Get to Know Evil Genius’ Ryan Keller

October 22, 2021
When Ryan Keller graduated from Villanova, he followed his passion for Philadelphia craft beer. After cold calling (err, cold emailing, rather) over 50 breweries in the area, Evil Genius offered him an internship that would jumpstart his career trajectory.
Now the brewery’s new marketing manager, Keller spends his days sharing his passion for beer, creating content for Evil Genius’ social media platforms, planning events at their Fishtown brewery and dreaming up collaborations with local businesses and breweries.
Heady Times caught up with Keller to find out how he’s settling into his new role, and how the brewery is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Heady Times (HT): When did your love for craft beer begin?
Ryan Keller (RK): I grew up in North Jersey, where my dad is a restaurateur. So, I’ve basically worked in restaurants from the first day I was able. One of my dad’s restaurants has a huge craft beer program. That’s where I fell in love with learning about different beer styles and ingredients. Fast forward a few years and I’m getting ready to graduate from Villanova (go ‘cats). I wanted to follow my passion for beer and turn it into a career. I messaged a ton of breweries in and around the Philadelphia area, one of which was Evil Genius. They hired me as a marketing intern during my senior year, and I’ve been here ever since. 
HT: What’s it like being a marketing manager for a brewery? What are some of the biggest surprises so far?
RK: It’s exciting! I’ve been surprised by how many opportunities I’ve had in a short period of time. I’ve been involved in Evil Genius’ collaborations with Jameson, Miller High Life, Sheetz and more. From a social media perspective, it’s been great to see people engage and interact with our content. Sometimes the coolest picture you’ve ever taken gets no love, but a generic picture of a pint glass gets thousands of likes. Figuring out the formulas of what works and why, across different social platforms, has been an interesting puzzle.
HT: What’s a typical day look like for you?
RK: It’s pretty busy. I start the day with emails and then I look over content I’ve scheduled for the day, finalizing and editing before posting. I’m involved with events at the taproom and beer festival-type projects, so a decent chunk of my time is dedicated to planning those events. It’s our 10th anniversary this year, so we’ve got a ton of stuff happening. I just wrapped up a project with 1-900-ICE-CREAM here in Fishtown.
HT: So much of social media is crafting a unique tone and voice. How do you strive to make Evil Genius’s online voice different than other breweries?
RK: I think we’ve done a great job keeping a fun and exciting tone. I inherited a lot of that from my predecessor who often used emojis and silly verbiage. We like to keep things lighthearted and happy-go-lucky. The nostalgia that our beer names evoke tends to form a meaningful connection with our audience, which is mostly Gen Z and millennial consumers.
HT: What exciting stuff is in the works for Evil Genius?
RK: As I mentioned earlier, it’s our 10th anniversary and we have a killer beer coming out for it. I can’t speak too much about it now, but it’s an homage to what’s made us so successful over the past decade. It’s going to be a major hit with existing and new consumers. We’re hosting a huge market on Front St. as well as a food truck festival as part of our 10 Events For 10 Years Celebration. And we just rebranded our core lineup when we switched from bottles to cans, so we have a ton of cool merch coming out. Finally, we’ve got more awesome collaborations with fun companies that I can’t wait to announce soon. They’ll be a must have for any beer nerd!
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