The Updates Karl Strauss’ Segura is Stoked on Right Now

This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with members of the brewing community from across the US. Brewer Magazine will share business and personal insights from Brewmasters, Head Brewers, Brewing Managers, Sales Directors, QCQA Managers and others each weekend to help you get to know each other better in the industry and learn more to better develop your own brand.

Paul Segura, Brewmaster, Karl Strauss Brewing — San Diego

BREWER: What do you feel have been new challenges in your position that have helped push you and make you better at your job?
SEGURA: With new challenges come new opportunities. Breweries are like musicians — you need to constantly be dropping new albums to stay relevant. I’m always looking at new trends, raw materials, and technologies in the industry. Right now, we’re in the process of replacing our 25-plus-year old brewhouse with a new, state-of-the-art five-vessel brewhouse. We’re also replacing our old canning line with a new rotary line. New obstacles come with the excitement of these projects, but we are stoked that this new equipment will ring in a new era of Karl beer!

BREWER: Why did you enter the craft beer industry and what makes you love being a part of it and staying in it?
SEGURA: I entered the industry in the early 90s when there weren’t many craft beer options out there. Like many people at the time, I wanted more choices. My career at Karl has allowed me to provide people with new styles, new flavors, and new experiences. It’s incredible to make something from scratch that people really love. I’ve had the pleasure of making amazing friends in this industry and experiencing the beautiful camaraderie that exists in craft beer. We’re in the business of making people happy — how cool is that?

BREWER: What are some recent trends within your job and expertise in the industry that you’ve tried or are excited about trying?
SEGURA: The fun thing with craft beer is that there are always new, inventive styles emerging alongside resurfacing retro styles that ebb and flow in popularity. Right now, I’m stoked on hoppy Pilsners and Italian Pilsners. I love dry, crispy beers, but as a brewer — I also love hops. I really hope hoppy Lagers are the next big thing.

BREWER: What was your business’s greatest accomplishment during the past year, and what are your goals for your brewery this year?
SEGURA: This year, we launched a new year-round flagship beer called Tower X West Coast IPA with local radio station 91X FM. This beer is blowing up right now, and it’s amazing to see people enjoying something we put so much into. We also collaborated with some brewery friends that we really love and respect here at KARL. Topa Topa, Green Cheek, Pizza Port, and Harland were so fun and inspiring to work with. We have a ton of exciting releases in the R&D pipeline right now that we’re hyped up to launch.

BREWER: ​What are some changes in the industry that you’ve observed in the past few years, and how has your business adapted to it to stay competitive?
SEGURA: The craft beer industry is always evolving, and that’s something Karl is no stranger to. We’ve been around 35 years, and we’re always looking for new ways to innovate, evolve, and create. We just expanded our distribution to Arizona and Nevada, and it’s awesome that we can share our San Diego story and the joy of craft beer with new people and new states. In the brewhouse, we’ve been working with tried-and-true equipment, and we’re currently putting in a whole new tank system with improved efficiency. Big changes are a brewin’ for us, and we’re looking forward to 2024.

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