If your a friend of Laurelwood Brewmaster Vasilios Gletsos on facebook than you may have already learned he was moving back to his home state of Vermont to brew at the much respected Hill Farmstead Brewing. Vasilios Gletsos has been a fixture of the Portland brewing scene for some time and we have been honored to know him since his time as Brewmaster at BJ’s in Jantzen Beach to his amazing recent run as Brewmaster of Laurelwood Brewing.
From all accounts things in Portland were going well for Vasili, Laurelwood Brewing has continued to expand and he has won countless fanboys over with his creations like Megafauna IPA and more experimental and fun beers but then…“I took a vacation back to Vermont and saw Shaun [Hill Farmstead Owner/Brewmaster]. He asked me if I’d be interested and we went from there. His brewery is about 20 minutes from both my in-laws and the puppet theater I worked at.”
Losing Vasili to a brewery across the country, one sometimes called the best brewery in America, is bittersweet as he goes to a great new gig as Hill Farmstead Brewery Production Manager but we also lose one of Oregon’s best and brightest brewers. I could not help but wonder what was pulling him away from a job at the growing Portland brewpub empire of Laurelwood.
“The offer to join the team at Hill Farmstead, besides a great opportunity to work at a well recognized artisanal brewery, comes with some other wonderful benefits pertaining to my own biography. The location of the brewery is Greensboro, the town right next to where my wife grew up, Craftsbury, and near where I spent four years living in Glover, while a company member of the Bread and Puppet Theater. For me, this is an opportunity to move closer to family, rural living and community we left there ten years ago. If this wasn’t such a holistically a fantastic opportunity, I wouldn’t have taken it. It isn’t easy to leave my friends and community in Portland. I have really grown up in the industry here and have some deep connections to the brewers and breweries that make Portland Beervana. I also have a lot of faith in the team at Laurelwood to continue to make exceptional beers” wrote Vasili making time for us after a trip to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
Many brewers and beer geeks would kill for a brewing job at Hill Farmstead, one of the all time most sought after breweries and most respected among industry professionals. Vasili’s credentials are great but I was still wondering how he hooked up with Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead. Both Shaun and Vasili entered the industry about 9 years ago.
“I met Shaun 9 years ago, back in Greensboro, just as he had entered the industry. He’d loaned me some packaging equipment for serving the large amounts of beer I was brewing while visiting back in Vermont, gearing up for my marriage, and we have kept in touch over the years. He is a great brewer whose skill and vision I admire very much. It has been fantastic to watch his ideas develop into one of the best breweries I have had the pleasure of trying. I look forward to lending my skill and hard work to his efforts.”
We will all miss Vasili, his beers and his presence in Oregon but wish him well at his new endeavours.
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