People Moves: Stone Distributing GM Dave Watson Departs, Interim GM Named

Stone Distributing Company (SDC) general manager Dave Watson is no longer leading the San Diego-headquartered craft brewery’s wholesaler division.

Stone has tapped Anthony Trento as interim GM.

Stone Brewing chief commercial officer Dan Lamb confirmed the leadership change in an email to Brewbound.

“Dave Watson is no longer with Stone Distributing and Anthony Trento has been promoted to Interim Head of Sales at SDC,” he wrote. “Anthony has been an incredible leader for our team and a champion to our supplier partners. We’re thrilled to have him at the helm.”

Lamb added that Mike Murphy has been promoted to district sales manager in order to ensure “our leadership team is properly staffed for a smooth transition.”

Watson had been GM for nearly two years, previously serving as Stone’s director of distribution for Northern California for more than two years. He brought more than a decade of experience to the brewery’s wholesaler business, having served as general manager of Aurora, Colorado-based craft and import wholesaler C.R. Goodman for more than a decade from 2006 to late 2016, and later spending a year as business development manager for Breakthru Beverage Colorado, which acquired C.R. Goodman in 2016.

Trento has worked for Stone for nearly five years, serving as a district sales manager for the last three years.

As for Murphy, he’s worked at Stone for a little more than three years, starting as a sales rep in late 2016 and working his was up to area sales manager in May 2017, prior to his latest promotion.

Last May, Stone Brewing CEO Dominic Engels issued a memo to employees attempting to quash rumors that the distribution business was for sale. Engels called Stone Distributing “a key piece of Stone Brewing” and a “critical” piece to the company’s success in its largest market, California. He added that Stone is “committed to the continued growth of SDC.”

According to a profile last March in San Diego Magazine, Stone’s more than two decades old wholesale business sells about 4.5 million cases of beer to more than 12,700 unique accounts annually. The business covers a 40,000-square-mile service area that reaches from southern San Diego to Santa Barbara and covers Big Bear, Riverside County, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.

Jemma Wilson to Exit Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker media manager Jemma Wilson will exit the Paso Robles, California-headquartered craft brewery on March 6.

“After seven wonderful years, I submitted my resignation with Firestone Walker earlier this week and my last day is March 6,” she wrote in a Twitter post last week. “I definitely wasn’t looking for a job but was offered a new opportunity to learn, grow and challenge myself in a new industry. Here’s to the next chapter!”

Wilson joined Firestone Walker in January 2013, leading the brewery’s social media marketing, while assisting with event promotions, among other duties. She will be leaving the beer industry to take a marketing manager job at a solar energy company in California.

Margaret Link Joins Boochcraft

Margaret Link is the new director of marketing for San Diego-based Boochcraft Hard Kombucha.

Link announced her departure from Sufferfest Beer Company, where she had served as director of marketing for two years, on social media last week.

In an email to Brewbound, Link called her departure from Sierra Nevada and Sufferfest “super bittersweet.”

“But [I] couldn’t resist the opportunity to jump back in the ‘startup’ world with the leader in the hard kombucha space,” she wrote. “Boochcraft is such a special company with objectively the best product on the market and I’m thrilled and honored to help tell the story.”

Link led Sufferfest’s marketing efforts from its inception through the company’s acquisition by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and beyond. She started her career in the beer business doing contract work in 2013 for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Link joins a Boochcraft team that includes VP of sales and marketing Brandon Börgel, who joined the company in June 2019 after leading the sales efforts of San Francisco’s fast-growing Fort Point Beer Company for two years.

Boochcraft is working out the division of roles between Link and Börgel, but her duties will include guiding campaign strategy and creating retail programs.

Two Robbers Hard Seltzer Hires 2 Beer Industry Vets as VPs

Philadelphia’s Two Robbers Hard Seltzer has hired two beer industry veterans to lead its operations and sales. The company announced last week the hires of Adam Bartles as vice president of operations and Terry Matthews as vice president of sales.

“The movement towards better for you alternatives in beer and spirits is a one-way trend and we believe it’s early days,” co-founder Vikram Nayar said in a press release. “With Adam’s expertise in brewing innovation and operations, and Terry’s expertise in rapidly scaling craft brands, we aim to always be a leader in the research and development of these products.”

Bartles last served as global manager of specialties operations for Anheuser-Busch InBev’s venture capital arm, ZX Ventures, leading and managing global brewing operations for brands such as Goose Island and Hoegaarden in China, Brazil, Mexico and Australia, among others. Prior to joining ZX Ventures, Bartles spent nine years at Victory Brewing, including four years as director of brewery operations.

As for Matthews, he worked as national key account director for Southern Tier Brewing Company. His resume also includes 13 years in key accounts at A-B and more than two years as national accounts manager for Brooklyn Brewery.

According to a press release, Two Robbers is now sold in more than 600 locations across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware

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