|Worthy Brewing construction
|“Chris Hodge has spent the last 28 years living, breathing, marketing, and selling craft beer,” said Chad Kennedy, Worthy’s Head Brewmaster. “With Chris in the wheelhouse, Worthy can ramp up production, stimulate demand, and close sales from the git go. He knows how to build a brand and generate sales.”
Those in the industry know Chris Hodge as the Director of Specialty Brands at Columbia Distributing, which is Oregon’s largest distributor and one of the top 10 in the country. Columbia was recently purchasedby a private equity firm, which has been big beer business news and caused many headaches in the company, with rumors of a personnel shake up.
Hodge will be leaving Columbia Distributing, where he has worked for the past 18 years . Prior to his career at Columbia, Chris spent 10 years as the Vice President of Admiralty Beverage, the original pioneer in the world of Oregon craft beer wholesalers.
“I consider myself one of the most fortunate people in the beer business,” said Hodge. “I have had the honor and pleasure of working with dozens of the world’s best known and highest quality breweries. I love everything about this culture we’ve created. The passion, joy, and creativity in this business make it hard to have a ‘bad day.'”
“As much as I’ve enjoyed shepherding some of the most successful brands in the business, I’ve always wanted to run a brewery myself,” he continued. “I’m thankful for the support and friendships I’ve forged over the years at Columbia, but can’t wait to get started launching the Worthy brand.”
Worthy Brewing Company, located on the East Side of Bend, will consist of a 30 bbl production facility and 3.5 bbl pilot brewery, a restaurant, beer garden, hop garden, greenhouse, and herb garden. Worthy will be kegging, bottling, and canning its flagship beers, which will include a Kolsch, Wit, India Pale Ale, Imperial IPA, Stout, and hybrid Pale/ESB.
In addition to Kennedy, Hodge will be joining a Worthy cast that includes Mike Harrison, Master Chef;David Zinn, Top Creationist; and George Stapish, Head Number Cruncher.
“Opening day will be big and fun,” promised Kennedy. “We’ve billed our campus as a ‘beertopia.’ So don’t expect anything orthodox. At the same time, we’re not going to rush it. We won’t open until everything’s positively worthy.”
WBC will be holding a job fair in Bend on December 18 and 19 and expects to hire 35 employees.