Jul 23, 2016
One of the amazing things about the beer industry diversifying like it has is that there are so many unique roles that simply didn’t exist before. And today’s guest has one of them. Dave Kahle, one of the rare Master Cicerones in the world is a specialist at Breakthru Beverage, formerly Wirtz beverage, in Chicago. A few years back, they decided to branch out from wine and spirits, and take on a role as a craft beer distributor. To do that, they knew their sales force needed a serious education, and when they went looking for someone to lead that effort, Dave answered the call. He works on the sales side, but his primary role is helping his salesforce understand the ingredients, processes, and context of beer. He does this in a variety of ways, both big and small, which you’ll hear about. But he’s also one of the first people you’ll meet at Breakthru if you’re a new brewery looking for a distribution partner. And that’s where Dave puts both his palate and his former life as the owner of a popular bar to work. He has a broad vision, and deep skepticism of many things he sees in the beer industry today. And he tries his best to put that to work to benefit the many partners he interacts with. I like to remind listeners that when you’re talking to someone from the distribution tier, they often can seem a bit vague sometimes — there’s good reason for that. They answer to many different people. And it’s not easy for them to keep everyone happy when there’s so many perspectives at work in the industry. So don’t be too hard on him — rather, try to glean something from the insights he’s so generously laying out there for us. There’s plenty to go around.