Fast-growing Massachusetts craft beer maker Wormtown Brewery has named Freetail Brewing founder Scott Metzger as its next general manager.
The Worcester-based craft brewery informed its wholesalers of Metzger’s hire on Tuesday. Metzger will officially assume the role on September 25.
Speaking to Brewbound, Wormtown managing partner David Fields said Metzger brings a skillset currently lacking at the nearly 10-year-old beer company. Those skills include helping maintain the company’s culture through a rapid growth phase, while also pushing projects forward from ideation to execution.
“My goal for this brewery was to grow it to 50,000 barrels when I turned 55,” Fields said. “We’re going to be 32-33,000 barrels packaged this year and I’m 48.”
Growing at a faster clip than expected clip has led to Wormtown’s staff growing to nearly 50 full- and part-time workers as the company adds a second taproom location adjacent to the New England Patriots’ stadium in Foxborough.
Adding staff requires a lot of communication to ensure employees’ individual goals and objectives are being met and they’re being set up for success, Fields said.
“We just aren’t really good at that right now,” he admitted.
That’s where Metzger comes in. Additionally, Metzger will be tasked with pushing projects forward. Fields said implementation can take “months” at Wormtown.
“That speed and detail linear process is something that we’re not really good at,” he said. “That seems like something that Scott thrives at, and he obviously has the brewing street cred from his experience at Freetail as well as with the BA [Brewers Association].”
Metzger served four years on the board of the national trade organization for small and independent U.S. breweries. He also was a board member for the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.
Metzger’s hire ends Wormtown’s six-month, national search for a general manager.
For his part, Metzger said via a press release that he is excited to be joining Wormtown and wants to “help build upon the amazing success the brewery has achieved over the last decade.”
“Wormtown presents a unique opportunity to join a team with a stellar culture and reputation for making world class beer,” he added.
Metzger, who holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Texas-San Antonio and also served as an adjunct professor there, helped launch Freetail Brewing in San Antonio, Texas, in 2008. However, he announced his exit from the company in November 2018.
According to Metzger’s LinkedIn page, he helped launch and grow Freetail into the largest craft brewery in the San Antonio market. The company grew wholesale depletions by 16.5% in 2017 and 21.1% through his departure. Freetail produced 4,680 barrels of beer in 2018, according to the BA.
Metzger joins a much larger Wormtown brewing operation. The Worcester craft brewery produced 24,615 barrels in 2018, up 15%. The company is poised for further growth after expanding its facility and warehouse to more than 30,000 sq. ft., with the capacity to brew more than 50,000 barrels of beer.
Metzger will also bring direct-to-consumer retail experience with him, as Freetail operates a separate brewpub and taproom locations in San Antonio.That experience will come in handy as Wormtown prepares to open a 4,000 sq. ft. space at Patriot Place — a shopping, dining and entertainment center near Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.