Dogfish Head today announced significant changes to its executive leadership team, including the departure of longtime vice president of sales, Adam Lambert, who will leave the company to pursue a new opportunity within craft beer.
The Delaware-based craft brewery also announced it would promote current chief operating officer, Nick Benz, to the role of CEO.
Lambert — who began his career with Dogfish Head in 2008 and helped grow the company’s sales from 75,000 barrels to a projected 233,000 barrels in 2014 — shared the news in a note to fellow Dogfish employees and industry friends this afternoon.
“Sam and the team at Dogfish Head took me in and allowed me to steer the ship as VP of Sales,” he wrote. “I have lived, breathed and cherished this role for almost seven years. At this moment in my life I’m looking forward at the chance to move to a part of the country I have always enjoyed. Having a deep admiration for all that is Michigan; I will be packing up and moving to a new chapter in my life.”
Dogfish Founder Sam Calagione commented on the pivotal role that Benz — who joined the company in 2006 — and Lambert have played in the company’s rapid growth.
“Dogfish would still be here in some iteration on some scale, still off-centered and still flying our freak flag if it weren’t for Nick,” he said. “But with Nick here, Dogfish has become a stronger, more operationally excellent company. I’m very thankful for what Nick is contributing to our journey.”
“In his seven years with Dogfish, Adam has done a wonderful job helping us grow from a small microbrewery to a regional brewery producing over 200,000 bbls annually,” Calagione added. “I wish Adam much happiness and success in his next adventure in the craft brewing community.”
Lambert joined Dogfish Head from Oregon’s Rogue Ales & Spirits, where he served as the national sales and marketing manager for more than five years. In November, he’ll take over the new vice president of sales for New Holland Brewing, which grew production by 42 percent in 2013 and is currently expanding with a new brewery, distillery tasting room and restaurant.
“I’ve worked for two of the most incredible craft breweries on either side of the country and now I’ll be taking a role with a third craft icon, this time in the middle of the country,” he wrote in a note. “I’m truly thrilled to be part of the New Holland family and what this next adventure brings me. As an avid brand watcher I’ve admired all that New Holland’s team has accomplished.”
Russell Farr, the owner of South Carolina’s Greenco Beverage Co., one of Dogfish Head’s wholesale partners, shared his thoughts on the news with Brewbound.
“My company is partnered with Rogue, Dogfish and New Holland,” he said. “I have witnessed Adam take Rogue to that next level. He did that at Dogfish and I’m sure he’ll do it with New Holland. I am excited for him and I think he will grow that company like he did the other two.”
Calagione will continue in his role as president, founder and chairman of the board while Mariah Calagione will continue as vice president, the company said. Dogfish Head is currently looking to hire a new vice president of business operations who will oversee non-beverage business, a statement said.
The full release is below.
Dogfish Head Continues Strong Growth and Evolves Management Team
Nick Benz, an 11-year veteran of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer.
The loud and loveable Nick thrives behind the scenes, guiding Dogfish Head’s growing team of co-workers through the day-in and day-out hustle of a growing brewery, distillery, brewpub and inn.
“Dogfish would still be here in some iteration on some scale, still off-centered and still flying our freak flag if it weren’t for Nick,” says Calagione. “But with Nick here, Dogfish has become a stronger, more operationally excellent company. I’m very thankful for what Nick is contributing to our journey.”
A former mechanical engineer, Nick graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. He lives in Lewes with his wife and three kids.
Calagione continues as President, Founder and Chairman of the Board, and Mariah Calagione continues as Vice President.
“Sam is the guy at Dogfish who dreams up new products and new projects,” says Nick, who was hired in 2003 as chief financial officer and promoted to chief operations officer in 2006. “He figures out where we’re going next, and the rest of us figure out how to get there. I’m looking forward to bringing in even more talented co-workers on the operations side as Dogfish continues to focus on smart, steady growth.”
Another change to the Dogfish Head management team is the departure of longtime Vice President of Sales Adam Lambert. Adam will be departing at the end of November to pursue a new opportunity with New Holland Brewing Company in Holland, MI.
“In his seven years with Dogfish, Adam has done a wonderful job helping us grow from a small microbrewery to a regional brewery producing over 200,000 bbls annually,” says Calagione. “I wish Adam much happiness and success in his next adventure in the craft brewing community.”
Dogfish Head is proud to be a family-owned brewery and intends to remain so for decades to come. When it opened in 1995, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. Today, it’s the 13th largest craft brewery and employs nearly 200 talented co-workers. Since the beginning, Dogfish has focused on off-centered ales and eats and has since evolved into dynamic related industries such as small-batch spirits, beer-infused packaged foods, clothing, restaurants and hospitality.
With expansion comes the need for more off-centered leadership. Besides Nick’s promotion, Dogfish is looking for a Vice President of Business Operations who will oversee non-beverage businesses, including our restaurants, an inn, the brewery tasting room as well as the expansion into other non-beverage businesses yet to be determined.
“This evolution will allow us to bring more breadth of operations experience into the executive team,” says Calagione. “My main focus will continue to be on strategy and developing and nurturing new off-centered projects and products, and I will now be able to spend more time with our distributor partners and beer lovers at our brewery, our hotel and on the road. I also want to spend more time with my co-workers brewing half-barrel and two-barrel experimental batches in Rehoboth and Milton.
“We are very focused on delivering strong growth over fast growth and that takes hard work and focus from each of us here at Dogfish. Now there will be more of us in leadership roles to bring that focus. “
Reporting to Nick are Vice President of Human Resources Cindy Dunson, the Vice President of Sales position, Brewmaster Tim Hawn, newly hired Vice President of Marketing Neal Stewart and the Vice President of Business Operations.