​The Market Indeed’s Moritz Says Craft Beer Could Miss If Not Taken​

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

Kelly Moritz, Integrator/Chief Operating Officer​, Indeed Brewing — Minneapolis​

​BREWER: Why did you enter the craft beer industry and what makes you love being a part of it and staying in it?
​MORITZ: ​I had recently left a career in academic publishing and was trying a bit of everything (freelance writing, making ice cream in a commercial kitchen, bartending) to figure out what I wanted to do next. While working at a craft beer-focused bar, which served a lot of Indeed, I heard through the grapevine about an opening at the brewery. Day Tripper Pale Ale was always my first recommendation to anyone looking to try something hoppy and delicious; I loved the branding and vibe of Indeed and was excited to see a female founder helping to create a local craft brewery. I started at Indeed as the first marketing employee, doing a little bit of everything from social media, writing blog posts, coordinating events, developing partnerships and sponsorships, supporting sales with marketing materials, and managing the workflow of our little department of two. It took years before I felt like I hit my stride in the craft beer community. Some days I still feel like a bit of an outsider of the industry as a whole, but I’m a huge believer in Indeed. I’m a natural storyteller and I thrive in the small business environment, and I feel so lucky to have helped build successful brands that people welcome into their homes and welcoming spaces for folks to gather and enjoy something to drink together. Those are things that I love most and get me out of bed in the morning.

BREWER: What do you feel have been new challenges in your position that have helped push you and make you better at your job?
MORITZ: There have been so many challenges over the course of the last few years, from the pandemic to supply chain issues and inflation to the uprising in our home city of Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd. It feels like challenge is the new normal. It’s really forced me to reflect as a worker and a leader, to figure out what’s important to me, and what unique skills I bring to the table.

BREWER: How has the definition of growth for your company evolved and how have you adjusted to be successful in that new definition?
MORITZ: Our business experienced a somewhat seismic shift this year with the transition of our self distribution business to a wholesaler. That volume previously represented about 70% of our total sales, and now we have the opportunity to look at growth differently with this new partnership. We’re pushing our limits within our current brewhouse, so a big area of focus for us will be physical growth and increasing our capacity so we can continue to sustain the growth we plan to see.

BREWER: What strategic growth opportunity do you feel is still “out there” for your brand and how are you working on capitalizing on it this year?
MORITZ: The ability to make THC beverages and edibles is a really exciting opportunity, but uncertainty around the rules and regulations makes that a hard one to plan for in the long-term; right now we’re dipping our toes in cautiously and looking optimistically ahead. We have a tremendous opportunity in both of our taproom spaces (Minneapolis and Milwaukee) to continue to add capacity, diversify the product offerings, add more food, create unique programming, and make our spaces more inclusive and welcoming to new and repeat guests alike. Developing new beverages and brands remains a huge strategic growth opportunity for Indeed; our brewery has a winning combination of quality and creativity in the brewhouse paired with a talented and energetic branding team. If we continue to seek what’s next and not get complacent, I’m confident our most successful brands are still ahead of us.

BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
MORITZ: A few pop to mind, but one I would highlight is paying more attention to the younger market. I see myself, an urban-dwelling white person in her mid-​30s, reflected in so many of my coworkers and the guests we welcome into our spaces. When I see a group of 21 year olds hanging out, I almost do a double take. Many of us entered the world of craft beer around the same time, and have been in the craft bubble for a similar span of years. I think we risk a lot by not engaging with younger generations, whether through hiring, mentorship, structured feedback on new products, inspiration for new trends​ ​—​ ​all of that.

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