These 2 Additions, Cassidy Says, Are Giving Otherwise a Boost

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.

Stellar Cassidy, co-founder/Chief Operating Officer, Otherwise Brewing — San Francisco

BREWER: How have recent challenges in your position helped make you better? What were those “pain points” and how did you solve or adjust to the issue?
CASSIDY: Navigating red tape in the city, which many say that SF can be the toughest city to open a business. It’s helped me to become a better problem-solver and hesitate less when needing or asking for help. Making our parklet permanent for example — which we are still in the process of — but when you look you see that there are more resources out there than you think, you just have to dig for them.

BREWER: What has been your brewery’s most recent accomplishment and how is it going to improve your business going forward?
CASSIDY: Opening a taproom! For the last three years we have been a wholesale-only brand, and having a physical brick and mortar location will allow us to deepen the brand identity and give back to the community. 

BREWER: How did you start in the industry and why do you still want to be a part of it?
CASSIDY: I started as a beer lover turned bartender! Just before I graduated college I started pouring beer at my favorite local beer bar. I still love it because of the strong community and the art of brewing. It is a dynamic industry that is as rewarding as much as it is challenging.

BREWER: What are you sippin’ on right now from your brewery that you really enjoy?
CASSIDY: Hella Nibs Dessert Stout. It’s our winter seasonal loaded with chocolate and a kiss of vanilla to balance. Flavorwise, it is so decadent and winter-appropriate, but won’t knock you over at 8% ABV. 

BREWER: Be it in styles, ingredients, business strategies or sales & marketing techniques, what are some recent industry trends that you’ve tried or are excited about trying this year?
CASSIDY: NA beers for sure. We are currently experimenting to come up with our own line. It’s challenging because we are also a gluten-free brand, and you don’t see too many NA & GF beers out there, it’s usually one or the other, so there isn’t much to reference. Being that we are a “better for you” brand focused on inclusivity, it’s important for us to have an NA option. 

BREWER: What are some adaptations to business practices in the industry that you’ve observed over these past few years, and how has your brewery adjusted to stay competitive?
CASSIDY: Utilizing direct to consumer channels. In the post-COVID world, people shop from home much more and still want access to beer. Depending on where you are located this can be complicated, but given that we offer a niche product, it was important for us to be accessible outside of our immediate region. We recently partnered with a D2C platform to help fulfill this. The partnership, plus an advertising/marketing strategy has proven to be a good move for us.

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