GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Elton Andres Knight is excited to explore new opportunities for Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. as he takes over as its new CEO.

Knight has been employed by Founders’ parent company Mahou since 2014 and has over 15 years of beverage experience. Knight said he developed a relationship with Founders Brewing and co-founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers through their partnership.

“When Mike, over the last few years, was beginning to prepare for his transition to move on, I was here and happy to take the opportunity. So it’s kind of been a natural transition, if you will,” Knight said.

Above, watch a replay of Knight’s conversation at the WOOD TV8 Digital Live Desk.

Knight has been a member of the executive team at Founders for the past three years, which further eased the transition. Knight added he is well aware of the reach and impact Founders Beer has on West Michigan and throughout the country. He said he hopes to continue the legacy Stevens and Engbers have created, despite interruptions like COVID-19.

“The reality is that the market has been changing a lot over the last few years. It’s not growing double-digit like it used to. There’s definitely other segments and categories that are stealing share, if you will, from the craft beer consumer,” Knight said. “What we need to focus on really is getting back to basics.”

Specifically, he Knight mentioned a product-based approach on building brands. He said he hopes to increase focus on fewer things but at much more depth and scale.

Knight is hoping to be in Grand Rapids full time by the summer of 2022 as he currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.