These 2 Ideas, Ziebell Says, Are Helping More Brewing Incentivize Consumers

This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with members of the brewing community from across the US. 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.

David Ziebell, Head Brewer, More Brewing Company — Villa Park, Illinois

BREWER: How have recent challenges in your position helped make you better? What were those “pain points” and how did you solve or adjust to the issue?
ZIEBELL: Rising cost of goods in the recent past has caused me to refocus my energy on recipe formulation and brewhouse efficiency, while maintaining our quality standards without sacrificing flavor. I would encourage any brewery to reach out to their suppliers about what they can do to help with these problems. Too often do we take these relationships for granted. Suppliers only succeed if we succeed.

BREWER: What has been your brewery’s most recent accomplishment and how is it going to improve your business going forward?
ZIEBELL: A main focus of our brewing operation has always been barrel-aged beers. Our continued achievements at the Festival of Barrel-Aged Beer (FOBAB) have helped cement those brands in our consumers’ minds.

BREWER: How did you start in the industry and why do you still want to be a part of it?
ZIEBELL: I started in the industry working at my local homebrew store (Chicago Brew Werks/Werk Force Brewing) in my hometown of Plainfield, Illinois. I landed the job there when I was 22 years old, still in college. I’m in this industry because of my love of beer and for the people. Being surrounded by people as passionate as me is a blessing that makes work feel like a vacation.

BREWER: What are you sippin’ on right now from your brewery that you really enjoy?
ZIEBELL: It’s a brewer’s cliche, but I’m always sipping on our German Style Pilsner “Villa Pils.” It’s aggressively hopped yet balanced, and I find that’s often missing in many American craft Pilsners.

BREWER: Be it in styles, ingredients, business strategies or sales & marketing techniques, what are some recent industry trends that you’ve tried or are excited about trying this year?
ZIEBELL: In our taproom we’ve seen a serious resurgence of classic styles, and I’m not mad about that! While we are known for more modern styles (Hazy IPAs, Pastry Stouts, Milkshake IPAs, and Fruited Sours) we’re excited to try our hand at more Belgian-style beers.

BREWER: What are some adaptations to business practices in the industry that you’ve observed over these past few years, and how has your brewery adjusted to stay competitive?
ZIEBELL: We’ve started to focus on loyalty programs such as our barrel-aged membership and happy hour pricing to incentivize consumers to visit us during off hours. We’ve also focused a lot of effort into producing classic styles with more traditional methods and ingredients.

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