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Q&A: Revolution CMO Doug Veliky

The chief financial officer turned chief marketing officer at Chicago’s Revolution Brewing, known for dabbling in hot takes via his humorous social-media presence @beeraficionado, offers his perspective on the trends facing craft beer in 2023.

Jamie Bogner Feb 16, 2023 - 27 min read

Q&A: Revolution CMO Doug Veliky Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Doug Veliky

CBB // First, the buzz recently was New Belgium’s news about Fat Tire. We’ve watched this broader industry trend of removing a brewery brand and focusing on a beer brand. From your perspective, how do you read this?

DV // I see it as they have this intellectual property that is the Fat Tire brand that probably more than half of the people that buy Fat Tire think is the name of the brewery—they don’t even realize they’re buying a beer from this brewery called New Belgium. And it was massive—it was one of, if not the biggest craft beer in the country (or maybe second or third to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale) less than 10 years ago. So, it’s too big to just ignore and let sit on the shelf. But the liquid became very stale in the minds of most consumers in their 20s and 30s.

I think there are a couple different flavor profiles that work now—there’s the golden-ale taste that is like a craftier version of a premium lager. And then there’s, of course, the flavors of IPAs, which have, whether bitter or not, big fruit flavors, whether that’s citrusy or tropical. To me, Fat Tire’s traditional recipe does none of those things. There are still people who like it, they’re just fewer every year, and it’s snowballed to the point where the brand is still good and has all this potential—it can be so many things—so why not try something different with the liquid and weave a story that has potential to resonate with a large swath of consumers?

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