“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters… But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.”
Passionate people, no matter what their passion, are some of my favorite people in this world.
At one point when I was younger, my passion was singing. I always had a voice, growing up. I had a beautiful voice. It was actually incredible… For a point in time, I actually thought about applying to Juilliard. (Nine percent of applicants actually got in! And I KNEW that I could if I applied myself.)
For a long time, I told myself that not pursuing that path in life was my being practical. But the truth is, if I had wanted it badly enough, I could have had it.
It never bothered me that I just quit singing (although I occasionally honor the wedding singer request as a favor to close friends and family). And I’ve never once looked back and thought, “What if I had pursued that?” Not once.
My thing was out there somewhere. I just hadn’t found it.
I loved to write. Maybe that was it?
I went to college intending to obtain a degree in Journalism. I had an amazing college advisor who led me to get a degree in Communications instead. I’m so happy I went that route. I focused on Marketing. And I knew exactly who I wanted to work for… Sheetz – A family-owned company that was born right in my hometown.
I loved everything about their marketing campaigns, the incredibly fun and not too serious culture I perceived them having, and the continuity of creativity that I felt bled from everything that company did. My goal was to work in their Marketing department, almost from the moment I chose to get a degree in Communications.
I started in a store and worked my ass off. And I got that chance. I’m incredibly thankful that our Director of Marketing took a chance on me and finally gave me a job in their Marketing department! I was asked to interview for that position, and still I remember leaving the interview feeling certain I had failed.
I got the job.
Truly, nothing could have made me happier.
I found my home, and I found this crazy family of geeks (and I used that term with the greatest respect!) that I fit into.
I was the “Food and Beverage Field Project Technician” in my first role in the Marketing department. This was fitting. I was a bit of a foodie. And let’s not even get started on the “beverage” part! I was a lover of good beer.
If drinking in college could have earned me a degree, I would have my doctorate.
I didn’t start my illustrious drinking career loving good beer. But I was fortunate enough to have a few good friends to knock the Miller Lite out of my hands and to introduce me to something special. (Josh Beemiller and Sam Gillis… I hold you two mainly responsible, whether you know it or not.)
My love for beer grew and grew. Slowly at first. And then, it became this insatiable thing…
It was no longer about the getting drunk of college years. It was about being drunk with this insatiable thirst to learn more and more.
At work one day, I was chatting with one of my bosses about blogs. I never understood why someone would want to start a blog. It seemed like too open and personal of a thing for me to want to share with strangers. Blogs seemed like a lot of work with no real benefit. But… I did love to write… And I loved beer…
I suddenly was excited. I wanted to share this love I had for beer with others. I actually thought my husband wouldn’t be a huge fan of my sharing of our personal lives with the world. So I thought I would wait for the right time to approach him about it.
But I didn’t have to wait. That following weekend, Ben and I were at this awesome beer bar. We chatted with other beer geeks for hours there. When we were leaving, Ben and I were discussing how awesome it was to talk to those other people who loved beer just as much as we did. Ben told me I should start a beer blog.
And I did.
Starting this blog helped me learn and grow. It instilled this passion in me to want to share what I learn with others. Before I sat down to write my first blog post, I considered all things “marketing”. Who is my audience? What do I want to accomplish? How do I establish my brand? I love to write, but I kind of have the mouth of a sailor. Will that translate as passionate honesty and sincerity in my blog, or will I come off sounding like an asshole?
Fuck it; I’ll just be me.
It was the realest thing I’ve done. I know my father isn’t a fan of the language I occasionally use on my posts. But I hope that one day he’ll see that it’s not me trying to shock people… This is what I LOVE. I can articulate that love without swearing. But in the most passionate moments of your life, what kind of language do you use?
This is how I feel about beer.
I found it, finally. I found the thing in life that I love.
It sounds fucked up to people, I know. It’s just beer. Alcohol.
I know that not everyone understands how I can love a thing so much.
Beer. Beer, of all things.
I used to be a little harder and a little more defensive. But now, I don’t feel the need to explain.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love beer. It’s this incredible thing that we as humans get to formulate. It’s the most versatile beverage that exists. It can be whatever we want it to be. Beer tells a story. You can shut me in a room with a great beer, and I’ll relish the opportunity to peel away its layers and hear its story.
I want to share these stories with as many people as I can.
A few weeks ago, I had a choice to make. It’s the toughest choice I’ve made in my life, to date.
“A ship is safe at harbor. But that’s not what ships are for.” I saw this on Twitter while trying to make my decision. It’s a quote I’ve always liked. Oddly enough, some insightful drunk chick penned it in Sharpie on the stall door in the bathroom of one of my all-time favorite craft beer bars…
I wasn’t built to be anchored at shore, even if that place is safe and comfortable.
I was offered a craft beer job.
A craft beer job!!! And in marketing! For a brewery I already thought very highly of!
After a lot of consideration, and literal tears in my beers looking for the right answer, I found it.
Beer is my thing. And that was my answer.
I accepted a position with Devils Backbone Brewing as their North Carolina Craft Adventure Coordinator!
Leaving a company and family I love so much is incredibly difficult. I was given incredible opportunities there that I will forever be grateful for. Those people will always be my family. And I’m grateful for all of their encouragement and support.
I encourage you all to find the thing in your life that makes you happy. And do that. If you do what you love for a job, you’ll never work a day in your life. And you’ll be as rich as you need to be. Find that thing that makes you inexplicably happy. And go for it.
2 thoughts on “One Should Always Be Drunk (How I Got A Job In Craft Beer)”
Beautiful, and references one of my favorite poems. Best of luck to you. I’ll save you an MTO!
Well written, Janee!