Ah-ten-SHON! The military-driven Veteran Beer Co. announced some important changes in its leadership team. Marine Corps veteran Eric Rine, 45, was named president of the company (Oorah!). Rine has been serving as the company’s SVP for operations and production and will continue in that role. Rine, an Indiana native, has been responsible for the company’s brewing efforts working with Third Street Brew House to create the recipes for the company’s first two beers, The Veteran amber lager and the Blonde Bomber blonde ale.
“As president, I feel honored and privileged to lead U.S. military veterans in an endeavor that I am so passionate about,” Rine said. “I look forward to taking the Veteran Beer Co. forward, providing career opportunities for veterans and brewing America’s best and most important beer.”
The company also named Geoff Westapher its B Corporation director. Westapher has more than 40 years of industry experience in all segments of the beer industry including, but not limited to, imports, crafts, contract, both domestic and wholesale. He will be responsible for providing professional oversight and verification through an annual report that the company is remaining true to its commitment to put its mission over profit.
The company also announced the hiring of three regional directors. Army veterans have been named as state directors for the company. Joel Casey was named director for central and southern Indiana. John Herman assumes the role of director for northern Indiana, and Marc Blue is the director for Illinois. Their responsibilities include working closely with distributors in their respective regions, monitoring inventory of its beer at distributors’ locations and tracking consumer response to the Veteran Beer Co. products in their regions.
“Over the past year Eric has proven to be an ideal fit for the Veteran Beer Co.,” said Paul Jenkins, the company’s founder and CEO. “He’s a beer guy through and through, so it makes sense to have an industry expert and professional brewer who speaks the language to take the company forward as president.”
In stepping down from the role he had been filling since the company’s inception in 2012, Veteran Beer Co. founder Paul Jenkins will continue to pursue his passion for entrepreneurial interests in support of veterans.
“There has always been a succession plan within the company,” Jenkins said. “That’s why there are term limits in our bylaws.”
Rine holds an MBA from Boston University as well as advanced training in brewing and brewing technology from the industry’s top schools, the Siebel Institute in Chicago and the University of California at Davis School of Brewing Technology. He is a former Marine test pilot and graduate of the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School, Top Gun. The Veteran Beer Co. released its first two beers in Illinois and Indiana on Veterans Day 2013 and will expand into Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in the spring of 2014 with further expansion anticipated later in the year.
Following up on the successful release of The Veteran amber lager and the Blonde Bomber blonde ale the Veteran Beer Co. will release additional beers, starting with a high caliber American IPA, appropriately named “7.62” and followed later in the year by a dark beer. All of the Veteran Beer Co. products are brewed in Cold Spring, Minn.