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Knee Deep’s founder and brewmaster resigns to start ‘new project’

Jeremy Warren, the former brewmaster at Knee Deep Brewery Co., looks inside one of the brewery’s tanks in August 2013.
Jeremy Warren, the former brewmaster at Knee Deep Brewery Co., looks inside one of the brewery’s tanks in August 2013. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Jeremy Warren, the award-winning brewmaster and founder of Knee Deep Brewing, has announced his resignation from the rapidly expanding company effective Aug. 3

Warren, who could not immediately be reached for comment, is expected to start his own brewery. He burst onto the scene in 2012 when his Hoptologist double IPA bested Pliny the Elder at the prestigious Bistro Double IPA contest.

The gold medal from that competition, along with a devoted fan base of the brewery’s hop-forward beers, helped catapult Knee Deep from a 900-square-foot shop in Lincoln to an 18,000-square-foot facility in Auburn with sales expanding into 16 states.

Warren’s announcement leaves Jerry Moore as the sole owner and chief executive officer at Knee Deep. Moore said Tuesday that he was not surprised by Warren’s decision and he insisted that Knee Deep will not skip a beat.

“This is a fairly common thing that happens with companies that grow and evolve,” Moore said.

And those coveted beers such as Hoptologist, Citra, Simtra and, more recently, Lupulin River and Breaking Bud? Those recipes remain with Knee Deep.

“Knee Deep owns those recipes and I own Knee Deep,” said Moore, noting that Warren has been a minority owner. “Knee Deep will continue to make all of the beers we’ve been making. We have four full-time brewers who have been making these beers.”

I will have more on this development in my upcoming Beer Run column.

For now, Warren posted the following note today on Facebook:

“The past 5 years has been a great ride with Knee Deep Brewing. From my half bbl home brew in my garage to 11,000 bbl in an 18,000 sqft warehouse! I want to thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement. Your constant kind words and criticism keeps us Brewers on our toes in making the best beer possible. With that said, it is with a bittersweet feeling that I'm announcing my separation from Knee Deep Brewing effective August 3rd.

“Don't freak out! I will be announcing my new project soon! I will not disappoint!!”

Blair Anthony Robertson: 916-321-1099, @Blarob

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