In the recent invitation to the “Say Goodbye to Terry Hawbaker” party, it was announced that Nick Micio has been named the brewer to succeed Terry at Bullfrog Brewery. He comes to us from Fegley’s Brew Works (Allentown), and from what I’ve scoured off the Internet, he has a pretty nice resume.
Micio is a graduate of the American Brewer’s Guild and apprenticed at Russian River Brewing Co. Prior to his stint with Brew Works (September 2009-present), he brewed at Moat Mountain Brewing Co. in North Conway, NH. Some of the beers in his portfolio include Moat Rauch n’ Rye (a German-inspired lager) and Lefty’s India Brown Ale (a deep brown beer with citrus hops and dark malts.)
He’s got big shoes to fill, following in the steps of some terrific Bullfrog brewers:
- Charlie Schnabel (1996-2001, owner of Otto’s Pub & Brewery in State College, PA)
- Carl Melissas (2001-2004, who crafts such fabulous beers that we followed him to Green Man, and now Wedge Brewing Co. in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC)
- Terry Hawbaker (2004-2011, moving on to brew for a new place at 1113 Walnut St. in Philadelphia, PA – first known as “The Grainery” but
just last week announced as “Philadelphia Grain Exchange”now known as “The Farmers’ Cabinet” – where he will brew small batch artisan sour, wild fermented, barrel aged and saison style beers for 4 of the planned 24 taps.)
When Bob Koch, his late wife Harriet (1943-2010) and their son, Steve, opened the doors of Bullfrog Brewery in 1996, there was nothing else like it in the area. An explosion of brewpubs and breweries has cropped up in the area over these 15 years, and Bullfrog has kept a stronghold on the attentions of the eager public and beer enthusiasts across the country.
Despite the fact that I live 90 miles away, Bullfrog played a part in bringing my husband and I together, and served as a place where my family congregated to celebrate both life, and the ending of life, many times over. People who know how much we love Terry and his extraordinary wife, Sam, have asked if this will be the end of our allegiance to Bullfrog. Alas, I view it as an opportunity for a the Koch’s to embrace change, for a new brewer to shine, and for our dear friends thrive in their innovative Philly venture.
I can’t wait to hug Terry (and give kisses to Sam), shake hands with Nick (and possibly meet his wife Dorienne?), and celebrate with all of the Kochs on Sunday night!