Lyons, Colo., Feb. 9 2021 — Spirit Hound Distillers has named Brad Stevenson, Chief Operations Officer of Founders Brewing Co., as their new CEO. Stevenson spent a decade growing the Grand Rapids, Michigan brewery into one of the largest in the country, with distribution in all 50 U.S. states and 29+ international markets. He brings vast experience scaling up to support growth, a critical need for the steadily growing and award-winning Lyons, CO distillery.
“I will always be thankful for the experiences and relationships I shared with the team at Founders. I’m drawn to Spirit Hound as I see the same commitment to quality, passion and authenticity at Spirit Hound. The opportunity for growth is exciting. Every spirit is distilled on two hand, built-from-scratch stills, designed and constructed by Co-Founder and Head Distiller Craig Engelhorn. I look forward to helping Spirit Hound scale up while ensuring their hand crafted approach, and dedication to quality remain.” says Stevenson.
Stevenson is no stranger to Colorado, he has been traveling here all his life. He worked extensively with the Avery Brewing Co. team in Boulder, Colorado as they are a sister company to Founders Brewing Co., both being part of the Mahou San Miguel group. His family continues to spend their personal time here in the Rocky Mountains and his son attends the University of Colorado.
“Colorado has been part of my life since I was a child. My parents started taking me out here to ski when I was quite small and my wife and I have continued that tradition with our four kids. We love the natural beauty and water of Michigan. Colorado to us is a fascinating and completely different experience. From the mountains to the scenery. I think the common element between the two are the fantastic opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.” says the new Spirit Hound CEO.
Stevenson takes the reins at Spirit Hound as they are coming off a record setting year for the nine-year-old distillery. In 2021, Spirit Hound’s continued investment in growth doubled whisky production, grew Colorado distribution 23% and began plans for a new building to triple production of its award-winning spirits and expand tasting room capacity.
“Since the beginning, we have done everything ourselves. From thousands of hammer strikes shaping the still, to brewing, fermenting, distilling, aging, and bottling, we carefully crafted every step,” said Spirit Hound Co-Founder and Head Distiller Craig Engelhorn. “We’re excited to welcome Brad’s passion and experience to help guide the next chapter of our growth.”
Spirit Hound’s Straight Malt Whisky received a 94 rating by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible this year, putting it in the Liquid Gold category. The well decorated distillery continued to add to its already impressive awards resume, capturing Gold in the 2021 Denver International Spirits Competition for its Bourbon (Barrel 3) and Gin (Batch 405).
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About Spirit Hound Distillers
Resonating from the gritty small town of Lyons, situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, comes Spirit Hound Distillers and unique crafted spirits years in the making. Since its launch in 2012, Spirit Hound’s reputation originates in a hands-on approach to the craft of distilling. Co-founders Craig Engelhorn, Matt Rooney and Neil Sullivan and the Spirit Hound team take traditional and classic recipes that come to life with local, hand-selected ingredients distilled through hand-built-from-scratch stills and distillation equipment in search of one-of-a-kind processes and flavors.
Spirit Hound offerings include: an acclaimed Straight Malt Whisky (94 rating, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible / Double Gold, 2018 “The Fifty Best” American Malt Whiskies), Honey Whisky (Double Gold, 2019 Breckenridge Spirits Festival), Spirit Hound Gin (Silver, 88 rating, 2015 Beverage Testing Institute and Gold, 2021 Denver International Spirits Competition), Mountain Bum Rum, Single Barrel Bourbon (Gold, 2021 Denver International Spirits Competition), Sambuca (Best Herbal Liqueur, American Distilling Institute) and an un-aged version of its whisky called White Dog Moonshine.
Currently, Spirit Hound products are available in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. The tasting room is located on the St. Vrain River at 4196 Ute Highway/US Route 36 Lyons, CO 80540 and is a popular destination for lovers of distilled spirits and handcrafted cocktails.
For additional details please visit www.spirithounds.com or call (303) 823-5696.
About Brad Stevenson
After an 18 year career spent starting and growing high tech contract furniture manufacturing
companies, Brad joined the Board of Directors of Founders Brewing Co. in 2008 and joined the firm full
time to manage all operations in 2011. Brad’s first 8 years with Founders, annual growth averaged more
than 65% per year, growing to become one of the top 6 Craft Brewers by volume. As COO Brad oversees
all operation from Procurement through Production and Fulfillment as well as all operations in Founder’s two retail Tap Room locations in Grand rapids and Detroit. Brad focuses extensively on team building and continuous improvement. An alum of Michigan State University, Brad lives in his hometown of Grand Rapids MI with his wife Michelle, their 4 kids and 3 dogs.
"Chad Melis" "Turn It Up Media"