Brewbound Podcast Episode 32: Sebago Brewing’s Kai Adams on Delegating and Staying Competitive

A few years ago, Sebago Brewing co-founder Kai Adams had an aha moment that led to a “significant change” in how the company operates today.

“I was the brewmaster because I oversaw the breweries,” he said on episode 32 of the Brewbound Podcast. “But my roles and responsibilities had changed over the years and at one point I said, ‘This is dumb for me to be that person.’”

So Adams checked his ego and “released control” over recipe development to Tom Abercrombie.

“All of a sudden, things completely changed,” he said. “The culture in the brewery changed. The variety changed.”

A self-described “‘90s brewer,” Adams had fallen out of touch with new styles and brewing methods that were becoming more popular in the modern craft brewing era.

The lesson?

“You can’t do everything 100 percent awesome,” he said. “So focus on the things that you DO do awesome.”

In episode 32, Adams discusses the ways in which his company has evolved over the years, the decisions he’s made along the way, the legislative climate for craft beer in Maine, and how a two-decades-old brewery stays relevant in a competitive environment.

Listen to episode 32 of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall, are published every Thursday.

Episode 33, which features a Brew Talks panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in brewing, will be released on Thursday, April 25.

For questions, comments or suggestions, please email podcast@brewbound.com.

Show Notes:

0:00 – 19:10: Furnari and Kendall introduce episode 32, discuss the latest news, and share a few takeaways from CBC 2019

19:10 – 54:46: Furnari and Kendall interview Kai Adams

54:46 – 1:02:18: Furnari and Kendall share their takeaways from the interview

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The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.