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Posts by Ryan Lamb

Short Pour: Wild Barrel

Oct 21

12651150_941104225975494_7468404234676239436_n“Dr.” Bill Sysak, Stone Brewing’s craft beer ambassador for more than seven years, just announced his intention to open Wild Barrel Brewing Company in San Marcos in spring 2017.

It was not immediately clear if Sysak was impacted by last week’s layoffs, and a press release stated that he had been working on this new project “over the last couple of years.”

Wild Barrel’s 15-barrel brewhouse will produce “San Diego Weisse” sours implementing a variety of fruit additions, plus rotating “San Diego style IPA’s” as well as an American stout with seasonal coffee additions from local roasters, and a “crushable” Belgian witbier.

Staying true to their name, a barrel program will age “a variety of barrel aged sours along with Bourbon-barrel Imperial Stout variations.” The company will begin with 300 barrels and expand to 1,000 “within the first few years.”

Short Pour is a new segment for brief news updates.

Last Call for Beer Week Events

Oct 19

Today is the last day to submit events for the print version of our calendar. This is a free service.

After today, events submitted to us will be added to the online list, which will be updated daily throughout Beer Week.

Be sure to check out what we’ve already posted… SDBW is just 16 days away!

Stone Brewing lays off employees

Oct 13

Reports on social media from ex-employees of Stone Brewing indicate that multiple people have been laid off from the company, including “HQ Brewceptionist” Denise Ratfield who penned an acknowledgment of the situation on her Facebook page.

stoneThe news comes as the company recently brought in a CEO to replace Greg Koch, who moved to a new position as executive chairman. Stone Brewing just opened taprooms at new brewing facilities in Berlin, Germany and Richmond, Virginia within the past couple of months.

When reached for a comment, Stone PR sent this statement from CEO Dominic Engels:

“Due to an unforeseen slowdown in our consistent growth and changes in the craft beer landscape, we have had to make the difficult decision to restructure our staff. Unfortunately, this comes despite a year that includes the incredible accomplishments of opening two new breweries, which are ultimately expanding the availability of Stone beers and boosting the reputation of American craft beer in Europe.

More recently however, the larger independent craft segment has developed tremendous pressures. Specifically, the onset of greater pressures from Big Beer as a result of their acquisition strategies, and the further proliferation of small, hyper-local breweries has slowed growth. With business and the market now less predictable, we must restructure to preserve a healthy future for our company. Even given this unfortunate circumstance, we will continue to be fiercely independent and, importantly, Stone remains one of the largest – if not the largest – employers in the craft brewing segment. [emphasis in the original]

It is crucial to recognize that this decision was made after much careful consideration. Approximately 5% of all team members were affected, and they were offered a substantial notice period and career transition services. The team members no longer with our company are talented, committed individuals who have held important roles in our organization, and we expect that their talents will be in high demand. This reduction was not a reflection of the work they did, but a careful decision made to ensure that our company will remain competitive and profitable. No additional layoffs are expected within Stone’s foreseeable future.”

Stone was reported to have more than 1,100 employees in September, 2015.

Super Saturday

Aug 26

GF_22oz-Treasure-Chest_noBG_RGB_webTomorrow San Diegans have a plethora of options for beer drinking other than just visiting the 120+ breweries in town. A few of those events benefit great causes, including Green Flash’s sixth annual Treasure Chest Fest, which raises funds for breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen San Diego.

Treasure Chest Fest promises to be multi-faceted, featuring 20+ restaurants & vendors, live entertainment to go with the luau theme, educational presentations, games & activities, meet-the-brewer sessions, a photo booth and more.

Here are more Saturday events, pulled from the West Coaster event calendar:

Pomegranate Green Tea (Beer To The Rescue) Release @ Kilowatt Brewing
91X BeerX Beer & Music Fest @ Liberty Station
Bay City Brewing Co. First Anniversary Party
Uncasked at UTC (Benefiting the San Diego Brewers Guild)
Firestone Walker Beer Dinner @ URGE Gastropub Rancho Bernardo
Beer 4 Breakfast w/ Second Chance @ Small Bar
Avery 23rd Anniversary Celebration @ Machete Beer House
Vegan Sweets Pairings @ 32 North Brewing
Big & Small ABV Guided Tasting @ Benchmark Brewing
Craft Brewed Comedy @ Mission Brewery

Know of more events? Tell us in the comments.

Ballast Point COO/Head Brewer/Co-founding Distiller Also Departs

Jul 28

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 5.31.26 PMYuseff Cherney, who worked alongside founder Jack White at Home Brew Mart to build Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, is also leaving the company, following departures this week of Earl Kight (CCO), Jim Buechler (President and CEO), and Julie Buechler (General Counsel). Constellation Brands president Marty Birkel will be stepping into Jim Buechler’s role.

Cherney posted a statement saying, “Starting as a Clerk at Home Brew Mart 24 years ago I never imagined where this voyage would take me. From gold medals to travels around the world my life has been one that I could have only dreamt for in my younger years. This voyage seems brief in retrospect but an eternity to others just beginning. The ship would never have sailed its course without assembling a world class team that furthered the vision that is Ballast Point. I have never seen a more dedicated, enthusiastic and genuinely happy group of people who live for the craft beer industry. This team brought Ballst Point to where it is and will continue to sail onwards with a very capable captain at the helm. As it goes I must raise the davit and deploy the dingy to begin my voyage on a new course. As I sail away I have due course and hope to embark on my new adventure with a short journey…and yes I hope to catch a few fish before the real work begins. Since I can’t reach out to everyone that has been part of my life personally I just want to let you all know that my passion was fueled by your belief in what we do and without the dedication and love that all of you have showed it could have never been possible. Always dedicated to the craft. Much love.” 

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