Brewer Magazine Q&A: Scotty Hunter, Urban Artifact

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.

Scotty Hunter​, co-owner/Head of Sales, Urban Artifact — Cincinnati

BREWER: How has your business strategy evolved to help grow and stay competitive?
​​HUNTER: It depends on how far back you want to go! We have shifted and tweaked so many things in regard to our business strategy over five years of operation. Many of the larger gains I feel have come from restricting who is responsible within our business of a given aspect or department. For example, I started off with Marketing in my direct purview and did nothing with on-site operations. About a year in we switched the on-site portion to me and around year three and a half I relinquished the marketing aspect to another of my partners to better service that piece of our business.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
HUNTER: I would not say that I have a single mentor in the industry, there are so many people that have been willing to help answer questions and coach me along the way. I will single out two people though that I have worked with since the very beginning in Justin Hue and Aaron Spoores at Cavalier Distributing. Both guys were at our very first meeting, before we ever brewed a batch on our large system, to discuss distributing our brand. From that point on that have taught me so much about beer sales and distribution. I can go to them with essentially any question and I know I will get a prompt and honest response. Sometimes the answers end up brutally honest and that is the advice I appreciate the most. It may sting my ego for a moment, but I am not led astray because someone was afraid to hurt my feelings.

BREWER: What idea did you or your team come up with lately that has been a big benefit to how your brewery functions?
HUNTER: The best idea lately has been our model of online beer sales with direct to consumer shipping. It really has revolutionized our business model and allowed us to continue to grow during very tough economic times. I also attribute a good deal of that focused effort to better overall visibility in the market and extremely strong distribution sales in the same time frame.

BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
HUNTER: Financial literacy. Working through the finances sounds like a drag to most people but it is the lifeblood of your business. If you don’t know what you financial looks like or if you don’t know what they mean, how can you make any decisions about where you are headed? This is something that I love digging into and ever since we put a greater emphasis and focus on the financial side of our business, we have flourished. Part of that was hiring a firm to help us with our bookkeeping, do not think you have to do everything yourself. There are professionals who can help you at affordable rates no matter what size your brewery is.

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  1. Pingback: No In-Store Tastings? New Ways To Boost Sales For On- & Off-Premise - Brewer Magazine

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