Happy summer! It’s been a busy start to 2017 at Reuben’s Brews! Over the past several months we’ve been working on increasing production, creating exciting new beers and expanding distribution. To make all of this possible, we created a few new roles and welcomed some new team members to the Reuben’s Brews family.
In April, James McDermet joined us as our new head brewer! He comes to us from down the street at Fremont Brewing. His experience at a fast-growing brewery will be incredibly valuable for us as we continue to grow with a focus on brewing the highest-quality beers.
James leads the production and is responsible for the quality of all our beers at both brewhouses. With him in place, Adam and Mike made a few changes to their own roles:
- Adam’s main focus is developing new beers and planning the brewery's future. Innovating new beer styles keeps us fresh and relevant as a brewery. Adam is now able to do what he does best and what got us started in the beer industry – create exciting new brews. He’ll also be able to get out and about to spend more time with our customers and distributors.
- Mike has officially taken on the role of production manager. He manages the brew and shipment schedules and inventories. He also brews once or twice a week and serves in the taproom once a week since he still loves brewing and chatting with regulars in the taproom.
Khris Lloyd recently joined us as a new full-time cellar person. He has worked and volunteered at a couple of local breweries and really has passion for beer and a thirst to learn!
Michael Hilborn joined us in March as our new taproom manager! He returned to the Pacific Northwest after several years at Fall Brewing in San Diego. His experience running other busy taprooms will help us focus on taking excellent care of our customers while offering fun events for the wider community.
With Michael H. taking over the running of the taproom, Thor Stoddard, our previous taproom manager, has taken on a new role. He’s now focused on helping Adam manage all of our new beers – particularly the development of the sour and brett program. Thor will have a hand in the brewing process, experimenting with infusions and our cask program. He’ll also hold a tight grip on the key to our separate sour-dedicated facility.
If you’ve been in the taproom lately, you’ve probably noticed a few new faces. We’re excited to welcome Dave Patania, Jess Keller, Matt Ellis and Ashley Hermosillo to the team!
Dave is a long-time Reuben’s Brews regular turned professional beertender! He brings a lot of enthusiasm – for bike riding, video making and beer loving – to the taproom. We love having him on this side of the bar now!
Jess has a lot of experience in the service industry, most recently at the Burgundian. She is an expert and an avid beer lover, creating beer-focused blogs and podcasts. We’re thrilled to have her help build a community for beer lovers in the taproom.
Matt E. came to us with many years of service experience in multiple states. He’s been focused on the beer industry in recent years, most recently at Flatstick Pub and at Uber Tavern. It’s great to have him on the team!
Ashley showed up as a customer on our opening day and she hasn’t left us since then! There’s no doubting the dedication of this woman who has volunteered for us at beer festivals, made sales calls and stepped up to help in various ways over the years. Ashley has expanded her part-time role in the taproom to a full-time position, and we’re incredibly happy to have her officially on our team.
That’s a lot of change in the taproom team! While the majority of people who left the taproom over the years have moved into other positions in our brewery, some have left in search of new adventures. Preston Rock has moved fully into a packaging and cellar role, Matt Chan has moved into an assistant brewer role, and Thor Stoddard has started a new role developing new and sour beers (mentioned above), all at Reuben’s Brews. Thank you to Jane Solvie and Ally Hatley for taking great care of the taproom and those in it, and we wish you all the best in your new positions elsewhere!
Although she’s always had a hand in things behind the scenes, Grace Kim Robbings (aka Reuben’s Mama), officially joined the team this month! She left her teaching position at Bellevue College to focus more on the business side of the brewery. She’ll be managing the taproom and administrative teams, running communications, and building a sustainability program at the brewery. She will continue her work on tax compliance and running our charitable programs, in particular the Thank You Thursday program.
We’ll be writing profiles of all of our new team members in the coming weeks so you can learn more about the team and their work. Thank you again for all of your support and we hope to see you soon!