This Aspect, Says Ommegang’s Green, is Key to a Brewery’s Reputation

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.

Joe Green, Innovation Brewer, Brewery Ommegang — Cooperstown, New York

BREWER: What do you feel have been new challenges in your position that have helped push you and make you better at your job? 
GREEN: I enjoy a good challenge and in the brewing world and there seems to be a new one every day. It pushes me to be a better brewer and provides supportive evidence that continued innovation has value. One of the most recent challenges in my position has been improving final yields without spending more. Improving yields means taking a deep dive into the innovation process. This means adjusting recipes, trying new ingredients, being super attentive to your yeast, and maximizing volumes at all stages of the brewing process. Upholding the same quality measures and maintaining matching flavors on already established liquids can be the most difficult part.  

BREWER: Why did you enter the craft beer industry and what makes you love being a part of it and staying in it? 
GREEN: I started out working in the analytical and QC lab while still in college. It paved the way for a career in beer. I was also fortunate enough to learn that great beer is made in the details. I enjoy making new products, improving existing products, and putting smiles on people’s faces. I think there is always room to grow which keeps me in the industry. 

BREWER: What are some recent trends within your job and expertise in the industry that you’ve tried or are excited about trying? 
GREEN: I am really thrilled that Lager yeast is being used in so many creative ways. On top of producing clean flavors and highly drinkable beers, Lager yeast is a great means to an end, and it will improve your yields on dry hopped clean beers! The Belgian Lager yeast we use is super robust even at slightly elevated fermentation temperatures and tends to flocculate close to the end of fermentation on its own. This opens the door for prime dry hopping conditions and allows the hop aromatics to shine.

BREWER: What was your business’s greatest accomplishment during the past year, and what are your goals for your brewery this year? 
GREEN: In the past year we have had marked success on site with our Tap House business. We have also had success in the return of some of our Belgian products from the past. On top of this, innovation has allowed us to step outside the Belgian box and offer products that you would not normally expect from our brewery. In 2024 we will continue to drive our on-site business, expand our Belgian heritage products, and enthusiastically step outside the Belgian box with new innovative products. 

BREWER: What are some changes in the industry that you’ve observed in the past few years, and how has your business adapted to it to stay competitive? 
GREEN: At Brewery Ommegang, quality is one of our top concerns and we take great pride in our quality program. It allows us to stay competitive and I feel that people associate Ommegang with quality. I think that quality should be a brewer’s top concern, at every step of the process — even in draft dispensing. I am proud of all the brewers out there that pay attention to cleaning and quality. Your efforts are showing, and the craft beer industry is only improving. Keep up the good work and let’s feed off one another to make the best beer possible. Please keep your draft lines, faucets, and couplers clean and pristine! Cheers!

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