New Mexico’s Santa Fe Brewing Co., fresh off a 2018 in which it grew 40 percent across its eight-state sales area, sent word that it’s passing its brewmaster torch over the next six months. It will be a critical time for SFBC, as the brewery has commissioned a new Steinecker brewhouse in order to stay ahead of growth, with installation expected to finish in June. SFBC also continuing to innovate, with plans to launch two new year-round additions to its portfolio in 2019.
SFBC took its time finding the right person, working together with Brewmaster Bert Boyce to craft a thoughtful recruitment and transition plan. The brewery is excited to announce that Brian Shaeffer will be taking over the reins in the next few months.
“I’m thrilled that we were able to recruit the right person to take the reins from Bert, and we’re excited to add Brian Shaeffer,” said Owner and President Brian Lock. “His skill set and cultural fit make him an ideal person to lead our production operations through this next phase of growth. Our brewing operations will be in very capable hands, and our future is very bright.”
Boyce, who is moving on to start a new project, was insistent on remaining on in a leadership capacity through the completion of the brewhouse project and on-boarding of his replacement, to ensure SFBC doesn’t skip a beat.
“Santa Fe Brewing Company has become my home, and the people here my family,” said Boyce. “I love this place. When I accepted the position here, I truly expected it to be my last job, but the call to create something of my own ultimately became too strong. I take a great deal of pride in what we’re accomplishing at SFBC and am 100 precent committed to ensuring that when this transition is complete the brewing operation is set up for both immediate and long-term success.”
Boyce, SFBC’s head man in brewing operations the past few years, has played an integral role in SFBC’s resurgence. He has worked diligently to improve quality and consistency across the SFBC portfolio and brought a work ethic and process driven approach that has changed the culture of SFBC’s operation. His intuition and desire to innovate led to new brands such as 7K IPA and Social Hour, a brand that will launch later this month and which SFBC expects to play a leading role in their portfolio in 2019 and beyond. His approachability and business acumen made Boyce a huge asset outside the brewery as well, as SFBC has worked to cultivate relationships with their distributor network, key retailers and suppliers.
Meet the new guy
Brian Shaeffer will join SFBC April 1. Shaeffer is currently the production manager at Oskar Blues Brewing Co. in Longmont, Colo., having served for them in a number of roles of escalating responsibility over the past eight plus years and was the head brewer at Silverton Brewing Co. prior to joining Oskar Blues.
“It was an extremely difficult decision to leave Oskar Blues, but the opportunity to help lead SFBC into this next stage of growth is an exciting one,” Shaeffer said. “I’ve grown along with Oskar Blues and the opportunities to learn on the job while helping the business grow from a small regional brewery to what it is today as a national brewery and part of the Canarchy family of brands, have been many. Where SFBC is today and what we’re getting ready to do — I’ve been there and I know the challenges and some of the pitfalls. I was attracted to the organic growth that SFBC is experiencing right now in a competitive market. I look forward to helping the team at SFBC meet the unique challenges that come with that type of growth.”