[This article originally appeared in The Brewer Magazine. To read the original piece, please visit: http://thebrewermagazine.com/brewer-magazine-qa-marty-masta-north-coast-brewing-co/]
By Jon Sicotte on February 16, 2019
This is a part of a continuing series of Q&As with members of the brewing community from across the U.S. Brewer Magazine will share business and personal insights from Brewmasters, Head Brewers, Brewing Managers, Sales Directors, QCQA Managers and others each weekend to help you get to know each other better in the industry and learn more to better develop your own brand.
Marty Masta, Sr. Director National Accounts, North Coast Brewing Co. — Fort Bragg, California
BREWER: How do you feel your job has had to adapt in the beer market compared to a few years ago?
MASTA: Without question, the number of brewers and beers competing in the market for retailer and distributor share-of-mind has created a situation where a disciplined approach to opportunity identification and solution development is critical. The retailer, distributor and consumer are all our customers so solutions need to focus on meeting or exceeding their expectations simultaneously. Category revenue for the retailer, incremental revenue-per-stop for the distributor and a fantastic sampling experience at a fair price for the consumer. I feel we have a unique set of assets with our beers that meet or exceed the expectations of all three customers.
BREWER: Who is your mentor in the industry and why? What have you learned from them?
MASTA: I’m fortunate to have worked with some amazing beer industry people in my career. Just by listening and asking questions, I was able to take away a ton of insight. I can’t go all-in on one person, but I can say those that have had the greatest impact on me have all had high levels of ownership, accountability, integrity and a customer-centric approach.
BREWER: Can you share a success story that you are proud of in your job or maybe a story of how you learned from a situation that has altered your thoughts on how you do your job now?
MASTA: In the past year while trying to develop a new relationship with a key national account customer, I requested a meeting to discuss our company and discuss some ideas to drive the velocity of our existing distribution. The good news is that I got a response, the not-so-good news was that they said they did not carry our beers! The dilemma was quickly resolved, the meeting was scheduled, we have developed a great relationship and the ideas we implemented have grown distribution and category revenue with our brands. The lesson: Don’t assume everyone is as aware of your story as you are.
BREWER: Can you touch on something your brewery has added lately that’s unique or making your business more successful (it could be equipment, technology or people)?
MASTA: Since 1988 North Coast Brewing Company has operated with a high level of social responsibility while brewing world-class beers. So, to achieve B Corp Certification in 2016 and improve our score by 14 points to 100.2 in 2017 is not a surprise to me and a great part of our story. This combined with our Independent Brewer status, having 15 Non-GMO Verified brands, Platinum TRUE Zero Waste certification, a commitment to marine mammal research/rescue, a commitment to jazz education and our world class beers; creates a very unique position for us within our industry. Our global vision has a true local impact and positions us well to compete in any market.
BREWER: If you had one business strategy that you could implement to better the brewing industry, what would it be?
MASTA: I would encourage not only brewers, but all organizations within the three-tier system to actively engage in a focused sustainability initiative. Although every organization in the three-tier system may not be able to invest at a level to achieve B Corp status, a focused effort to reduce waste, reduce carbon emissions or getting involved with ocean conservation will have huge impact on the health of our planet.