Shawn Kelso is leaving Barley Brown’s

Some interesting news to ring in 2012, as announced on Twitter and Facebook last night by Barley Brown’s owner Tyler Brown: Shawn Kelso, Brewmaster of the Baker City, Oregon brewpub, is leaving.

As many of you have heard, Shawn Kelso is leaving Barley Brown’s to take a brewing job at larger brewery. We wish him the the best of luck in his new adventure.

No further details yet of course, and I’ve got an email out to Brown to find out more. I admit I’m both awfully surprised yet not-entirely-surprised; for when the New School wrote about 10 Barrel Brewing in November, this tidbit stood out:

But if all that is not epic enough, the big news is that the groundwork has been laid for yet another new brewery and brewpub in a very different locale–Boise, Idaho. Currently the brewery’s beers are not available outside of Oregon, so the move to Boise is a surprising jump, especially as most Oregon brewers move vertically to Washington or California. The Cox brothers believe Idaho is an untapped market and Boise is just a city they like. As a base of operations, a new 10 Barrel Brewhouse along with a brewpub is to be announced this coming year and the lease has already been signed. Much like the seasonal and experimental brews they hired Tonya Cornett to brew, they have again reached deep to hire another very well-known and well-liked award winning Oregon brewer who will be relocating for the job. As of now these guys are tight lipped about who said brewer is, but believe me when I say it will be quite shocking when said brewer makes his announcement and puts in his resignation from his current brewery.

I have to admit, my first thought when I read this was, “It’s Shawn Kelso”—partially because Baker City is (relatively) close to Boise, and partially because that would be a huge coup and shocking news.

Pure speculation, of course, and when I find out more I’ll post the news here.

In the meantime, big congratulations to Kelso wherever he lands, and I’m hoping for good news for Barley Brown’s as well.

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