St. Paul, MN – August 30, 2023 – Mark Stutrud, the CEO of Summit Brewing Company, Minnesota’s largest brewery, has announced his decision to retire, effective March 2024. At that time, he will step into the role of Chairman of the Board and remain involved with the brewery as a brand ambassador in the marketplace. “With the proliferation of breweries across the country today, it’s easy to forget how difficult it was to open a brewery in the United States nearly 40 years ago,” said Summit Board Chair Bill Garber. “Mark was a true visionary with a commitment to producing a quality product that has never wavered.
Under Mark’s leadership, Summit Brewing Company has grown into the 26th largest brewery in the country and has won awards too numerous to mention. He has left us with big shoes to fill, but he has also built an incredible leadership team and we were delighted to offer our Chief Strategy Officer, Brandon Bland this new role.” Bland joined the brewery in 2017 and has proven to be a leader both on the street working with customers and in the brewery. Brandon joined Summit as a sales team leader and was named Chief Strategy Officer for Summit in 2021. Prior to joining Summit, he held sales and leadership positions with brands ranging from Mike’s Hard Lemonade to Red Bull.
During Stutrud’s tenure, the brewery has grown dramatically. Launched in a used car sales showroom on University Ave., in St. Paul, the brewery now employs 60 employees and occupies over 100,000 sq feet of space in a St. Paul office park, which includes a tap room that welcomes the community. Last year, Summit produced approximately 94,000 barrels of beer. That growth is particularly impressive because when he opened the brewery, he did it without the encouragement of the Brewers Association of America. When Stutrud requested an application, he received this response from the association: “Thank you for your letter. Please note that we are not encouraging you to do so (open a brewery), because it is a long and hard road you are planning to go down.” Fortunately for legions of Summit fans, Stutrud ignored that advice. “Building this brewery has been quite a ride,” reflected Stutrud. “Because we’re independently owned and operated, we’ve been able to make craft beer our way. For us, that has always meant never settling for just good enough.”