In 2002, Dale Katechis revolutionized craft beer. A seemingly easy packaging choice, placing craft beer in a can, sparked a world motion and put craft beer on the map.

Earlier than the craft beer market actually gained steam, shoppers related good beer with glass bottles and bigger manufacturers promoting low cost beer with cans. By schooling, inventive advertising and a mission to place folks over earnings, Dale helped the craft beer market broaden massively whereas sticking to his roots. He additionally managed to persuade folks to drink good beer from a can.

When Dale based Oskar Blues about twenty years in the past, he didn’t simply reach promoting beer. By collaboration and knowledge sharing, Dale propelled craft beer as an entire and lifted all boats with a rising tide. He’s hoping to attain related outcomes together with his new position within the hashish house.

Dale Katechis, Founding father of Oskar Blues & latest addition to the Veritas Fantastic Hashish group

Veritas Fantastic Hashish, the primary craft hashish cultivator in Colorado, introduced that Dale joined the corporate’s management group. Jonathan Spadafora, associate and head of selling and gross sales at Veritas, instructed us that he’s enthusiastic about working with Dale. He says Dale is already serving to them open an entire world of branding and advertising alternatives. “This is our Shark Tank moment – we’ve got someone who’s been through the fire before and will help us keep differentiating, finding new avenues and new ways to solve problems,” says Spadafora.

His colleague, Mike Leibowitz, CEO of Veritas, shares the identical sentiment. “Dale maintained company culture and quality as he grew Oskar Blues into a household name,” says Leibowitz. “Maintaining our unique company culture is paramount as we work to build Veritas Fine Cannabis into the same.”

Dale’s position within the management group at Veritas is about sticking to his roots. By elevating trade requirements in the very best curiosity of high quality merchandise and shoppers, the group at Veritas hopes to broaden the model nationally, similar to Oskar Blues did, whereas instilling a tradition of disruption and innovation with out compromising high quality.

We caught up with Dale to study extra about his story and what he hopes to carry to Veritas, in addition to the hashish trade at giant. And sure, I had a few Dale’s Pale Ales (his namesake beer) later that night.

Aaron Biros: Your success with Oskar Blues is inspiring. Taking an incredible beer like Dale’s Pale Ale and placing it in a can sounds easy to the layperson, however you launched a exceptional motion to place craft beer on the map. How do you propose to make use of your expertise to assist Veritas develop their enterprise?

Dale Katechis: I’m hoping that I can apply among the classes that I’ve discovered by means of making errors of rising a enterprise from the bottom up. There’s clearly a variety of highway blocks in hashish and that’s actually one of many qualities of Veritas – how they’ve grown and the way they needed to do it in an atmosphere that’s way more difficult than the beer house.

My expertise in small enterprise improvement might probably assist them navigate this subsequent renaissance of the house. I’m going to assist them compete and produce the trade to a degree that helps everyone win. I actually felt that manner within the craft beer motion. It was crucial to us to carry the entire trade alongside as a result of we had been educators, we weren’t salesmen. In doing that, lifting everybody to a degree the place the trade advantages as an entire is part of small enterprise development. To me that’s probably the most fulfilling half. It wasn’t simply concerning the Oskar Blues ego on the time, it was concerning the craft beer scene. And what’s occurring in hashish now could be similar to what occurred within the nineties with the craft beer scene.

Aaron: How did you get involved in becoming a member of the hashish trade? What made you select Veritas?

Dale: Most of my life, I’ve been an enjoyer of hashish. Very lately, within the final two years, I’ve been intrigued by getting concerned within the house. I’ve been procuring round for alternatives and nothing actually excited me till I met Jon Spadafora and Mike Leibowitz.

It was actually the 2 of them, the comradery and the way they deal with their workers that was so just like the tradition at Oskar Blues. Name it a “passion play” if you’ll, however this was the very best alternative to become involved with a small firm and hopefully be a price add for them being within the room and sharing concepts.

Aaron: As a pioneer and chief within the craft beer house, do you discover any commonalities between the expansion of the craft beer market and the authorized hashish market?

Dale: It’s type of loopy what number of similarities there are. Not simply the trade as an entire, however particularly the commonalities between my enterprise, Oskar Blues, and Veritas. General, that’s actually what allowed me to need to lean in a bit extra. I wasn’t within the place the place I needed to start out something alone. I didn’t need to be concerned in fixing something. I’ve been concerned in these conditions earlier than and I’m at a degree in my life that I don’t need to repair something. Fortunately there’s nothing that wanted to be mounted at Veritas. That was an thrilling piece of the equation for me.

Dale takes within the view, getting up shut and private with the crops at a Veritas cultivation facility

Again to your query, how the buyer seems at hashish versus how the buyer seems at beer within the craft beer house could be very related. There’s a little bit of an academic piece that’s occurring the place it’s nearly a requirement within the hashish trade and Veritas is main that cost out entrance.

That’s what’s going to catapult Veritas and different firms in the event that they observe swimsuit. It’s their mentality and their philosophy of bringing the trade alongside as an entire, and I believe it’s going to finish up boding nicely for the buyer. The craft beer house was the identical.

We needed to educate folks on a beer can and why we felt like a can of beer was vital and thrilling. The trade and the buyer related cans of beer with giant, industrial lagers and the can acquired a nasty rap consequently. Not as a result of it wasn’t a fantastic bundle, however as a result of they had been placing dangerous beer in bundle. So, we had a protracted highway of training the buyer on the advantages of the can and I believe what Veritas is doing with packaging now, how they use high quality as such a elementary pillar of their enterprise, how they deal with the worker expertise and the buyer expertise units them up for achievement, as an alternative of simply wanting on the backside line.

I’ve stated it all through my total profession, and at Oskar Blues, we by no means targeted on the earnings. You do the proper factor for the most important group of individuals shifting the ball ahead and the underside line takes care of itself. Jon and Mike perceive that so I don’t must struggle that battle. It’s one other massive similarity to the craft beer house.

Aaron: How can hashish firms hold their craft? How can we, as an trade and as particular person companies, rejoice craft hashish and observe within the footsteps of impartial craft beer?

Dale: I imagine that we’re beginning to see a few of that consolidation [that has been taking place in the craft beer market]. We’re at a time available in the market proper now the place firms with such a stable basis like Veritas don’t must go that path to develop. I believe we’ll begin to see much more consolidation within the hashish trade quickly.

Veritas CEO Mike Leibowitz (proper) displaying Dale (left) a recent harvest

Again to the purpose of bonding collectively as an trade and as an entire. Championing among the regulatory hurdles which are coming and sticking collectively is essential. One firm can’t do it. There’s going to need to be some comradery within the trade amongst everybody making an attempt to carry the bar up excessive as an alternative of racing to the underside. You die by a thousand cuts. I’ve lived that life in craft beer and we noticed what occurred 6-7 years in the past when the trade overexpanded due to exponential development. Quite a lot of egos acquired within the room, and a variety of breweries spent some huge cash constructing out capability after which that very same yr the market popped out. Everybody who didn’t have a stable basis, acquired washed out of the trade.

That’s why I respect what Jon and Mike are doing and the way they constructed Veritas. It’s similar to how we constructed Oskar Blues. We had humble beginnings; we didn’t spend cash on issues exterior of our core competency. We targeted on high quality, worker expertise, morale and holding on to the tradition of Oskar Blues. That’s what Jon and Mike are doing with Veritas and I believe that’s actually vital.


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