Sierra Nevada Hires Former A-B InBev Brewmaster as Technical Director

Add Sierra Nevada to the growing list of craft brewers that have plucked talent from the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Sierra, the country’s second largest craft brewer, based on 2013 sales figured supplied by the Brewers Association, has hired former A-B InBev senior brewmaster Daniel Kahn as Technical Director, a new position created to oversee brewing operations and quality at both the Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C. breweries.

“I’ve been looking for someone to help me shoulder some of the load on the technical side,” Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman said in a press statement. “Danny will work with our plant manager, Al Spinelli, and other brewery managers on projects focused on quality, process optimization, and process improvement.”

Kahn, a 27-year industry veteran, will also be involved in research and development capacities, working alongside current brewing department heads, the company said.

“Our new brewery added complexity to every facet of our company and I wanted someone dedicated to overseeing brewing who I could rely on to stay focused on our increasingly complex portfolio,” Grossman added.

At A-B InBev, Kahn held numerous positions in brewing operations and worked at several production facilities. He also earned a degree in fermentation sciences from the University of California, Davis, the company said.

“I have always been passionate about brewing,” Kahn said in a release. “I’ve admired Sierra Nevada since my days at Davis. I’m looking forward to expanding my brewing horizons and putting my experience with process improvement to work at a brewery that puts such a high value on quality.”

Sierra Nevada recently began producing and shipping beer from its new brewery in Mills River, N.C. It began construction on the facility in 2012 and plans to open the doors for public tours this summer.

Sierra certainly isn’t the first craft brewer to lure top-level brewing talent away from A-B InBev. Last year, Bend, Ore.-based Deschutes Brewery hired Kris Scholl as its technical director, a position the company formed to oversee brewing, cellaring, packaging, maintenance and quality control. Scholl was previously the Director of Global Brewing and Quality for Asia and Latin America for A-B InBev.