Best Fest Q&A: Simple Machine Brewing Co.

Haley SmilowAugust 13, 2022
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Simple Machine Brewing Co. was named Best Brewery in our 2022 Best of the Valley issue. Owner Marshall Norris an Arizona native is excited for Best Fest to network and meet other vendors.

What can attendees expect from you at Best Fest?
We are pouring four beers that we are entering into the Great American Beer Festival. They are the ones that we are the most proud of. We are pouring Laze, an American IPA, Dark Side of the Mash which is a black IPA, Blueprint which is an American light lager and Loteria which is our Mexican style lager. We’ll be out there to talk about our beer. We’ll also have family out there because we are still a small company and often we have to call on our family to make sure everything goes smoothly.

What are you most looking forward to about Best Fest?
I’m looking forward to meeting all the other vendors. It’ll be good to get our products out in front of people who weren’t aware of us. I want to network and set up some collaborations with businesses outside of the craft beer industry. For example, my merch supplier, we’ve worked with them a couple of times and it’s fun to do something that isn’t in our industry.

What’s the importance of Best Fest for you?
Marketing and networking, those would be the two biggest things for us. The exposure from the magazine is fantastic, but actually getting out in front of people is a fantastic thing.

When and why did you start Simple Machine Brewing?
We started in 2014, but we didn’t sign the lease until January of 2019, so it took us a while to get going. I started it because I was tired of working for corporate America. I was in love with the beer. I liked the science aspect. I needed a change and I was tired of working for other people. I really wanted to start a business for myself and it just took finding the right business partners.

Shout out another Valley business that you admire. What do you admire about them?
There are so many. As far as other breweries go, I like Pedal Haus. Doc is one of the top brewers in the country in my opinion. He was a regional trainer for one of the big chains before they all went out, but Pedal Haus has done a really good job of trying to be sustainable and keeping things fun and light and I enjoy their beer and their food. Outside of the industry, I’d say GoodFellas Merch because it’s a very husband-and-wife-run company and they’ve been doing it for a long time. They took it from a single shirt press to a massive operation.

What’s the best thing about living and working in Phoenix?
I’m born and raised. I went to high school in the West Valley. I love Arizona and I like being able to drive anywhere and in two hours, be in the snow or out in the forest or deep into the desert. We are close enough to the beach for when that’s important. Arizona is just a beautiful place. And it’s home. It’s home for me.

What’s next for Simple Machine Brewing?
We are growing. We hired an outside sales representative earlier this year, so we plan to grow our business in the outside sales market. I’m excited about that. Eventually, we want to look at a second location. It won’t be a production facility, it will probably just be like a taproom concept.


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