Brewer Magazine Q&A: Tony Hansen, Short’s 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 Wednesday 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.

Tony Hansen, Beer Farmer, Short’s Brewing — Bellaire, Michigan

BREWER: What is a lesson learned within your position that sticks with you to this day?

HANSEN: To be very mindful of taking ingredients and techniques used on small batches at our pub to the production level without testing shelf stability first. I learned the hard way ten years ago that some of our crazy experimental beers are not meant to be bottled and put on the shelf.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?

HANSEN: Joe Short has been my mentor from the very beginning. I was a homebrewer when I met him, and he taught me how to brew on a “professional” brewing system. But I think the most important thing that I learned from him was to focus on creating beers that were unique, fun, and exciting.

BREWER: What have you added to your brewery lately that’s unique or making your business more successful?

HANSEN: We’ve built a custom production software in house that’s really helped streamline our process. It has eliminated an embarrassing amount of random spreadsheets and unnecessary steps in our day to day operations.

BREWER: In today’s business climate for craft beer, how will your brewery grow?

HANSEN: We aren’t focused on growth right now. We’re focused on becoming more efficient, keeping existing relationships strong, and making new exciting beers. Which will probably lead to more growth.

BREWER: What sort of innovations in craft beer excite you?

HANSEN: I love any new style, hybrid style, or a fresh take on an old style that makes it different.

BREWER: If you had one strategy that you could implement to better the craft beer business, what would it be?

HANSEN: The ability to transport beer via teleportation. I’m still working out the kinks.

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