“12 years in a start-up” with all-hands on deck is kind of how it felt.
The brewery was founded in 2001, I showed up in 2004 and went full-time in 2006 until my departure in 2016.
Responsibilities changed as the brewery grew.
Delivered beer, made sales calls, cleaned lines, collected invoices, educated consumers, taught “Brew-on-Premise” classes, hired salespeople, solicited distributors, learned ABC law, built and maintained the website, designed and sent monthly newsletters, set-up and managed social media platforms, designed programs like “C.O.R.E.” and “Cheers! for Charity”, responded to patron posts on various review sites, wrote copy for labels and products, gave TV interviews, co-ordinated multiple award-winning campaigns, received the initial chain authorizations (Whole Foods, Safeway, BevMo, etc.), wrote press releases and on, and on…
A once in a lifetime adventure.
The Fun Part:
I loved that I was able to take my experiences from the military and corporate America to a small, family run business.
Staying up late at night wordsmithing the next label or press release, and then seeing it on a store shelf or in a publication was very fulfilling.
The “Cheers! for Charity” program I created has donated thousands of dollars to under-served charities.
Local breweries continue to attend and compete in the growing West Coast Craft Can Invitational which I created, coordinated and championed in 2013 – hopefully for years to come.
The people met, the beer festivals attended, the ideas fostered and support received to grow to fruition – I was very fortunate to work with so many great people at a great business.