This Motto Blondell Uses Pushes La Quinta’s Beer Forward​

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.

Ryan Blondell, Head Brewer, La Quinta Brewing Company — La Quinta, California

BREWER: Why did you enter the craft beer industry and what makes you love being a part of it and staying in it?
BLONDELL: When I got hired at LQBC I was working a few part​-​time jobs and just had my second child. I home brewed and was doing a little part​-​time work at a local distillery. I need​ed​ a little extra money and the brewery need​ed​ kegs washed. A few years later I was brewing batches with the head brewer and building commercial brewing knowledge. I love the brewing community and the creative aspect of this job. No matter how bad your day is, it ends with a beer.

BREWER: What do you feel have been new challenges in your position that have helped push you and make you better at your job?
BLONDELL: There are many challenges on the job​,​ from equipment failure to human error that can throw a beer off track. Staffing has been a challenge, and I am the type that says “screw it, I will do it myself!” It gets challenging to keep focused on the beer. Hazys have been tough for me to get perfect but networking with other brewers has helped figure out what we can change in the brewing process to create better haze stabilization. There are many resources available to brewers but sometimes calling yeast suppliers and other vendors is amazing. After all, they want to keep selling you ​their ​product at the end of the day. What I feel makes me better at my job is never being content with what we have made. If you make a “perfect” beer, make another one!

BREWER: What strategic growth opportunity do you feel is still “out there” for your brand and how are you working on capitalizing on it this year?
BLONDELL: If we focus on the quality of the beer and look at others from time to time to see what the market is doing is our path to growth. We want to be consistent and great. Make consistently great beer. That’s the motto. That will build the brand. Nothing is better than going out of town and having someone recognize the logo.

BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
BLONDELL: Our beer market seems to be slightly behind San Diego on picking up beer trends. We find that our seltzer program is picking up and the same is true for Lagers. We may try a few new batches in that area but classic styles are making a comeback. Our Hefe sold well and our ​Pale Ale is kicking butt!

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