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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Irwin to Lead General Distributing into the Future

Sometimes, you know it's the right time to make a move. That was the case this week for General Distributing, which announced that Steve "Tiny" Irwin will take over as General Manager at the end of June.

I don't mention a lot of industry gibberish here. I mostly leave that to the folks who specialize in regurgitating press releases as news. No offense to them, but that's not a my deal.

But this is a worthy move that deserves mention. Because Irwin has the knowledge, the experience and the expertise to make a big difference at General. He's the perfect guy to lead them into the future and I suspect he will do just that.

Some brief background. I met Tiny just once, a couple of months ago at an event at Belmont Station. I liked him instantly, as we rambled on about various aspects of the beer business. He has a million stories tucked away in his head, many of them funny, all of them educational.

The timing is right at General. Outgoing GM, Steve Mysinger, has done a nice job leading the company through challenging times and they are well-positioned in a brutally competitive marketplace. Mysinger will stay on as Executive VP of Special Projects, good news for General.

Irwin's sales background is extensive. He spent more than a decade with MillerCoors in roles that included distribution management and chain sales. Then he was hired as VP of Sales at Rogue, a dead end job where he lasted only a year...twice as long as the guy who replaced him. Not bad, huh? Actually, getting fired by Brett Joyce was a good thing...and a sign that Tiny will go far.

If you don't know much about General, give their website a look. They've got a rich history and their territory extends to 11 counties. In recent times, they've been engaged in building out their craft portfolio, which includes Sierra Nevada, Southern Tier, Victory and Green Flash, as well as Oregon brands Alameda, Lucky Labrador, Three Creeks, Flat Tail and many more.

It'll be interesting to see where Tiny takes these guys. Good luck to him.

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