Key Hires Join Sweetwater Brewery

After completing a nearly two-year long brewery expansion project last month, Sweetwater Brewery yesterday announced three new hires to help strengthen the company’s increased selling efforts and manage the larger production runs.

Seth Herman, a 15-year executive with DIAGEO Guinness USA, joins the Atlanta-based craft brewery as its new sales director. In addition to being tasked with strategically growing sales of core and seasonal brands and development of new markets, Herman will oversee the performance of Sweetwater’s sales team and wholesale partners. He’ll also be spearheading the upcoming distribution launches in Kentucky, Louisiana and Virginia. Those launches will take place in July, August and later this fall, respectively.

In the brewhouse, Matthew Esler, a former MillerCoors operations expert, joins Sweetwater as the new packaging manager. Esler will be responsible for the brewery’s bottling and kegging production, management of all packaging staff, capital project installations, product planning and reporting, and employee training and communication.

Doug Wright, Sweetwater’s new director of retail operations, joined the company in February. Wright oversees new product development, retail inventory management, retail staff supervision as well as the building and branding of retail merchandise.

“We are very proud to welcome this group of seasoned experts to our family during such an exciting time in our history,” Sweetwater Brewing founder Freddy Bensch said in a statement about the new hires. “As we continue to pick up momentum in our overall growth, we are confident that this mix of well-balanced folks will each bring unique experience to the brewery, and our future success.”

Sweetwater Brewing sold approximately 110,000 barrels in 2012, a 15 percent over 2011. The expanded brewhouse and fermentation capacity will allow the company to produce up to 500,000 barrels of beer annually.

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