I was having an interesting conversation last night with someone who also works for a craft brewery in North Carolina. We were talking about many of the challenges that craft breweries are facing, the rapid growth in the state and yes, even how much dang fun it is to work in this awesome business.
One thing that we both agreed on…if you are going to be successful in this business, you have to REALLY love it. By “really love it” I don’t mean that IPAs are your favorite beer or that you enjoy hitting a brewery for some cold one’s every couple of weekends. I mean that you have to wake up excited about craft beer, and about growing your business, every single day.
I used to work in the music industry, and this business is not unlike that one. It’s exciting. It’s cool. Everyone wants your job! But there is another side. The hours are long and the nights can go awfully late sometimes. And when you are working for a small startup there are very, very few off days. And this is not even getting in to how competitive things are getting out there!
So if you are thinking about getting started in the business of craft beer, or maybe you are thinking about starting your own small brewery, just remember that it is not all sitting around drinking beer with your buddies. I mean, don’t get me wrong, that is definitely a part of it. But prepare yourself for long days, 7 day weeks and don’t think you get to turn off your phone at night.
All of that being said, if you really love it, it is all 100% worth it. This business if filled with some of the greatest people you will ever have the pleasure of working with. So if you do decide to make the plunge, you might be a little tired sometimes. And you may occasionally have to work with a mild hangover, but at least you will be doing it with some great people!