Improving This Factor is a Key that D9’s Carli Smith Feels Craft Beer Needs

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.

Carli Smith, Charlotte Regional Head Brewer​, D9 Brewing​ — Lake Norman, North Carolina

BREWER: ​How has your business strategy evolved to help grow and stay competitive?
SMITH: ​D9 has had a far-reaching distribution for a while now, with the new locations that we are opening we are striving to bring it a little more local and really become part of the communities that we inhabit.

BREWER: ​Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
SMITH: Laura Ulrich has been my mentor for a while, even though she probably doesn’t think she is. She has taught me to really lean into all areas of our industry and push for the things that I want to achieve. She has taken the Pink Boots Society to new heights and I am honored to work alongside her in that work.

BREWER: ​If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
SMITH: ​In my opinion one of the biggest hurdles that I see breweries facing is difficulty communicating, internally and externally. I would like to see a simple platform that would allow for easy communication between management and hourly staff, front of house and back of house, as well as between ownership and customers. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that isn’t always properly communicated and in the digital world word travels fast, sometimes you only have one chance to say something and you want to make sure it is the right thing.

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