Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mike Gerhart Leaves Dogfish Head

Heard from a reader (okay, Dan Bengel, who I'm not sure can actually read...) that Mike Gerhart had left his position as Distillery Manager at Dogfish Head. I checked the Dogfish website and found an ad for the position, so I called the brewery to confirm. Sure enough, Sam Calagione's wife Mariah confirmed that Mike had parted on good terms, citing a desire to work closer to family in upstate NY and Vermont. Best of luck to him; microdistilling is popping in both states, and Mike is certainly a skilled distiller.

27 comments:

Steven said...

This is a shame. I was vacationing in the area for a week in August and stopped at the brewpub 3 times as well as took the tour in Milton. Although Mike seemed like a bit of cartoon at times, he had some great stories about "research" trips with Sam, dangerous importing tactics at Newark Airport for special brews, and how Tekela (DFH Tequila) was taken off the market.

Dan Bengel, Northside Event Guy said...

Let us not forget that he was the one who made the first batches of Red and White, Black and Blue, Golden Era, Midas Touch, etc, etc. Sam would say let's make this and Mike would pull magic out of his beanie cap.

bill mc said...

Lew, I'm heading that way in a few weeks, which of the Dogfish Heads would be the best bet? Same with DuClaw..

Thanks.

Lew Bryson said...

Which way, Bill? Lower Delaware? The Rehoboth Beach one is the original, with the full Dogfish Head experience, and the wood-grilled food (especially the fish) is delicious. But the tour at the Milton facility is pretty great. Luckily, they're not far apart and easy to pick off in succession.

DuClaw? Can't go wrong, really. I'm pretty sure Bel Air's back open -- they had a trial run a couple weeks ago -- so you can hit any of them and get pretty much the same experience. That said, the Baltimore location puts you right in the Fells Point bar concentration, an easy walk from Duda's and Max's (the two beer highpoints).

bill mc said...

Actually, it didn't matter, i wanted to be sure to hit the high points in this area since it will be awhile before i get this way again. Wood grilled food sounds yummy, so it looks like Rehoboth Beach and Duclaw on the flip side.

Any thoughts on the Richmond, VA area?

I appreciate the recommendations, as always.

Lew Bryson said...

Bill,

Richmond...you've got a couple ways to go. There's the two Capital Ale Houses, which are excellent: big selection, sharply decorated, very nice, and impossible to fault. You've got two very nice brewpubs, Legend and Richbrau, both of which have their own charms (Legend has a great deck-side river view, Richbrau is right on the cobblestoned historic area) and quite good beer; Richbrau might have an edge because they're closer to other stuff. And there's also the Commercial Tap Room, a bit rough around the edges, but great beer, really interesting staff and clientele, and good food prepared in a busy open kitchen. Good town for beer these days.

Jason said...

Damn, I hate to see somebody so talented leave Dogfish Head, I love their brews so much.

At least he's heading to Upstate NY, which is my neck of the woods!

Anonymous said...

I understand that Mike’s creative approach to his great beers was infringed. I believe Mike was handed recipes and was told to make them. They were not his beers and they didn’t taste like his beers! The beers in the Rehoboth brewpub have been disappointing to say the least. Yea they have their usual beers, but I always look forward to drinking Mike’s concoctions! Now I have really nothing to look forward to when going to DFH. I hardly even stop there because the specialty beers are no longer special (or even tasteful).

Lew Bryson said...

Anony,
Do you have any kind of backup for that? That's a harsh statement to lay on DFH without any kind of support other than "I understand".

Anonymous said...

Yes I do. It came right from the brewpub (where I’m pretty much a regular).
I don’t want to incriminate anyone.... so I’m not mention any names.
I hope Mike and Sam cross paths again and start brewing some good (specialty) beers back in Rehoboth!

Andy said...

I was passing through the area last spring and met Mike. He was the best. I was checking out the posters and such upstairs and he just chatted me up and invited me to join himself and the rate my beer guys for a second attempt at their tasting.

Holy Cow, I had aged beers and some good whiskey and bourbon that Mike had picked up at a distillery conference in Kentucky. Mike is a very nice guy who was kind enough to invite a one time visitor and total stranger to enjoy some good beer and conversation.

Anyone know what outfit he signed up with in NY? I live in Jersey.

Anonymous said...

I was at the brewpub this weekend. They said they heard from Mike. They said he’s in San Diego, CA. helping a friend who is opening up a restaurant (and I would guess a brewpub!).

Anonymous said...

What was said before is true. Mike is a good friend and left Dogfish because he desired to be closer to his family in New England/New York. He also stated he was a little bummed about his situation at DFH and wanted more creativity.

He also mentioned after he spent a month or so out West he would be retuning to the Vermont area to start brewing with his father! So, his beer making skills will return to the East. When and how we taste them is yet to be finalized.

K

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where Mike is now. I contacted Dogfish the other day and nobody seems to know where he ended up.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with Mike the other day and he is in Vermont and quite happy.

Anonymous said...

Do you know where he is brewing?

Anonymous said...

I hope he's in Vermont (that's where I am!) Went to school with Mike and drank some of his first homebrews! Anyone know who or where in VT he's brewing?

Anonymous said...

So who’s running the still in absence of Mike? Looked @ the DFH site under people, & no distillers are are listed there. Mike must have been real busy toward the end stocking up reserves, or Distiller X has silently taken up his duties.

Anonymous said...

It appears that Mike’s assistant Allison (sp) has taken over Mike’s duties in the distillery. As for the brewing, I believe the Milton brewers are rotating shifts at the pub to keep the beer selection more interesting. Mike left some pretty big shoes to fill, be it brewing or distilling (or a little of each) I hope mike is having fun & success with his chosen endeavor.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Mike is working (brewing) for Otter Creek Brewing in VT. Can't confirm it but it came from a good source. Has anyone heard the same? Could be a good addition to Otter Creek!

Leo said...

I've known Mike since 1st grade, I actually did take part in the drinking of the first Gerhart Beer in a bucket from the bottom of his closet. I can attest that his DFH stuff was 100X better but it's great to see he is on top of his game. If anybody has contact info for him please contact me at LEOEISELE@YAHOO.com. Thanks and happy drinking

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are correct. Mike is brewing at Ottercreek. He returned to Vermont to start a new brewery with his family and ran into some issues getting it up and running. After getting in touch with his snow shredding past, he hopped on board with Otter and hopefully will be bringing some new ideas to the table for them.

I have his contact info. Email me and I'll put you in contact with him. kevin [at] suburbanjedi.com

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Andy Tveekrem has left the brewery.

Lew Bryson said...

That's correct, Andy has left the brewery. He's announced that he is looking at a new project. He did a lot at Dogfish Head.

Beer Mark said...

He is at Wolaver's Organic Ales now which is part of Otter Creek (mentioned above).

Anonymous said...

According to the article on Here For the Beer he has been working at Otter Creek since January - article.

Anonymous said...

We saw Mike and his mom and dad in Vermont labor day weekend. He is doing well, but is very very busy expanding the brewery at Otter Creek.