Longtime local brewer Brad Landman has landed the top job at The Post Brewing in Lafayette, where he will take over for founding brewer and craft-beer celebrity Bryan Selders, who returned in May to Dogfish Head in Delaware, where he'd worked for nine years and starred in the Discovery Channel show Brew Masters.
Landman has been the brewmaster at Prost Brewing in Denver for the past three years. Before that, he worked for Vine Street Pub, Mountain Sun and Wynkoop Brewing.
“I'm a big fan of [The Post's] beer and food, so there was no way I wouldn't jump at the chance to work with them," he says. "I just have to cut the ‘R’ out of all my Prost shirts."
The change will give Landman the freedom to brew a wider variety of beers than he did at Prost, which only makes a small collection of German-style lagers. "Most of the recipe formulation at Prost was already in place when I started, and there was no need to mess with a good thing," Landman says. "Aside from some small tweaks based on my preference and seasonal crop variation, there weren't too many new beers released while I was there. The ones that were have been made in Germany for over one hundred years. Those recipes were pretty easy to figure out. I am super-excited to get a little more flexibility in developing new beers and using some ingredients that aren't just water, malt, hops and yeast."
Since Prost only makes German-style lagers, the brewery doesn't use a lot of hops — and hops are another thing Landman is looking forward to. "I love hops and am insanely excited to use hops from any part of the world," he says, adding that he plans to brew "a low-ABV IPA with low IBUs and awesome hop flavor."
The Post was founded in 2013 by the Big Red F restaurant group, which owns the original brewery-and-fried-chicken joint along with two offshoots; Big Red F also has four Jax Fish Houses, Lola, Zolo, the West End Tavern and other eateries up and down the Front Range. The company scored Selders, who had left Dogfish Head to try his hand at graphic design, when he moved out west to be closer to family; Selders ended up with an ownership stake. Over his four years at the Post, he specialized in creating easy-drinking beers like Howdy Beer, a 4.5 percent ABV pilsner; Townie, a 6.2 percent pale ale; and Achtertuin Seizoen, a saison. Howdy and Achtertuin both won medals at GABF.
Landman and Selders had met before the Post opened, when a group from Big Red F was touring different breweries and stopped by Vine Street Pub, where Landman was working at the time. "I’d had a man-crush on him ever since I saw Brew Masters,” says Landman.
They got to know each other better because of the confusion between the two names, Prost and the Post. "We were joking a couple years ago that I got text messages congratulating me when the Post won a GABF medal; that year, Prost did not win a medal," Landman recalls. "The same thing happened the next year, except he got the text messages when Prost won and he did not. Thankfully, we both got medals last year."
In 2015, the two breweries worked together on a Baltic porter called Post to Prost for Collaboration Fest. "I guess me going from Prost to the Post gives that beer a whole new meaning," Landman says. And although the owners of Prost are "understandingly bummed that I'm leaving," he adds, "they are very excited for me to be working for the Big Red F family" and happy with what Landman was able to achieve at Prost.
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When Landman arrived, Prost was still getting over a bitter breakup with founding brewer and part-owner Bill Eye, who'd left Dry Dock Brewing to follow his passion for making German-style lagers. Eye went on to start Bierstadt Lagerhaus with Ashleigh Carter and Chris Rippe at the Rackhouse Pub.
"Overall, I am most proud of the fact that I was able create a great team of brewers and cellar people who could take Bill's vision for the beer and combine it with the demands of increasing production while improving quality and consistency," Landman says. "Prost is in great hands now with [brewer] Colin Ford."
"Brad will be missed, and we wish him well," says Prost co-owner Troy Johnston. Prost, which has a second taproom in Fort Collins, is getting ready to celebrate its fifth anniversary later this summer.
Big Red F founder Dave Query says that Selders, who remains part-owner of the brewery, set the Post off on a "remarkable course with our beer program and the philosophy around the beers." So having someone step "into Brian’s big shoes such as Brad, with his long and successful history in the Denver beer scene and his easy-going mojo" is really helpful, Query adds. Landman takes over in August.