Another Stone Exec Has Left the Building

In the two years since Stone Brewing founder Greg Koch announced he would step down as CEO, a number of key executives have departed the organization.

The latest? Stone Brewing’s chief operating officer, Pat Tiernan, who left last week, Brewbound has learned.

Reached via email, a spokeswoman with the San Diego-based craft brewery confirmed Tiernan’s exit, but did not offer any explanation for his departure, saying only that he “resigned.”

The company also declined the opportunity to be interviewed for this story.

Calls placed to Tiernan, who had served as Stone’s COO since September 2012 and oversaw the company’s $74 million brewery expansion in Richmond, Va., were not returned. Messages sent via LinkedIn and Facebook also went unanswered.

Tiernan — whose resume also includes stints with TPG Capital and Hewlett-Packard — is the fourth executive to exit the organization since last June, when Mitch Steele, who had served as the company’s brewmaster for a decade, left to launch New Realm Brewing in Atlanta.

Other key personnel who are no longer with the company include CFO Craig Spitz, who joined The Ken Blanchard Companies in February, and Chad Heath, the former director of Stone Distributing, who joined Kegstar last October.

Earlier this year, Peter Wiens, the senior director of brewery operations and brewmaster at Stone’s Richmond facility, left for Diageo USA. Wiens is now serving as a Guinness brewmaster at the company’s recently opened Relay, Maryland, brewery.

Tiernan’s exit also comes one year after Stone laid off more than 50 employees as part of what new CEO Dominic Engels described as a “restructuring.”

“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,” he wrote at the time.

Stone produced 346,000 barrels of beer and grew five percent in 2016.

Despite category headwinds plaguing other, similarly sized craft breweries, Stone has posted strong growth figures in 2017. Bolstered in part by expanded production capabilities at its Richmond brewery, which opened last May, as well as wider distribution that now reaches into all 50 states, the company’s off-premise sales grew by more than 22 percent through October 8, according to market research firm IRI Worldwide.

“In a category that seems to be talking more and more about slowdown, we are pleased to be talking about continued double-digit growth,” Engels wrote in May, when the company reported 18 percent first quarter growth.

Messages left for Engels were also unreturned as of press time.

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