The Future of Food and Beverage Manufacturing, LIVE from Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati, OH

What happens when you put a food and beverage industry leader, a brewer, and an industrial specialist who’s seen hundreds of manufacturing facilities on the same stage? You get this week’s episode.  

CBT Company recently invited Manufacturing Happy Hour to host a live panel discussion at Cincinnati’s iconic Rhinegeist Brewery on the future of food & beverage manufacturing. We were joined by Rhinegeist’s Cole Hackbarth, SugarCreek’s Jeremy Saunders, and CBT’s Larry Hecker for a conversation that covered more than a few critical manufacturing topics. 

In this episode, you’ll hear our panelists discuss the characteristics of a modern maintenance program, why flexible manufacturing is so important to food & beverage manufacturing, and plenty of innovative ideas for recruiting and training your people.  

We also have a bonus Q&A where we cover some very candid questions around making manufacturing more accessible to everyone. You’ll even learn a few things about the Cincinnati manufacturing community and what makes the industry in that region so unique. 


Apple | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Food and beverage manufacturers need to focus on predictive maintenance programs to make scaling more sustainable. 
  2. Employees now want greater flexibility in their jobs. If we can offer that, we can hire and retain the best talent out there. 
  3. Automation isn’t about taking jobs. It’s about removing those tedious and repetitive processes from roles and freeing up people to spend their time on more engaging work.  

Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here. Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!

Tweetable Quotes

  • [Automation] is just simplifying the manual labor and the jobs that don’t take skill to do, so that our brewers, who are very skilled and very intelligent, can think about how to make beer taste better.” – Cole Hackbarth 
  • “I think the most important thing is to make sure everyone’s on the on the same page between management, maintenance, production, QA – you have to have buy-in from all four, or it’s going to be a disaster.” – Larry Hecker 
  • “Why are women not wanting to come to the industry? Let’s be honest, we don’t make it easy. Keep that in mind, how do we make it easy? There’s a lot of things like safety strategies, which are intended for male-sized people, and women are at a disadvantage.” – Jeremy Saunders 

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

Do you want to connect with other leaders that are moving the needle in manufacturing everyday? Then make sure to join us in the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community on LinkedIn. 

Reuters Events: Supply Chain USA 2023 is taking place May 17 and 18 in Chicago, IL and because you’re a listener of this podcast, you can get $350 off your price of registration. Make sure to listen to the podcast to get your discount code. Supply Chain USA is bringing together the END-TO-END supply chain to share new best-practices and strategies so that you can turn supply chain from a cost-center to a value generator. This is your chance to be 1 of over 900 executives across manufacturing that are shaping the future of supply chain operations. Register today. 

TRACTIAN is the all-in-one industrial workspace designed to make maintenance more streamlined, reliable and profitable. TRACTIAN’s solution integrates condition monitoring IoT sensors and an asset management software to create the most complete maintenance ecosystem on the market. Hear our full interview with their Founder Igor Marinelli. 

Interested in generating leads through videos, podcasts, or other digital content? Then make sure to check out our 6 Strategies for Growing Your Manufacturing Business Using Social Media. 

What We Discuss with Cole, Jeremy and Larry

  • The realities of maintaining and scaling a brewery 
  • Why all processes should focus on the end user 
  • Why you need everyone on your team to be on the same page 
  • How a great onboarding program can prepare new hires 
  • How staff retention challenges affected the craft beer industry 
  • Why companies should be flexible for their employees 
  • Why automation isn’t about getting rid of jobs 
  • How to decide which processes to automate 
  • How we can encourage more women into manufacturing

Recommended Resources

  • Rhinegeist Brewery, a craft brewery based in the historic Over-the-Rhine brewery district in Cincinnati, OH. 
  • CBT Company, an industrial distributor that provides customers with products, technologies, and solutions in automation, pneumatics, belting, and more. 
  • SugarCreek, an innovative food manufacturer that helps companies develop “brand-worthy food solutions.” 

Connect with Cole, Jeremy and Larry

Jeremy | Larry | Cole