Two prominent west coast craft breweries today announced pivotal brewing operations hires.
Deschutes Brewery, of Bend, Ore., announced it has hired Karl Ockert to serve as the new director of brewery operations. Ockert, per a release from the company, will oversee all brewing related activities, including cellaring, packaging, safety, and quality control. Ockert was the original brewmaster for Bridgeport Brewing, the company said, but most recently served as an independent consulting brewmaster and the technical director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.
“Karl’s extensive experience in the craft industry and his incredible technical expertise will help us through a critical growth phase as we look to expand production and bring on a second brewery,” said Michael LaLonde, president of Deschutes, in the release. “He’s a great cultural fit for our team as a whole and we look forward to his guidance and input as we continue to grow.”
In Placentia, Calif., The Bruery has brought on its own new director of brewing operations in Jim Mellem. Mellem will oversee production for both The Bruery’s flagship business as well as for Bruery Terreux, the company’s newly launched dedicated sour brand. Mellem most recently worked for Sierra Nevada, where he began in Chico, Calif. but relocated to Mills River, N.C. when the company expanded east. There, he held myriad roles, including as an assistant brewmaster and quality operations manager.
Additionally, Reyes Beverage Group has promoted Jessica Muskey as its new Craft Category Development Manager on the east coast. Muskey, who began with Reyes in 2006, will assume her new role effective June 22. She currently serves as the vice president of marketing, overseeing sales and marketing strategies for the company’s locations in Washington, D.C. and Maryland.
Reyes originally created the Craft Category Development position last July, when it hired former Firestone Walker sales chief Steve Almarez, who currently oversees the company’s west coast division.