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Jan 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘James Pendergraft’

The Scoop: Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman to step down

Thursday, December 15th, 2016



This New Year’s Eve, raise a pint to Schlafly co-founder Dan Kopman, who will step down from his position as board co-chairman of The Saint Louis Brewery and Schlafly Beer on Dec. 31. Kopman and Tom Schlafly founded the brewery in 1991 and have since turned it into an institution.

Kopman and Schlafly sold a majority share to Sage Capital in 2012. At the time of the sale, Kopman agreed to stay on for five years. Now, as the agreement reaches its sunset, he announced that he will leave the venerable brewery to pursue other interests. He declined to give specifics on his future plans.

With sales totaling $20 million, Kopman has much to be proud of, but said his greatest joy has been working with a talented group of people and having a positive effect on downtown and Maplewood.

“I’m most proud of the people that have worked for us and continue to work with us,” Kopman said. “We’re lucky to have changed the beer culture and improve the neighborhoods around the Bottleworks and Tap Room.

While he said it was impossible to choose his favorite Schlafly brew, Kopman did single out and praise Schlafly’s current leadership. “There’s a good team in place there,” he said. “Tom is the chairman of the board, and James Pendegraft is doing a great job as CEO, and of course Stephen Hale is a great ambassador.”

Kopman also expressed gratitude to the customers and patrons who have enjoyed Schlafly’s hospitality over the years. All in all, he said, “It was a blast.”


Photo by Carmen Troesser

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The Scoop: Schlafly brewmaster heads to Brew Hub


The Scoop: Schlafly announces James Pendegraft as new CEO

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


Editor’s note: This article was updated at 3:15 p.m. Feb. 18 to include comments from Dan Kopman.

Schlafly Beer has a new chief executive officer. The company announced in a statement yesterday, Feb. 17, that James Pendegraft is joining the brewery as CEO.

“After 23 years of continuous growth and establishing Schlafly as a leader in the craft movement, the time is right for an addition to our leadership team in order to fulfill our potential of being the leading craft brewer in the Midwest,” said the company statement.

The change in leadership will posit co-founder Dan Kopman as co-chairman of the board, while he continues to focus on innovation, relationships with partners and consumers, and the brewery’s participation in industry trade associations. Keith Moszczenski will continue as the brewery’s COO and CFO.

Kopman met Pendegraft at a Beer Institute meeting a few years ago when he was head of sales and marketing for North American Breweries, which distributes Labatt, Magic Hat and Genesee beers. When Pendegraft moved back to St. Louis, Kopman set out to recruit him to the Schlafly team. “He has a skill set and an experience that’s different than my experience,” Kopman said. “We can fight through and learn them on our own, or in this case, bring someone into the organization that already has a lot of that experience.”

Hiring Pendegraft continues Schlafly’s ownership succession plan, which the founders crafted a few years ago to ensure the brewery’s future.“While we have continued to grow in our existing trade area, our focus since 2012 has been to build on our ownership succession … and to put in place a senior management team with great talent and experience and a group of young, passionate and talented staff in all areas of the brewery. When I look at where we are today, I am really excited.”

Among the “young, passionate and talented staff” is Schlafly’s quality assurance manager, Emily Parker, 28, a member of the Sauce Ones to Watch Class of 2015.

As co-chair, Kopman said he will be able to return to what he loves. “I will focus on where I started: on the beer side of business,” he said. “I get to spend a lot more time with our younger brewing team.”

The announcement of Schlafly’s new CEO comes weeks after news that James “Otto” Ottolini, Schlafly’s brewmaster and longtime employee was leaving Schlafly to become chief of brewing operations for Chesterfield-based turnkey brewer Brew Hub.






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