Brewer Magazine Q&A: Tyler Downey, New Realm Brewing

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.

Tyler Downey, Head Brewer​,​ New Realm Brewing​ — Atlanta

​BREWER: ​How do you feel your job has had to adapt in the beer market compared to a few years ago?
DOWNEY: ​Demand for variety, especially ‘variants​.​’ Producing a constant stream of new brands and variants on existing brands is something that wasn’t in such demand a few years ago. Breweries were producing seasonals and specialties then, but now the amount of variety the consumer is looking for is much great. It provides us with the opportunity to play around a lot, and create some fun combinations. It also pushes us to constantly look for new ways to make exciting brands.

​BREWER: ​Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
DOWNEY: ​There are two people in the industry I would consider my mentors. The first was Mike Karnowski, now owner and operator of Zebulon Artisan Ales. Mike’s passion for innovation and respect for classic styles really shaped how I think about recipe development. The second is Scott Jennings, Brew Master at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Mills River facility. Scott​’​s brewing knowledge is only matched by his work ethic, and this has always driven me to learn more about brewing. You can never know everything about the trade you work in.

​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?
DOWNEY: ​Placing first at the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting in UK Style our first year is something I’m proud of. We brewed an English Mild and it’s always great to see people appreciate a classic style.

​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)?
DOWNEY: ​We have started using a liquid called ​F​ast ​O​range​​ for quick and inexpensive quality checks on micro. It is fast, repeatable, and a cost saver. This has been great tool for insuring all our cleaning and sanitizing processes are being carried out correctly as well of the peace of mind that we are putting out clean beer every time.

​BREWER: ​If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
DOWNEY: ​Creating more awareness about packaged beer treatment at every level. Once beer goes into a package it needs to be taken care of (no heat, light, temperature swings, etc​.​) to insure the product the brewery envisioned and created makes it all the way to the customer as intended.

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