Down the Rabbit-Hole

Posted: October 1, 2010 in Brewery

Ask any 20-something year old guy what one of the best jobs in the world would be, and my bet is that one of the top responses would be “working in a brewery”.   So the question is, “Is it really that awesome?”, “What do you do?”, and “Do you sit around drinking beer all day?”.  In turn here are my answers after working in the actual brewery for the past 5 weeks. 

What do you do? —  I work in the utilities side of the brewery which means that we distribute all of the steam, ammonia, CO2, water, and compressed air to the plant.  This does effectively mean that while I work in a brewery, and all of these elements directly affect the beer flavor/ efficiency of packaging, I am not a brewer.  While this seems like a bit of a let-down, it actually is really interesting.  As we are the suppliers of the entire plant this effectively means that our projects take us into nearly every department.  This gives us a lot of opportunities for savings as well as allowing us to have a fairly broad view of the plant. 

Is it really that awesome? — Yes, it is pretty awesome.  The sheer scope of what we do in the plant boggles the mind, and this allows even the smallest inefficiencies to be large areas of gain for the company.  This effectively means that each of our projects has a real impact on the brewery regardless of how trivial they may seem when first considering them.

Do you sit around all day and drink beer? — Of course not, we are professionals… plus… that’s what the weekend is for.

In other news, this week is Budweiser appreciation week.  So seriously, for me, even if you don’t care for the beer, and especially if you have never actually really tried it, buy one, sit down, POUR IT INTO A GLASS, and taste what 134 years of American Brewing is. 

Also feel free to contact me at any point if you have any comments/questions.  Until the next time

About beer tasting…

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Are we beer tasters?

No… we aren’t…yet… it truly takes a lot of time and practice to become a beer taster.  The ability to detect diacetyl, acetaldehyde, or whether or not a beer is skunked or not, in large doses is a relatively easy task.  However when it comes down to detecting the differeces between individual brews and batches is a true artform.  While I enjoy drinking beer, as well as analyzing why or why not I like it, I still am nowhere near the ability of our taste testers when it comes to detecting incredibly subtle differences between beers.  In one testing the tester next to me was able to detect the diffence of 2 ppm of diacetyl.  If anyone on youtube or beeradvocate still believes that they know more about beer than the people that I have been working next to these past few weeks…I just have one thing to say, delusion, while fun, will just lead to suffering in the end.

Inevitably when you tell someone that you work for a beer company you get, “Oh so you get free beer then?” or more often “what are you a beer taster?”.  To be honest, while these people are usually joking the answers are really, yes, and well…kind of.

First the beer…

Yes… we get free beer…two cases a month.  It is awesome.  Not only does it allow you to make friends sitting by the pool, but it also allows us to really figure out how we feel about each brand by sampling it.  As I mentioned before my roommate is autobeerographer.  Here is a picture of him with our beer for this month.  Pretty sweet.

So it has been almost three weeks since my last post, the fact that I haven’t has time to update just shows how busy we have been.  However I am going to try to update everyone on some of the more awesome things that have happened over this time.  I really hate long posts however so I am going to break these up for you guys so you won’t get lost my rambling.    Enjoy…

Tell me this…. how many jobs will have you stay in an amazing hotel, gives you a rental car, has you become roommates with one of the coolest people in the world (autobeerographer), has you consume their product with senior leaders, lets you give your perspective on the beer world and actually listens to what you have to say AND pays you for it?  Still thinking?  I’ll give you some more time….  Still haven’t found anything?  I don’t blame you.  If someone would have told me that after work I would be swimming every day in a heated and lit pool under a fountain of a greek goddess I would have been concerned that they were telling me obliquely that I was going to die soon, and that they were describing my heaven.  Yet here I am, still trying to decide whether or not having this good of a time at work should be illegal.

My flight was a red-eye flying in from Fairbanks Alaska.  We left Alaska in the middle of a rain storm and arrived in St. Louis at 8:30 to 85 degree heat.  The first thing you notice when exploring St. Louis is the humidity, it is so humid here that you really can’t tell whether or not you are sweating profusely or if the water from the air is just collecting on you as you walk around.

I picked up my rental car which was already set up and paid for by our fantastic new job and decided to head to where I would be staying… I promptly got lost… after driving around for about an hour and asking directions in parts of St. Louis that it most likely was not advisable I finally figured our where I should be going.  With my new found confidence I decide its time to turn on the radio.  What do I find?  E-Street Radio, the boss, 24/7/365, as “thunder road” starts blaring through the rental cars speakers, I realize I think I am going to love this city.