Shortening Your Line of Communication in Growth

​Can less chit-chat mean more money? Perhaps.

Many breweries consist of a few owner/brewers, some taproom staff and off and running they can go. As that brewery grows, sometimes adding people with ideas and expanding departments​ can be detrimental in the short term. That can be a cost of man hours, pay and a less cost-effective way to get an idea put together.

“I’ve always maintained when you hire someone to communicate for you, you have just installed another layer in the communication process,” ​said Victory Brewing‘s Bill ​Covaleski.

A co-founder nearly ​a quarter century ago, Covaleski still ​looks to be a big part of the ​Pennsylvania ​brewery’s in-house design team, which oversees label design, advertising and marketing instead of hiring from the outside.

“As long as you can create a functional team that is honest with one another and is going to speak their minds in the creative meetings then you are a lot closer to the root source of what it is you are going to communicate,” said Covaleski, who worked ​for ​five years in graphic design and advertising in the early 90s while ​working on his homebrew.

“That chain has been shortened so that communication should be more pure.”

As a brewery gets larger and more staff is added, setting a baseline for what a team needs to have to function and build the culture of a brewhouse is vital.​ And of course, communication is paramount.

“I guess the culture of any team is derived from all its members so as long as everyone is happy and can handle the appropriate ballbusting it all works out,” said Sloop Brewing‘s Adam Watson. “We all love beer and like to make and promote great beer and our new beers. We have all been in the industry a while and like to at least think we are on top of what’s going on.”

Do some conflicts arise? Sure they can, but Watson said making beer is a team effort and dealing with issues can sometimes take a jocular tone.

“We all bust balls all day long so if something comes up it’s dealt with right away with humor and proper harassment,” he said.

Being honest from the beginning with the realities of the job and not being upset when someone doesn’t fit like you’d hoped has been learned​ as well​.

“The long term goals are all talked about frequently and everyone really knows their specific responsibilities,” Watson said.

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