Brewer Magazine Q&A: Tony Lawrence, Boneyard 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.
Tony Lawrence​, ​Founder and Brewer​, Boneyard Beer — Bend, Oregon
BREWER: ​What is a lesson learned within your position that sticks with you to this day?
​LAWRENCE: ​Patience and realizing that you don’t know shit!
​BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
LAWRENCE: So Many​. John Harris, Bill Pengally, Matt Bryndilson, Tim Gossack, Nick Floyd,​ ​Mark Henion and everyone ​I work with at Boneyard. Topics include​: How to brew, science vs​.​ art and consistency while taking a risk

​BREWER: What have you added to your brewery lately (concepts, equipment or technology) that’s unique or making your business more successful?
LAWRENCE: Great people seems to be the best investment, QA/QC and S.O.Ps keep creeping into our systems. Letting the younger brewers and team express themselves on the old 20-BBL brewhouse. And finally, we opened a Pub.


​BREWER: In today’s business climate for craft beer, how do you feel your brewery will grow?
LAWRENCE: Difficult to answer as space is making many adjustments. Although high-quality liquids trump everything else. Focus on that first and don’t get distracted by shiny fancy short-term trends. So growth opportunity to us is a better beer. And do not over leverage your company. Slow and consistent wins.


​BREWER: What sort of innovations in craft beer excite you?
LAWRENCE: The raw materials providers seem to be challenging themselves to adjust to the craft brewers imagination. Same with the engineers and manufactures of equipment. The brewer’s anything-goes attitude from a recipe and brewing design standpoint. The sum of those together should keep it interesting.


​BREWER: If you had one strategy that you could implement to better the craft beer business as a whole, what would it be?
LAWRENCE: Keep it fresh and close to home. Too much beer is on the shelf or inventory is outgrowing consumption. Beer is aging out and the new flavors of craft is old and stale.​ ​Honestly​ *sad emoji*​

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