Brewer Magazine Q&A: Jared Williamson, Schlafly Beer

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.

Jared Williamson, Lead Brewer, Schlafly Beer — St. Louis

BREWER: What is a lesson learned within your position that sticks with you to this day?
WILLIAMSON: At the end of the day, it’s just beer. It’ll be okay.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have your learned from them?
WILLIAMSON: Roger Baylor was one of the owners at New Albanian when I worked for them, and my original beer mentor. His wide-ranging knowledge of classic European styles and social understanding of drinking/pub culture, coupled with his knowledge of the burgeoning American craft beer scene, really was a launching pad for not only myself but many individuals in the Louisville metro area. He deserves more accolades than he gets. I met (writer) Michael Jackson because of him.

BREWER: What have you added to your brewery lately that’s unique or making your business more successful?
WILLIAMSON: We have added a very unique two-story bottling line that brings the brewery up into one of our restaurant spaces, and I’ve never seen another brewery install something like this. It’s very unique.

BREWER: In today’s business climate for craft beer, how will your brewery grow?
WILLIAMSON: We look to find the balance between constant innovation and new products that the American craft beer drinker wants, while also maintaining the quality and consistency that will bring customers back time and again.

BREWER: What sort of innovations in craft beer excite you?
WILLIAMSON: We as an industry are still learning so much on the science side of things: how different yeast strains interact with different hop varieties and their compounds, how different malts impact shelf stability, etc. I could go on and on. We have an in-house Quality Control/Assurance lab team that helps us to stay on the front foot when it comes to quality and consistency. We as an industry are continuing to build such an amazing knowledge base, and it is a really fascinating time to be in beer.

BREWER: If you had one strategy that you could implement to better the craft beer business, what would it be?
WILLIAMSON: We as an industry need to take safety more seriously. A brewery is a dangerous place, we take that very seriously at Schlafly while many in the industry have a very nonchalant attitude about safety. Let’s take safety seriously as a preemptive measure, and not a reactionary one.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.