Embracing Challenges Helps Expand Growth Under New Leadership

With the challenges of coming up with new recipes, improving processes and quality, and being the “one with the answers,” it’s a new level of responsibility for Kevin Hammons at Evans Brewing.

The Irvine, California brewery announced Hammons as its new Director of Brewing on Sept. 22, 2016. Hammons spent the past seven-plus years at Placentia, California’s The Bruery as the brewery’s Brewing Manager.

“Being the one people look to to have all the answers is certainly a new challenge, but one that will help me learn and grow,” Hammons said.

Responsible for supervising and managing a team of up to 11 employees while at The Bruery, Hammons’ experience also includes operation of a barrel aging program and ensuring the quality of all beers produced while working with The Bruery owner and founder Patrick Rue.

“Patrick is very creative and nothing holds him back from doing what he wants with beer,” Hammons said. “Quality and flavor are most important in his beers, and he’ll do anything it takes to achieve both. I’ve always admired that and it’s something I’ll take with me.”

Now Hammons will oversee a publicly-traded brewery that is the oldest brewery in Orange County, California. Although he has never liked to micromanage people, Hammons admitted he will need to find a balance.

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“I’ve learned over the years that means you have to set clear expectations,” he said. “Standard operating procedures, set schedules, clear instructions, and accountability are all necessary. If everyone comes to work and knows exactly what needs to be done, how to do it, and have all the tools they need, then we will all be successful.

Hammons said that work ethic, cleanliness, and a good attitude is traits he likes to see in a brew team.

“Brewing is a lot of hard work and cleaning,” he pointed out. “Anyone that glamorizes it is usually in for a big surprise. Knowledge is important, but it can be taught. Passion and hard work are harder to teach.”

Chief Operations Officer for Evans Brewing, Evan Rapport, said that the brewery is undergoing a change right now as it looks to grow its seven-state distribution footprint while adding The Public House in Fullerton, California. It will be Evans’ first branded restaurant and tasting room.

“We are very happy to have Kevin join our team to lead brewing operations at this important time,” Rapport said in a release. “The Public House will not only feature our four core year-round beers — “Pollen Nation” Honey Blonde Ale, “The KrHOPen” India Pale Ale, “Oaklore” Brown Ale, and “ChocōLatté” Chocolate Porter, but it will also offer other popular year-round, seasonal, and special release beers produced in our brewery.”

A new production facility with a tasting room means an increase in quality and volume, Hammons said. It will also allow Evans to have some barrel-aging and sour opportunities.

“With the opening of a restaurant and tasting room, additional beers being added to the company’s offerings, and a planned new brewery on the horizon, Evans has a very bright future, and I’m excited for the opportunity to be an integral part of it,” Hammons said.

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