People Moves: Founders Exec Chair to Hydroponics Farm; Other Half Splits with Eric Salazar

Founders Brewing Executive Chairman to Become CEO of Hydroponics Farm

Founders Brewing executive chairman John Green is departing the Michigan craft brewery to become CEO of Revolution Farms, a Caledonia, Michigan-based hydroponics farm that produces sustainable lettuce and salad greens, according to MiBiz.

Green, who was a founding investor in Revolution Farms, assumes the role from Tripp Frey, who exited the company earlier this year.

“I had reached a point in my career where I wanted to change and do something different,” Green told MiBiz. “I felt strongly that Founders was in good hands with the Mahou partnership and the leadership of Mike [Stevens] and Dave [Engbers].”

Last month, Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel announced it had reached a deal to acquire a 90% majority stake in the brewery. The deal is expected to close in January 2020. Green told MiBiz that he expected to stay with Founders through the ownership transition.

Other Half, Eric Salazar Part Ways

New York’s Other Half Brewing and wild ale maker Eric Salazar have split, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

In February, Salazar, who departed New Belgium after a 23-year career, was announced as leading Other Half’s nascent wood-aged and wild ale program. However, less than a year later, Other Half told Salazar that the company didn’t have the space, barrels or aging vessels to start the project, which it’s putting on hold for at least a year, according to the outlet. The company is instead turning its focus to opening a brewery in Washington, D.C. and a smaller facility in Brooklyn.

“It makes sense,” Salazar told the Democrat & Chronicle. “They were unable to build the infrastructure here to support my job. They are pushing toward the D.C. project and that became a heavy focus after I was hired. They’re putting a lot of money into that direction. They essentially said they that were unable to support my job here.”

For now, Salazar is turning his attention to consulting for breweries.

New England Brewing Co. Hires Jamal Robinson

Norwalk, Connecticut-based New England Brewing Co. announced last week that it has hired Jamal Robinson as its new director of sales.

Robinson had been sales director at Stony Creek since May 2014. He was among a handful of long-time employees of the Branford, Connecticut-based craft brewery who were laid off in late August.

“We’re excited to welcome someone of Jamal’s caliber to the NEBCO team,” New England Brewing owner and CEO Rob Leonard said in a press release. “He joins us at a time when our beer brands are rapidly growing. Jamal’s enthusiasm and experience will integrate perfectly with our business model.”

Leonard said Robinson will be “instrumental in helping execute” the 17-year-old craft brewery’s expansion plans and leading its sales force.

Robinson added that he’s been “a huge fan of both the people and the liquid at NEBCo for a long time.”

“The continued growth of Sea Hag is proof that even though this industry has changed in the last few years, customers still have loyalty to the quality and consistency they have always gotten, and will continue to get from NEBCo,” he said. “That’s exactly the kind of brand I want to be a part of.”

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