19 October 2016
After more than 10 years setting the pace of the craft beer revolution in Minnesota, Surly Brewing Co., Head of Brewing Operations Todd Haug has resigned his position at the Twin Cities Brewery.
“I’d like to thank our family, friends and fans – Surly Nation – for always believing in our vision. It never gets old to hear people tell you how much they enjoy your beer. Omar and I set out with the modest goal to build a brewery so we could create a different kind of craft beer – the kind we wanted to drink – and I think we achieved that.”
Todd earned a reputation for refusing to brew-to-style. He defined the undefinable and brewed beer his way, which was rarely the easy way, earning the brewery gold medals in the process.
Omar Ansari, Founder and President of Surly Brewing says, “Todd has been an incredibly influential part of Surly since the beginning and was instrumental in building the brewery from the ground-up, often with his own two hands; brewing, welding, making connections and forming collaborations to establish the irreverent brand it is today. His talent is undeniable, and he will always be a huge part of who we are. He will be missed.”
Todd is stepping down from his role to pursue other opportunities and challenges in the industry that he has worked in for 25 years. The future is bright, and adventure awaits.
“I leave my brewhouses in the extremely capable hands of our co-lead brewers & the innovative brewing team we’ve mentored together. I eagerly look forward to seeing what the next generation of Surly brewers will create,” says Haug. “This is an opportunity for them to take the torch and continue the legacy we’ve been building for 10 years now.”
It’s been a hell of a ride with Todd in the front seat, keeping the music loud and the speed fast. He’s the wizard, the bitter brewer and the creative genius.
Surly Nation thanks you.
31 Oct 2016 Update from Mspmag:
Todd Haug—the brewer most associated with the maximalist, super-hopped, still sweetly malty IPA that he pioneered with Surly Furious, effectively turning it into Minneapolis's signature beer style—is leaving for Chicagoland's Three Floyds Brewing Co.. Three Floyds is the very uncompromising brewery with the slogan "Not Normal" that was ranked this year as the fourth best brewery on the planet. Is this their bid to sneak up to number one? Could be. …T
dd told me he will not be replacing head brewer Chris Boggess, but joining him to help with expansion plans for the brewery and their forthcoming distillery; he will also eventually brew some of his own signature beers. Linda Haug is joining Three Floyds too, she will be consulting on their brewpub. "I first met Nick [Floyd], the owner, when I was in Chicago as a brewer for Rock Bottom," Todd told me, "and it sounds corny, but this weekend felt like I was coming home, it's a really good fit, and there's a lot of mutual respect. It's a safe-haven for my music career too, you'll see me play more. That's huge. We'll probably continue the small record company Linda and I started last year to get my band's records out. All the things we like to do, this is the right place for us to be, to be supported."
Does that mean that Todd wasn't supported at Surly, which he resigned from hours after this year's cult-beer Darkness release? Yeah, it does. Like everyone in the Twin Cities, I was surprised earlier this year when Linda Haug was let go from Surly, especially since she had sold her successful Cafe Twenty-Eight to join them and help build the food side of the beer hall. But I was more shocked to learn that Todd had no ownership stake, employee-stock, or any other financial incentive to remain at Surly, a brewery that ballooned from a tiny startup to a $35 million dollar destination brewery in the decade that Todd was inventing, brewing, naming, branding, and marketing beers for them. "I'm just a lowly brewmaster," noted Todd. "They marketed the shit out of me. When I saw what they did to Linda, after she never had a bad performance review or one word of warning, I had to ask, could they do the same thing to me? When Nick heard what happened to Linda, he called her immediately and said, 'If you guys could work for us, that would be an all-star team of brewers and hospitality people. We could join forces, and have fun doing it.'" Months after that phone call, the Haugs are moving. "When I gave my notice I suddenly got job offers from all over the planet," says Todd. "But I knew what I wanted to do—to go to Three Floyds."