Brewer Magazine Q&A: Ron Abbott, Seedstock Brewery

This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with brewers from across the U.S.
Brewer Magazine will share business and personal insights from Brewmasters, Head Brewers, Brewing Managers and others each weekend to help you, a fellow brewer, Brewmaster or brewing manager get to know each other better in the industry and learn more to better develop your own brand.
Ron Abbott, co-founder​,​ Seedstock Brewery​ — Denver​

BREWER: What is a lesson learned within your position that sticks with you to this day?
ABBOTT: This is a people business — a relationship business — with owners, employees, taproom customers, bar/restaurant owners, bar managers, vendors. It goes on and on. Success can’t happen without good relationships. Of course, some relationships need to be deeper than others, for example a good owner-employee relationship is critical.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
ABBOTT: I don’t really have a single mentor in the industry. I’m more inspired by the collective conscious of the craft beer industry. Its inspiring to see people follow their dreams, and to see the pride that brewers have in their products. I love it when I go into a taproom and if the brewer happens to be there, the brewer will almost always let me taste their latest beer. It’s their new baby that they are so proud of. You can really see it come through.

BREWER: What have you added to your brewery lately (concepts, equipment or technology) that’s unique or making your business more successful?
ABBOTT: We’re pretty simple. We’re just a touch more high-tech than a Franklin Stove! However, we have added technology to help us track production and forecast sales — back-office stuff. We recently implemented Ekos. It’s a software platform that helps us manage production, inventory, and forecasting process. We also love it that it integrates into our accounting software/service.

BREWER: In today’s business climate for craft beer, how do you feel your brewery will grow?
ABBOTT: Without question, we will grow by sticking to what we’re known for and what we do best — simple, back-to-basics beers like my ancestors brewed in their barns 150 years ago. We at Seedstock love the East Coast IPAs and the Milkshake-type beers, but that’s just not us. You don’t go to a steak house for sushi!

BREWER: What sort of innovations in craft beer excite you?
ABBOTT: That electricity thing is pretty cool!

BREWER: If you had one strategy that you could implement to better the craft beer business as a whole, what would it be?
ABBOTT: I would like to build a huge megaphone to let folks know that craft doesn’t have to mean ‘fancy.’ People wearing both cowboy boots and hipster boots can enjoy a craft beer. Seedstock beers would feel very comfortable being on tap at a rodeo.

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