Over this past weekend I realized that I was quickly approaching my first anniversary with Skull Coast. During this past year I've been extremely fortunate to meet so many of you at various beer festivals and various other craft beer promotions. Many of you have had to put up with all of my questions during these events. I'm fascinated to learn where people are from and how they got introduced to craft beer. So instead of asking the questions today I'm going to provide you with some answers and share a bit of my background as well as shed a little light on my responsibilities within the Skull Coast Brewing Company.
I'm a New England kid. I grew up just north of Boston in the coastal city of Lynn. Like most people I was misled to believe beer was beer. And that theme carried me through college. I had no palette for craft beer. Well, mostly because I didn't even know what craft beer was. Then one move changed everything.
I accepted my first job out of college in Basel Switzerland. It was there that an acquaintance at the time (now a life-long friend) took me to my first brew pub. This place was tiny. Seating at the bar was limited to eight people. Max capacity was probably around 25. The whole concept of a brew pub was completely alien to me. If you wanted one of these beers you had to go to this one spot and when it's gone, it's gone. No packaging, no shipping kegs off to other bars down the street. Absolutely no marketing or branding at all! Just a pint and a place to drink it.
This beer was cloudy and had a bright warm glow to it… clearly this must be a bad batch. "Why can't I see through it?". One sip changed everything for me. The taste had weight and complexity. The aroma complemented the taste. The after-taste felt like it was just there to prepare me for the next mouthful. Wow, this is what beer is meant to be like! The beer wasn't even the best part of the experience that night… this was not a diamond in the rough discovery. Every canton, city and region had dozens of these brew pubs that followed the same model. Fresh, local and delicious beer.
Every aspect of my career has always been around the balance of science and art (I won't bore you with my educational background here but if you are curious, I'll be happy to buy you a pint and share the story some time.). The more I get involved in the craft beer industry the more I realize that the entire process is rooted in the balance of science and art. And as our country's economic landscape continues to evolve I'm more and more committed to reinforce the importance that the craft beer industry continues to thrive and preserve one of our oldest trades.
My title within the Skull Coast Brewing Company is "1st Mate". If you have started or worked at a small business, then you know titles have no real meaning since everyone pitches in across all levels of responsibility to ensure all goals are reached… and we have many goals to reach.
If you ever have any question, concerns, ideas, praise, complaints… just fire me off an email, or give me a call.
See, now that we know each other a little bit better, it won't seem so awkward when I offer to buy you a pint!