These Ideas are What Brenner See Short’s Staying True To

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.

Christa Brenner, Marketing & Brand Director, Short’s Brewing — Bellaire, Michigan

BREWER: What do you feel have been new challenges in your position that have helped push you and make you better at your job?
BRENNER: The pandemic. We had so much information to convey to folks surrounding our hospitality operations and in-market presence and things were changing constantly — being clear and timely was key.

BREWER: Why did you enter the craft beer industry and what makes you love being a part of it and staying in it?
BRENNER: I worked in hospitality as a bartender for years before starting my career in creative and marketing. I love being a part of this industry because of the creativity and fun that come with working at an experience-based brewery like Short’s. I stay because I believe in Short’s mission to make the world a better place thru beer — plus the people and our communities are awesome.

BREWER: What are some recent trends within your job and expertise in the industry that you’ve tried or are excited about trying?
BRENNER: We released our first NA product: a non-alcoholic Hop Water in summer 2023 with bluegrass virtuoso, Billy Strings. That’s been a dream project for me, as a big Billy fan. And it made sense for Short’s — Billy spent a lot of his early years playing shows at our Bellaire Brewery. It’s been cool to see him grow and evolve and be a small part of that ride. More and more folks are opting out of alcohol, and we think ours is the best Hop Water on the market.

BREWER: What was your business’s greatest accomplishment during the past year, and what are your goals for your brewery this year?
BRENNER: Our biggest accomplishment has been getting Local’s Light the recognition it deserves! We’ve been making our craft Lager for 20 years, and this year it’s the best selling craft Lager in our home state of Michigan. We beat out some really big brands with a lot more resources than we have. We’re so dang proud and thankful for the support!

BREWER: What are some changes in the industry that you’ve observed in the past few years, and how has your business adapted to it to stay competitive?
BRENNER: The industry is always changing because consumers change. We feel lucky to have established our company in a time with less competition and make a name for ourselves and our experimental brews and awesome destination location. We stay competitive by creating products we believe in. If we love something, we know consumers will love it too. We really try to stay true to the idea that what we’re doing should be fun. If it’s not fun, what’s the point?

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