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Good Beer Hunting

Dec 31, 2018

Today’s episode is one of those where just a couple weeks difference in when we actually sat down with each other would have dramatically transformed the focus of the conversation. For anyone who’s been paying attention to Avery, you certainly know it’s been a couple years of transformation for the brewery, as they took on a minority investment of Mahou San Miguel, completely reconfigured their portfolio to better align with market trends, and launched a visual re-brand. Of course, all these changes involved some personel movement, as their COO left in May and a half dozen folks were laid off. Before that, the prior COO had left to join Ska brewing. So it’s safe to say that since the Mahou San Miguel deal, there’s been a lot going on at Avery. And my guests today, Andy Parker, their CHIEF BARREL HERDER, and Colin Quinn, their special projects brewers are in a unique position to talk about how that effected the most important part of Avery’s operation - the brewing. Which beers should Avery be making, for which markets? in what formats? how simple can a portfolio in 2018 be? how critical is newness? and what are they gonna do with all that capacity after a major expansion? Well, what we didn’t know at the time of this interview was that Founders Brewing based in Grand Rapids Michigan, would need some help brewing All Day IPA, a brand that continues to set the pace for growth in craft. Like Avery, Founders is partially owned by Mahou San Miguel, so what could have been a major albatross for Avery, all that extra capacity, debt, and a slow transformation back to growth became a chance to support the larger system of brands under the family banner, and both benefit from the opportunity. It’s bizarre for Avery fans to consider, but Mahou San Miguel and brewing All Day IPA might just be the difference between having or not having an Avery Brewing Company at all. So what will they do with that bonus time afforded by those relationships? Time will tell. But in this interview, you’ll hear about the shift in the brewing side, how the team is regrouping and what they’re excited about in Avery’s brewing future.