MicroBrewr 019: Marketing a flagship beer with Roswell aliens
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In this episode, I talk with Rich Weber from Sierra Blanca Brewing Company and Rio Grande Brewing Company in Moriarty, New Mexico. Rich started Sierra Blanca in 1996, added the Alien brand in 1997, and bought Rio Grande Brewing Co. in 2006.
Rich had been homebrewing since 1987 and was already working 100 hours a week at his own restaurant, when he started Sierra Blanca. He hired master brewers to mentor him for the first 2 years and has been growing steadily ever since.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of aliens crash landing near Roswell, New Mexico, they released Alien Amber Ale in 1997. Today, Alien Amber Ale accounts for 40% of sales among their 9 beers.
Rich talks about his company and provides some key insight to the 1947 Roswell UFO incident.
He offers some great advice about:
- Working 100 hours a week
- Marketing and distribution
- Branding ideas
- Gaining knowledge from visiting other breweries
From Marc Stafford: Why do you do what you do?
- Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) by John Palmer and Colin Kaminski.
- American Sour Beers by Michael Tonsmeire.
Check out the entire list of recommended books, click here.
An upcoming beer style:
- American Brewers Guild brewing school
- Drinking Made Easy.
- Los Angeles Brewers Ready for Session Beers by John Michael Verive, Beer Paper LA, May 6, 2014.
- 24 Light Beers, Ranked by Will Gordon, Deadspin, February 28, 2014.
You can reach Rich Weber and Sierra Blanca Brewing Company at:
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I love the questions being asked. It would be awesome if you could talk with some of the Washington State breweries since that is were I am planning to open a tasting room. Heathen Brewing in Vancouver would be a great one to speak with. They just started last year I believe and opened their brewery in a 900 sq ft shop. They are looking to open a brewpub in the next year but it was impressive that when I showed up they had a line of fans ready with growlers. I think they just started bottling too. Maybe you could have a future podcast with those guys. That would be great. Cheers.
Thanks Orlando! I’ll look up Heathen Brewing. Keep an ear out for them on future episodes, maybe we can make it happen…