Last Call: Finch Beer Finds a Home; BrewDog Snags Wicked Weed Sour Brewer


Finch Beer Strikes Deal for Chicago Brewery

After announcing plans to close its original brewery, and abandon its brewpub, Chicago’s Finch Beer will take over the nearby “Like Minds Brewing” facility that opened 18 months ago, The Chicago Tribune reported.

The deal, signed Thursday, will include the sale of brewery equipment, including a 30-barrel brewhouse, and a property lease transfer.

Like Minds Brewing, which also operates a Milwaukee brewpub, will continue producing its wild beers out of that facility and contract brew its “clean” beers via Great Central Brewing, according to the Tribune.

BrewDog Hires Former Wicked Weed Sour Brewer

Scottish craft beer maker BrewDog this week announced the hiring of former Wicked Weed brewer Richard Kilcullen, who was tapped to oversee the company’s sour beer production efforts.

Named the brewmaster of BrewDog’s “OverWorks” sour production facility, Kilcullen will relocate to Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where the brewery is to be built, and lead the company’s “new forays into the world of wild and sour beer, farmhouse ales and mixed fermentations.”


“Richard will captain the newest BrewDog endeavour, continuing the tradition of pushing the boundaries in brewing whilst exploring new flavour profiles and historical trends in beer,” BrewDog wrote on its website.

Construction on BrewDog’s Overworks brewery, funded by the Equity for Punks UK scheme, is slated to begin January 16, according to its website.

Kilcullen previously served as the “head of sour production” at North Carolina’s Wicked Weed Brewing, which is known for its sour beer offerings.

Starbucks Ends “Evenings” Program, Shifts Booze Sales to New High-End Concept


Coffee giant Starbucks officially ended its “evenings” program Tuesday after about six years of trying to sell beer, wine and tapas to patrons at 439 stores nationwide.

First trialed at a Seattle location in 2010, the program was aimed at convincing customers to return to the company’s coffeehouses for something other than a caffeinated beverage at the end of a workday.

The decision to shutter the program comes about two years after Starbucks executives said they hoped to expand the concept to as many as 3,000 stores, doubling its food revenues in the process.

Starbucks doesn’t plan to exit the booze business altogether, however. Instead of trying to push alcohol purchases at its traditional coffee shops, the company plans to shift sales of beer, wine and spirits into its “Roasteries and Reserve” concept, the Seattle Times reported.

That concept is far less ambitious in scale; Starbucks only plans to open about 20 international “Roasteries” by 2019.

Kim Jordan to “Guide” Search for New Colorado Brewers Guild Director

Despite being in the midst of her own search for a CEO to lead New Belgium Brewing, the fourth-largest craft beer maker in the country according to the Brewers Association, chairwoman Kim Jordan will also help identify the new executive director of the Colorado Brewers Guild, according to Denver Westword.

“Building culture is what Kim Jordan knows how to do,” Guild spokesman Steve Kurowski told the outlet. “There is no better project for her to lead at the Guild.”

Last June, a disagreement between Colorado brewery owners resulted in 14 prominent beer companies, including New Belgium, splitting off from the Guild to form a separate entity — Craft Beer Colorado. In November, the two groups agreed to merge under the condition that former executive director John Carlson, who had held that position for 20 years, would no longer be involved with the trade organization.

“I think there was a need, from brewers, for a different culture within the guild,” Kurowski told Brewbound at the time. “A lot of times culture comes from leadership.”

Jordan, who is widely recognized as one of the most successful brewery leaders in the U.S., is collecting resumes and helping to shape what characteristics the organization should look for in a new leader.

A job listing posted to Brewbound identifies five key areas — external relationships, member relationships, promotion, fundraising and operations — that the new executive director will be responsible for overseeing. According to the listing, the Guild is hoping the new executive director will be an “inspiring leader with a collaborative, people-first, bias-to-action orientation.”

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