Q: Describe your company.
A: Alter Brewing Company is in the business of hospitality -- we bring people together to enjoy great beer and great food. We have a production brewery and tap room in Downers Grove. And now we have two Alter Brewing+kitchen locations, in St. Charles and Oak Brook.
Alter Brewing Company
2300 Wisconsin Avenue Downers Grove
Industry: Brewery and restaurants.
Annual revenue: $12M (2023 est.)
Number of employees: 150
Family information: Married to Andrea Yob. Three daughters.
Hometown: Live in Glen Ellyn. Grew up in Detroit suburbs.
Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
A: We just completed and opened our second restaurant and solera brewery in Oak Brook on Dec 16. We will be hiring additional staff at our restaurants as the warmer weather arrives in a few months. But we are taking a breather on large capital investments to focus on operations and profitability within our current assets.
Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?
A: 1. Continuing to navigate the extreme price inflation and a tight labor market. 2. Continuing to get the message out there that Alter Brewing is a dedicated team who know what they are doing and consistently make great beer, great food and great experiences.
Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?
A: In the beer world one of the hottest trends right now is lager beer. Like Chicago weather, beer trends are fleeting. However, lager isn't going away, and it will continue to challenge its Big Brother -- IPA. Alter Brewing makes several awesome lagers such as Alterado Mexican Style Lager.
Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?
A: Be confident but honest with yourself. Don't overestimate your own knowledge or skills and be prepared to seek help and add resources where weakness exist.
Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: Plan early and often.
Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?
A: Cooper's Hawk and Half Acre Brewing.
Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?
A: Alter Brewing Company is a team, first and foremost. That is how we think about work and what needs to get done. Leave the word "I" at the door.
Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?
A: We started off with a plan to be a regional brewery primarily distributing beer to accounts across the Midwest. During planning in early 2014 there were less than 2,500 breweries in the United States. Now there are over 9,000. We pivoted toward a more hospitality-focused concept as a platform for our brand and avenue to get beer to our customers. The lesson learned there was never lose sight of being disciplined enough to constantly plan and being nimble enough and prepared to adjust to changes within the market you operate.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Spend time with my family, play piano, golf and fish.
Q: What book is on your nightstand?
A: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Humankind.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Nothing. I stress during the day. Too tired to worry at night.
Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?
A: Playing the piano.
Q: What was your first paying job?
A: Caddied as a kid. Public accounting after college.
Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?
A: The Big House in Ann Arbor. Go Blue!
Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why. (besides your company).
A: Elon Musk because, well, it is Elon Musk. Bob Menery because we all need to laugh a little.