Founding Brewmaster Chad Kennedy Leaves Worthy Brewing

Chad Kennedy Worthy Brewing

Founding Brewmaster Chad Kennedy leaves Worthy Brewing, which he helped start in Bend, Oregon, in 2013. Back in 2011, Chad Kennedy moved to Bend to help start one of the most ambitious new breweries of the last 10 years. He had established himself on the forefront of Oregon brewers during his tenure as Brewmaster at Laurelwood Brewing Co., creating modern classics like Workhorse IPA when he decided to join the Worthy team. In the last two years, Worthy has established itsefl as a force to be reckoned with, becoming the 12th largest Oregon brewery by OLCC taxable barrels sold in state.

Chad Kennedy left Worthy Brewing yesterday, the same day the brewery announced it will be replacing the first and original flagship Pale Ale with a new beer called “Prefunk Pale Ale.” Prefunk is a brand new canned beer, measuring in at 6% ABV with 50 IBU and showcasing trendy Amarillo and Citra hops.

Chad Kennedy Worthy taps

Chad remarked, “Not often you get a chance to build a big ol’ brewery like that. It was a great learning experience and I’m thankful for it. However, it was time for us to part and for me to start over.”

No word yet on what this means for the brewery or for Chad, who must be an Oregon brewer in-demand. Despite apparently being jobless, he has kept his trademark sense of humor when commenting on where he may be working next:

“Like a whore baby. I’m for sale. Not a cheap one, though! OK, well, maybe.”

Brewer Dustin Kellner seems a likely candidate to replace Chad. Dustin was the head brewer under Chad at Laurelwood and followed him to Worthy, where he has become an established and respected brewer himself.

Chad Kennedy is now in the market and looking to be back in Portland, where his two daughters are. He should not be hard to find for any prospective clients, but if you’re having difficulty tracking him down, don’t be afraid to hit us up for his contact information.

UPDATE from Worthy Brewing release:

“We will forever be grateful for Chad’s pioneering spirit here at Worthy,” said Roger Worthington, the founder. “He helped build this place and he was the big brain behind most of our beers. Without his vision, experience and inspiration, there would not be a Worthy Brewing. Plus, he’s an incurable prankster and we’ll miss his wit and goofy charms.”

Dustin Kellner

Dustin Kellner, who has been Chad’s first lieutenant over the past ten years, will move up to Brewmaster.  Dustin is a steady hand on the till who gets up early and goes to bed late with beer mostly on his mind. Worthy is very pleased to promote Dustin, who brings to the table a wealth of production, packaging, recipe and team building skills.

“The future here at Worthy is very, very bright,” said Chris Hodge, Worthy’s CEO. “We are on the verge of releasing our new pale, Prefunk Pale, which Dustin goosed up nicely with Amarillo and Citra hops. We’re adding new fermentation tanks. We’re upgrading our canning line and we continue to experiment with new hoppy flavors on our pilot system, the Heart and Soul of Worthy.”

“Added to which we’re planning on expanding into several new states in the next year.  It’s going to be a great summer and we’re totally stoked.”

Worthy Brewing Prefunk Pale

Worthy Brewing has several release events planned for the new Prefunk Pale Ale:
April 23 – Worthy Brewing Company. Draft and can release with food pairings. 1130a-10p.
April 28 – Goodfoot Lounge in Portland with music from Yak Attack. 8p-12a.
May 1 – Pre Funk Beer Bar in Boise with live music and giveaways. 5-8p.
May 8 – Broken Top Bottle Shop in Bend with live music and giveaways. 6-9p.
Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact:


  • Philip Navarre
    Philip Navarre
    Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:58 PM

    Worthy Tap Takeover tonigt at Circa 33