Brewer Magazine Q&A — David Lin, Comrade Brewing

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

David Lin, founder, Comrade Brewing — Denver

​BREWER: How do you feel your job has had to adapt in the beer market compared to a two years ago?
​LIN: ​Competition has increased greatly. Making sure we’re alerting the local news outlets about new beer releases and keeping our online and social media updated has become a lot more important.

​BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
​LIN: ​Bill Eye, founder at Bierstadt Lagerhaus in Denver. I used to brew with him years ago and learned so much from him about brewing, and brewing better beer. I love his insights and his thoughts on the industry. He’s got a great depth of insight from having brewed commercially for well over two decades.

​BREWER: Can you share a success story that you are proud of in your job or maybe a story of how you learned from a situation that has altered your thoughts on how you do your job now?
​LIN: ​We’ve had incredibly low turnover here at the brewery. Only four people in 5 1/2 years have left and our team is only eleven people strong. Six, including myself, have been here since the brewery opened. I’ve learned how as the economy changes, we need to be more competitive and be ready to adapt that change as well. Even though I thought we’re running well, my taproom manager and I have gone through management training coaching to be better listeners and leaders.

​BREWER: ​Can you touch on something your brewery has added lately that’s unique or making your business more successful (it could be equipment, technology or people)?
​LIN: ​We’ve signed on with this amazing mobile laboratory service, Fermly. We wanted quantitative data that we can look back on to see what processes we’ve changed and how it changes the specifications in the beer. It’s helped us dial in our processes, increase our efficiency, consistency and quality.

​BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
​LIN: ​Take care of your people. We weren’t able to offer health insurance in the beginning, but we’ve been covering 100% of everyone employee’s health care premiums starting in 2016 and have since added vision, dental and 401k with company match.

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