We had the good fortune of connecting with Colby “Lord” Chandler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Colby, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe that risk and passion are closely related. When I have followed my passion, at the peril of it being detrimental to my quality of life, the risk is manageable. It is easier to accept the consequences when your actions are driven by your passion. Should you be taking a risk if you are not passionate about what it may create, good or bad? I have always made sure I was passionate about where I choose to work and spend my time. I needed to really like the place and product, before being able to give 100%, which helps mitigate the risk a bit. I gained so much experience with people and hospitality in the restaurant business, working for a high-end steak restaurant chain but I was always passionate about beer. So, I took a 70% pay cut and quit the restaurant business as a corporate trainer/server and started work at Home Brew Mart / Ballast Point Brewing 23 years ago. With my passion for craft beer and homebrewing leading the way. Being able to be a part of a brewery team, putting out quality beer for decades, that has led me around the world, makes me proud of the liquid art, I have been a small part of. The risk was definitely rewarding
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It took awhile to trust that I was an artist and beer was my canvas. I have always enjoyed cooking as well. They are similar in many ways. I have always tried to create a balanced product. Whether it was an India Pale Ale, a big barrel aged coffee Porter, a Wheat beer with ginger and Thai chilis, or an indigenous San Diego Saison, they all were balanced. Some of those beers were ahead of their time but that is true for most of the beers that brewers like to create. Being close to our homebrewing roots, at Ballast Point/Home Brew Mart, has kept our beer quality at its highest while still being creative. You cannot have balance without ballast! It has also been important to me to champion beer and food pairings. Proving with 400 beer pairing meals, that beer does deserve a place at the dinner table. Balancing beer and food in a pairing are rewarding and educational for those adults who attend. Learning about the contrast, cut, complimentary and condiment aspects of pairing, will guide you through your adult eating and has increased my quality of life! Staying on focused goals, being truthful, willingness to change, humility and keeping good people around you while elevating them, would all be items in my personal mission statement, if I had one.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So many things to do in San Diego! I like to give visitors a bit of everything. Keep them busy by walking Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach, museums at Balboa Park, mountain biking at Mount Laguna, scenic pictures at Cabrillo National Park, enjoying the incredible food scene in Tijuana, wine and beer in Guadalupe Valley, Old Town for some history and a chili rellano, Penasquitos Canyon Preserve for some Onewheeling, Mission Bay for a boat ride or cruise on a stand up paddle board and Torrey Pines Beach for some heavy waves to scratch the surface of what is available in this paradise. Your always within a couple miles of a brewery too. A place for good conversation and solid drinks and maybe some approachable grub. You know with the gorgeous weather in San Diego, it’s all about being outside!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife Tammi deserves so much credit for the success of myself and the family we have created. Truly the most compassionate person I have ever been around. The hub of the family, taking care of our son (who is on the autism spectrum}, her 86-year-old mother, and our amazing yellow lab. Not making nearly enough time for herself. With me since the homebrewing days, through my professional brewing career and has since become an amazing chef with a great palate. Keeping me on track and reminding me of what is important. Truly an incredible human being.
Chris Bradley Colby Chandler Photo: John Cocozza