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Fat Head's VP speaks about cutting ties and starting his own brewery

Thomas Cook, the owner of Fat Head's Brewing, says he's closing the chain, but moving forward in opening a new brewery in the same location. KATU photo 

The fellows behind Fat Head's Brewery Portland will soon be brewing up a new brand.

"To be honest, it had never really occurred to me to open our own place,” Thomas Cook, the vice president of Fat Head's Portland, said.

Cook told KATU he didn't see this coming until recently.

"They have a lot going on out in Ohio," Cook said. “They’re building a brand new production brewery that’s going to blow your socks off. They’re also building another brew pub.”

Cook said, it just made sense, based on the midwest-based brewery's work load, so the two came to a mutual agreement to part ways.

"I think it definitely speaks to kind of the craft beer mentality, which is a rising tide raises all ships, and we're in this together,” Cook said.

Cook also said he's in this 100 percent with the crew he already has. Cook told KATU he's taking his whole staff on over to what will soon be Von Ebert Brewing.

“Team always comes first,” Cook said. “Put the team first, and then let the team brew what they want to do and simply give them the tools to brew what they want to brew.”

So now, the transition begins. The team will have to replace all the chairs, taps, posters and logos, but Cook said most of the remodeling will be done after hours. He is hoping he’ll only have to shut down a few days.

It's never a dream Cook had, but it's a journey he's ready for. Plus, he's got his German heritage on his side Ebert is his great-grandmother's maiden name.

"She left her family, she left a lot in Germany to come over and kind of build a future for us here, and so, I wanted to kind of pay homage to her,” Cook said.

As far as when the new brewery will open, there's no official start date, but Cook is thinking sometime in the spring, possibly in March.

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