So I’m just going to start by saying this might have been my favorite interview ever. Maybe it’s the Pennsylvania connection, or maybe it’s just Bill’s way of giving zero fucks while also being a strong competitor in the market, or maybe it’s just the lame-duck ease with which he’s handling himself after the sale and partnership with a private equity group and Southern Tier Brewing, but yeah, I think this is the one. It summarizes everything I love about doing the podcast. People sit in that chair across from me, either ready to do battle, or ready to dance, and I have the utmost appreciation for how open they are about their lives and business with me for an hour. And then letting me share it with you all.
I’ve said many times that this podcast isn’t an issues-driven show — and by that I mean that I’m not looking for a hot take or new trend thinkpiece fart, or recent acquisition gossip. I’m trying to document an oral history for an industry that’s changing faster than I could possibly record. It’s guaranteed to fail in the sense that I’ll always miss more opportunities than I get. But if I thought about that, I’d probably have a panic attack. Instead, I just get what I can and hope for the best.
Bill was in town for an event at the Hopleaf alongside Sam Calagione of Dogfishead and Greg Koch of Stone Brewing when this recording took place. And while I was about to hit the road, the only timeslot I had was late on a Sunday night after putting the kids to bed and Bill was happy to oblige. I’m thankful for that.
Victory Brewing, man, I don’t think there’s a brewery that better defines that first wave resilience of craft beer, but still adapts and riffs on its own success to remain relevant and pioneering here in 2016.
And I think you’l understand why after hearing this conversation.