Brewer Magazine Q&A: Austin Pinder, Bay City Brewing

This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with brewers from across the U.S.
Brewer Magazine will share business and personal insights from Brewmasters, Head Brewers, Brewing Managers and others each weekend to help you, a fellow brewer, Brewmaster or brewing manager get to know each other better in the industry and learn more to better develop your own brand.

Austin Pinder, Head Brewer​, Bay City Brewing — San Diego​

​BREWER: ​What is a lesson learned within your position that sticks with you to this day?
​PINDER: ​Keep it simple, stupid. Don’t over complicate the beer by adding a grocery list of ingredients and flavorings. In the end it’s usually the most simple recipes using the best ingredients that make the best beer.

​BREWER: ​Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
PINDER: It’s hard to single out one person — I have worked with a lot of great people over the years, and I try to learn a little bit from everyone. The two most important things I’ve learned are to love what you do and respect the craft. You won’t go very far in this business without sticking to those.

​BREWER: ​What have you added to your brewery lately that’s unique or making your business more successful?
PINDER: I think one thing that makes us a little different is our attitude. Making beer for a living is a lot of fun and we try to let that show.

​BREWER: ​In today’s business climate for craft beer, how will your brewery grow?
PINDER: We’re sitting right in the heart of one the most competitive craft beer markets in the world, so obviously you need to find a way to differentiate yourself. For us, it’s about staying true to San Diego, supporting the local scene, and remaining involved in the community.

​BREWER: ​What sort of innovations in craft beer excite you?
PINDER: It’s not necessarily a new innovation, but I’m always excited to see what hop growers are up to. Hop-forward beers are really driving the craft beer market and the thirst for hoppy beers doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I look forward to seeing what experimental hops are coming out and what products they’ve come up with to change the hop addition process.

​BREWER: ​If you had one strategy that you could implement to better the craft beer business, what would it be?
PINDER: If you are a brewery, don’t forget why you were drawn into this industry because it’s the same reason your customers are drawn to it. There’s still a sense of artistry and intimacy in the craft beer scene which is why so many people want to be a part of it. If we can keep that vibe going then craft beer as a whole will continue to gain more and more fans.

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