Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wolverine Names New Head Brewer; Oliver Roberts to Start New Brewery

You get a picture of Oliver because I don't have one of Alexis.

It's the end of an era. Wolverine State Brewing has announced its longtime head brewer, Oliver Roberts, is leaving at the end of February and will be succeeded by Alexis Jorgensen, formerly of Stone Brewing and Witch's Hat Brewing.

I first met Oliver back in 2010 at – as I recall – the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival. Wolverine was getting ready to open its taproom but the only product anyone in my circle had ever had from them was their Premium Lager, which at the time was contract brewed and bottled at the now-defunct Michigan Brewing Co. in Webberville. Truth be told, I did not like that beer nor did I know anyone who had tried it who did.

When Oliver offered me the first (as far as I know) Wolverine-brewed beer, a Baltic porter confusingly named Faustian Stout, my taste buds danced with joy. I told everyone I knew to put aside their impressions of Premium Lager and give the new brewery a chance. Ever since, I've rarely – maybe even never – been disappointed with any Wolverine beer.

Oliver is planning on opening his own brewery, up in gorgeous Beulah. I hope to have a chance to catch up with him before he goes to get more details. I'll miss seeing him around, but I trust Alexis and the team at Wolverine will carry on the tradition of finely crafted lagers Wolverine has become renowned for.

Anyway, here's the official press release:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Wolverine State Brewing Co is pleased to announce that it has named Alexis Jorgensen as Wolverine’s next Head Brewer and Production Manager. Jorgensen will succeed Oliver Roberts, who currently holds the position, when he steps down at the end of February.
Jorgensen is a current employee at Wolverine State Brewing Co., most recently serving as its primary Assistant Brewer. In that role she has displayed “an impressive depth of knowledge, along with a strong work ethic and a refreshing burst of creativity,” according to company president Matt Roy. “As a true believer in Wolverine’s lager-focused approach to craft beer, Alexis is an ideal candidate to continue the work of pushing the limits of what lager can be.” 
Jorgensen’s career in the craft beer industry includes prior positions at Witch’s Hat Brewing in South Lyon, Michigan, Stone Brewing in California, and Begyle Brewing in Chicago. 
Wolverine’s current head brewer and production manager, Oliver Roberts, has served in that role since prior to the opening of the brewery in Ann Arbor in 2010. He will be leaving Wolverine at the end of February to start a brewery outside of Traverse City, Michigan. 
The two brewers are working together in the interim to ensure a smooth transition for the
company, its employees, and its customers. “The collaboration between Oliver and Alexis is terrific,” observed Roy. “We’re really fortunate to have two people so focused on making sure we don’t miss a beat during this transition.” 
Wolverine State Brewing Co. was founded in 2006 by longtime friends and Ann Arborites, Matt Roy and Trevor Thrall. Production began at 2019 W. Stadium in early 2010 under the direction of Brewmaster Oliver Roberts, and the taproom opened at that same location later in 2010. 
Wolverine State, the leader of the Lager Revolution, specializes in creating balanced, unique, and innovative lagers, and boasts a portfolio of more than 200 varieties.


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