Interview with Lori Clough, 2016 February 4

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  • Introduction
    Partial Transcript: "We're recording, this is Gregory Hargreaves." "I was born in Milford... and spent my entire life growing up in Harrington Delaware." " I went back to managing a restaurant in Ocean City."
    Synopsis: Clough discusses her personal and academic background. Clough was born in Milford Hospital and grew up in Harrington Delaware. She has a degree in laboratory technology from Delaware State College, now Delaware State University. After college, she managed a restaurant and then moved to Ireland for five years and worked in a factory that made gluten free food as a food technologist. After returning to the United States she got a job working for United Parcel Service(UPS).
    Keywords: Delaware State College; Delaware Technical and Community College; Delmar, Delaware; food science; Harrington, Delaware; Ireland; laboratory technology; Milford Hospital (Milford Delaware) Lake Forest School District; Ocean City, Maryland; restaurant management; Third Wave Brewing Company; United Parcel Service; UPS
  • Meeting Susan Vickers and starting to brew beer
    Partial Transcript: "To go back- do you want me to keep?" "Yeah, sure." "I could not brew in my apartment." "She called me and said Evo's moving, do you want to buy the brewery?"
    Synopsis: Clough discusses meeting her business partner and friend, Susan Vickers. Before opening Third Wave Brewing Company in Delmar, Delaware, they brewed their beer in Vicker's garage at her home in Salisbury, Maryland. Clough also discussed the process of buying Third Wave Brewing Company's current location in Delmar, Delaware.
    Keywords: beach; beer; boardwalk; craft beer; Delaware; Evolution Brewing; Frederica, Delaware; home brewing; Ireland; Ocean City, Maryland; Salisbury, Maryland; Susan Vickers; Third Wave Brewing Company; United Parcel Service; UPS
  • Mastering brewing beer at home
    Partial Transcript: "A couple steps back." "OK." "When you were home brewing, what was the process like of learning to brew and what kind of styles did you like to brew?" "It was an English brown ale and then we did an IPA." "He says let's change this.. and let's give it a try."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about what it was like to master the art of brewing at home. She relates how she tried making her own recipe for beer after having only brewed twice. She also discusses how she only made two types of beer multiple times over the course of two years in order to make sure that she was up to the task of creating a product that was the same every time she made it.
    Keywords: beer making; books; brewing kit; cheese making; Doug Griffith, Patty Griffith; English brown ale; extract kit; Extreme Brewing; food science; grain kit; home brew; home brewing; India Pale Ale; IPA; Laurel, Delaware; Millsboro, Delaware; pale ale; quality; quality control; wine making
  • Books on homebrewing beer/ and plans to use and develop their own strain of yeast for brewing
    Partial Transcript: "Could you perhaps talk about some of those resources?""I read The Joys of Home Brewing." "I don't know that we had a vision- what our vision was was to make a good product that people like."
    Synopsis: Clough discusses the laboratories where she purchases the yeast used for Third Wave Brewing Company's beers. She talks about the virtues of using wet versus dry yeast and how that decision is dependent on the type of beer that she is making. She talks about her future interest in developing her own strain of yeast. Clough also relates how she and her employees enjoy going to work every day.
    Keywords: beer; Charles Papazian; Dogfish Head Brewery; Doug Griffith; dry yeast; employees; liquid yeast; proprietary yeast; The Joys of Home Brewing; White Labs; work; Wyeast Laboratories; yeast; yeast cultivation
  • Operating a business in Delmar, Delaware.
    Partial Transcript: "I'd like to hear more about Delmar and operating a business here." "Where we are used to the IGA grocery store." "For people listening, it's not a big space.""When we had our grand opening the town council came, the mayor came."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about the benefits of operating a brewery in a small town. She discusses how the town views her business as a boon for the town, rather than a detractor. She also talks about the tight knit business community in Delmar, Delaware and Delmar, Maryland and her customer base from Delmar and surrounding towns.
    Keywords: Bryan and Brittingham Inc.; business; Delmar, Delaware; Delmar, Maryland; feed mill; Food Lion; IGA grocery; Independent Grocer's Alliance; mill; small town
  • History of the Third Wave Brewing's building
    Partial Transcript: "So, you had said, had this building sat empty before Evolution made it a brewery?" "There was a man who owned the building and he wanted to put a cigarette outlet in it."
    Synopsis: Clough gives a brief history of the building occupied by Third Wave Brewing Company. Before her brewery occupied by the space, another brewery used the building, previously to the coming of the breweries, the building had sat empty after the IGA that had occupied it closed down.
    Keywords: cigarette outlet; Delaware; Evolution Brewery; lease; real estate
  • Beer distribution
    Partial Transcript: "You mentioned a distribution plan earlier, so can you give me a sense of what that looks like for you now?"It was hugely important to pick someone who would support you." Distribution is huge for everybody and its also a big pain in the neck a lot of times."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about the business of distributing beer. She says that she prefers to work with smaller distributors that do not cover very large geographic areas, but can offer more personalized service. She says that her beer is sold throught the Delmarva Peninsula, and other parts of Virginia and Maryland. She also talks about the sales people that she has on staff.
    Keywords: Accomack County, Virginia; beach; beer distribution; Chincoteague; Delaware; Maryland; Northhampton County, Virginia; Salisbury Maryland; self distribution; Standard Distributing; Virginia
  • Prioritizing beach communities
    Partial Transcript: "You mentioned prioritizing the beach communities and your branding is also explicitly beach related" "That was a way for us to learn how much we could get out the backdoor." "If you are a surfer, the third wave is the best one to get."
    Synopsis: Clough explains Third Wave's beach focused strategy. Both founders enjoy the beach, and marketing to beach areas was a deliberate choice on Clough's part. According to her they marketed to the beaches first as a form of advertising, hoping that people who had their beer at the beach would remember their name as they expanded to other areas.
    Keywords: beach; beer; beer distribution; Belgian; brewing; craft brewing; Delaware; Maryland; naming; Ocean City, Maryland; Pennsylvania; recipes; Rehoboth, Delaware; Salisbury Maryland; stout; surf; surfer; surfing; Third Wave Brewing Company; waves
  • Recruiting a staff for Third Wave Brewing
    Partial Transcript: "That was actually my next question. How did you go about recruiting your staff?" "They told us we'd have to go for someone third or fourth at a larger brewer... who had the time in but not the experience to be a head brewer."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about finding brewers to work for her company. With the help of a headhunter, she was able to find a head brewer.
    Keywords: brewer; brewing equipment; headhunter; headhunting; Iron Hill Brewery; recipes; West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Craft brewing
    Partial Transcript: "What is craft brewing?" "The main thing for craft breweries is that they're independently owned."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about what craft brewing is, which is independently owned breweries who produce under a certain amount of beer per year. She elaborates on the challenges of being a small brewer, but says that she enjoys it and thinks that the craft brewing industry has been a boon for areas that have active craft breweries.
    Keywords: big beer; consolidation; craft brew; craft brewers; craft brewing; growth; jobs; local economy; Samuel Adams
  • Sourcing ingredients for beer
    Partial Transcript: "How has your experience been sourcing ingredients?" "I have contracted out... some hops that I couldn't get this year." "The hops do three things, there's aroma, flavor, and bittering."
    Synopsis: Clough discusses sourcing ingredients for her brewery. Hops can be difficult to find due to variance in crops and competition. She also discusses how her brewery makes use of various fruits grown on the Delmarva peninsula including: peaches, beach plums, apricots, blackberries, blueberries and local honey.
    Keywords: apricot; aroma; beach plum; beer; bittering; blackberry; blueberry; flavor; fruit; grain hops; honey; hops; ingredients; innovation; local; peach; recipes; scarcity; sourcing; whole leaf hops
  • Brewing capacity at Third Wave.
    Partial Transcript: "What is your brewing capacity here?" "We have a ten barrel brewing system..." "I have a small four head bottling line...""..and we're canning now as well..."
    Synopsis: Clough discusses the capacity of Third Wave Brewing Company and the differences between bottling and canning beer.She says that there is no clear cut answer as to whether or not bottles or cans are better, instead she suggests brewers choose whichever option would have the least environmental impact in their home state. Her company does both, but only owns a bottling machine and rents a canning line.
    Keywords: bottle; bottling; brewing; can; canning; keg; kegging
  • Mobile beer canning
    Partial Transcript: "What about the mobile canning? That sounds very interesting." "We had a little issue with out compressor..." "It was fun.. and we were lie Lucy and Ethel there at one point.. it was inexperience on our part."
    Synopsis: Clough discusses the process of canning beer with a contractor. She explains that in order to can her beer she must rent facilities, which come to her facility in a tractor trailer. As she describes the process was somewhat overwhelming because the canning line moved very quickly, but good for her business as she could save the cost of purchasing and storing empty cans, can labels, and the canning machine.
    Keywords: beer; can; canning; canning line; graphic design; label design; packaging; renting
  • Being a woman in the craft brewing industry.
    Partial Transcript: "So, the craft brewing industry is one largely dominated by men." "Sometimes ...we'll get emails that start dear sir... "We don't advertise the fact... that we're owned by two women."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about what it is like to be a woman in the craft brewing industry. She says that in the local area, she has encountered no problems with the fact that the business is the only all female owned brewery. She also mentions that many emails she gets are addressed "Dear Sir," and that when she travels to industry events with a male employee he is often mistaken as the owner of the brewery. She says this does not bother her and would rather let her product speak for itself rather than advertise that it is made in a business owned by women.
    Keywords: advertising; beer; craft brewing; Delmar Delaware; feminism; men; sexism; women
  • Brewhouse equipment and plans for the future
    Partial Transcript: "No. This is a Newlands System that we brew off of.""Even if we expand and become a bigger brewery, we are always gonna keep this system...""...and this tasting room" "We should be able to get through 2016, 2017... if everything works out alright."
    Synopsis: Clough discusses her brewing equipment and tasting room. She says that no matter how large Third Wave Brewing becomes in the future that she will maintain that particular set of brewing equipment and the tasting room with because she likes the feel of the tasting room and would like to keep the site as something of a local landmark as the first craft brewery in Delmar, Delaware. Clough also outlines some plans for the future of her brewery.
    Keywords: brewing equipment; brewing process; Newland; tasting room
  • Differences between selling beer in the taproom and the packaged product.
    Partial Transcript: "What's the difference between- your margin in the taproom versus selling packaged product?" "I have twenty seats and could probably stand twenty more."
    Synopsis: Clough discusses how she can make more money from customers who come to visit the taproom. She also talks about going to craft beer oriented events as a form of free advertising as well as social media for the same.
    Keywords: Baltimore, Maryland; beer trail; bottling; craft beer events; distributor; Dover, Delaware; Facebook; Milford, Delaware; Ocean City, Maryland; packaging; Pokomoke City, Delaware; Salisbury Maryland; Shorecraft beer; social media; taproom; Wilmington, Delaware
  • The Brewer's Association and the Brewer's Guild of Delaware
    Partial Transcript: "What has you experience been with trade associations?" "The Brewer's Guild of Delaware has a meeting..." "The National Brewer's Association has been great for everyone..."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about the usefulness of the Delaware Brewer's Association and the National Brewer's Association. She finds both organizations useful for the events that they host, and the social networking that they can provide. Clough discusses some of her issues with regulation and the labeling process, and how it differs between states. She also talks about the issues of learning how to do her taxes as a person from a non-business background.
    Keywords: Brewer's Guild of Delaware; brewing; ingredients; labeling; Lewes, Delaware; National Brewer's Association; regulation; trade association
  • The future of the craft brewing industry
    Partial Transcript: "The last several years, last year in particular has seen an enormous growth in the craft brewing industry..." "The country can't sustain fifteen new breweries a day, or whatever it is now.." "We want to continue to make a good product from Delmar, Delaware..."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about the potentially unsustainable future of the craft brewing industry and her hopes that the best breweries will be able to keep their doors open. She also talks about her desire to constantly try out new recipes, but keep a certain set of beers on tap at all times so any beer drinker in her taproom will always be able to find a beer that they like.
    Keywords: bubble; craft brewing industry; Delmar, Delaware; growth; innovation; sustainability; York, Pennsylvania, East Coast
  • How a brewery owner drinks beer
    Partial Transcript: "What about you, uh, as a beer consumer?" "I drink a lot less beer now 'cause I'm here so much." "We try some beer every day... but a lot of times it's not even beer yet."
    Synopsis: Clough says that she does not drink very much beer since she opened a brewery, although she tastes beer that's in the process of becoming beer. She says that she has some beers that are her favorites, but that she prefers variety and trying new things especially when she is out.
    Keywords: beer; brewing; sour; tasting
  • Getting consumers to try new types of beer
    Partial Transcript: "Attitudes about beer have changed so much." "You can't categorize anybody in this industry anymore."
    Synopsis: Clough describes her process of trying new beer and getting her customers to do the same. She explains that she makes five gallon batches of beer for customers to try in her tasting room and if customers enjoy it, and it is economical to do so, she will then make a bigger and bigger batches of that beer for sale and distribution.
    Keywords: beer; big batch beer; dark beer; drinking; feedback; Guinness; mincemeat beer; Porter; Schlitz; small batch beer; tasting
  • Beer contests
    Partial Transcript: "What about the beer competitions?" "We haven't put a lot of effort into competitions." "We've won some local competitions."
    Synopsis: Third Wave Brewing has entered into some national level beer competitions but has never won one. Clough notes their previous participation in the Great American Beer Fest, but notes that she does not really enjoy it, and personally has had a hard time keeping track of different beers in local contests where she has served as a judge. She also says that Third Wave Brewing has won some beer competitions at local festivals.
    Keywords: Great American Beer Festival; World Beer Cup
  • Changes in Southern Delaware
    Partial Transcript: "Speaking of local, how has Southern Delaware changed over the years?" "That's really hard for me to answer, I don't know." "There was nothing... in the wintertime, it was dead"
    Synopsis: Clough talks about how Delmar has changed over the years, she thinks the brewery has been a boon for the town. She also says that the beach communities have had explosive growth since she was a child, when many of the communities were considerably smaller. She says that she misses those days, but supports the idea that there are successful businesses and Third Wave Brewing customers in those towns.
    Keywords: Bethany Beach, Delaware; change; Delmar, Delaware; Dewey Beach, Delaware; Fenwick Isle, Delaware; Lewes, Delaware; Ocean City Maryland; Rehoboth, Delaware; The Rudder
  • Final thoughts on the industry and culture of craft beer
    Partial Transcript: "Is there anything else you would like to add that we haven't talked about yet?" "This is a great industry... and if you haven't tried craft beer come out and give it a try.""I think some of the smaller breweries... may join together."
    Synopsis: Clough talks about the state of craft brewing in Delaware. She encourages people to get out and try beer from their local breweries. She thinks that part of the reason why the craft beer industry is big in Delaware is because Delaware's water tastes good. She says that the beer from a brewery that left Delaware and moved to Maryland has a different taste due to the water. She also talks about the future of the industry, and suggests that some smaller breweries may join together in the name of economic security.
    Keywords: California; Delmar, Delaware; Salisbury, Maryland; Third Wave Brewing Company; water