Protagonist Hires Former Wicked Weed Brewer

CHARLOTTE, N.C.— Protagonist, slated to open in early 2019, is proud to announce the hire of its Head Brewer, Jeremy Claeys. Claeys will lead the brewing team working alongside Protagonist’s first hire, Advanced Cicerone Christopher Westgard.

Claeys comes to Protagonist from Asheville-based Wicked Weed Brewing, where he was the head R & D Brewer, Lead Clean Brewer and Sour Brewer over the past three and a half years. Starting as a first generation employee at a 50-bbl clean production brewery, Claeys served the WW brand as a team leader helping oversee all aspects of brewing operations from incoming raw material analysis to recipe formulation and true to brand sensory evaluation of final product.

Prior to his time at Wicked Weed, Claeys completed a combined Master Brewing program at Chicago’s Siebel Institute and Munich’s Doemens Academy after having started his brewing career as a Brewer/Cellarman at Grayton Beer Company in Florida. As one of the founding staff members at Grayton, Claeys helped with planning, opening and overall operations of the brewery, exploring and tracking fermentations, managing tank CIPs, dry hopping, yeast pitching/harvesting, transfers, fining, beer carbonation and more.

“My goal is to become one of the best brewers in the world – one that inspires, educates and delivers. I’m excited to join the Protagonist team to continue to learn, grow and brew new and interesting beers for the Charlotte community,” said Claeys.

“We look forward to working with Westgard and Claeys to provide new and fresh beer offerings to the Charlotte craft-loving community,” said Ryan Owens, partner at Protagonist. “I cannot wait to taste the first few beers from this team.”

The brewery will open its doors in Charlotte early this spring and focus on contributing to the craft beer scene by offering a wide variety of rare and interesting brews, playing with carbonation and serving temperatures and an engaging membership program.

About Protagonist Beer

Protagonist is a brewery centered around experimentation, belonging and public spirit. Created by childhood friends Ryan McKillen, Ryan Owens and Mike Salzarulo, the brand will come to life through a modern day Clubhouse—a nano-brewery and taproom in Charlotte, North Carolina in early 2019. Curious? So are we. Website: Follow Protagonist on Instagram @protagonistbeer for updates.

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