After guiding Astoria Brewing Co. through a promising revival, general manager Brad Kenoyer is moving on.
He’s landed a top management post for a private company that provides restaurant and visitor services at Yellowstone National Park.
Kenoyer worked for Fort George and Reach Break as a server before jumping to Astoria Brewing a couple of years ago. There, he started out managing the 12th Street taproom before being promoted to general manager, overseeing brewing operations.
He led efforts to rebrand the 26-year-old brewery and update recipes, retiring some beers (Bitter Bitch IPA was one) and introducing an array of new brews designed to appeal to modern tastes.
On Kenoyer’s watch, canning was expanded and a universal label was created, featuring a forest backdrop. His biggest achievement may have been hiring talented brewer Andrew Brown away from Buoy. Brown quickly refreshed the lineup and began collaborating with other breweries on special-release gems.
“I feel like we’ve come a long way, for sure,” Kenoyer said at his May 5 farewell party in the taproom. “We really turned the corner as far as how we are perceived locally.”
One of his goals was to expand distribution beyond the company’s brewpub and bars. On that score, he achieved limited success. Astoria Brewing instead recently signed a deal with Fort George’s distribution company.
Kenoyer stood out in Astoria – an affable man of short stature and a long beard, who drove about in a car with a solar panel mounted on top. He was one of the biggest cheerleaders for the region’s craft beer boom, figuring correctly that the related rise in tourism would benefit all breweries.
With distribution chores off the table and the rebranding complete, Astoria Brewing will move forward without a general manager, at least for now. Brown’s role will expand; a taproom manager has been hired.
Kenoyer has no doubts that Brown will take the brewery to new heights.
“With Andrew, the sky’s the limit,” he said.