When Migration Brewing began operations in 2010, the brewery produced 217 barrels of beer in its first year. In 2022, the brewery now employs about 70 people throughout Portland via its three pubs including a production facility in Gresham. Migration’s goal is to hit 10,000 barrels this year, but is already planning for a phase beyond that: selling 20,000 barrels of beer per year by 2025.
To get there, Migration hired Ken Hartill, the smiley guy you see above, as Director of Growth. Hartill is a veteran of the beverage industry, clocking 37 years of experience at Columbia Distributing — one of the top five distributors in the nation. Columbia is also Migration Brewing’s distributor in Oregon and Washington.
“The team at Migration is like family to me,” said Hartill, who had a fermentation tank named after him when the brewery opened its production facility in 2018. “Not only did I hire Eric Banzer-Lausberg in sales before he co-founded the brewery, I had the pleasure of working closely with him after the brewery began distributing their award-winning beers through Columbia. This feels like home, Migration has tremendous potential, and I couldn’t be more excited to help grow the brand.”
Having started on the ground floor as a delivery driver, Hartill learned the whole industry from every aspect of the operations and sales side, building brands throughout Oregon. Hartill recently retired from his position as the General Manager of the distributor’s largest region, bringing in $400 million in revenue and 20 million in case sales annually.
“When we started Migration, we were just four friends that wanted to start a brewpub together. It’s funny to think that our entire original brewery could fit into the walk-in cooler that now stores our hops!” said McKean Banzer-Lausberg, Migration co-founder. “We sell 90% of our beer in the beautiful city of Portland. Our fans have embraced us and showed us we can keep expanding. Ken will bring the experience and skills we need to grow our market share in all of Columbia’s footprint in addition to opening and uncovering new markets.”
Migration’s production numbers are beginning to nudge up against the brewery’s current capacity of 12,000 barrels. Migration also continues to gain notoriety for its achievements in brewing excellence. Since 2019, its Mo-Haze-Ic beer has won nine awards including gold medals at the Australian International Beer Awards, North American Beer Association Beer Awards, and European Beer Star Awards, a silver medal at the Oregon Beer Awards, and a bronze at the Great American Beer Festival. Migration has also picked 23 awards in the last three years for other beers including two gold medals and a silver at the Oregon Beer Awards.