Monkey Paw Brewery Announces Cosimo Sorrentino’s Replacement
(San Diego, CA) – A few weeks back, superstar award winning brewer Cosimo Sorrentino announced his departure from Scot Blair owned Monkey Paw Brewery and South Park Brewing. This came as a little shock, however making drastic career moves within the craft beer industry is becoming more and more common. Here were his public facing parting words:
Dear San Diego,
After much reflection and with a large amount of melancholy I am announcing my departure from Monkey Paw and South Park Brewing Companies. The opportunities presented to me by Scot Blair have been unparalleled and I am proud of the success we have had. My growth would never reach the levels it has if not for the freedom Blair provided mixed with the support of the community throughout this journey. I am not sure what the next chapter is but I will be venturing out of San Diego to find it. I will continue to work at both breweries until the end of the year to guarantee a transition that maintains the quality and inventiveness you have come to expect so please come by and say “Hi”. Thank you for your support, knowledge and love.
We reached out to Cosimo with questions to see if he had anything else to share with us.
TFP: What lead to you leaving both Scot Blair owned brewpubs?
CS: A need to be a little more uncomfortable in order to grow. I am not sure what I am truly looking for but I am at a point in my life and career where I do not have much tying me down. I feel it is the right time to take advantage of the momentum I have and to evolve by challenging myself to step away from San Diego.
TFP: What were some of the parts you enjoyed while working there?
CS: The freedom to be creative and learn. I have been able to collaborate with a wide variety of brewers and have learned something from each experience. I will also miss designing the (buying the guest) beer list at Monkey Paw. This provided a great opportunity to meet brewers when they were on sales calls and to speak with them face to face about beer.
TFP: If you had 100% control over your near term and long term destiny, what would an ideal scenario be?
CS: I want to make beer. There have been several people who are asking if I’m starting my own thing. Simple answer – NO. Running a brewery is just that, running a business. I would like to stay on the creative and physical side of things for the next 5-10 years and then I might have an idea of what and how I would like to start my own spot.
TFP: What do you say to other talented brewers that might feel they need to move on or take a leap?
CS:Don’t make the decision lightly but also know that there are an abundance of opportunities out there. That being said, figure out what you are good at, what type of environment you thrive in and if this career path is right for you before pushing your chips all in. This industry is diverse and can be a lot of fun but is universally not as glamorous as most people think. You and your beer will reflect your level of happiness.
Last night, owner Scot Blair posted news of Cosimo’s replacement.
Following this great anniversary weekend it is time to begin our transition into the future. I believe professional growth is and should be the building block of the small brewery/brewpub model. As disappointed as it is to be parting ways with our beloved brewer Cosimo Sorrentino, it is just as important to realize this is the way of our industry. When Cosimo came on-board I asked him for a 2 year commitment and he gave me and our brand 3.5 outstanding years. The benefits have been mutual as Cos was growing in our industry and for our brands, I made sure that his growth was an absolute priority. That is the paragon of win/win. So I could not be more proud of the work he has accomplished and the future he now has in our industry. Monkey Paw was founded and developed to put beer first and do so in a way that I hoped to provide opportunities to some of the “under the radar” folks, who shared my philosophy by wanting to make a difference one glass at a time. With that said, the next chapter must be written and I am excited to announce our new Head of Brewery Operations Nick Norton. Nick comes to us from Stone Liberty Station under the mentorship of Kris Ketcham (whom we have always been a big fan of). I believe Nick is the right person to make his mentor proud and continue the great work and innovative spirit of Monkey Paw. I am committed to Nick and his professional growth that I believe he will reap for his hard work in the coming years . Our 5 year history has always been about our dedication to the beer, Nick now has the unique opportunity to find his voice and put his footprint on the Monkey Paw brand which is very encouraging for myself and our team. I am also very happy that Cosimo will be here to hand the torch over to Nick for a smooth transition in December as Cos has always been our greatest champion for Monkey Paw and South Park beer. Speaking of South Park, I plan to take over for Cos as well as continuing our mantra of ‘promoting from within’ and elevating our Cellarman Ryan Traylor to Assistant. In the coming months I’ll see how things go with my workload but this is the plan that we will see come to fruition. The commitment is to move things forward while honoring the past.
So what a great anniversary weekend, thank you for being a part of this 5 year milestone. We were really glad the beers came out as well as they did and we sold a whopping 90 cases over the past 2 days! If all things go as planned we hope to release at least 2 new bottles each quarter. So Thank You for the past 5 and here is to looking at the future..
We look forward to checking out Cosimo’s next ventures, as Monkey Paw is one of those places we always visit in San Diego. Best of luck to Nick Norton.