Brewer Magazine Q&A: How Tony Simmons Dramatically Increased Pagosa Brewing’s Revenue

This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with members of the brewing community from across the U.S.
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.

Tony Simmons, Owner/Head Fun Maker, Pagosa Brewing & Grill — Pagosa Springs, Colorado

BREWER: How has your business strategy evolved to help grow and stay competitive?
SIMMONS: We’ve evolved to be better at building a business, which is more than just brewing award-winning beers. We saw the opportunity to incorporate more and better food pairings into our menu, which has resulted in dramatic increase in revenue and repeat guest patronage.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
SIMMONS: Tom Hennessy (at Colorado Boy in Montrose) was our original brewpub mentor. Tom, who teaches classes in setting-up pubs, inspired us to keep it simple and efficient. As we evolved into more and better food, we now work weekly with Donald Burns, The Restaurant Coach. Donald has extensive experience in the food and beverage industry and has provided us with invaluable knowledge in operations, menu and beverage development, increased revenue streams, and improved marketing concepts.

BREWER: What idea did you or your team come up with lately that has been a big benefit to how your business functions?
SIMMONS: Developing our ‘Core Values’ and ‘Mission Statements.’ And then, inspiring our teams to implement them as a part of their daily lives.

BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
SIMMONS: Passion, while invaluable, only goes so far. So we stay true to our values, set-up specific KPIs, always recruit for A-players and leaders. Our goal for success is to spend more time working “on the business” rather than “in the business.”

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