John Wardlaw, a 25-year adult beverage veteran, will join DK in early April after more than three years at Odom Corp, a distribution company focused on craft beer and cider. Prior to working on the distributor side of the industry, John worked for more than 14 years at Pyramid Breweries as a district sales manager for Washington and Alaska, and also spent time with Rogue Ales and Full Sail.
“John has been an asset to Diamond Knot already with his efforts at Odom,” said Sherry Jennings, Sales & Marketing Wrangler at Diamond Knot. “He and the entire Odom team have grown our on- and off-premise accounts handedly. When John said he wanted to come back to the supplier side with Diamond Knot, there was no way we could turn him down.”
Wardlaw is passionate about life, and definitely finds a balance between work and play. If he’s not selling beer, he’s playing golf or enjoying time with friends and family; maybe even catching a fish or two.
Ajen Birmingham, former West Japan Sales Rep for Washington beer importer, Evergreen Imports, has joined the Diamond Knot team as the new Brand Ambassador.
Birmingham has been a diplomat for American craft beer in Japan for several years. Through his consulting company, Japan Craft Beer Group, he has been producing festivals, tastings, pairings and beer educationals for Japanese beer lovers. Working as the West Japan Sales Rep for Evergreen Imports, Birmingham has been introducing Japanese beer enthusiasts to Diamond Knot beers and various other Washington-based breweries.
Given his extensive background with events and festival production, he brings with him a wealth of advertising and promotional experience. Besides producing events, sales and marketing, he is also Cicerone BS Certified and has consulted for Japanese retailers in the serving, selling and handling of craft beer through his consulting company.
“We look forward to Ajen working with our staff for all beer related training and education,” Jennings said. “I consider him a true renaissance man in the industry.”
“Pacific Northwest beer enthusiasts are
knowledgeable and demanding, and with that comes high expectations,” Birmingham said. “I’m really looking forward to meeting and exceeding Diamond Knot fan’s expectations.”
Jennings said she is looking forward to the new direction the company is taking.
“I have no doubt that our department will be a truly dynamic crew,” she said. “Between Ajen’s passion for the industry, John’s seemingly endless experience and their commitment to the Diamond Knot brand, this not only is a win-win for Diamond Knot, it is a win for Washington State craft beer.”
With a foundation as a smal, craft brewery, Diamond Knot Craft Brewing’s company mission is to provide exceptional craft beer, food and lively experiences. Started in 1994, the company currently brews more than several dozen styles, with distribution in 12 states. The company also operates its flagship Brewery & Alehouse, Brewpub @ MLT, Camano Lodge and a 10,000-square-foot production brewery and Taproom in Mukilteo.