Massachusetts Guild to Work on Connecting with Consumers Under New President

As 2017 nears, Rob Burns, one of the co-founders of Night Shift Brewing in Everett, Massachusetts is turning some of his attention to his new position as president of the state’s brewers guild.

He became president earlier this month and along with the addition of the guild’s first full-time executive director coming on board, the guild is looking to make leaps in protecting and promoting Massachusetts craft beer.

Burns said that although the guild has been really focused on protecting the state’s brewers, some of the promotional side of things have fallen off.

“I really want to get that back as a big part of what we do,” he told Brewer Magazine. “Throw a killer beer fest, do a bunch of smaller events  (tap takeovers, meet the brewers, educational seminars) and have more collaborations, revamp our beer trail program, and up our social media game.”

There is also a possibility of a state-wide alcohol license reform that Burns said he and the guild will be very involved in.

“We are going to continue to work hard on leveling the playing field with franchise law reform,” he said.

Taking the reins from Rob Martin of Ipswich Brewing, Burns said it’s important to be able to lean on him and fellow former president Dan Kenary of Harpoon Brewing. Both were founding members of the guild.

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“They know more about the industry and the business than most of the brewers in the state combined,” Burns said. “With so much new, young startup breweries, having that depth of knowledge to make sure we are all moving forward smartly, safely and with quality is key to … long-term success. Those guys don’t get enough credit.”

The addition of Katie Stinchon in October as the first executive director will also be a boost, Burns said. Stinchon has worked as an account director for Teak Media Communications since 2007.

“With the state’s beer scene growing so rapidly we really need someone to focus fulltime on protecting and promoting all of us,” he said. “We are really excited about her helping us kick things into high gear on the promotion side.”

Having Stinchon on board will also allow Martin and others to focus more on the MBG’s lobbying effort.”

These new responsibilities mean a few slight changes for Burns at Night Shift, but Burns said he’s been hard at work “working his way out of a job” as his brewery grows since moving to a new facility in 2014 and expanding from a 3.5-barrel system to 20 bbls.

“My career mentor has always taught me that a good boss should always try to work himself out of a job,” Burn said, explaining that those in charge should train those around them to do what you do and be able to handle your responsibilities.

“So moving into this role is a form of that,” Burns said. “My early responsibilities included brewing, packaging and ordering ingredients, now that has been passed on and I need a new job. President of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild is a perfect new job for me and I couldn’t be more excited about tackling these new challenges.”

Photo credit: Tim Oxton & Night Shift Brewing

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