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December 13, 2006 - Scott Morrison Fired At McKenzie Brew House
Scott Morrison, the highly respected and award-winning brewer (four Great American Beer Festival medals won in 2003-2004 and 2006) whose beers for McKenzie Brew House made him something of cult hero in the Philadelphia region in recent years, was abruptly and unexpectedly fired on Tuesday.

Morrison told The Beer Yard last night that he was given his paycheck by owner Bill Mangan earlier in the day and told that his services were no longer required.

Insiders have known for months that the situation at McKenzie, which was originally founded in Glen Mills in 2001 and opened a second location in Malvern this year, was a touchy one, with management wanting Morrison to concentrate on more mainstream brews rather that the strong-ale interpretations which have won him a national reputation. It appeared that an uneasy truce had been established, but that was apparently not the case.

The firing brought back memories of a similar out-of-the-blue release given brewer Brian O'Reilly from New Road Brewhouse in Collegeville in June 2001, shortly after he had won a GABF Gold Medal and made the location a destination spot for local fans of craft beers. New Road closed shortly afterwards, while O'Reilly has gone on to make Sly Fox Brewing one of the region's most successful and popular breweries. Both Morrison and O'Reilly are proteges of Phil Markowski, the nationally acclaimed brewer at Long Island's Southampton Publick House.

An understandably upset Morrison was reluctant to discuss the situation in any detail during a brief call to The Beer Yard last night. He has recently purchased a home in Paoli and is about get married, so the loss of job came as a serious blow during this holiday season. He has promised a more detailed interview about the situation, his reaction and his future plans later today.--JACK CURTIN