the Original Slacker Podcast Presented by Round Guys Brewing Company Podcast Artwork Image
the Original Slacker Podcast Presented by Round Guys Brewing Company
Inside the Brewery 04: Dan LaBert on the State of PA Craft Breweries
January 08, 2019 Round Guys Brewing Company

Brewers of Pennsylvania Executive Director, Dan LaBert, chats with host Bill McGeeney on the state of Craft Beer in Pennsylvania. LaBert has managed the Brewers of Pennsylvania, PA's only Craft Beer trade association, since its inception in late 2010. Dan discusses opportunities and threats for 2019, and where he sees Craft Beer going in Pennsylvania. The Original Slacker Podcast is presented by Round Guys Brewing Company. Round Guys Brewing Company serves the greater Philadelphia counties of Montgomery and Bucks, in addition to Philadelphia proper. All music used in the recording is under a creative commons license. 

Brewers of Pennsylvania Executive Director, Dan LaBert, chats with host Bill McGeeney on the state of Craft Beer in Pennsylvania. LaBert has managed the Brewers of Pennsylvania, PA's only Craft Beer trade association, since its inception in late 2010. Dan discusses opportunities and threats for 2019, and where he sees Craft Beer going in Pennsylvania. The Original Slacker Podcast is presented by Round Guys Brewing Company. Round Guys Brewing Company serves the greater Philadelphia counties of Montgomery and Bucks, in addition to Philadelphia proper. All music used in the recording is under a creative commons license. 

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:07Welcome to another episode of the original slacker podcast, presented by around guys brewing company. Today is an episode of inside the brewery. My guest is Dan, lover of the brewers, have pa man. This is a pretty intense as a pretty great interview. We have a Dan Dan talks about everything having to do with the upcoming sales tax. We chat about market positioning, other players in a legislative environment with regards to craft beer. This is going to be a great one guys, and I know it's a little longer than usual, but trust me on this, if you are a big beer geek, if you like to know what's going on in his industry or if you're a potential individual trying to open up their own brewery or what not. This is a good episode. Without wasting any time, we're going to jump right into it and here we go. Welcome to another episode of the original slacker podcast. Today this brewery I have Dan Barber of the brewers have Pa. The of Pa was formed in 2010 and Dan, have you been the executive director since 2010?

Speaker 2:1:14Yes. There were other guilds in the, in the state's history, but for a right, wrong or indifferent, they were not able to be successful and stay or stay around. So a couple of, not the global in 2010 and launched the brewers of Pennsylvania. So I've been the first executive director.

Speaker 1:1:31So diverse of PA came from a, it was kind of a merger, right? It's a merger between an old bird association which had our traditional, I would say like, you know, not necessarily to craft beers, but you know, the small beers of the time. Right. You had your gangling you're lying. Uh, what other brewers were in that association?

Speaker 2:1:52Yeah, I mean there, there was a traditional micro brewers guild and when, when we were still calling it micro, you know, not a term as popular anymore. And then there was a larger production scale yield, which uh, you know, that that was also going back to the days when rolling rock was being produced in Pennsylvania by rolling rock. So there's some time here, but ultimately neither gills were successful in their endeavors and they both ended up folding and you know, there were still legislation as there's always legislation in the state of Pennsylvania that's threatening craft beer and keeping it from consumers' hands and threatening, threatening consumers from the enjoying more craft beer. Uh, and then a number of brewers got together and said, you know, we've learned from our past and we need to create a guild that embraces all Pennsylvania brewers, but do it in the sense that it is a mission oriented advocacy guild.

Speaker 2:2:39You know, we do. Our main focus is advocacy. While there's some play with professional development, we leave the social beer gathering to the entities that are already formed and successful philly beer week, a Harrisburg beer week, uh, the, you know, the master brewer's guild of eastern Pennsylvania, Western, um, you know, we fit our niche and by being the serving as the sword and the shield of all things, craft beer and it's mostly legislative, right? Mostly legislative. There are some regulatory issues like the sales tax issue. I mean, that's, that's not a, a legislative issue. That's the department of Revenue's basically penalizing Pennsylvania brewers were being successful and having a, you know, a multibillion dollar impact. So they come in to say, hey, we need money so we're going to tax craft beer, so that's a regulatory issue, but that could be a legislative fix where we're working on that, but you know, it, it's, it's pretty much across the board. We also keep our eyes on things that are impacting the industry, whether it be best practices or, or are quite candidly pollution in the water, you know, we've got to kind of have, can't have good, great Pennsylvania beer without great Pennsylvania water. So we keep our eyes on a broad spectrum of things impacting the beer market.

Speaker 3:3:48Yeah, I think those are really good points. People don't even think about that side of it, right? That people don't think about the environmental, the all the adjacent antecedents that come into making great.

Speaker 2:3:58Well, I mean that's just it, right? I mean, Pennsylvania beer drinkers are fortunate to live in this state and drinker from the state because we have phenomenal agriculture. We have background in the sciences. We're strategically located to major metropolitan areas as far as shipping lines are concerned, so our challenges for getting some of the raw ingredients and may not be as difficult as some of the smaller states, but these are things, you know, the bearers of Pennsylvania have to keep an eye on. Somebody has to. There's 10,000 brewery jobs at stake. There are wholesaler agreements that are threatening the Pennsylvania consumer everyday from people not being able to get their beer. Um, so, you know, again, the bruise, the Pennsylvania philly great role, the sword and the shield.

Speaker 3:4:41Why is it that for an industry, I believe you quote as one point 2 billion in revenue generation or is it total job creation? Was the, I believe

Speaker 4:4:52that was 13, 2014 number. I mean we've grown since then. I've heard that the secretary of ag Pennsylvania Agriculture quoted as high as 5 billion, but we know as brewers, you know, we're impacting a couple of billion dollars in a couple of thousand jobs. So there's a, there's a nice footprint we have. And why is it that we have to defend this industry so much? Great question. Right, and if it goes to the lines of typical Pennsylvania, and I may be a bit cynical here, but you know, businesses were built, mom and pop businesses were built and they were built for the right reasons to get products out there, but they have not adjusted with the timing. Right. You know, there used to be four to one wholesalers to brewers, now it's four to one brewers. The wholesalers and wholesalers continue to merge and combine and take down jobs, right?

Speaker 4:5:42You only need so many sales crews, but when you have that many craft brewery products out there and you're not expanding to salesforce, why should they change? Right. They don't have to change the laws that are in their favor because they were written slightly after prohibition. They haven't changed much. So, you know, here you have a growing industry and creating thousands of jobs and in classic Pennsylvania fashion, you know, how do we maintain status quo? You know, this proposed sales tax. I'm calling it the tap room tax because that's really what it's all about. You know, the Department of revenue looks at an industry and says, oh, this industry is doing well, let's penalize their success and take more money from them so the consumers end up getting hurt. It's just complete asinine and typical operations for the state of Pennsylvania. And this is why we have to constantly defend ourselves. Even though beer has been around since, gosh, the dawn of colonial times and probably longer, even though Pennsylvania has a deep rooted history in the creation of Pennsylvania craft beer, we have some of the best freaking brewers in the, in the United States. And yet here we are with an unfair and, you know, not level playing field having to fight uphill yet we're the ones that are employing thousands of people were the ones that are creating an impact where industries stagnant. Uh, and we're the ones quite frankly, keeping many pennsylvanians spirited.

Speaker 1:6:58You know, it's funny, man, I, I travel a lot to just go around the state to go mountain biking or stargazing. We got locked in a safe enough people, especially down here in Philadelphia, don't realize that the state is more than just the cities like this state is a, is a first off, is a beautiful state and it's a brilliant state. You have a lot of things that can be doing at all times and one of the best parts is nowadays you can go to different parts of the state that are little more rural than rural and you find some great beer. You find some great. Uh, it's, it's kind of like the key driver and your little town's economy. So not only are you going to go say hunt or go fish or stargazer hike or mountain bike, but then you come back after at the end of the day you still want to, you know, have a good beer and have some food and you have some great spots in his state now. And in places that were traditionally just either agriculture or truck stops are turning around into two places that are almost destinations.

Speaker 4:7:55Exactly. And it isn't that great because you know, for, for those of us in third and forties and fifties and older, you can remember a time when these small towns and a vibrant, but even when they were vibrant, the smoky bar on the corner that you know, you weren't allowed to bring your family wound got let alone your spouse. It was just were, you know, a hard day was spent a decompressing and it really wasn't a family atmosphere. Now these small towns have learned from their ways because quite candidly, you have average household incomes plummeting. You have mainstreet plummeting. And many towns have embraced the fact of having a craft beer brewery on main street. Right? Having a craft brewery that's family friendly that, you know, some of the ingredients are sourced, right? You know, probably you'd have 50 mile radius created by people who live there.

Speaker 4:8:43For the people who live there. It's really something that's magical, that's, that's taking place in the Commonwealth. The other side of this is what a on beer styles, right? A hazy IPA that selling like gangbusters in in the Greater Philadelphia area may not be as well received in say the, you know, the South Kohana value into some different styles of beer being created for different people there and it's amazing how certain beer styles will work in the cities where other beer styles will be successful in, in, in the suburbs, in the more rural areas, and all of that is lending to the success of Pennsylvania craft beer. It's not because there are additional sales lines are opened up or the playing field has been leveled. It's not. And that's the challenge. We're getting their beer, so to get to a local brewery to get to a local tap room and have the beer that's fresh, that's not sitting in the back of a cinder block room where it's not getting any attention because it's not a, it's not an anheuser busch product. That's what's making craft beer so special in Pennsylvania and that's what's changing towns around one by one.

Speaker 1:9:46Right. I mean it doesn't have the layers upon layers of caked in dust on top of it. Is that box right?

Speaker 4:9:52Yeah. How have to love. Yeah, and when you go into that cinder block building, you know and say, where's this craft beer and the salesperson does no idea what you're talking about. They tend to point to the back wall and say if it's there, it's there. It's like, it's amazing. You know, I, I love pulling out a bottle and seeing dust all over it. No, thanks. I'd rather just go to the brewery and drink from the source.

Speaker 1:10:14Yeah, yeah, no doubt. So I want to hit on something you mentioned before, some of the resources. So are we in agreement that the tax looks like a money grab and it appears to be part of this inept political situation where we can't figure out how to build a revenue at all in this state for one reason or another, which we don't need to go into, but it looks like it's an easy solution that they can say, hey, we're not going to lose votes on so we can push this out to, to the technocrats and let them run with it.

Speaker 4:10:43Well, I, I'm in 100 percent agreement, but here's the issue that, you know, and a lot of consumers don't really care, right? They just want to make sure they can get their beer. So of course revenue comes in and says we're going to create a tax that, you know, allows us to get their slice of the pie as well, but here's the real issue, right? If you're a craft beer fan and you now have to pay more, that hurts, right? If you're a craft brewery and you now have to factor your price in the tax in and seeing how, you know it's going to impact your customers, that hurts. But I'm really disappointed to see that there's not more leadership on this issue. I mean, Governor Wolf has champion. I mean, he kicked off his tour with Senator Casey for reelection this past year at labrie brewery in Erie.

Speaker 4:11:28He recognizes the fact that craft beer has a huge impact in this state. That is so much, in fact, that his own campaign toward kicked off at a Pennsylvania craft brewery. I'm hopeful that there's an appetite for the governor's office to correct his agency, right, the department of revenue and correct this issue so he can't be in the whole free my beer. Well, he freed the beer and now his agency is taxing it, which is just kind of absurd, so I'm hopeful there's an appetite, but you know the brewers of Pennsylvania, we are dedicated to seeing this issue through. We've been able to push the, the implementation of this tax off a number of times and we are a. we're excited that the legislature has a. has an appetite to help us correct this issue because it goes back to exactly what you said while you're enjoying that craft beer, the state is looking for a money grab and to penalize the success of Pennsylvania craft brewers. Who

Speaker 1:12:23or the the organizations or to groups that are after taprooms?

Speaker 4:12:27Well after tap is a strong statement, but I'd have to call out I guess

Speaker 1:12:32Titian whose, whose income in this case it will be. They're trying to protect their own

Speaker 4:12:36mark and I have to call out our beer colleague. You know, Jay, we're holding to the Pennsylvania beer alliance. I mean they are vested in the status quo. They have no interest in seeing the laws change because they are very favorable toward wholesalers and wholesalers are not able to, in their eyes, weep the success of have tap rooms, but that's actually not true. I mean there are several breweries in Pennsylvania because of the success of their tap rooms. Those wholesalers are seeing much more product purchase from them at at the case quantity. I wouldn't say that the PBA is against it, but they're sure as heck not helping more beer gets sold from Pennsylvania craft brewers unless it goes through their members and and you know what? That's just an inadequate archaic way of doing things and that's classic for Pennsylvania. I think there's a middle ground.

Speaker 4:13:23I think the Pennsylvania holds wholesalers or many of them are willing to sit at the table and figure things out, but I don't think they're looking necessarily to see attacks on tap rooms. That's not something they're driving, but they sure as heck are not interested in everyone getting their beer from direct from the brewery. They obviously wanted to go through their wholesalers and, uh, I, I get that, but you know, we have to adjust with the times. Um, and also there are other groups out there, you know, the Taverns Association, which is challenged right now to see where they fit in as far as Pennsylvania craft beer is concerned. And these, this is not just Dan Lambert, you know, executive director of the brewers of Pennsylvania, pointing fingers at other groups. I'm referencing, you know, a letter that those groups signed onto and, and send it around the house and the Pennsylvania Senate just a few weeks ago saying that, you know, they don't want to see this special tax carve out for Pennsylvania brewers. And, and more importantly, they don't want to see this special tax Alpha Pennsylvania consumers who are drinking Pennsylvania craft beer. So I want to make that clear. While I'm not afraid to poke the bear, I will say, you know, I'm referencing that the letter that they sent around to legislators saying that they are not in support of this tax carve out for Pennsylvania consumers. So that Pennsylvania craft brewers are treated equally and fair,

Speaker 1:14:39right. And we're trying to do is place the environment, so people listening, they may not be as familiar with survivors of PA obviously is now the from by and large is the advocacy, the legal advocacy avenue for craft brewers and PA. And then you have, why don't you tell me a little bit about who the PA brewers alliances and in a tavern association, I just really want to paint the picture of who the players are, who

Speaker 4:15:01I mean. Well, I mean the players aren't even in the Pennsylvania Brew Beer Alliance, which has nothing to do with, you know, the Gurus of Pennsylvania. They, their membership are mainly the wholesalers in the state of Pennsylvania. Um, you know, they do their job of getting product, uh, you know, as far as the three tier system is concerned to the consumers from the brewery that they play, the middleman, if you will. There are the, the, the Pennsylvania to the tavern alliance. I'm not sure the exact acronym. Obviously they are the ones that are, you know, the taverns on the corner that are not necessarily a tap room, not necessarily a vfw or American legion. They are your local bar in the corner. You know, there are some others that were in that mix that, that signed onto that love letter. I know anheuser busch, which really has, you know, Abi has, you know, they have no interest in seeing taprooms succeed.

Speaker 4:15:45They want you to buy all anheuser busch beer from wholesalers who are anheuser busch friendly, you know, or, or they're, you know, fau, Fau, x craft breweries that they go around and buy up and then, uh, want to capture the success on. So these are the players that are out there. There's a few others in the mix, a malt beverage folks, the uh, you know, obviously you have wine and spirits out there as well. So, um, I mean Pennsylvania system is archaic, but it's sure as heck is not a clean ride. The pick out who all the players are, how everything impacts. So the legislators are challenged by this, but it is the brewers of Pennsylvania who are the ones that are defending independently owned Pennsylvania based craft brewers.

Speaker 1:16:25Right. I was driving back from I guess Altoona Central Pa, uh, about a month ago. And when I'm driving down, I come to a sheetz outside of Harrisburg. Okay. They were sewing beer. Who's winning when? As she is selling beer. That's the first time I've ever seen a Sheetz in PA.

Speaker 4:16:46So West Virginia

Speaker 1:16:47seed in Ohio, you know, places that in New York you go to a gas station, what not, but I've never seen it in PA.

Speaker 4:16:54Well, a campaign that she put together called free my beer. Um, where that, you know, the local gas stations can compete with similar. Our states, as you said, you see in other states where he could buy, you could buy beer from those from those outlets. But the challenges is always right. I guarantee you that most of the sheets that are selling beer in Pennsylvania, you're not going to walk in and find around guys beer. You're not going to walk in and find another Pennsylvania craft beer at and that's fantastic, but the majority of the time you will see either anheuser busch or Miller corps products and you know, craft beer is once again on the outside looking in and in my opinion, that's absurd, right? Yes. You fried the beer and now sheets could sell beer, but the challenges for a tap room to get their beards that market are significant and you know, we're not going to bore the listeners with, you know, the industry challenges because all they want to do is get their beer but it's clear you're not going to get or find many Pennsylvania craft beers at your local seats and if you do a, I hit that feeds often, but the majority of the time you won't because how, how does a, you know, the, the system is not set up for a local craft brewers to get their beer to the marketplace to, you know, in six packs or 12 packs or 15 packs or 30 packs are 42 packs because they just don't have that kind of resources.

Speaker 4:18:19And the system is not set up to remove the barriers of access. So you're going to pull in your fruits are gonna walk out and you're 40 pack of Busch. Hey, great, thanks. Thanks.

Speaker 3:18:30Things don't change, right? No, no. The more things change, the more they stay the same. You go to a number of other states, even including Washington and you have beer in grocery stores. And now with Inbev being able to use, as you call it, the fall brands, uh, they were to fau brands. They dominate that space. It's like going down toothpaste aisle and you have really no choices for non, for independent craft beer. It's all chain. It's all the big players. So how does that factor into, how do we make that not happen? NPA in a longterm. Because right now I think we have a nice equal medium where you go into grocery store and you have good options. But I don't see that playing out in the long run because the margins for the grocery stores, you know, is this more advantageous for them to,

Speaker 4:19:17with the margins are going to be tough and us, you have to look at the market right here, what you know, where's the average craft beer drinker or a consumer, where are they going for their beer, right? You, they're not going to pick up a, a case of Mary monks at Walmart or married mom. That's just not where that beer is going to be sold. But I think there has to be a healthy balance. And I can't say without specifically mentioning names, there are a number of groceries outlets, corporations, both inside and outside Pennsylvania that have approached the brewers of Pennsylvania, want to work with the brewers of Pennsylvania to help get more beer in grocery and help have designated shelf space for Pennsylvania beer that is fair as, as possible as it's going to be for anheuser busch. Dominating that shelf space. Um, we have seen some grocery stores put off, you know, because of the way the laws are written, designate specific areas for beer.

Speaker 4:20:16We've seen wegmans take a while. The while the, you know, I'm, I'm not gonna argue the, the profit margin and the pricing, but we have seen an outlet like wegmans make dedicated areas to local craft beer in Pennsylvania and they've done a pretty good job doing it. Whether or not people are buying it, I don't know. I don't have access to that kind of sales. We've had great success partnering with Wegmans and that's a group that you know, says that that just approached the bruise of Pennsylvania. They've, they've worked with us, they've been a sponsor of being of the malts. They've said we want beer in stores. It's going to happen. We're going to make sure it happens with tomato lobbying legislation, but we want to have a dedicated area to Pennsylvania craft beer. You know what, you can't ask for a better partner than that.

Speaker 4:20:59You know they could. I mean, because you could look at other store and, and trust me, other grocery in big box are going to get beer in Pennsylvania. It's, it will happen no matter what you hear from what legislator it's going to happen, but at least with the brewers of Pennsylvania talking with many of these outlets, we're hopeful that they will follow the path of success like wegmans and other groups are starting to, uh, to adopt that we need to have dedicated shelf space for local because that's what sells. I've seen it happen in other states. You can stop, you know, big box from having red, white and down the aisle because in my reference to red, white and blue, anheuser busch, because that's just, you know, what sells to the mass market. But if there are at least approaching the state and saying we want to have dedicated area. So all brewers who are able to get their beer to market, we have space for them. I don't think you could ask for a better setup than that.

Speaker 1:21:51I agree. You know, it would, it seems to come down to is education right? If you have an educated consumer, I feel like they're picking a more diverse options. They're picking more challenging option. I mean, because what is an educated consumer

Speaker 4:22:04right now, I mean we've had a run the last three or four or five years and we've been picked apart on this option because you know, many of our adversaries will say, oh, look at how well craft beer is doing. Um, you don't need to have this, that, or the other. It's changing though. That's how any market is. When it first starts. Now we have people who are educated, they are okay with buying their same ipa over and over because that's their go to beer. But we're seeing a lot of breweries have to shift their production away from what the new and shiny is. And back to what that now educated craft beer consumer wants. So even though there's been some education and it's developed, we're still going through a time of transition on what people are buying. Where is their loyalty, especially as it relates to craft beer and what's going to sustain for the long run. We sure as hell don't want Pennsylvania craft beer to be just a flash in people's eyes and all of a sudden then we're back to a, you know, a rolling rock ponies standing on cases. So I mean it's, it's, there's professional development institutes and that comes with it. Consumer education that comes along with it and the industry can education that comes along with it, but I still think it's in transition. I do know this. Cannabis is bad for craft beer, not open Pandora's box, but cannabis is bad for graph there.

Speaker 1:23:24That will be on the next time we have, but after having him for that one now with regards to the educated consumer, the educated consumer knows now they know what styles they like and you see, you see consumers go through phases. I don't think it's fair to say that every consumer starts off as an IPA or a wheat beer drinker. I think they start off somewhere, they transitioned and then they'll transition again and it'll transition back to what they kind of liked in the beginning. That's kind of the trend I'm seeing where they'll, they'll get adventurous and I know they'll kinda like snake around little more and then I'll go back to me like, you know, I really like this beer and this is the beard. It's going to be my drink. My question is with, as we go forward, we have an educated down here in southeastern Pa.

Speaker 1:24:12I think we have the most educated consumers in a nation when it comes to beer. I really haven't found too many sections of the country to have such smart, well informed, you know, great palette beer drinkers and it's not for me trying to tell the section. I just feel like this part of the world. Is it just, maybe it's because of the, uh, the industry you have around here with a lot of the, you know, the chemist and a biologist who, who kind of live in this space. But how do you feel about when, when you have anheuser busch go through and a make a IPA and they start making the stouts and went through their full brands. Do you think that with the breweries saturation, we're starting to see in certain areas, is that going to make a difference? Is that going to dent it or are people going to be like, hey, this is an IPA and this is a cheaper IPA, or this is a cheaper stele. It's still a craft style. I don't know who this brand is, but it tastes the same as what I'm drinking over here. How do you feel about. Do you think that anheuser busch has an opportunity to actually take a cost conscious consumer out of the craft? I guess market we have right here.

Speaker 4:25:22Big, big question first. I couldn't agree with you more on the south eastern part of Pennsylvania. I, in fact, I will be as bold enough to say I think Philadelphia is one of the top beer cities in the country. I definitely think it's the top beer city on the east coast. I apologize to to Asheville, North Carolina, but there's a reason why the craft brewers conference was 13,000 attendees was held in the city of Philadelphia. There's a reason why the, you know, the beer weeks and the festivals and Philadelphia kick ass on an annual basis. There's a reason why Sierra Nevada brings their beer camp tour the Pennsylvania because quite frankly, Philadelphia craft beer fans kick ass and they know what they're talking about. Now, the anheuser Busch, they listen. The bottom line is they're creating marketplace confusion. They are doing it intentionally, uh, as Jim Cook said, they spill more beer than most breweries make in an entire year.

Speaker 4:26:17And I'm talking to the larger breweries in the United States. There's no doubt that they are looking to create the marketplace confusion by buying up, in some cases, quality craft breweries. I mean, you know what, I, I know goose island is a lightning rod, but let's call it what it was before goose island's sold out to anheuser busch. They were a damn good craft brewery and a lot to pull like their beer. But the reason why anheuser busch came in is they continue identify craft breweries that are doing well and have a following. They continue to have more money. Uh, I, I wouldn't be surprised at anheuser busch prints their own money. They have more money for resources, marketing campaigns, the ability to buy up breweries, take their recipe, do it on the cheap, do it with maybe not as quality ingredients, do it with no local sourcing whatsoever, and create other beers that confuse the marketplace where the novice craft beer person will sit there and say, this is an Ipa, mm, this is good.

Speaker 4:27:15Not realizing that it's being mass produced and, uh, by a foreign owned company. So there's no doubt that's a huge threat to Pennsylvania craft brewers. They have to be wary of that, but it's going to happen. I mean, it's David and Goliath and in its best sense and Goliath in this case, you know, has all the slingshots and the rocks plus the size. So it's really a challenge for the Pennsylvania community. I'm sorry, they're the consumer community to look at their beer when they're buying. It makes sure that the brewery is a member of the brewers of Pennsylvania and make sure that if they're buying it from a, from a tobacco store, whatever, that that independent brewer labeling provided by the brewers association is on there, but otherwise right now there is significant marketplace confusion intentionally caused by that hazard, blushed to change the marketplace.

Speaker 4:28:04I do find the irony is though, have you have anheuser busch running all these different commercials, especially the bud light commercials, making fun of people who want something different than bud light. Although the commercials are well done, they're funny, but the but the reality is, you know, they say craft beer doesn't matter. It's such a small piece of the market. Then why are they dedicating all of this advertising dollars to make people stay with the anheuser busch products, but then on the flip side of those commercials, they're are also running around buying up all these craft breweries to continue that marketplace confusion. So the reality is you have to look for brewer labeling. You have to look for the affinity with the brewers of Pennsylvania. Clearly our mission, vision and values is that we protect Pennsylvania craft brewers and the brewers they sell, so anheuser busch has the ability and there are other groups out there to not just anheuser busch, but clearly there, there the, the you know the giant here that create marketplace confusion for the average craft beer consumer, so you may be picking up an IPA and thinking it's a wonderful product, but you could rest assured that it may be being produced by a foreign owned company that has absolutely zero impact, zero care or zero concern about the local town or borough or city that you're buying.

Speaker 4:29:14That everyone that we take a break and talk to you

Speaker 5:29:18as you may or may not know here, round guys brewing company, we actually make four, five beers depending on how you want to classify for affiliate loves buddy week I'm drinking. Lebanese stays on. It's a medium body, stays on nice little lemon character in there, but it also has a nice hop character. Actually is more like 11 hop characters coming through. You get a nice body that's a medium body with some reading notes and a nice little subtle, not character, and they're just a great taste and says, I look forward. We have four other beers out there. Loving alien stays on obviously is what I'm talking about. Sigma kids was a double dry hop love mel in. Then we have our of Gouda of Suburbia, which is our foreign extra stout, brutal with molasses, never grow old, which is our take on a northeastern Ipa, and then we also have a special release barrel aged Buddha of suburbia using rye whiskey barrels. Without further ado, let's jump right back into the episode and see what Dan has on his mind going forward. You're a political guy and you understand exactly what

Speaker 3:30:21they're doing with those ads. The sort of market confusion isn't a one end and the other end trying to lock in or base and not have their base run away and try and just keep finding a way to to reassure their base that, hey, you know, we're still here. We're still making this beer and don't worry about those guys. They're not doing anything. We're to people, your light beer drinkers were the ones who come to and that that's always been my take on it is when an attack us, it's not really a reflection of us at all because they just are concerned that that they're not going to be able to find a unifying piece when they make their swill you know, how much they've never had. They liked like many of the

Speaker 4:31:00failures out there, they've never had to deal with this type of threat to their marketplace and you know, craft beer is a real craft. Beer is here, craft beer is local and we're not going away. But you know, the larger entities have sat on legislation that protects them, that's written in their favor. A large brewers have not had, you know, the original craft paper, in my opinion, is union beer. The larger production breweries have not had to deal with the threat that is union beer being America's oldest and largest and only in, by the way, 22 states out of our 50. So these bigger, larger groups that have had the pleasure of sitting on their laurels and not having to do much are now striking back and they, and they have the resources and the talent to do it, but you know, that's what makes local wonderful and you know, that's why, you know, craft brewer fans need to support local while they should always educate their palate and try all different kinds of beers from all different areas in state, out of state, as long as the Pennsylvania craft beer is their go to and they come back to it, makes them a better consumers.

Speaker 4:32:09But drinking water from a cannon, calling it beard, that's not a, that's not a craft,

Speaker 3:32:15right? Right. So I think it was a d 2015 brewers association over at the, uh, the craft beer conference in Denver where Paul got. So I got up there and who is the director for the Ba who got up there and said, you know what, I love the enthusiasm. I love seeing all the breweries out here when we got up quality. How do you feel about 2019? What are some of the opportunities? And threats we have coming up in this coming year,

Speaker 4:32:45first off, it's all beer and wine and beer needs to come together. The more we try and try and move it apart is going to make it more challenging for the industry and more confusing for the customer. However, one thing that will never be confusing for the customer is lack of quality and quite frankly, shit tasting beer. And if brewers craft brewers, Pennsylvania craft brewers, other craft brewers around the country, do not pay more attention to their quality, which is what craft beer was founded upon. It's going to hurt the entire beer industry. Craft beer industry, you want to call it that as a whole. You know, we have close to 300 brewers now in Pennsylvania. Uh, over 200 of them are belong to the brewers, the Pennsylvania there. In addition to the brewers of Pennsylvania symposium, there's master brewers meetings. There needs to be significant swing at this point in our industry toward quality because it touches on everything we've discussed up to this point.

Speaker 4:33:41There are craft beer consumers who are much more educated than they were five, 10 years ago. There are outside forces trying to confuse the marketplace the only way out other than some really creative marketing which only lasts for so long as you well know, is maintaining quality and if people are walking away from your brewery and you have not created the tap room experience or he or they bought a case of 24 bottles or cans and somehow it was quality process was missed in some way, shape or form, they will not come back and purchase that beer. There is no craft beer loyalty at this point right now. People are still figuring out which direction they want to go. Now, don't get me wrong, there's some craft.

Speaker 3:34:24I think you hit on a good point and craft beer. Loyalty is more a factor of I think, supply and demand at the moment I haven't been. Do you have enough supply? You can just go somewhere else to the next period, maybe even a block away. That's right. You know, these guys are making really taste the beer that can. I got. There's no flaws with it. This is great. This is what I want. I want a predictable product. When I spent the other end of it too is we haven't talked about the demand bump in pricing for packaging. Correct. So. Well, yeah. I mean there are all kinds of factors that go into it, but we can go any direction you'd like because there's. There's. This is a great topic and there's a lot to dive into, but it still comes back to if your product focus as a craft brewer, you're focused on quality and you're focused on the customer experience, you will build that loyalty. If you, if you slack one bit on quality, the craft beer community now we'll identify it, know it, tell their friends about it because of course social media is, is, is, is a wonderful way to do that, right, wrong or indifferent, but it leaves a craft brewery defenseless. So the quality game has to be opt and focus on a year round basis. Is there anything in the legislative pipeline and we have to pay attention to in 2019? Sure. In addition to

Speaker 4:35:38the sales tax, which is a big issue right now, the Barista Pennsylvania, we're keeping an eye on some of the movements in other states. For example, California and Ohio with a, an anheuser busch driven, uh, legislation as it relates to glassware. They're trying to obviously trying to push more glassware into the marketplace. That's anheuser busch. Uh, there's a lot to it, but that you just have to keep an eye on that. I think we have to look at any threat to the three tier system that doesn't help it evolve to what craft beer, the craft room, public needs and wants today. A lot of people are invested in the status quo. In other words, no change. And you're still going to that dirty son Deborah Cinder block place to find dusty beer that was exposed to light and the salespeople who have no, uh, no education about the discussing it with.

Speaker 4:36:21I think we have to keep an eye on ways that the Pennsylvania craft beer consumers could help Pennsylvania brewers getting find more outlets, more storage locations as we call them to find their beer. You know, we have to watch the shelf space issue. I mean ultimately if a Pennsylvania craft beer fan cannot find their favorite craft beer, then they need to let that brewery. No, because that is not, you know, sometimes it's, it's a brewery keeping up with supply and demand, but other times they are just roadblocks to engagement barriers to engagement that doesn't allow the Pennsylvania craft beer consumer to get their beer. And that's what we need to keep an eye on right now. So no one cares about an industry tiff, right? But when a consumer cannot say industry tiff, like, you know, uh, some of the, uh, the wholesaler agreements that are in perpetuity, which are just, that's absurd.

Speaker 4:37:11It's archaic is a in typical, but when a consumer cannot get access to their favorite beer, then that's what we need to focus on. And there's always threatening legislation that will keep consumers from getting to their craft beer. And that's why the brewers Pennsylvania exists. So big answer to your question, that has been not, I'm not going to support specific builder or anything like that because that's just boring anyway. But I agree there are always threats to Pennsylvania craft beer because they can think about it. Right? Even though we've been around for hundreds of years and human being, America's oldest and largest, there are entities out there in the beer world who do not share the common interest of making sure a craft beer fan has access to their beer. That's just the reality of, of, of this industry. Yeah, I agree. I mean, Dan, that's why you're fighting a good fight.

Speaker 4:37:58That's why we support you and fighting a good fight with the the wholesale agreements which are for life. If we open that up, like went to me, I see a lot of opportunity there for growth on the wholesaler side. If we were able to create a competitive environment where you're able to really open it up. Is that. Am I wrong in thinking that? No, I mean it's. And you know what? I don't want to paint the picture of all wholesalers are bad. They're not there to some really, really good wholesaler partners out there who really care about Pennsylvania craft brewers and did on, on the issue. The wholesalers. I mean, obviously we've had wholesalers and

Speaker 3:38:36when we've worked with, I'm not gonna name names, I found the issue we would come across as that being a small player in a big portfolio is not very helpful because you're not going to be. You don't have the weights incentivize that sales staff right there. You don't have a way to get out there and be like, Hey, look at us, look at us, and then he got bigger accounts over there. They're going to earn you more money. What about us? And if there was much more opportunity for. I guess it's a factor of outlets versus you know the intermediary and how all that works. If you even need the intermediary these days, I think you, you would still need some sort of a middleman because it's just too much, too much on production side and too few outlets and it, it just would still be beneficial. But I would assume if you break it out, you know, if we found a way to take away from that wholesaler agreement for life and start being a contractual hears and everyone's bidding and you have a way to, to really add some competition, you'd be able to see much more growth in that area. Well, I mean you're, you're right. And you know, thankfully

Speaker 4:39:44Pennsylvania does have some self distribution opportunities available to brewers. But you know, there's a system that is in play that is not fair and equitable to both parties. I mean, outside of marriage, I challenge our listeners to name any franchise corporate area where you sign a contract for life. I mean that's just upsert and, and you know, the craft brewer and consumers are very educated. They come from all different backgrounds. I have never heard of a contract for life. I mean even my God, even life insurance, right? Even the word life insurance, even that only goes for x amount of years, 20 year terms term or whatever. But it's absurd. And I don't know why the laws were written that way. Clearly there was much more protection that didn't factor in craft brewers when that legislation was written, probably when Christ walked the earth. I'm not exactly sure it's pretty close, but you know, it needs to be adopted and change so that there's equity and you know, the and the best way to call ranchers and farmers beer equity and that allows opportunities for both parties to perform right.

Speaker 4:40:52Performance based contracts, which usually when it comes down to it, if you're performing, then um, you know, we can keep the agreement going. If you're not performing then there should be an exit strategy for both parties, whether you know, whether it's the wholesaler and I'm happy with the supply that the brewers getting them or it's the brewer looking at the wholesaler and saying, you're doing a terrible job of moving my beer. Yet my taproom sales are through the roof. So clearly there's an issue here. There needs to be a fair and equitable exit. You know, one point I want to point out that is important and I've been to the round guys brew pub in Lansdale a few times. Have you had any. Have you. I'm just curious if you guys receive any checks from any of your wholesalers. When you guys put in a the bar, put in the equipment, have they paid for your new doors or windows?

Speaker 4:41:35Have they put any money into you guys building your brewery? I'm just curious. If they have, then I stand corrected, but last time I checked, none of these wholesalers put money into building these breweries. Now, granted they do invest time and dollars into sales and marketing, but if that's the case, okay, then let's review it as we would any other contract with common sense and say, what are the performance indicators? If you put money into sales and marketing, then you should have performance indicators that will allow us to know where we stand in this agreement. Instead, they're just, you sign your life away in blood. You pay out millions of dollars. The most rappers do not have to get out of those contracts either from a litigation standpoint or from a buyout, which is a surgery buying back your own product that you've already created. I would just like to know that if we can get to that position, which I know there are a lot of wholesalers out there that agree with that statement. Maybe not exactly because I have, you know, obviously I'm, I have a bias

Speaker 1:42:36when we were at the wholesaler, the Kpis, they're not together. It was you had it, you were using tech, I don't know what technology they're using, but it was like pre excel technology to be able to figure out in factory and what's going where, how things are selling to tie in all the data. It was borderline, it was like a whole day process of scratching your head and manual entry and again, like I said before, if you're a small guy and not every brewery is going to be able to come out of gate and have a full staff being able to push to beer and get out to the bars every night. You know, just do all the grinding away. They rely on your. You're getting a wholesaler for the services that they provide. They don't need to provide those services. If you're pretty much signing your life away.

Speaker 4:43:19That's it, right, and and sadly, that type of agreement skews the whole process because there are good wholesaler partners out there, there are good sales team people that are working on behalf of Pennsylvania craft brewers, but if the legislation is written in the favor of one side versus the other, it gives them less incentive to perform for that contract, especially when there's a lifetime agreement and you know that's what the brewers at Pennsylvania are concerned about are all Pennsylvania blurries. Let's just make these agreements fair and equitable so that both sides are protected and not one sided like they are. Now. Nobody on the wholesaler world can say they're not one sided. They can make arguments about the investment of time, talent, and treasure for each brewery agreement, but it still goes back to when this legislation was written, they were four to one wholesalers to breweries. Now breweries outnumber wholesalers significantly. Wholesalers continued to be acquired or merged. There are less sales teams out there, you know, it's not a fair and equitable agreement. So while the consumer just wants their beer, any educated consumers going look at this type of setup and say, Hey, it's not fair and equitable. That's not what this country is built upon, especially in the state of Pennsylvania where given the origin of our colonial history, why aren't we more in line with the rest of the country? I mean Pennsylvania liquor laws, one word comes to mind. Archaic.

Speaker 1:44:44Alright. So we're gonna finish up here and I have some questions. These are going to be fun ones. So watch out. So this is a little segment I put together called Bruce, um, or luvsome, which one of these is a PA brewery, coal tipple brewery to brewery.

Speaker 4:45:11Neither are members of the brewers, Pennsylvania. And that's where my, how many, what percentage of breweries are members of the brewers of pa out of the close to 300 active licenses in the state of Pennsylvania. Over 200 are members of the birds of Pennsylvania. We've, we've gone from 11 and in 2010 to over 200 member locations in 2018. But neither one of them are members of the, of Pennsylvania. So I am concerned about my brewer membership. Ali, how do you like that politically know it's know what's the answer? The answer is coal tipple brewery out of Bolger, PA, which I have no idea where bowser PA is. So you've never been there, but yet you're, you're, you're throwing them out and get curve balls at you and you know everything about the state.

Speaker 4:46:00Apparently not a brewery, but this emphasizes the point, right? I mean there are more breweries popping up in the state of Pennsylvania for all the good reasons. Right. But clearly the archaic legislation is gonna is not ever going to allow me to see that brewer's beer most likely in the hazleton Pennsylvania giant grocery store. I mean, it illustrates our earlier conversation and it's the best way. So please continue. Just for the record, uh, coal tipple is actually out by the Pittsburgh airport. Okay. Alright. Next up, which one of these is a PA beer, Pennsylvania Tuxedo or maiden of the Ohio? That sounds like a bait bait and switch question. But I'm gonna go with the Tuxedo. Well, you know what? That's all right man.

Speaker 1:46:45So don't worry about it, sorry for the brewers that the EXEC director of diverse of PA to pick dogfish head over a beer made in Cabo house, Pennsylvania.

Speaker 4:46:57Thanks for the bait and switch and a good friend of ours culvahouse house spring and it's cobble hill's PA. So I think that's outside of Pittsburgh somewhere. It is actually called Bell's brewery is a member of the bop. Hey, there we go. We got me. But I will say dog fish has contributed significantly to the Pennsylvania brewery brewer effort.

Speaker 1:47:19You know, it's funny because don't fish in philly. They have such a history in Philly, right? Like the Sam's always been up here, has always been promoting. He's been, you know, he went to school here. So it's.

Speaker 4:47:30Yeah, let me tell you what's something that, you know, it's good to bring this up, but just because I mean clearly the craft brewing industry, uh, and I don't pretend to know every brand within every brewery, but Sam did a q and a session, uh, with CBC and of course it's a ticket purchase of event and the tickets equaled I'm probably upwards of five, 6,000 bucks. He took the five 6,000 bucks and donated to the brewers of Pennsylvania because of the efforts we're working on for craft brewers in Pennsylvania. So Sam's good people in my book, he's participating, are beating in the malts. I've never had that beer that he makes. It also goes to the way the craft beer community is closely knit.

Speaker 3:48:10There we go. The next one is what year did yards open?

Speaker 4:48:14Clearly did not know what year they opened. I truly enjoy their revolutionary ales.

Speaker 3:48:18Fair enough. I'm going to go with 1994 now. If I would have accepted 19, 95 or any of the range within 96, 94 range, I think their new facilities phenomenal too.

Speaker 4:48:29Brilliant. And we have, we have the version Pennsylvania annual meeting there last year, but you know what, here's the one thing I want to point out about yards since you brought them up and it goes back to our earlier conversation, they know who they are and they keep their beer styles and production with what the public wants. They try some things here and there and usually they they're successful because they pay attention to quality, but I think yards is a great brewery for a lot of craft breweries to model smaller craft brewers to model themselves after because they know who they are. You know when you can get the revolutionary ails, you know, where you could find brawler and they maintain quality. That's a great success story for any Pennsylvania craft brewer or quite frankly. Any other follow up?

Speaker 3:49:12I agree. You know what? The one thing I will say, we were talking before about shelf space and about outlets for craft beer. I don't know how often you have time to do this because I know you're a busy guy, but the ballparks assistance bank ballpark has brawler in one location I believe, and it used to be in a 100 concourse, like right there as you walk in, but now it's up on top of Mount Everest out by the four hundreds. The ballpark isn't as prolific with craft beers anymore because those brands have taken over much of the space and air, but still go out of my way to find out brawler because it's a great beer. It's just a phenomenal. The beard has creek flavor ski, got that toffee nut character and it's something I love drinking whenever I go to the ballpark and gotta have one.

Speaker 4:50:00Well I mean that those go refer back to the barriers and I think a lot of Pennsylvania craft brewers would like to continue having more beer at those outlets and fourth, there is clearly a pay to play kind of system, but you know, citizens bank park and then the park out in Pittsburgh. I think it's p and t park. Both of them. Phenomenal facilities to watch a ball game, but you know, this is the challenge that craft brewers have because there were plenty of opportunities for craft brewers get into those parks. But as you know, attendance goes up as the prices go up, you know, the pay to play system is really challenging. I remember citizens bank park thing, one of the first groups, first parks to feature the sly Fox pop the complete top off the can beer. I thought that was just awesome to be able to get that beer in citizens bank park, watching the Philly's game a while I was cheering for my New York mets and drinking, you know, what's going on.

Speaker 4:50:54I grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, closer to New York and Philadelphia. So, but, um, the cost to get your beer in those outlets, not to mention, you know, a larger group coming in and flooding it with Fau Craft Beers that, that's just that people don't realize that, you know, you're there to enjoy the game. It's awesome to enjoy it with a brawler. And, and this is Philadelphia, so I'm not talking about brawling in this, in the stance of Philadelphia phillies. I'm just talking about the yards brawler, but this is not. But clearly you have the larger beer outlets flooding the spickets with their folk craft beers. I mean, uh, you know, it's the reality of that. A craft brewer as the plan. It's a tough scene, you know, people sit there and say, oh crap, there was doing so great and you know, in some places it is. In some places it's not, I wouldn't say great, but these are the challenges that craft brewers who give up their entire career, open up a brewery, create something local on main street, but kind of difficult to get your beer and all the spickets of craft beer. I'm sorry, have a citizens bank park because of such a large and outside influence. It's sad but true.

Speaker 3:52:01Yeah, it's been disappointing. I can definitely vouch for that because in the beginning of they really had a great selection and now you're down to a handful and thankfully you know it's good quality, good quality craft this in there, but it's downstate handful where you have to really pay attention and I'm always do. I always take my father down so I'm always doing the buying because I'm not letting him go around and try to find a beer and I'm like, I got you. This is, this is. Don't be fooled by these invitation ips, so have to look for the independent scene.

Speaker 4:52:28I'll have to look for the brewers and Pennsylvania. That's the only way right now we have to defend ourselves against whole craft beer and large outside brewery influenced. But I will say as you can quickly point out that you know the amount of brands available for Pennsylvania Craft Beers is abundant. People can go and get an experience. They can. They can find all different kinds of funky names and since I completely tripped on Sam's Tuxedo Beer, I should've picked up on that one. But you know, as, as he started the one craft beer conference and said, you know what, you have your strawberry hazy booze, your lagers or pilsners your culture, whatever. Fuck it. Who Cares? Drink craft beer. It's beer. It's social. So saying yes or no when it was produced by gangling absolutely. But there was a time they had two strokes producing for them in the now Sam Adams plant in [inaudible], Pennsylvania. So, uh, I'm always a fan of being commoditized. Google county again.

Speaker 3:53:25What is your Penn state tailgating? Beer of choice now? Did you play at Penn state or just A. I did not play for Penn state. I played with it,

Speaker 4:53:30the University of Buffalo. I had a full scholarship there and then I transferred to penn state and decided to take my three point eight and turns into a three point five and the rest of my time. But my, um, my tailgate beer is depending upon the weather, if it's a nicer day is definitely the giggling lager light. If it's a little, it's a little cold out, I will rip out the golden monkey from victory just because you know, there's nothing like messing with the monkey on a cold day. I'm a big fan of church brew works some of their beers. I used to bake Scott from round guys some of the essays on a summer beer. You guys brewed.

Speaker 3:54:06Uh, yeah. So initially that was dog days and then it became. Well, it's hard, right? Plus the brands are changing. So much changed, but yeah, and we, we tweaked that recipe about three or four times now. It's spaceman. Essentially. That's the brand lineage. It's current form is a spaceman or I, I know crazy. It might be loving will crucify me because you know, there's different beers for different times. I don't have a problem with tingling. I know a lot of craft beer drinkers out there. Anyone is kind of like the punk music scene. If you have any kind of a hint of success, everyone turns on you and they want to stab you and they want to forget about, you know, your color poser and all that kind of stuff. I'm fine with tingling. I think they've done phenomenal. They do phenomenal stuff for us. Craft brewers here in PA. I don't have a problem drinking their beer, but there's so much out there, right? I mean, there's so many.

Speaker 4:54:54I'll tell you what. So as much as I've been working with Pennsylvania, this was the first year I tried wire bonkers down the shore beer and I thought it was phenomenal. I thought it was absolutely phenomenal. That's the point of I found out that here's an opportunity that's the point of downloading the brewers of Pennsylvania digital ale trail, all these beers you like that lead in little product out there so you could take the app with you, check into the different breweries and find out about it. Uh, but I, I will say, you know, we launched that APP just a few weeks ago, probably seven, eight weeks, you know, there's already 80,000 views on it. I highly recommend you download that APP real fast. It's in the apple store and the Google android store brewers of Pennsylvania digital ale trail. It could also be website, but that, that APP is killing it for us.

Speaker 4:55:44I mean, I'll tell you what, if I were in, my goal is obviously to sell membership and make sure brewers with joining the blp, but if I were told simple, you have to reach out to them. I mean there, there it is right there, you know, go and join the blp just to get that. Just to be a featured member in that APP. We try and list all breweries as best we can, but the BOP members get featured listings so they could change their beers, edit their events, promote stuff, but 80,000 views in like six or seven weeks. That's just amazing. What a great, great tool.

Speaker 3:56:14Great reasons. So it was sundown stays on I believe is the beer. You might've asked what it was her love and Ela and we tweaked it up a bunch of, add a lot more hops to the uh, the back end of it. And it became a much different style than it was then. But it's still, I think it's much better beer moving on. We only have two more. Is there a brewery that doesn't get noticed that you think is just killing it?

Speaker 4:56:38There are a lot of really quality Pennsylvania Breweries that I think people should definitely put on your bucket list mainly because of the experience you get when you go to the brew pub. But if you go across the state, you know, I, I love old forge, my Goto to stop, you know, stop on the way to a Penn state game where you stop on the way back from Penn state called Burwick, barrick brewery brewing. You know Tom Clark, you know, fantastic dinner, you know, I'll say you. I'm a big fan of barley creek poconos. I mean any brewery that has a wiffle ball stadium after brew pub Burgers, Burgers with wings, that Gray Wall and Paul pat growing, they just opened up, you know, they're killing it up there. They got a great location. I'll take it out to the western part of the PA. I love eastern brewery, not there strip location, but at their original brewery location. I've been in the strip location yet. Brew Gentlemen, you know, they're getting a lot of attention for some of the stuff they're doing.

Speaker 3:57:38They make really good stuff. They make really creative stuff.

Speaker 4:57:41Yeah. You know, and then, you know what I mean from, you know, from the way I love to check out the round guys, glenside location, I've, I haven't had the opportunity to check that one out. My days of writing stuff, you know, doing some interesting stuff. You know what my favorite of mine in Harrisburg, I love zero. Um, you know there are stop at deal Armstrong in a brew master.

Speaker 3:58:08Harrisburg is blowing up everywhere I go. There's great beer. Like every block

Speaker 4:58:12has great beer. Any south central PA has really exploded and you know, I don't want to leave anyone out, but these are just places that you know, that goes back to that mindset because there are so many brew pubs in Pennsylvania and production facilities. You have to create the customer experience. And these places that I'm listening to my in my eyes has done it. Bedford out off the turnpike. They're doing some really interesting stuff. Go Up to Mike Dobbins, Erie killing it. Who to sm, awesome beer, elaborate some Washington beer brewery at union station. It's an awesome beer. There's just. There's just so much cool stuff. Now go open the northeastern part of PA.

Speaker 3:58:48It's an excuse to go up to the area. You got press isle, which is one of the best state parks and this whole. It blows it. You'll be shocked at how a great state park that is. Well, I'll tell you what, I'll. I'll take it one second.

Speaker 4:58:59Further. Probably one of the best festivals in the state of Pennsylvania. His beer on the bay out in Erie, Pennsylvania. Everything's done on the beach. You know, the whole city shuts down, embraces all these craft brewers. We're not talking a, you know, a big beer, sort of a wholesaler festival. We're talking to a true craft crafter festival. Shift over to the northeastern part of PA dot. Those are just doing a really great job in a difference of barley creek. But yeah, I mean there's nowhere in Pennsylvania you cannot go and find a brew pub and having a phenomenal craft beer. We're, we're fortunate and blessed to have that kind of opportunity in PA. There's probably another hundred plus. He was getting ready to open over the next year and a half. I think there's a few more spots in this block we can add another brewery is now going to be three breweries in this block. Maybe we can add two or three more. Alright. Yeah. To wrap this up, Dan, thank you so much for coming on A. I want to know how many cases of beer you have in your garage right now.

Speaker 4:59:57That's gonna be left unsaid because you know what, uh, I clearly don't do my work for the Pennsylvania, for the money. We're a small budget group. I'm a cheap date with a case of beer and I apparently word has got out that I'm even cheaper, so I get a lot of cases of beer in the garage. Obviously the Pennsylvania burgers take care of me well, but I want to thank you guys. It means round guys was one of the early members who joined the Bop and offered some really good feedback. Critical feedback. Not that Scott ever hold anything back, you know about how the blp could evolve and become a better association, which has been a big part of our success and we appreciate all the hard work you do, Dan and all the work your team does and I know all the volunteers over the area, different members of the industry here helping you out.

Speaker 4:60:43We appreciate all of that. And how can people find out more about brewers of PA and if you're a potential burglar or thinking about opening up a brewery, how do you find out more on that end as well? Everything, I think for potential breweries in addition to us fighting the issue that are important to brewers. I mean some of our biggest benefits in addition to like the digital ale trail app or the malt beverage tax credit for capital investments that we delivered a, but I think one of the biggest benefits is obviously the legal advice that our general council provides. So you can get off the ground and get the doors open and then figure out your way. But everything's at brewers a, whether it's our digital hill trail apps with the consumer or the more industry driven questions and issues can also do sound.

Speaker 4:61:24And of course here we have a brand new website now. So now it's now it's a log in and user, user and password process. So, uh, get to joint and get the secrets of the secret service. And what, what can a consumer do to push for good quality beer? Go to the local brew pub brewers here about it. Don't go posting online. Some bullshit on Yelp, go into the brew pub, have a beer if it tastes like shit, tell the brewer tastes great. Tell the brewery. I think the more consumers go to the brew pubs and the experience, you know, there's so much bullshit chicken shit hiding on social media. Go talk to the borrower, they want the feedback. But thankfully we're in a state with a lot of lot of knowledgeable brewers. Approved some really great beer and honestly on the feedback. I really appreciate it when people tell us directly what they think on a beer. It can be great. It can be terrible. Just let us know with small breweries, with a lot of people don't realize is that it's not. Oftentimes nowadays, five years ago might been different story back when

Speaker 3:62:20ground guys are still young. The market was different. Shifted. Now you don't really need a core portfolio as much as you did because you're doing a lot more in house sales lot more. Uh, just people grabbing it in your facility. So they're walking in, they liked the beers on tap, they want to get that for home. That's where they're taking. They're not necessarily going out to, you know, you're not trying to do traditional brand building as used to by putting out your core beers and hoping that starts building a momentum for the, the brewery. And then they'll go out to the distributor and then buy that core beer. So a lot of times these beers are much more organic and they're, they're evolving and they're not just stuck in it. The current spot they are. And if a consumer says, you know, hey, this is a good beer, but I think it's missing something that helps us out,

Speaker 4:63:06you know, 90 percent of the burgers that I know and I know a lot of them are open to hearing, you know, if, if their beer tasted off, that also goes back to the education, right? What may taste offer a consumer maybe exactly for what the brewer intended and there's just an education or a discussion that needs to be had. So the consumer gets that. But I, I think this Pennsylvania citizens constituents, uh, people visiting our state, go to the brew pub, have the experience again, if the beers great, let them know if the beer sucks, let them know. But that is where I think Pennsylvania craft brewers can maintain this industry moving forward. You know, when will the phone stop rising, right? When will the craft beer industry and be impacted? I don't think they're ever gonna stop rising. Some may spill over the side of the glass and some craft breweries make closed because they're not paying attention to their customers or their beer or other outside factors.

Speaker 4:64:01But the phone will always keep rising, but if the brewmaster doesn't know how his beers tasting or what your experience is like, he or she needs to be aware of it. And um, I just think that the danger of social media this year, it's people running out and creating bullshit critiques that may be warranted or not warranted when you could've changed the experience to say, Hey, first time at this brewery, love what you're doing here. Listen, I ordered this beer just didn't taste right to me. What, what, what's going on with it? Was it or what door do I need to be educated as my palate need to be educated? So that's a big option for. I hope your listeners go out, visit the breweries and offer the feedback in person because you know what? Social media doesn't do much for us. It doesn't give anyone. You're reading about it after the fact instead of the given the option to actually correct it.

Speaker 3:64:50Right. I agree. Dan, thank you so much for coming on. I hope to have you on again sometime in the maybe the mid future. You're going to throw those questions. All right, man. Thanks so much and happy holidays. Yeah, same to you and have a great rest of your day. Did already.

Speaker 1:65:16Alright there. Go on. A good. Really informed of interview with Dan Gilbert. Dan is quite an accomplished guy. He's A. I don't know how the guy actually has time for anything in his life. He does a million things, but he's very knowledgeable and he's been a great, great executive director for the brewers. Have Pa. Again, thank you for listening to the original slacker podcast presented by round guys brewing company. Ground Guys, brewing company. As you may or may not know, has three facilities. We have our main brew publication, a brewery on site in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. We also have the underground where this is being recorded and we record the original slack or pretty much most weekends, starting around like nine, 10, 11 in the morning on Saturdays. You can find out more on the undergrounds slash rgb. See underground or follow us on the original slacker at original slacker and we have one more piece to the actual brand puzzle and as the Glenside Ale House, which provides some tasty, tasty Mexican styled food that involves tacos and Burgers, but it's all done with a little bit of a Hispanic flair.

Speaker 1:66:25In addition, we have plenty of beers and take out in all locations. I want to first of all, thank Dan for coming on the show with. I hope you guys found it fun to hear about what's going on in PA and in the market. Before we go, me and Rocco, we're thinking about drinking a beer. I got this chronomancer here. Rock. If you had this guy before I have know you haven't had a. This is one of my favorite styles. I love quads and we launched this thing two years ago and man I, we, I'm going to be straightforward with you. Like we nailed this beer. This beer is one of my favorite quads, period. And it's got that raise and character. It's got that. He's got the dark fruit, the brown sugar. It's a full body that you can definitely get some of the alcohol warmth, so you know today is flourishing outside and we were recording this about 34 degrees and it's cloudy and cold and you don't want to be outside too long, but if you've got this beer, you don't even notice it because there'll be warmed up in no time.

Speaker 1:67:22One of my favorite styles, God, nice kind of a ruby character to it and little bit of a whitehead, a right on top and you can't be. So next time you're up in landsdale, check us out. If you want to come up for a show, let us know. Thank you again for listening to the original slacker and have a great week.

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