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July 7, 2022

German Beer in Texas with Altstadt Brewery feat. Craig Rowan & John Slaughter

German Beer in Texas with Altstadt Brewery feat. Craig Rowan & John Slaughter

Twice a year, Tomball, Texas celebrates its Germanic heritage during a special celebration called the German Festival-- and from what we can tell, nothing goes better with German culture than beer! Altstadt Brewery played a central role in one of the biannual German Festivals, and today on the show we get together with Head Brewer, Craig Rowan, and Houston Regional Manager, John Slaughter, to talk all things beer, brewing, and community. You don’t need to know a whole lot about beer to enjoy it, and many fans are often shocked to learn just how complicated the brewing process is. Our conversation today covers a bunch of different topics, from the complexity of the brewing process and the history of Altstadt to the trip to Germany that started it all. We unpack why brewing beer is more complex than wine cultivation, the process for imitating the water profile of specific towns in Europe, and why the quality of beer decreases the further it travels from where it was made. Our guests also share their views on how to market beer, why they don’t believe in smearing their competitors, and why a good beer speaks for itself. There’s nothing quite like seeing people enjoying a product that you spent years crafting, and the sense of community at German Fest makes it all the more inspiring. Tune in for a fascinating conversation on the science of beer and the passionate people behind the product!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing today’s guests John Slaughter and Craig Rowan from Altstadt Brewery.
  • An overview of the biannual German Festival in Tomball Texas.
  • The story behind the name Beefy Marketing.
  • How Craig became the Head Brewer at Altstadt Brewery.
  • Insight into why brewing is such a complex process.
  • Why Craig strives for consistency at Altstadt Brewery.
  • The differences between microbreweries and mass-produced brands.
  • Why beer is an acquired taste, and the many elements that make any brand unique.
  • How to use marketing in a positive way that doesn’t smear your competitors.
  • The role that temperature plays in the taste of beer.
  • How John became the Houston regional manager of Altstadt Brewery.
  • An overview of Altstadt Brewery and how it was founded.
  • The four ingredients found in beer and the infinite ways they can be combined.
  • How you can replicate the water profile of a town thousands of miles away.
  • Why beer doesn’t travel well and how pasteurization changes the taste of beer.
  • The beauty of beer and the wonderful community atmosphere during the German Festival.


“[When] I got to Altstadt, they invested a lot of money in my education. I’m very grateful. Even the experiences of being thrown to the wolves, being allowed to fail, and really learning lessons from your failures more than anything. It's just great. A lot of that is what led me here.” — Craig Rowan [0:16:31]

“Every new thing I learned just unlocked all this other stuff that I didn't realize I didn't know, right? It's just a spiderweb of new things. Every new thing you learn just leads you to a bunch of things you're ignorant about beer.” — Craig Rowan [0:17:17]

“Beer is one of the most complex alcoholic beverages out there. It's more complex than wine.” — John Slaughter [0:17:28]

“Even if you don't know anything about beer. If you taste a beer, and it tastes good, you're gonna buy that beer, if you have the ability to buy it.” — John Slaughter [0:45:12]

“It just blows my mind. Every time I see something like this. People walking around with stuff we put so much work into. It’s worth all the strife you go through for it.” — Craig Rowan [0:46:41]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Altstadt Brewery

Tomball German Fest

Community Bank of Texas

John Kelley on Instagram

John Kelley on TikTok

Beefy Marketing

Beefy Marketing on Instagram

Beefy Marketing on YouTube

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