By: Christine Terrisse

 

 

A Quick Conversation with Benjamin Weiss, Director of Marketing

 

What makes The Bruery a great place to work? 

Wow.  Tough question.  It’s like looking for that American Idol “x” factor, there is something there, but it’s so hard to accurately pinpoint.  I’ve actually been working here for 7 years as of next week, going back to days when it was just myself as a part time assistant helping out our founder, Patrick Rue, and our former brewing director, Tyler King, in whatever they needed in our day to day activities.  I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of our growth into a 60+ person company over the years and I guess the one common bond that has helped this company become and remain to be a great place of work is Patrick.

Like any young company in a “cool” industry, we try our best to incorporate fun into our day to day work.  All of our employees, or “Bruers” as we call ourselves, are around the same age and are all passionate about craft beer and craft products in general which certainly helps.  It’s a very familial and friendly atmosphere where we are encouraged to be creative and helpful in whatever way we see fit.  We make beer, so we’d probably have to try hard to make it a particularly bad place to work, right?  But when it comes down to what makes us truly unique, it’s Patrick.  He’s extremely kind and generous and while he may be soft spoken at times, he is loud when it comes to his vision for The Bruery and how it runs.

Recently we moved into new office space where we now have skee-ball and a billiards table.  We plan monthly activities for ourselves like ice skating nights or Friendsgiving lunch in May or our bus trip to visit some favorite San Diego breweries coming up in a week.   We definitely work hard here, but Patrick, and really all of us Bruers, make sure that it doesn’t always feel like work.

 

The Bruery gained its reputation in part through exceptional, experimental brews, in an increasingly competitive market, how do you continue to set the bar high?

To be honest, nothing has changed here since day one.  The world has changed, that’s for sure.  There are way more breweries in SoCal since we started up in 2008 and there are more breweries creating similarly exciting beers, but our vision hasn’t ever changed.  We have always had extremely high expectations for ourselves and creating new, experimental beers is what keeps us excited as brewers.

The one thing that we’ve been able to change as we’ve grown is to invest into better quality systems.  We have a new bottling line and are currently installing a new brewhouse.  Both of these items are in place to help our beer quality, rather than for growth.  We separated all of our sour beer not only to a new facility, but to a new brand called Bruery Terreux, allowing us to have staff that focuses specifically on certain types of beer, again, bringing more understanding and quality to our product.  We also recently expanded our quality control laboratory where we now have 3 dedicated QC staff on hand, keeping close eyes on our processes and products so that we can brew up the best beer possible. All of these moves allow us to get crazy and come up with new beer recipes that we are excited to taste for ourselves.

 

Finally, what were some highlights of your 7-year anniversary celebration? I know you have a three- tiered membership program, how did your members participate in the anniversary, what was the membership experience like for your anniversary celebration?

A few years ago we altered our anniversary celebration to be exclusively for our Reserve and Hoarders Society members.  We have a great group of people in those groups and we allow them to bring guests as well, of course.  We also held a small lottery for our Preservation Society members to be able to purchase tickets for themselves.  The celebration is a huge benefit to anyone in our Societies, that’s for sure.

It sounds silly, but the biggest highlight is honestly just the end of the event when people don’t want to leave because they are having so much fun.  We get some amazing brewer friends to show up and pour their beers and it’s becoming one of the premier beer events in SoCal in my opinion.  It’s always particularly cool to see some of the longest lines of the day belonging to our former coworkers at places like King Harbor and The Rare Barrel.