Brewer Magazine Q&A: Trace Redmond, Highland 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 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.

Trace Redmond, R&D brewer, Highland Brewing — Asheville, NC

BREWER: What is a lesson learned within your position that sticks with you to this day?
REDMOND: Have confidence in your ideas and intentionality in every detail and decision you make. Everything is important.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have your learned from them?
REDMOND: Brandon MacClaren taught me to swing a clamp when I first got into the industry and later helped me to understand the importance of aroma, balance, and drinkability in recipe formulation.

BREWER: What have you added to your brewery lately that’s unique or making your business more successful?
REDMOND: The last couple of years, we have worked to update and expand our beer portfolio. Most recently, we started a barrel-aging program and a monthly on-site can release.

BREWER: In today’s business climate for craft beer, how will your brewery grow?
REDMOND: We recently updated our branding to reflect the evolution of our beer portfolio. As a company and a community, we are striving for authenticity that I believe drinkers will recognize and appreciate.

BREWER: What sort of innovations in craft beer excite you?
REDMOND: I love yeast. I have a background in biology. In the last couple of years, we have seen a bunch of new interesting strains and fermentation techniques. For me, these new strains and mixed cultures push the boundary of what beer is and can be.

BREWER: If you had one strategy that you could implement to better the craft beer business, what would it be?
REDMOND: Beer quality across the board. Craft beer is a collective brand and the future of craft beer depends on everyone in the industry producing a quality product. As much as beer is a competitive business, we have a responsibility to each other to make the highest quality beer.

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