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Hidden Cove Brewing Company at Fire N Brew Seeks Head Brewer to Take the Helm

The companies lost a brewer and a pastry chef as Gregg and Emily Spickler returned to Texas.

Gregg Spickler, former head brewer of Hidden Cove, gives a tour of the small brewery.
Gregg Spickler, former head brewer of Hidden Cove, gives a tour of the small brewery.

As of a couple weeks ago, Hidden Cove Brewing Company was seeking a Brewery Assistant; good news for a small place that has gotten by so far with one full-time brewer. As of a week ago, though, the company was seeking a Head Brewer. Hidden Cove, formerly known as Captain Dick's, had not responded to a request for comment by the time of writing, but head brewer Gregg Spickler confirmed that he is no longer at the brewery — or in Maine, for that matter.

Emily and I are doing well and I hope all is well for you and all of those who have supported us in Maine. I made the decision to leave Hidden Cove as I realized it was not the correct opportunity for me to grow professionally and that it was time to move on. It was a hard decision for us to leave Maine but we are excited to return to Texas and join the growing craft brewing community in San Antonio. I wish Hidden Cove the best as well as all of my friends in the Maine craft beer scene.

Spickler's wife, Emily, was the pastry chef at Fire N Brew, the home of Hidden Cove. Her signature item was the Hop Pop, a fudgy cake ball made with Hidden Cove's black ale, skewered on a wooden stick, dipped in tempered chocolate, and sprinkled with a crushed up hop pellet. The couple moved from Texas to work for Dick Varano, owner of the pub and brewery as well as two other Wells area restaurants. Spickler said they're back in Texas now and he is developing a new start-up of his own; until that's up and running, he'll work with other local breweries.

hop pop hidden cove

Gregg's beer paired with Emily's hop pop.

What will this mean for Hidden Cove's newfound success, which was thanks in no small part to Spickler's talent as a brewer? The dry, funky beers were attracting plenty of attention in-state and -out, which led to a recent distribution deal in the Boston area. Can Varano find someone new to take the helm and stay the course, or perhaps reinvent again, as he did when he finally jettisoned the name "Captain Dick's"?