Saugatuck Brewing Taps Industry Veteran Miller to Lead Brewery; Mixan as new CFO

Saugatuck Brewing Company (SBC) is pleased to announce John Miller as its new President and CEO and Brad Mixan as new CFO.

As President and CEO, Miller is taking the helm of a company that is focused on growth. SBC acquired Kalamazoo-based Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewing in 2019 and followed up with the purchase of Grand Rapids-based Creston Brewery in 2021. After the difficult decision to close its Westnedge location in 2022, the brewery fulfilled its plan this year by reopening that brewpub in the former home of Olde Peninsula Brewpub and Restaurant in downtown Kalamazoo. SBC also recently launched two new product lines with the Lake Street Lager and Rainbow Rodeo IPA.

Miller said, “SBC’s focus has always been on the people that work here, the beer we make and the brew pubs we operate,” and he is excited about the opportunity to put his stamp on the vibrant beer market that is West Michigan.

“Being in the beer business as long as I have, you learn quickly that there are a handful of markets in the country that are uniquely passionate about beer, and West Michigan is at the top of that list,” Miller said. “So, this is an amazing opportunity for me to be a part of this. At SBC we believe it is time to invest. I know our best days are ahead, and we are doing what we need to make things happen.”

Miller has amassed 33 years of experience in the beverage industry since his college days. He most recently served as general manager/operating partner at Double Eagle Distributing, where he was recruited to oversee the purchase, integration and operations of an existing beer and non-alcoholic South Florida beverage distributor.

He also spent more than 22 years with Anheuser-Busch, holding various sales and marketing leadership positions mostly in the Midwest and south east regions of the country. All the while, he interacted directly with many of the best wholesalers in the industry.  A “lifelong beer guy,” Miller has seen every facet of the beverage industry, from supplier to wholesaler to retail, and believes he can relate to people in the industry, because he has done their jobs before.

In his free time, he loves to fly fish, which coincides nicely with SBC’s recent release of Rainbow Rodeo IPA, snow ski, and is a “die-hard New York Yankees fan.” As a father of two sons, John, along with his wife Beth, enjoy traveling, spending time on the tennis courts and playing an occasional round of golf.

Miller succeeds Ric Gillette, who has been president and CEO of SBC since 2009.

SBC also welcomed aboard Brad Mixan as the brewery’s new CFO. A CPA with more than 20 years of experience, Mixan most recently served as corporate controller for Nexben Inc., where he oversaw more than $17 million in monthly client funding cash flows and assisted the firm’s financial planning and analysis team with $20 million annual budget management and reporting.

“We’re really looking to leverage technology to position the brewery for future growth and success,” said Mixan. “I think it’s going to help us make better decisions. It’s going to allow us to more effectively manage and operate our brewpubs and brewhouse.”

Mixan has lived in Saugatuck for almost seven years with his wife and their two daughters and has been a fan of SBC for many years.

“I’ve been homebrewing for more than 30 years now and in the financial world for almost 25 years, so being able to combine those two passions has been so rewarding,” he said.

Outside of work, he enjoys homebrewing, exploring nature with the family, cheering on the Spartans and enjoying his new favorite, Rainbow Rodeo IPA, at SBC’s Douglas brewpub.

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