new role, please join Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. in welcoming him to the company!
“I have admired Toppling Goliath from their early days as they emerged in the Iowa craft beer scene,” says Atherton. “They have always had a reputation for making world class liquid and creating an incredible consumer experience. I’m excited, honored, and humbled to be awarded the opportunity to be a part of the continued growth and development of Toppling Goliath. Our team will strive to match the highly rated beers with providing world class sales and distribution support to our wholesalers, retailers, and beer enthusiast in the markets we serve.”
N.J.’s Ship Bottom Brewery hires Hannah Gohde for new Blendery and Barrel House
Ship Bottom Brewery will open its long awaited Blendery and Barrel House in February 2022. Owner Rob Zarko had a dream of setting up a unique beer experience away from the beach, closer to home. In an old lawyer’s office across the street from the Swarthmore, Pa., train station, the Blendery will seat roughly 80 customers inside and 30 outside, weather permitting.
The experience will be all about the beer and unique barrel aged creations. This will not be a sports bar or garage door brewery setting but a cozy barrel-aged conversation piece. Barrel-aged beer is deeply appreciated by the most discerning of consumers who have an affinity for barrel-aged libations. Zarko says they will be working with anything from bourbon to red wine and tequila barrels and will also produce Koelschip spontaneous fermentation brands as well. The Blendery will also serve some of Ship Bottoms most popular brands such as Shack IPA, Hop & Hazy, Barnegat Lager, Swell Dorado, Mermaid Blonde, Hard Cider, Seltzers, select seasonals and limited release products.
“This project is very unique from other projects that we have done in the past,” says Zarko. “The focal point and the fermentation process whether in wooden or spirited barrels. We will have a blast developing funky sours, Saison’s & barrel aged stouts for our friends to enjoy. We will use a lot of local ingredients in our concoctions We are looking forward to harvesting a yeast culture from different locations in our Borough.”
The Blendery will be located at 5 Park Ave, Swarthmore, PA 19081
The force of nature behind the Blendery creations will be Hannah Gohde. Gohde started homebrewing in College. She worked at Keystone Homebrew Supply between 2013 and 2015. This is where she met Rob Zarko.
To quote Gohde: “I’m an intentional brewer. From start to finish, everything is part of the story. I do everything with intention. From designing a recipe, to hop choices, to unique ingredients, to the label art, to even envisioning the experience that I hope people will have while drinking that beer, it’s all done with intention. One of the things I love most about this industry are the connections that I have had the opportunity to make. Connections to people, places, things, memories, it’s what makes me really tick. I like to think that those intentions and connections help to give a little something extra to each batch that I brew.”
“I’m an aggressively friendly storyteller with beer that has a penchant for Genny Cream, bubbles, smashing the patriarchy, funky beer, yoga, themed brew days, the beach, fun costumes, good energy, pushing for a more inclusive and equitable beer industry (and world), being creative, kayaking, summertime, friendship tattoos, music I can move to, being 1% better every day, #shotgunfriday, traveling, whiskey (Scotch in particular), and lipstick. I always have on lipstick. It’s the one piece of femininity that I can easily display among the hard, physical, grueling labor of being a brewer.”
Gohde is also a member of
- MBAA DEI Task Force (Master Brewers Association of the Americas)
- BOP Equity & Inclusion Committee (Brewers of Pennsylvania)
- Pink Boots Society
Zarko is thrilled to have Gohde on board and says: “We are very excited to have someone as talented as Hannah join our crew. She has so much experience and we can’t wait to see the incredible brews that we will have for our customers.”
Colorado’s Spirit Hound Distillers name craft beer veteran Brad Stevenson as new CEO
Spirit Hound Distillers has named Brad Stevenson, chief operations officer of Founders Brewing Co., as its new CEO. Stevenson spent a decade growing the Grand Rapids, Mich., brewery into one of the largest in the country, with distribution in all 50 U.S. states and 29+ international markets. He brings vast experience scaling up to support growth, a critical need for the steadily growing and award-winning Lyons, Colo., distillery
“I will always be thankful for the experiences and relationships I shared with the team at Founders. I’m drawn to Spirit Hound as I see the same commitment to quality, passion and authenticity at Spirit Hound. The opportunity for growth is exciting. Every spirit is distilled on two hand, built-from-scratch stills, designed and constructed by Co-Founder and Head Distiller Craig Engelhorn. I look forward to helping Spirit Hound scale up while ensuring their hand crafted approach, and dedication to quality remain,” says Stevenson.
Stevenson is no stranger to Colorado. He has been traveling here all his life. He worked extensively with the Avery Brewing Co. team in Boulder, Colo., as they are a sister company to Founders Brewing Co., both being part of the Mahou San Miguel group. His family continues to spend their personal time here in the Rocky Mountains and his son attends the University of Colorado.
“Colorado has been part of my life since I was a child. My parents started taking me out here to ski when I was quite small and my wife and I have continued that tradition with our four kids. We love the natural beauty and water of Michigan. Colorado to us is a fascinating and completely different experience. From the mountains to the scenery. I think the common element between the two are the fantastic opportunities to enjoy the outdoors,” says the new Spirit Hound CEO.
Stevenson takes the reigns at Spirit Hound as they are coming off a record setting year for the nine-year-old distillery. In 2021, Spirit Hound’s continued investment in growth doubled whisky production, grew Colorado distribution 23% and began plans for a new building to triple production of its award-winning spirits and expand tasting room capacity.
“Since the beginning, we have done everything ourselves. From thousands of hammer strikes shaping the still, to brewing, fermenting, distilling, aging, and bottling, we carefully crafted every step,” said Spirit Hound Co-Founder and Head Distiller Craig Engelhorn. “We’re excited to welcome Brad’s passion and experience to help guide the next chapter of our growth.”
Spirit Hound’s Straight Malt Whisky received a 94 rating by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible this year, putting it in the Liquid Gold category. The well decorated distillery continued to add to its already impressive awards resume, capturing Gold in the 2021 Denver International Spirits Competition for its Bourbon (Barrel 3) and Gin (Batch 405).
Resonating from the gritty small town of Lyons, situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, comes Spirit Hound Distillers and unique crafted spirits years in the making. Since its launch in 2012, Spirit Hound’s reputation originates in a hands-on approach to the craft of distilling. Cofounders Craig Engelhorn, Matt Rooney and Neil Sullivan and the Spirit Hound team take traditional and classic recipes that come to life with local, hand-selected ingredients distilled through hand-built-from-scratch stills and distillation equipment in search of one-of-a-kind processes and flavors.
Spirit Hound offerings include: an acclaimed Straight Malt Whisky (94 rating, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible / Double Gold, 2018 “The Fifty Best” American Malt Whiskies), Honey Whisky (Double Gold, 2019 Breckenridge Spirits Festival), Spirit Hound Gin (Silver, 88 rating, 2015 Beverage Testing Institute and Gold, 2021 Denver International Spirits Competition), Mountain Bum Rum, Single Barrel Bourbon (Gold, 2021 Denver International Spirits Competition), Sambuca (Best Herbal Liqueur, American Distilling Institute) and an un-aged version of its whisky called White Dog Moonshine.
Currently, Spirit Hound products are available in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. The tasting room is located on the St. Vrain River at 4196 Ute Highway/US Route 36 Lyons, CO 80540 and is a popular destination for lovers of distilled spirits and handcrafted cocktails.