Food & Drink

Founding head brewer exits Moonraker for ‘new project’ after four years

Head brewer Zack Frasher pours a glass of Yojo IPA at the Moonraker Brewing Company in Auburn.
Head brewer Zack Frasher pours a glass of Yojo IPA at the Moonraker Brewing Company in Auburn.

Moonraker Brewing Co. head brewer Zack Frasher has left the Auburn craft brewery after four years, he announced in an Instagram post Saturday.

Frasher has been Moonraker’s head brewer since before its doors opened in 2016. He previously brewed at Knee Deep and Mraz after homebrewing for years, according to a 2017 Submerge Magazine profile.

“It is time for the next chapter in my brewing career and I am announcing my separation from @moonrakerbrewing,” Frasher wrote in the Instagram post. “Thank you everyone for all of your continued support and helping me grow as a brewer and individual. I will be announcing my new project launching soon!”

Moonraker’s launch was as critically lauded as any Sacramento-area craft brewery’s since the wave began forming in the early 2010s. RateBeer named it the No. 9 new brewery out of 6,500 worldwide (and No. 1 in California), and called Frasher’s Yojo IPA one of the year’s best new beers. The Sacramento Bee also named Yojo, the first locally-produced first hazy IPA, the region’s Beer of the Year.

Before Moonraker had even celebrated its first birthday, another of Frasher’s beers, dubbed “Extremis,” toppled Russian River’s stalwart Pliny the Younger to win 2017 Bistro Double IPA Festival’s triple IPA category. Moonraker added a second brewing facility in 2018, allowing the brand to triple its production.

Moonraker co-owner Dan Powell has known about Frasher’s planned exodus for some time, he said. Other brewers have been producing new beers which will hit the taps in the next three to four weeks, including a funky and wild barrel-aged sour program.

“Zack’s a talented brewer and we wish him luck with his new endeavor,” Powell said. “We anticipate zero interruption on our brewing side because we had planned for this for a while and we have a lot of depth in our talent pool.”

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