An Inside Look at Deschutes Brewery with CEO Michael LaLonde (Part I)


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Michael talked about how he found his way to Bend and a lot of the core values that make Deschutes Brewery tick. He believes deeply that,
"When an individual works for a company and they can have an impact on that company they are much happier." - Michael LaLonde, CEO, Deschutes Brewery
How He Got his First Job with Deschutes
Despite the "worst interview" of all time, Michael still landed the job as CFO of Deschutes more than 10 years ago because of how he handled a tough situation at a previous job.
Craft Beer Industry and Deschutes Brewery 10 Years Ago
Michael goes through the challenges and opportunities facing craft beer during this important period of growth for Deschutes.
The key performance indicators and stats that Deschutes uses to measure success.
Why Deschutes Decided to Build a Pub in Portland, OR
The company was failing to meet it sales goals. Even though the numbers didn't look good, management decided to call up the bank and ask for a line of credit to build a pub in Portland. Michael shares the thinking behind their decision.
The "Halo Effect" of the Deschutes' Reserve Series
How concentrating on their reserve series pushed their brand to a new level.
Deschutes' High Standards
Why they dumped $250k worth of product because it didn’t meet their own criteria aesthetically, even though it tasted great.
How They Chose What to Brew Back in the Day
Michael describes the legendary Friday meetings where a small team of management and brewmasters tasted beers and thought about what was next.
How They Choose What to Brew Today and the Influence of Technology
How a beer idea gets through the gauntlet and actually brewed in a more modern world. Micheal sheds light on the new technology that is changing what beers hit the market.
The Power of Transparency
Micheal tells the story of how Deschutes made it through some tough internal struggles by being transparent with where every dollar was going with all employees.
Don’t just ask for feedback but hear it and take action.
The Deschutes strategic planning process is unique in the sheer amount of information they take in from consumers and employees. Michael talks through some of the the questions they ask on their employee surveys and the process for making sure action is taken on the feedback.
Having Company Wide Q&A's
Deschutes routinely has an open Q&A’s with the whole company of 571 co-owners. Micheal stresses why its important to be open to the fact that you can continually get better when handling feedback.
Deschutes' Message to Employees on Day One
Always be looking for things we can be doing better and speak up about it.
Next week, Michael and Jon continue the conversation and breakdown how Deschutes thinks about marketing and the crowded world of craft brewing today.
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29 episodes available. A new episode about every 8 days averaging 28 mins duration .