There is a new Brew Master in town, and his name is Gabe Hopkins, giving the Point Brewery a second beer champion under its roof.
Hopkins, an Oklahoma native who is a veteran of regional breweries in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, will be working alongside long-time Point Brew Master John Zappa.
The addition of a second master will expand the production capacity in efforts to keep up with the company’s double-digit sales growth.
"We expanded our production capacity to keep up with increasing demand, and it was only a matter of time before we needed to bring in some brewing reinforcements," said Joe Martino, Stevens Point Brewery Operating Partner.
Hopkins earned a degree in biochemistry from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and during his career he has brewed everything from American "macro-beer" lagers to high-end craft ales and lagers.
"My brewing philosophy is very simple and straight forward: I want to brew the best, most drinkable craft beers possible and continue to grow Point’s brands," Hopkins said.
His talents have been put to good use as the brewery has been increasing its sales. Point Oktoberfest, one of the brewer’s chief growths, has proven so popular that the brewery has had to increase its production by 70 percent this year alone.
To meet the ever-increasing demand for Oktoberfest and its other year-round or seasonal beers, the brewery has expanded its production capacity 25 percent to 100,000 barrels along with more warehouse space and new aging and fermenting tanks.
"Brewing high quality, drinkable craft beers is what Point Brewery does best and I am excited to become a part of the team," Hopkins said. "Satisfying Point’s loyal customers and recruiting new craft beer drinkers from the world of ‘macro-beers’ is what it is all about."
Workers at Point Brewery are excited to have Hopkins on their team.
"We are thrilled to add someone like Gabe, with his experience, talents and creativity to our brewing team," Martino said. "Point Beer lovers everywhere will reap the benefits."
The Brewery, founded in 1857, aimed their original target market to the logging company’s workers but has grown over the years into a nationally acclaimed brewery.
Their hand-crafted beers, including their flagship Point Special Lager, won the gold medal in the American Premium Lager category in the 2003 Great American Beer Festival.
For more information on the brewery or its products, visit their website at www.pointbeer.com or call 1-800-369-4911. Tours of the brewery are also available and times can be found on their website.