USA, OR: Falling Sky Brewing pubs pass under new ownership
Eugene, Oregons popular Falling Sky Brewing pubs are now under new ownership. After 8 successful years in operation, original co-founders Jason Carriere and Rob Cohen are now out of the business that spawned three distinct brewpub locations and numerous award-winning beers, newschoolbeer.com reported on November 25.
Jason Carriere founded Eugene homebrew supply shop Valley Vintner & Brewer in 2002 and was one of the recipients of the Glen Hay Falconer brewing scholarship award in 2011. Carriere and Valley Vintner employees Michael Zarkesh and Scott Sieber jumped at the chance to open Falling Sky Brewing in 2012 after the warehouse space behind the homebrew shop became available.
We did not have the starting capital to make this happen and secure business loans on our own, Carriere told the New School in 2018. I met Rob Cohen playing pickup basketball every week. He had some money from selling restaurants he had owned in Ithaca, NY. He was planning on opening a deli/market and had a location secured but it got sold out from under him. It seemed fortuitous, so I told him about the warehouse space and suggested maybe we could work together. He could do the food concept and we would do the beer.
Carriere, Zarkesh, Sieber and Cohen founded Falling Sky Brewing together and grew it to become a household name in Eugene, but Carriere and production manager at the time Scott Timms left the company in early 2018 and Cohen took full control.
Rob Cohen has been in the hospitality industry for 26 years, but he too is now moving on and handing ownership over to a regular at Falling Skys brewpubs. Steve Such is a 20+ year veteran of the Financial Services Industry, most recently as a Sales Manager for Country Financial. Like many others before him, Such is pivoting away from a corporate career and following his passion for craft beer by getting into the business as the new owner of Falling Sky. Mr. Such wants to refocus the Falling Sky trajectory from restaurants and pubs into their already acclaimed beer as the central draw of the company.
Falling Sky Brewings beers have consistently done well in competitions under the guidance of longtime head brewer Scott Sieber who is staying on with the company. In 2016 significant improvements were made to the production space that would allow for increased output and packaging, but with the opening of their third location in Falling Sky Pizzeria that expansion has never fully been realized. One of the primary goals of the new ownership is to add a canning line and distribution as they build more of a reputation for year-round offerings that fans can depend on.
I really want to be more consistent and intentional with what we offer, says Steve Such. Embracing flagship beers, or as I call them Fallback flavors for consumers, and really embrace more seasonal flavors and beer events too! All of this leads toward the consumer experience expected by many in the public.
Head chef James Schendel and GM Andrew Harrison will also stay on with the company. The flagship location Falling Sky Pub and the satellite restaurant/bar Falling Sky Deli will remain intact with the same level of food, beers and service as before. The Falling Sky Pizzeria location on the University of Oregon campus has been shuttered since the pandemic began, its ownership will remain with Cohen as he plans to relaunch it under a new concept in the future.
Falling Sky has been every- thing we wanted and more, said Rob Cohen. Working with so many excellent people who care deeply about food, beer, and our local community has been amazing in every way. I think we created something very special in the northwest. For me, it was the right time to pass the pint to someone new. Steves passion and energy makes him the perfect next rainmaker!
Falling Sky will transition their ownership fully at the end of November and plans to retool their to-go beer and food program in the immediate future.
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