Rick Seibt, the award-winning brewmaster at Willoughby Brewing Co., announced Monday (Dec. 10) on Facebook that he has resigned his position at the brewery.
The news comes just after the Willoughby brewpub took over the former Buckeye Brewing Co. production brewery in Cleveland to expand its reach into the market. Seibt had talked for years about wanting to distribute the Willoughby brand.
"Eight great years and I’m happy to say I think I’ll be leaving the brewery side in better shape than I found it," Seibt wrote on Facebook. "I wish I could announce a great new hopportunity but there is nothing on horizon.
"The next few weeks are going to be extremely difficult until I get back on my feet, but my family and friends have been a great support team, especially my beautiful bride of the last 28 years who has had my back all along this journey. I owe them all so much."
He offered no specific reason for the decision. Seibt declined comment.
Seibt, who is well known and active in the Cleveland brewing community, won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2014 for Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter and a bronze in 2016 for Nut Smasher.
It's unclear what his resignation means for the Willoughby production brewery.
His Facebook post racked up nearly 140 comments by Tuesday morning, with many people thanking him for his passion and friendliness over the years.
"Thanks for all you've given to the Cleveland area Craft Brewery scene," Denes Szabo wrote. "Best wishes to your future endeavors."
Fellow brewer Tom Gray wrote: "Ah, bummer. You're one of the few that 'gets it.' It was fun to hang with you and have great chats with."