Chris Gallant, the co-founder of New York-based The Bronx Brewery, will step down this year as his family prepares for a move to California, the company announced today.
Gallant, who launched the company in 2011 with head brewer, Damian Brown, will maintain an ownership stake in the business and a seat on the company’s board. However, he will no longer be active in its day-to-day operations.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished and optimistic for what the future holds,” Gallant, who oversaw sales and marketing, said via a release. “I’m confident that Bronx will continue to thrive under Damian’s leadership.”
Brown will takeover as the sole president, assuming much of the “general management” responsibilities, Gallant told Brewbound.
Steven Miller, the head of corporate development and finance for Tenth Avenue Holdings, a family office that owns a minority stake in Bronx Brewery, will also join the company as the vice president of finance and operations.
“He will be joining us full-time, and I will be here to help us transition for the next two months,” Gallant said, noting that he would continue to advise on the “strategic direction” of the company.
Gallant’s departure coincides with a number of other changes at Bronx Brewery, including expanded distribution into Pennsylvania as well as the introduction of new products and revamped packaging.
The company has signed distribution agreements with Banko Beverage and LT Verrastro Inc. for coverage in eastern Pennsylvania, Brown told Brewbound. Shipments of No Resolutions IPA in kegs are underway and a full launch is planned for March, he added.
The company is also eyeing expanded distribution in Western Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., Brown said.
“Successfully launching the brand in several new domestic markets is one of our priorities this year,” he said.
Bronx, which grew 30 percent last year on its way to producing approximately 14,000 barrels at its own facility and via a contract brewing arrangement with Shmaltz Brewing, has also retooled its portfolio to maintain a focus on fewer year-round products while simultaneously offering retailers a selection of more limited brews.
The company has pared down its year-round offerings from six to four, and will offer just three seasonal beers – Summer Pale Ale, Crystal Whipped IPA and Boom Boom IPA.
It has also launched six rotational brands under the “Up & Comers” label, which will roll out in pairs, three times per year.
“With this new structure, we are looking to be very agile and flexible,” Brown said. “If we see an Up & Comer take off, the portfolio is structured so that we can take advantage of that and bump it up into the seasonal or year-round tiers.”
Bronx has also partnered with Baldor Specialty Foods, which will give the company access to a “crazy diversity of fruits and vegetables” for use in its B-Tracks series of specialty beers, Brown said.
Bronx currently has 17 full-time employees and, despite the planned market expansions, does not plan to hire more than one additional salesperson.
A press release with additional details is below.
Exciting New Changes at The Bronx Brewery
New brands, new markets, new packaging; Co-founder Chris Gallant to step down from day-to-day operations while Damian Brown assumes sole President role
NEW YORK (January 17, 2018) – The Bronx Brewery announced today an assortment of exciting new changes to kick off 2018.
Brands – Starting this week, the company launched a new tier of rotational brands under the “Up & Comers” label. 6 unique brands will rotate through the Up & Comers tier during the year. Some of them – like Holy Mother of Citrus, an IPA brewed with real tangerines – will be familiar to consumers while others – like Well Earned Pilsner, the company’s first lager – are brand new to the market. Though the clear focus of the Up & Comers tier is innovation, Head Brewer Damian Brown stressed that “as with everything we do here, we’ll follow a No-Nonsense approach. Balance and drinkability are paramount to us.”
Markets – The company has also announced plans to begin expanding its distribution footprint beyond its traditional core Tri-State market. “The Bronx itself is such a universally recognizable brand – nationally and even internationally – so it was always our ambition to eventually expand beyond the core NYC market. The time is now and we’re ready to kick that expansion into high gear” says VP of Sales Rob Goodyear. The brewery will begin draft shipments of its No Resolutions IPA to two new distribution partners in eastern Pennsylvania by the end of the month with a full launch in early March.
Packaging – The company also completely revamped its packaging to provide a cleaner, more consistent look. The brewery’s expansion plans – combined with the NYC market’s traditional emphasis on bars and restaurants – means the growing industry trend toward greater off-premise focus will become even more apparent at The Bronx Brewery in 2018. “With our continued focus on the off-premise, it is important for us to ensure we have visual consistency on the shelf while upholding the No-Nonsense attitude of The Bronx Brewery brand” says VP of Marketing Patrick Libonate.
Leadership – And finally, the company announced today that Chris Gallant, Co-founder and co-President, will step down early this year from day-to-day operations. Gallant will retain an ownership stake and a role on the board. Co-President and Head Brewer Damian Brown will assume the role of President. Gallant cited family reasons and a move to the West Coast as the main driver in his decision.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished and optimistic for what the future holds,” says Gallant. “I’m confident that Bronx will continue to thrive under Damian’s leadership.” Says Brown “It’s been quite a journey with Chris over the last eight years from our early roots ‘gypsy brewing’ up in CT and hand-delivering kegs out of an old Red Bull truck around the city to being a “real” company with employees, distribution and a fantastic brewery to call home. He’s been an incredible partner and friend for me personally, and a strong leader for this company. I look forward to continuing to work with him on the Board and as a shareholder. We wish him and his family the best in their future endeavors and look forward to sharing many beers together over the coming years.”