Brewer Magazine Q&A: John Rankin, Triple C Brewing

This is a part of a monthly series of Q&As with members of the cider community from across the U.S. Brewer Magazine will share business and personal insights from decision makers in the cider industry to help you get to know each other better and learn more to better develop your own brand.

John Rankin – Head Brewer, Triple C — Charlotte

BREWER: How do you feel your job has had to adapt in the beer market compared to a few years ago?
RANKIN: We are constantly having to innovate and come up with new and interesting beers, which is fun and keeps us creative. Five to six years ago we just had to make sure we always made consistent products, we were constantly trying to improve and refine what was already there. Now we still do that but have to come up with new beers and unlearn some things you have learned to make what the customer is looking for today.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
RANKIN: I wouldn’t say I have one particular mentor, I would say I am always inspired by others in the industry in all aspects of craft. I have made a lot of friends over the years and am constantly bouncing ideas off of each other, learning from their success and failures. I have learned from everyone, making beer is just one aspect of this business, a lot of other factors come together to be successful in this industry today.

BREWER: Can you share a success story that you are proud of in your job or maybe a story of how you learned from a situation that has altered your thoughts on how you do your job now?
RANKIN: This is a tough one, one thing I guess I am proud of in my career is being a part of some really cool team of guys and girls. The previous brewery I was at, we were a small brewpub with limited distro when I started and when I left we had two locations and grew into a regional brewery with a strong brand in under five years. This was all due to production, sales, marketing, and leadership. I love when a team comes together with a common goal and has fun succeeding.

BREWER: Can you touch on something your brewery has added lately that’s unique or making your business more successful (it could be equipment, technology or people)?
RANKIN: I am new to my current position at Triple C, so they have done so many cool things before me. One thing we added not too long ago was our second facility “The Barrel Room” where we have a pilot system along with barrel storage capacity and a couple foeders. This gives us the ability to innovate new recipes but also allows our team to continue to learn and be creative.

BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
RANKIN: In terms of business aspect this industry isn’t any different than another industry. Have a plan from the beginning and don’t cut corners. Don’t just think of beer as the only factor, consider hiring those that know more than you, brand strategy, customer experience, and make sure you build relationships with other breweries around you.

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