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Asa Foster - Craft Beermaker in Braddock, PA
Coolest Jobs in America

“I’m A Craft Beermaker”

We interviewed Asa Foster, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Brew Gentlemen in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Asa shares his story, and talks about the business running a craft brewery.

Asa Foster: Creative Director at Craft Brewery

This is the story of Asa Foster, and how he and his business partner came to own a craft brewery. Asa is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Brew Gentlemen in Braddock, Pennsylvania.

We especially liked the part where Asa talks about entering the beer business because the industry is a good match for his skill set — not because he simply likes to drink beer.

“The biggest misconception that people have about getting into this industry is that it’s going to be one hundred percent making recipes and brewing,” he says. The reality is much different. There’s paperwork and the efforts of running a successful business, too.

Asa also split duties efficiently with his co-founder. “I listen to my heart,” he tells us. “I have Matt to do the brain thinking.”

Watch the entire interview for more on Asa Foster who has one of the Coolest Jobs In America.

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Episode transcript

[00:02] I love making things, working with my hands. I handle branding, label design, package design but I also do a lot of building. We did our entire renovation DIY as possible.

[00:14] I am Asa Foster. I am the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Brew Gentlemen in Braddock, Pennsylvania.

[00:23] Matt and I started the company as juniors in college. We were not happy with our previous majors and directions in life.

[00:31] We had a shared love of the beer industry and decided when we were juniors that we wanted to drop what we were doing and start a company.

[00:39] We switched to self-defined majors so that we could focus on the company full time.

[00:44] In this industry, like any other industry, the best skill that you could possibly have is the ability to teach yourself new things. Learning how to learn has been one of our greatest assets.

[00:54] It’s pretty obvious that we learned more about life and about how to run a company from our fraternity than we did from our classes. The fact is you spend a lot of time going to school and not attending it from my experience.

[01:07] Switching majors is a little bit difficult especially at a tech school which was not entirely enthusiastic about the idea of two of its students starting a brewery.

[01:15] I think the biggest misconception that people have about getting into this industry is that it’s going to be one hundred percent making recipes and brewing when in reality it’s ninety percent creating and ten percent paperwork.

[01:27] Unlike so many people who get into home brewing, decide they want to do that fulltime, we truly fell in love with everything behind beer and behind the beer business.

[01:38] We didn’t start it because we wanted to turn a hobby into business. We felt that it was a great way for us to both utilize our skills without going into jobs that pigeonholed us into those skills.

[01:52] One of the big things that we value is separation duties around here. We think that if everyone is allowed to do what they do properly, then they should just be allowed to do it.

[02:03] We give total creative control to our head brewer. We have a lot of faith in him. He does great work and we’re not about to stipulate what he can and can’t do.

[02:13] So my business partner Matt and I function on the left brain and right brain side of the company respectively.

[02:21] I without a doubt listen to my heart more. I have Matt to do the brain thinking.

[02:28] Having a diverse staff that allows everyone to focus on how much they’re truly good at I think is the best way to run a company that does so many different things like a brewery does.

[02:41] We definitely prioritize hiring on attitude rather than skill set or prior experience. Someone coming in with the great attitude and no experience can eventually be someone with a great skill set and a great attitude.

[02:57] There’s no real clock-in and clock-out to something like this and I think that there’s a lot of things that I do on my “free time” that help me in my work life and vice versa.

[03:10] Separating work life and home life is a valuable thing in a lot of ways but I think also living what you do in your company is very [03:19]…………..

[03:21] We sort of had a unique ability to have our work life and our non-work life be merged in that our work life is something that most people do on their free time.

[03:33] We are our own customer in a lot of ways whether we’re out at a bar or hanging out, having fun, off in another city, looking at different places.

[03:42] Those are all things that we would have done on our free time but also very much inform our work lives.

[03:49] It all boils down to us being an experience company. We create a positive meaningful experiences for people. We just happen to make beer.