Friday, June 22, 2012

Baltimore's Heavy Seas hires new Director of Brewing Operations

The prodigal son returns!

Heavy Seas Brewing, of Baltimore, Maryland, has hired Joseph Marunowski to be its new Director of Brewing Operations.

Heavy Seas hires new Brewing Operations Director

Marunowski began his brewing career in 1991, in Maryland, at the Wild Goose Brewing Company, then located on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Since then, Mr. Marunowski has opened a brewpub chain in Ohio (Wallaby's), designed and managed a production brewery (Local Brewing Company), in Westlake, Ohio, and has worked at Boston Beer Company, in Cincinnati, Ohio (Sam Adams), among other breweries. His return to Maryland marks him the senior brewer in the state.

Marunowksi holds an MBA from The Cleveland State University and two Master's Degrees, and received technical training in Malting Science from Pauls' Malts in the UK.

At Sam Adams as assistant brewing manager from 2007 to 2009, Marunowski programmed new tracking tools for brewhouse efficiency, reduced packaging line downtime, conducted research and development projects for new beers, and operated the patented Continuous Ion Separation technology in the manufacture of clear malt base. Outside of the brewing industry, Marunowski has worked as a production manager at several food and beverage manufacturers, including Great Lakes Cheese, Pierre's Ice Cream, and Nestle.

In 1994, I was the Brewery Manager for the Oxford Brewing Company in Linthicum, Maryland. There, I had the good fortune to hire Mr. Marunowski as a brewer and cellarman. Oxford —Maryland's first craft production brewery— was well-regarded for its open-fermented English-style ales, its very non-English-like Oxford Raspberry Wheat, and for its cask ales, the first ever in the tri-state area.

In a small-world irony, Marunowski, in his new position at Heavy Seas, will be based less than a mile from the former Oxford plant. Not only is Heavy Seas currently the largest cask ale producer in the United States, it owns the Oxford brand (currently inactive).

Mash man

Heavy Seas was founded in 1995, by Maryland craft beer pioneer Hugh Sisson, as Clipper City Brewing Company. His intent was for the brewery to become Baltimore's hometown brewery. Seventeen years later, Heavy Seas' beers are indeed served throughout the city, but, as well, in all of Maryland and seventeen other states and the District of Columbia. The brewery's 'India Pale Ale' —Loose Cannon Hop3 American IPA— has achieved a 98 point score (out of 100) for more than two years running at Sisson's own brewing career began in 1989, when he oversaw his family pub's conversion to Maryland's first-ever brewpub, Sisson's.

Sisson said of Marunowski:
Heavy Seas is experiencing rapid growth. We hired Joe because we wanted someone who could bring the business and technical acumen we need to sustain and accelerate that success.

  • Brewing chronology at Heavy Seas: Tom Flores 1995-1998 (now at Monocacy/Brewers Alley); Scott Dietrich, 1998-2005 (now at Victory Brewing); Ernesto Igot, 2005-2012 (now at Peabody Heights Brewery); Marunowski.
  • Heavy Seas' officially announces Marunowski's hire.
  • Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virgina— I sell the beers of Heavy Seas Brewing.
  • UPDATE: As of 2014, Mr. Marunowski has moved on to other ventures.

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