Ohio Brewery News
Friday Six Pack with Matt Barnes, North High Brewing
Every Friday, we ask an Ohio craft brewery owner or employee to answer six questions about their path to the brewing industry, what sets their brewery apart and their thoughts on craft beer in Ohio.
Today we’ll chat with Matt Barnes, director of marketing at North High Brewing in Columbus.
What made you decide to get into the craft brewing industry?
Honestly I just love beer and I’ve been in love with beer marketing since before I was old enough to consume it. I’ve been a craft beer drinker for many, many years! I fell in love with IPAs at the dawn of their multi-channel distribution. Have been a big fan ever since. Not just of IPAs but of all types of beers! I spent a lot of time at Land Grant, Seventh Son and North High patiently awaiting any and all of their releases. I also spent as many years in varying marketing roles. It wasn’t until the opportunity arose at North High that the proverbial light bulb went off and I was able to merge the two worlds.
Which of your beers do your customers enjoy the most and why?
Our lagers are some of the tastiest around. Honey Wheat, Cover Crop and the traditional Lager are all super crispy. We use close to 75% of our ingredients from around the region. Our brewers are meticulous with their approach and it shows through in the taste.
What’s your favorite thing about your brewery?
The culture. Hands down. Our crew has a bond that is unbreakable. Everyone in the organization is dedicated to providing an exceptional experience for our customers.
What do you think best helps a craft brewery to stand out in such a competitive beer market?
There are a number of different ways craft breweries can stand out. Through branding, service, product quality, etc. But I think the core of it comes down to culture. If your culture is open, enthusiastic and is backed by the aforementioned, I believe the rest takes care of itself. Your employees are going to be your best marketers. Their friends/family/networks become your customers, and even in the tech-driven world we are all experiencing, word of mouth is still 9/10ths of marketing.
Besides your own, what Ohio craft breweries impress you the most and why?
Columbus Brewing Co. – Great consistency of product.
Land-Grant – Excellent community engagement.
Seventh Son – Super rad culture.
Rhinegeist – Energetic brand.
Where do you think craft beer is headed? What do you think craft beer will look like five years from now?
I think craft beer will continue to evolve and morph according to market demand. Beer will always have it’s core base of followers and just maybe over the next five years we can educate and entice more people to enjoy quality craft beer.