Brewer Magazine Q&A: Shawn Steele, Coronado Brewing

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.

Shawn Steele, Director of Brewing Operations, Coronado Brewing — San Diego

BREWER: What is a lesson learned within your position that sticks with you to this day?

STEELE: Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment and paying attention to details. You can have the best recipes and ingredients in the industry, but if you do not mind the details your beer will be inconsistent.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?

STEELE: Tom Majorosi, the first Brewmaster I worked under. A German-born and classically trained brewmaster, Tom taught me to mind the details and to not to have an ego. Let the quality of the beer speak for you.

BREWER: What have you added to your brewery lately that’s unique or making your business more successful?

STEELE: People. We have added and promoted talented people to our team. All breweries have mostly the same ingredients and equipment, it’s the people that makes your beer stand out. I feel honored to work with such a great team.

BREWER: In today’s business climate for craft beer, how will your brewery grow?

STEELE: Coronado Brewing will continue to grow by emphasizing quality, consistency and variety.

BREWER: What sort of innovations in craft beer excite you?

STEELE: New yeast strains. Sounds strange but there are people breeding yeast to get new types. I’m particularly fascinated by the wild yeast category, as well as hazy yeast strains.

BREWER: If you had one strategy that you could implement to better the craft beer business, what would it be?

STEELE: Freshness: Controlling how old your beer is in the market. This can be a daunting challenge for most craft breweries with limited resources, but it is important to emphasize freshness with your distributors and sales staff.

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