Session 3 of the Breaking Brews Podcast takes a look at brewery production management! Host Jason Cercone is joined by Lauren Baker, Production Manager at North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock, PA, to discuss the many roles she plays to keep her brewery running efficiently. The great thing about this interview is that it’s not limited to production management. Lauren and Jason discuss a wide variety of topics in the beer industry throughout the show.
We start off hearing about Lauren’s background and how she broke into the craft beer world while living in Texas. Her experience took her from bartending to brand rep to sales management before landing in her present role at North Country. Jason and Lauren also discussed the importance of drinking responsibly while working in the beer industry and the role craft beer professionals play in educating consumers each and every day.
North Country Brewing is located in a college town and Lauren believes their business plays a big role in helping introduce college kids to better beer options. While they still may frequent bars with $1 PBR nights, they also have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with artisanal beers right in their backyard. In addition to that, Jason and Lauren discuss how North Country has evolved in the Slippery Rock community, from their humble beginnings at their brewpub to their expansion to a 30-bbl production brewery and additional pub space at the Harmony Inn.
MUSIC CREDIT: All music on this session courtesy of purple-planet.com
“You drink a lot in this industry and you have to learn how to responsibly drink. There are a lot of people who don’t realize how important that is. But with craft beer, we have more responsible drinkers now more than ever.” — Lauren
“It still boggles my mind when some communities give a new brewery who wants to come in a bunch of shit because they think they’re going to be promoting drunkeness. I think we are seeing less and less of that as everything continues to grow, but there are still some communities who still think in that antiquated way.” — Jason
“We are very open to breweries opening up around us and determining what is going to set us apart from them. I think North Country is doing a good job of trying to be unique. If you come to our pub and have our food and beer and experience, it’s definitely a little different from other breweries that have a completely different style.” — Lauren
“I think loyalty is a different thing these days. People won’t stay loyal all the time. They’re going to try something new. But, if you give them a good experience and something they’ll remember, they’re going to come back. On the other hand, if you give them a bad experience, you’re never going to see them again.” — Jason
“The more breweries are standing out, the less they need to fear other breweries opening up around them.” — Jason
“I feel like there is always a flow of stuff that needs to get done. You always have to have your priority list.” — Lauren
“For anyone looking to get a position like this, the main thing to know is that you need to be organized.” — Lauren
“Having good customer service skills can go a long way.” — Lauren
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