Southern Tier Hires New VP of Sales and Marketing

southern tierSouthern Tier Brewing is strengthening its executive roster.

The company yesterday announced it hired Brendan Smith as its new vice president of sales and marketing. The move comes nearly two months after a recent capital infusion from private equity firm Ulysses Management LLC.

Smith most recently held the role of senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Smithfield Foods, a global food processor with $13 billion in annual sales.

The job with Southern Tier, however, isn’t Smith’s first stop in the beer business. His resume also includes a 17-year career at Anheuser-Busch, where he climbed to the rank of senior sales director in both North Carolina and South Carolina, according to a statement released by the company.

Southern Tier, which is based in Lakewood, N.Y., sold an undisclosed percentage of its business to the Ulysses Management in September, though co-founder Phineas DeMink told Brewbound that he would retain financial interest and remain in a leadership role.

At the time of the investment, Southern Tier had also hired a new CEO, John Coleman, who had previously served as the president and COO of Pabst Brewing.

Southern Tier is forecasting sales of more than 100,000 barrels in 2014, up from more than 84,000 in 2013.

Additional information is included in the press release below:

Lakewood, NY – Southern Tier Brewing Company announced today that it has hired Brendan Smith as Vice President of Sales & Marketing, effective immediately. Brendan most recently served as Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of Smithfield Foods, a $13 billion global food company. Previously, he enjoyed a successful 17 year career in sales and marketing at Anheuser-Busch, ultimately serving as Senior Sales Director for the states of North and South Carolina. Brendan will be supported by a substantial number of new field sales reps, area managers, and chain account managers to deepen Southern Tier’s connection to its distributors and retailer accounts.

Following on the hire of John Coleman as CEO in September, Southern Tier is committed to building out a high performing team of beer industry veterans. According to John “Southern Tier is widely acknowledged to be among the top craft brewers, but the dynamics of the beer industry are becoming more demanding. It’s not enough to make great beer, you have to be able to execute every day to earn the trust and confidence of your wholesale and retail partners. Clearly conveying our brand’s reason to exist and then consistently delivering on our promises in the trade is critical to achieving our lofty ambitions for Southern Tier. I’ve known Brendan for 15 years and am confident that he’s the perfect leader for this effort. He is dogged, creative, passionate, and fully committed to the values of Southern Tier and the broader craft community.”

At Anheuser-Busch, Brendan started out as an entry-level route sales rep before working his way up to Senior Director of Marketing, with responsibility for all Budweiser brand family marketing initiatives in the U.S. He followed that by leading sales and marketing efforts within the North and South Carolina markets as Senior Sales Director. After 17 years, Brendan left Anheuser-Busch to serve as Chief Marketing Officer of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer and a leader in numerous packaged meat categories. While there, he led and directed all domestic marketing, R&D and innovation initiatives.

According to Brendan, “I have so much respect for what founders Phin and Sara DeMink have created at Southern Tier and feel blessed to be part of their brewery. I’m also thrilled to be working again with John Coleman, one of the truly great leaders within the beer industry. I’m looking forward to joining the team and helping bring our great beers to market.”

About Southern Tier Brewing Company

Southern Tier was founded in 2003 by Phin and Sara DeMink in Lakewood, New York and is one of the fastest growing craft brewers in the U.S., with average annual volume growth of 48% since inception. It is known for its diverse portfolio of innovative beers that embodies the spirit of American craft brewing. Southern Tier constructed a new brewery in 2009 and has since undergone a series of expansions, increasing annual capacity to over 200,000 barrels. This August, it launched the DeMunck’s Hard Cider brand and will be opening a sister craft distillery in 2015.

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