Brewer Magazine Q&A: Wil Rogers, 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.
Wil Rogers, Brand Manager, Schlafly Beer — St. Louis

BREWER: What is a lesson learned within your position that sticks with you to this day?
ROGERS: Great things happen when you stop trying to take credit for your work. Someone told me this a few years ago, and it’s something that hangs at my desk every day.

BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
ROGERS: I’ve done a lot of different things throughout my time in the industry, and I’ve had quite a few people help me out along the way. To name a few, I would give a lot of credit to Susan Haberer, Ben Bruker, and Jared Williamson.

BREWER: What have you added to your brewery lately (concepts, equipment or technology) that’s unique or making your business more successful?
ROGERS: One of the best projects I’ve worked on has been our From the IBEX Cellar line of beers. It was a project that took us almost two years to launch and all of the detail that went into the design of that package is something that our team is really proud of. These beers, thanks to our awesome brewing team, along with the package show Schlafly’s dedication to the craft. I could go on forever about this project. 
BREWER: In today’s business climate for craft beer, how do you feel your brewery will grow?
ROGERS: We’ve been doing this for 28 years. We know the beer industry, we have the right people on our team, and we have the right investments in place. Those three things will help us during this intense time in the industry and maintain a healthy business moving forward. It also helps that we make great beers for every kind of beer drinker. We want everyone to enjoy our beer, whether you’re an expert or a novice.

BREWER: What sort of innovations in craft beer excite you?
ROGERS: I’m a nerd for labels and packaging. Any time there’s something new in that realm, I want to get my hands on it. Yep, I’m that weird guy in the beer aisle touching all of the bottles, six-packs and labels.

BREWER: If you had one strategy that you could implement to better the craft beer business as a whole, what would it be?
ROGERS: If your beer isn’t up to quality standards, don’t sell it. Breweries that are putting out low-quality beer will only hurt our industry. If you can’t determine what’s good quality or bad quality, invest in the equipment and people to do so. It’s so important, and it blows me away the amount of people in our industry who are letting it go by the wayside.

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