Texas brewmaster headed back to PA

Jaime Jurado  
(William M. Dowd photo)
JENKINS TOWNSHIP, PA -- Jaime Jurado is headed back to Pennsylvania.

Jurado, who had been the master brewer at the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre from 1985-91, is joining the startup Susquehanna Brewing Company, located at 635 South Main Street in this community northeast of Wilkes-Barre.

The site is the former warehouse of United Beverage, the wholesale beer distributor.

Since his Wilkes-Barre days, Jurado has developed a reputation as one of the nation's top brewmasters while he plied his trade in San Antonio, TX, where I first met him, with the Gambrinus Company. (See "Beer Dinner in the Texas Hill Country.")

Jurado has been director of brewing operations at Gambrinus since 1997. His new gig becomes official on January 1, 2012, as operations manager and master brewer.

Gambrinus is the sixth-largest beer company in the nation. Its portfolio includes the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX, the Bridgeport Brewing Company in Portland, OR, and Trumer Brauerei of Berkeley, CA.

The new Susquehanna brewery was founded by Ed Maier, great-great-grandson of Pennsylvania brewing icon Charles Stegmaier, son Fred Maier and partner Mark Nobile. Their initial investment in the craft brewery will be $8 million to $10 million, they said. The German firm BraKon GmbH is the designer and builder of the brewhouse. Plans are to produce four or five year-round beer brands as well as seasonal beers.

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