Why Growth isn’t the Endgame for Humble Forager’s Jevne​

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.

Austin Jevne, Owner​, Humble Forager Brewery — Waunakee, Wisconsin​

​BREWER Why did you enter the craft beer industry and what makes you love being a part of it and staying in it?
JEVNE: ​Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, craft beer was normal for me. I was inspired by breweries like New Glarus, Capital and Central Waters. I have been making beer for over 16 years and the beer industry has been a major part of my life. I stay in the industry because of the people, the connection between science and creativity, and because I love working for myself. This allows me to spend as much time as I can with my family while allowing me to work early in the morning or late into the night.

​BREWER: What do you feel have been new challenges in your position that have helped push you and make you better at your job?
JEVNE: Sourcing the best ingredients I can find has been a challenge but helped me discover new and exciting products for my beers and seltzers. It forces me to be creative and innovative with flavor combinations and connects me to the people who grow the raw ingredients.

BREWER: How has the definition of growth for your company evolved and how have you adjusted to be successful in that new definition?
JEVNE: Success is defined in many ways, I define it as a work​/​life balance which allows for quality family time. Growth for me is sustainability in the business. Making sure I can support the people and communities who produce the raw ingredients and giving back to the earth where and when we can is the form of growth and success I strive for at Humble Forager.

​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?
JEVNE: We have pulled back our production this year intentionally as we realized what is sustainable for our brand model. We see our ability to grow into a few new sectors of the beer market and the beverage industry. We are developing new product lines into categories we currently do not have a product in. That is where we plan to capitalize on beverage market opportunities.

​BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
JEVNE: Only use ingredients you are proud to put into your product lines. Support the people and businesses you respect and don’t only focus on growth. Focus on making your brand and beverages something you are proud of, not just the money side.

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