You will see a renewed emphasis this year towards the distilling segment of Briess’ business, and it is being driven by the addition of Michael Scanzello, the new Director of Brewing and Distilling. Mike joined Briess in July 2015 and brings 20 years of experience in the brewing and malting industries. He is excited to have the opportunity to lead our efforts.
Mike began his career shortly after graduating Kutztown University in southeastern Pennsylvania in 1995 with a BS in Microbiology, joining the Stroh Brewing Company as a QA technician at their Allentown, PA, brewery. Mike soon advanced to management, taking a shift supervisor position in the department, overseeing the Packaging and Brewing Labs. In 1999, wanting to learn more about brewing, Mike took a lateral move and started to manage the shift operations in the Brewing Department. At this time, the consolidations in the Brewing Industry had begun. Stroh’s bought Heilmann in 1996, then Pabst, and then Miller in 1999. This deal resulted in Pabst closing the brewery in Allentown in 2001.
Wanting to stay in the Brewing Industry, Mike found an opportunity with Cargill as a Malthouse supervisor at their facility in Jefferson, WI, and thus began his career in malting. Here he had the chance to learn all aspects of running a Malthouse, eventually spending the majority of the next 6 years as one of the Maltsters. It is here that he also started working with distillers, being responsible for all of the company’s Distiller Malt production. Industry capacities and consolidations again caught up to Mike and in 2007 Cargill closed the doors on the Jefferson Malthouse.
After the closing, Mike accepted an opportunity on the commercial side of Cargill’s business. He joined their Specialty Malt Products Group as an Account Executive for the Midwest Region. Here he was able to cut his sales teeth by learning and working with the craft brewers and distillers in his territory. Leveraging his operations background, Mike also took on management of Cargill’s distilling business in 2010.
Always looking for the next challenge, when the opportunity to drive the distilling business for Briess presented itself in July 2015, he accepted an offer as the National Distillery Manager. “I feel like I’m a kid in a candy store,” Scanzello said about all the products Briess makes in house for the distiller. “No other maltster has the portfolio of raw, malted, floured, flaked products and extracts, made in the USA, under one roof.”
Since starting as the National Distillery Manager, Mike’s role has evolved and in February 2016 he was promoted to Director of Brewing and Distilling. He is looking forward to advancing the distilling segment and bring to life Briess’ already extensive distilling portfolio with his knowledge and experience.
When not working Mike likes spending time in the kitchen with his wife, Nancy. “It works out great, I like to cook and she likes to bake.” When not in the kitchen you may find them on a golf course or rooting for the Brewers (of course) during the summer. Mike’s also a passionate archery hunter and loves to spend his falls in the field.
“I am extremely happy for the opportunity and look forward to being a part of the Briess Family.”Mike Scanzello