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5 Questions After 5 Years: Alex Pierson

Dec 4

Alex Pierson’s Amplified Ale Works celebrated 5 years during SD Beer Week. We caught up with him for a quick five questions:

1. If you could go back in time 5+ years, what would you tell yourself before opening the PB brewery?
Don’t do it! Hah, just kidding, no regrets here, but I would have told myself to really think through the longer term business plan beyond a single location, as there were definitely things we could have done from an investor and business formation perspective to better prepare us for growth. That said, I never imagined the local craft beer movement would blossom so fast, and so we’ve chosen to grow in a cautious manner.

Alex Pierson with then-outgoing SD Mayor Jerry Sanders (center) and Amplified co-founder JC Hill,  during SDBW 2012. Hill now runs Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey, CA

2. What do you see for the next 5 years of Amplified?
Our goal is to be growing into a larger, more permanent brewery space and commissary kitchen in the next year that can support the growth of additional Amplified locations in Southern California. As for future locations, we would really like to partner or even create a live music venue where we can evolve the intersection of live music and craft beer. Being able to be a part of a community and a local gathering hub is something I’ve been really proud of in PB and something we hope to emulate in any future locations.

3. Which SD music venues have the best local beer selections consistently?
Casbah has a solid tap lineup these days and is the venue I probably frequent the most. Soda Bar has an extensive list as well, and honestly it seems that every venue is stepping their game up recently. I’ve loved seeing more local options available inside the Observatory too.

4. Can you give us an update on the Pathways collab?
We actually just had our 2018 planning meeting for Pathway Ale, and to date we have raised more than $14,000 in the two years since we started our partnership with beautifulPB and Karl Strauss to create pedestrian, bike, and skate-friendly paths around the neighborhood. We’ve got some fun recipes in store for next year, and you may also be seeing some of the previous favorites coming back for an appearance. We’re also hoping to have several new retailers commit to selling the beer on tap, so that we can better communicate to our neighbors where exactly they can drink it while supporting community improvement projects and the development of PB’s EcoDistrict.

5. Can you discuss both recent & upcoming collabs?
Our Western Settings collaboration, DIYPA, was our most recent can release, and it was a lot of fun given the timing with them playing their largest show at 91x’s Scallywag, and leading into Beer Week. We also released our second beer with Motorhead, Live to Win, for our 5 year anniversary party at the Lafayette Hotel in early November. We previously did collaborations with The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble and Reel Big Fish earlier this year that were a lot of fun. We’re actively working on several future band collaborations, including one we’ll be brewing up north at Fieldwork Brewing in early 2018. Stay tuned for that and a few other exciting music collabs in store for next year!

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