Toppling Golliath loses head brewer Mike Saboe

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by Windvaner, Feb 23, 2015.

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  1. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (135) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Anyone got the scoop on this yet? Seems like word leaked out this WEEKEND that he will be doing his own start up.

    If this is true good for him, but huge loss for TG.
     
  2. nograz

    nograz Disciple (325) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota
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    There has been some discussion on this in the Iowa beer distro news thread.

    Doesn't look like many details yet and a lot of rumor and speculation at this point.

    Will be interesting to see what pans out.
     
    shawnp likes this.
  3. Centinela

    Centinela Aspirant (202) Apr 25, 2014 Minnesota
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  4. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Zealot (594) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
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    If this is true, I'm super stoked for @TgBC Mike and glad he is taking the entrepreneurial route and know anything he does will be extremely successful! I know he works on a LOT of his own recipes at home on his home system, so I'm sure he has been compiling a good repertoire of beers to brew up on his own. Very exciting stuff. I hope he stays in Iowa and both he and TG have a good relationship in the future.

    Best of luck to both Mike and TG!
     
  5. SaulTBauls

    SaulTBauls Aspirant (222) Mar 22, 2013 Iowa
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    I hope we see the first part of the bolded statement, but I wouldn't be shocked if Mike leaves. There are too many awesome opportunities for him and Iowa isn't exactly a hot spot for breweries.

    As for the second part...
     
  6. nograz

    nograz Disciple (325) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota
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    Could it be the post on probrewer is for a job in addition too?

    Though with the rumors so far and the removal of the Twitter account, it does not look like that.

    I hope everyone the best and would not complain if Mike did something in MN.
     
  7. mrpeterandthepuffers

    mrpeterandthepuffers Disciple (306) Oct 24, 2014 Minnesota
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    I personally wouldn't look too much into the brewer position being posted. It doesn't say head brewer, it could just be a low level guy to help at the new brewhouse. I would think a posting for the head job would say so, not just brewer/cellar employee.

    Mike being unlinked on Twitter though seems like pretty solid evidence.
     
  8. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Zealot (594) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
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    Just from the few times I've spoken with Mike, I know he is an Iowa boy through and through. He grew up in Decorah and his family is from there. That doesn't mean he isn't ready for a change of scenery though and I wouldn't blame him if we moved onto to a new state/location. But, I think his biggest reason for doing this would be to have control over everything himself. I'm sure it would be very easy for Mike to have found investors to put up the capital to start his own brewery where he chooses, but he may also just be looking for a place to brew that gives him more freedom to do as he wants? All speculation of course. I hope we hear from him when he is ready to talk about this, but I would think that could be a long time, so I guess let the speculation continue.... :slight_smile:
     
    Pug likes this.
  9. Lionhawk

    Lionhawk Disciple (319) Nov 14, 2012 Iowa
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    Losing the brewmaster and a top assistant in the past six months doesn't bode well for their future. I have also heard neither signed a non-compete agreement, thats real bad news for TG if true.
     
    JavaNoire and redblacks75 like this.
  10. nograz

    nograz Disciple (325) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota
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    That was my point, it didn't exactly read like a head brewer position. Though, they could be trying to be discrete.

    I guess only time will tell.
     
    mrpeterandthepuffers likes this.
  11. jruno

    jruno Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2014 Iowa
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    Anyone heard anything about that new brewery opening in Decorah (Pulpit Rock, I believe)? Just wondering if this has anything to do with that.

    I hope Mike stays in Iowa, but brings his talents/business endeavors to a little bigger market!
     
  12. kanderna

    kanderna Initiate (162) Sep 8, 2009 Iowa

    To continue wild speculation... maybe taking over the Raccoon River location once it closes? Thought I had read prospective buyer has reserved restaurant and brewing equipment
     
  13. SaulTBauls

    SaulTBauls Aspirant (222) Mar 22, 2013 Iowa
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    I wish this was more like when Jester King's brewer left. They both released a statement about how it was mutual and the brewer wanted to try his own thing. As far as I know, they're both on excellent terms, although I haven't heard about what he's up to yet. I know he planned to open his own place.
     
  14. Lionhawk

    Lionhawk Disciple (319) Nov 14, 2012 Iowa
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    Ding, ding, ding...Pulpit Rock = Bob the Brewer (aka old TG Asst Brewer)
     
  15. TGanyone

    TGanyone Disciple (392) Jan 29, 2014 Iowa
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  16. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (403) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
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    Wow, thats a block away from the current TG taproom
     
  17. Iowan

    Iowan Initiate (0) May 26, 2013 Iowa

    I was off yesterday on the status of this, but Mike being involved with Pulpit Rock would be extremely surprising to me. Whatever Mike is doing (and my guess would be doing his own brewery somewhere), it's not Pulpit Rock.
     
    dunbarzack and jruno like this.
  18. Iowan

    Iowan Initiate (0) May 26, 2013 Iowa

    I'm pretty excited for it. Bob and Justin are excellent home brewers (and great guys). I've been lucky enough to sample some PR test batches, and I think they'll be just fine. Very, very different beer than TG, and frankly I think having two breweries across the street will not only force each one to make their absolute best beer, and bring more beer tourism into the Decorah area. The old "rising tide raises all ships" analogy comes into play here.
     
    dunbarzack and hunttj like this.
  19. TGanyone

    TGanyone Disciple (392) Jan 29, 2014 Iowa
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    Wouldn't hurt my feelings if there were 3 breweries in Decorah!!! :grimacing:
     
    Iowan and jruno like this.
  20. mph005

    mph005 Aspirant (254) Nov 25, 2013 Texas
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    Jordan Keeper moved to Oregon and is the head brewer at Wolves & People. JK was in good hands when he left, as some of his apprentices took over and the quality did not suffer at all. I wish the same for TG, assuming it's true.
     
  21. MplsNick

    MplsNick Initiate (154) Oct 31, 2014 Minnesota
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    TG will be fine. They have so many top notch beers that they'll survive and thrive. All of their stuff flys off the shelves everywhere they distribute. They could expand with the same lineup and become just as big as Surly is today, and as far as Mike goes the more good breweries the better!
     
    hunttj likes this.
  22. nograz

    nograz Disciple (325) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota
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    Great point, almost like when stock splits.
     
  23. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Zealot (594) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
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  24. SaulTBauls

    SaulTBauls Aspirant (222) Mar 22, 2013 Iowa
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    Probably decided to go the Craigslist route.

    Also, I'm assuming TG's retweet of BA's tweet is regarding why they aren't commenting/don't like this thread.
     
  25. PatrickInAustinTx

    PatrickInAustinTx Devotee (423) Nov 16, 2013 Texas
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    Looks like Mike did leave. He replied to my tweet asking if the rumor was true and he said yes.
     
    blue-dream likes this.
  26. PatrickInAustinTx

    PatrickInAustinTx Devotee (423) Nov 16, 2013 Texas
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  27. SaulTBauls

    SaulTBauls Aspirant (222) Mar 22, 2013 Iowa
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    Truthers be like: I won't believe it until I get access to the brewery!
     
  28. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (64) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    I would care much more if TOPPLING GOLIATH WAS ACTUALLY AVAILABLE IN MINNESOTA. Fuck.

    Sorry I blew up.
     
    worx4beer, RaleighRed and iRun2Beer like this.
  29. iRun2Beer

    iRun2Beer Savant (914) Jan 27, 2015 Minnesota
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    It could be a genius marketing ploy...it had me thinking about TG all damn day...then I saw the Nova got a fresh shipment of Sue, Zeelander and others in today...you better believe I made that rush hour drive across the border
     
  30. PatrickInAustinTx

    PatrickInAustinTx Devotee (423) Nov 16, 2013 Texas
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    Awesome screen name for such actions!
     
    iRun2Beer and IowaBiertrinker like this.
  31. huskermike12

    huskermike12 Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2011 Vermont

    It's probably not that big of a deal for the core lineup of beers which will undoubtedly continue to be brewed as they are currently. The barrel aged and special stuff is more art than science IMO and will likely never be the same.
     
  32. JediMatt

    JediMatt Initiate (80) Jun 18, 2010 Iowa

    I hope it was an amicable parting. And I agree. Their core stuff will probably be fine, but I would not be surprised if the quality of their barrel program dropped.
     
    BottleCaps80 likes this.
  33. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Zealot (594) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
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    I wonder what the loss of Mike means for the securing of future long term hop contracts? As I understand it, Mike was the sole person who dealt with the hop providers and secured those contracts. I think he said that their Citra contract was renewed through 2017. I am guessing they (TG) will get the opportunity to renew those contracts when they are up or will they have to be re-negotiated, since the dealings were with Mike directly?
     
  34. Rob-P

    Rob-P Initiate (40) Feb 29, 2012 Iowa

    Not sure if this is what you meant, but the contract is most likely between TG and hop provider so it should be fine through 2017. I can't imagine some sort of condition stating that if the head brewer leaves then the contract can be cancelled.

    Not sure who has the leverage in this deal, but if their provider's hops are a hot enough commodity then I guess it could be the hop provider choosing its customers. In that case, they will base their renewal on TG's success over the next 24 months. I can't imagine they will have any lack of success.

    Maybe by then Mike has his own brewery and they award the contract to him though.

    Who knows! I'm not a lawyer and I'm not in the industry...purely guessing.
     
    BottleCaps80 likes this.
  35. JMN44

    JMN44 Aspirant (219) Sep 19, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Hop contracts are between growers or wholesalers and the brewery. TG should be fine getting hops under their contract. The only issue would be if there is a bad hop growing season and the growers/wholesalers can't meet their hop contracts due to lower supply so the breweries are shorted hops.
     
  36. HawkeyeNation

    HawkeyeNation Initiate (134) Jun 18, 2013 Iowa
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    The majority of the people who drink TG's beer don't know and don't care who Mike Saboe is (unless you're a local of course). TG will be fine, and I'm really looking forward to his new endeavors. Here's hoping he pumps out some more barrel aged offerings.
     
  37. SaulTBauls

    SaulTBauls Aspirant (222) Mar 22, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    So what you're saying is since not many beer drinkers personally knows the brewer, the beer is going to be fine? There are certain things that brewers do, and like to keep to themselves, that set them apart from other brewers. I've got to believe Mike has things he does that another brewer who just walks into TG wont be able to replicate. Can anyone tell me who else at TG helps brew the beer? Who else has actually brewed beer on a large scale that currently works for the company? I personally don't think TG is going to be as "fine" as many people think. Could be a long summer of Dorothy deliveries until someone figures out how to replicate Mike's methods.
     
  38. HawkeyeNation

    HawkeyeNation Initiate (134) Jun 18, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    What I meant is, people are still going to buy their beer. Their core lineup still sells well and people still want it. They're still going to have the recipes of everything they've done up to Mike's departure. Yes, Mike is an amazing head brewer and will be a big loss, but I'm sure TG will have a large list of potential head brewers that will know what the hell they're doing to fill his position. Not to mention he isn't the only brewer at TG. Totally different story if you're talking about a small brewery that loses their head brewer that has no reputation, especially on a national scale. But, just saying, they'll be fine.
     
  39. CavemanBrau

    CavemanBrau Initiate (181) Apr 5, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    It's easy
    PSue = metric shit ton of Citra. 2-Row, carapils. West Coast ale yeast. Decorah water
    Sosus = metric shit ton of Mosaic. 2-Row, carapils. West Coast ale yeast. Decorah water.
    KingSue = 3 x metric shit ton of Citra. Double malt bill of PSue. WCAY. DW.
    Twisted Galaxy = metric shit ton of Galaxy. 2-Row, carapils. WCAY. DW.
    Zee = MST nelson sauvin. 2R. WCAY. DW.
    Malt bill may vary a little :wink:
    /sarcasm
     
  40. SaulTBauls

    SaulTBauls Aspirant (222) Mar 22, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Who else is there?
     
    Erdinger2003 likes this.
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