Good Beer Hunting

EP-188 Colin Marshall, Tom Foster, and Zach Kaiser of Diamondback Brewing

EP-188 Colin Marshall, Tom Foster, and Zach Kaiser of Diamondback Brewing

Today’s guests are behind a fairly new brewery in Baltimore - a city where many of the breweries are fairly new. I remember Chicago going through this phase when after being a bit slow to start, we suddenly had a large number of breweries opening at once.

In Chicago’s context, the beers that were popular at the time influenced those concepts - it influenced the kinds of beers those brewers wanted to make. Because the shelves were already full of world class IPAs, many chose to go a different direction and the result is one of the most exciting spectrums of beers styles available in any one city.

Baltimore in the midst of its own propagation in 2017 and 2018 is having a very different experience. Adjunct stouts and hazy IPAs are so popular, that the ubiquitous strategy, as in many other small cities, is to emulate those trends. As start up brewers with limited cash flow and desperate for a customer base, it’s almost impossible not to.

Diamondback was one of these breweries. And to an extent, still operates along these trends. But only a couple years in they’ve started thinking differently about who they are, what they want to brew and drink, and what that means for them long-term.

A trip around the northeast to places like Suarez Family Brewery has a profound effect on them as a group. Would brewing crispy little lagers give them something they felt they were missing in both sales and spirit? Would it attract a new customer base they were eager to meet? Would they derive an intellectual satisfaction or an emotional resonance by shifting their priorities from short term trends to long term relevance?

It was a great conversation to be having with a group so young but wise beyond their years. Whichever way they go, the most important thing is they’re thinking about it now.