Dogfish Head President and COO to Exit the Company

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery president and COO George Pastrana will exit the company on Friday, February 14.

Boston Beer Company, which merged with the Milton, Delaware-based craft brewery last year, confirmed Pastrana’s pending departure from the company.

“With much of the merger integration completed, George Pastrana has decided to move on from Boston Beer to pursue other opportunities,” Boston Beer director of communications Jessica Paar told Brewbound in an email. “Mariah and Sam [Calagione] are thankful for George’s contributions to Dogfish’s journey over the last two years and wish him the very best for the future.”

Paar added that there are no other planned departures from the combined company’s leadership team.

Pastrana joined Dogfish Head in January 2018, as a direct report to Dogfish Head co-founder Sam Calagione. At the time, Calagione said Pastrana would serve as Dogfish’s “leader of our leaders,” with the company’s vice presidents reporting to Pastrana. His role also included developing the company’s strategic plans with Sam and Mariah Calagione.

Prior to joining Dogfish Head, Pastrana was an industry outsider. He spent six years as the chief marketing officer and VP of marketing and innovation for ACH Food Companies, whose portfolio of brands at the time included the Mazola, Fleischmann’s Yeast and Argo brands, among others.

On July 16, 2019, he signed an employment contract with Boston Beer Company.

Pastrana’s departure from the company comes about seven weeks after the completion of the integration of Boston Beer and Dogfish Head into one company on January 1, 2020, Paar wrote in the email. The merger was officially completed July 3, 2019.

However, work remains to be done on aligning Boston Beer’s and Dogfish Head’s distribution networks.

In an interview with Brewbound in late January during the opening of a Samuel Adams-branded taproom in downtown Boston, company founder Jim Koch said the initiative was building momentum, although he admitted there likely would never be complete alignment. According to the Koch, when the process began, Boston Beer had about 400 wholesalers, while Dogfish Head had around 180.

“We’re roughly 70% [aligned] now, and I believe by the end of the year we’ll be over 80%,” he said.

According to Koch, Boston Beer has reached alignment in several states in recent months, including New Jersey, Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado and Delaware, as Craft Business Daily and Beer Marketer’s Insights have both reported.

When the two breweries reach 80% alignment, Koch estimated about 1% of the company’s volume would be unaligned. For those unaligned wholesalers, Koch said the company will not be able to support them.

“You have to respect the wholesaler’s choice,” he said. “If that’s what they want to do, they’re wholesalers, and we will be happy to do business with them. But the business reality is they’re not going to get the time and attention that would happen if it was in a consolidated wholesaler.”

Jess Infante contributed reporting to this story.

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