It’s been quite a year for Columbia Kettle Works. Since opening last May, the rivertown brewpub has earned a loyal following among the region’s craft beer fans, evidenced most recently by the overwhelming support it received as CKW’s Grinch Feet holiday red ale took first place in LNP’s beer bracket earlier this month. (To put this in perspective, three CKW brews were voted into the Final Four.)
Well we received news this morning that is a likely precursor for a big second year at Columbia Kettle Works. Co-owner Bill Collister dropped a line to let us know that, effective May 4, former head brewer at Iron Hill’s Lancaster brewpub Chad Rieker will be joining CKW’s other co-owner and head brewer, Rod Smith, to “help us increase our brewing capacity and add another creative mind to continue offering a diverse range of new craft beers.”
As Collister informs us, it appears that Rieker’s move to Columbia falls in line with his brewing ancestry:
Chad Rieker is a 6th generation brewer who was born and raised in Lancaster. His original ancestor began his brewing career in Columbia. After completing brewing school with the Amercian Brewers Guild in 2010, Chad began his professional brewer career with Iron Hill as an assistant brewer for 2.5 years, and a head brewer for 2.5 years.
Reiker’s first CKW beer will be released at Columbia Kettle Works’ one-year anniversary party on Saturday, May 16th.