Look around the beer industry, and you'll see lots of things going on that are decidedly...not beer. With the success of flavored malt beverages, hard seltzer, and even a resurgence of regional cider brands, brewers all over are finding new ways to attract drinkers and boost their bottom line with products outside of their wheelhouse. Not that there's anything wrong with that. These are businesses, after all, and as the market is changing, so many are adapting by creating new kinds of beverages that more people can enjoy.
This is a hot topic to start 2019, and something covered here on Good Beer Hunting for some time. Among the leaders in this space of transition and innovation is Craft Brew Alliance, which went all in last year with the pH Experiment, a new standalone branch of the company that will focus on incubating ideas and all kinds of trial and error, ultimately with hope of finding the Next Big Thing.
On this Sightlines podcast, we're talking with Karmen Olson, who's spent just over seven years with CBA, recently taking over as general manager for the pH Experiment, where she's looking to anticipate and identify where things are going. You'll get a little background on this new initiative and what created this need, which, in some ways, stems from the beer industry's slow willingness to adapt. For a long time, Olson says, beer focused on industry challenges, not customer ones, which has led to this point, and these new ideas. If you want to grow in today's competitive alcohol industry, it's adapt or die.
This is Karmen Olson, general manager of Craft Brew Alliance's pH Experiment. Listen in.