I hope that you saw this news already, it’s good stuff. Brew Minds was on it this morning and broke the story that Steve Shaw was transitioning from long time head brewer at Cellar Dweller to the same position at the up and coming (and soon to open) Wiedemann Brewing Company that is under construction in St. Bernard.
The Copy And Paste ‘Release”
I know how much of you love the copying and pasting, so I’ll push your buttons a little bit and copy and paste the message the dropped in the inboxes of excited beer bloggers all across Cincinnati this morning:
I want to share with family, friends and coworkers that I have made the very difficult decision to resign from my position as Head Brewer for Valley Vineyards/Cellar Dweller Craft beers. My last day with Cellar Dweller will be October 6, 2017. — I would like to thank my sister and brother-in-law, Dodie Schuchter and Kenny Schuchter, the owners of Valley Vineyards/Cellar Dweller, for the opportunity to be their first brewer and the opportunity to grow in this business. I would also like to thank my niece, Tiffany Schuchter, for all the help and support she has given me in the growth of Cellar Dweller. — I would like to announce that I have accepted the Head Brewers position with the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Company. I am grateful to Jon and Betsy Newberry for giving me this opportunity and trusting me to be the head brewer to bring the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Company back to the Greater Cincinnati area. This new brewery is going to be a great addition to the growing beer scene in Greater Cincinnati. — I also want to thank my wife, Kim, and my two boys, Cody and Ryan, for all the support you have given me over the years to make my dreams of becoming a brewer a reality. Thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way in this journey of great local craft beer. Cheers! — Steve Shaw
What This Means For Wiedemann
It’s been a long and winding road for the Newberry’s as they have worked tirelessly to revive the Wiedemann Brand here in Greater Cincinnati. (In fact, you can read about just that from a couple of weeks ago when they broke ground on their location, finally). They’ve gotten plenty of shit from so called beer lovers, about how bad of an idea it is to revive a brand of beer that at the end of it’s former life isn’t what you would call “delicous craft beer”. These loud naysayers are the ones that didn’t have a lot of faith that a brewery striving to revive a light, bohemian lager in Cincinnati would have much success in doing so.
I want to be as loud as I possibly can to drown those naysayers out when I tell you that Wiedemann is onto something – it’s similar to the thing that Christian Moerlein’s Greg Hardman is onto with the Hudy and Schoenling brands (if you hate Little Kings, we need to talk…). It’s simliar to the drive that recently convinced Braxton Brewing Company that they should try to bring back Bavarian brand that has long been a relic in their community. Reviving a brand that resonates with drinkers isn’t just about brewing good beer – it’s about restoring the love that people have for something in their past. Giving it a new life – and one that fans can be proud of in today’s ever changing craft beer marketplace.
All that being said – you have to make good beer. I reached out to the folks at Wiedemann to see what this meant in their words, and I think it’s safe to say that this is a massive booster shot in the bicep of this project.
Wiedemann and Steve Shaw/Cellar Dweller have had a great relationship for the last four or five years – and Cellar Dweller has been working tightly with the brand for the last couple of years to keep the Wiedemann Beer on shelves around town. They were needless to say “Thrilled” that he wanted to come on board and help with the revival of Wiedemann.
They went out of their way to tell me that Steve is the perfect head brewer to make Wiedemann’s a world class beer again, with great recipes, impeccable brewing skills and connections and most importantly to them – the right attitude. Steve will be following in the footsteps of many great brewers, including the father of Jim Koch’s father Charlie (yeah – that Jim Koch…. of Sam Adams). It’s a storied position, at a historic brand.
What This Means For Cellar Dweller
The operations of Cellar Dweller will be passed on to the folks that operate the winery – Valley Vineyards. It’s still up in the air who will be taking over day to day brewing operations, but one thing we can be certain of is that whoever ends up in the role will have the full support of Steve to help in the transition.
There’s a lot to be said about a move where everyone still loves each other – which it seems like this one very much is. Cellar Dweller will most likely use the opportunity to refresh who they are, get a new life and keep on trucking the way they have been since 2012. They’ve turned out some fantastic people that have gone on to work at some really great projects around town (Municipal Brew Works, March First) and I have all the faith in the world that we’ll be seeing more exciting things from them in the future!
If you want to hear more – I’ve got great news for you! Cincy Brewcast will be out at Cellar Dweller next week (7/21/17) to chat with Steve about his time with Cellar Dweller, and I’m sure we’ll be digging into his future with Wiedemann a bit too (though… we’ll be sitting down with Wiedemann in the near future too… stay tuned)
Congrats to Steve, Congrats to Wiedemann, and I can’t wait to see what Cellar Dweller does with the opportunity to try something new – it’s an exciting year for Cincy Beer!