Eric Watson: And now for my next trek...

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Eric Watson: And now for my next trek...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:30 pm

Well, Murphy's law visited my efforts to get a brewery going again! It took 3.5 months, but all was approved to go ahead with the brewery from a municipal, state and federal regulatory standpoint. But, getting there proved expensive and took much longer than expected. Since I was self funding the effort, it put me in a precarious financial position. Therefore I placed the project on indefinite hold. Making this decision was made easier by the flood of job offers I was receiving and turning down up until this point.

So, I am now making the move from the East Coast to the West Coast to further my brewing career. I accepted the position of Manager of Brewing Operations/Brewmaster for St. Stan's Brewing Co. in Modesto, CA. They have been in business since 1984 and specialize in Altbier. Should be fun... 90 bbl. fermenters (2,790 gallons) and they even have horizontal lagering tanks which is a real rarity in the US. I particularly will enjoy playing with these, they have significant advantages over vertical brite tanks.

If any forum readers live nearby, drop me a line for a visit!

Eric Watson
Make your next beer (or spirit) a local one!!!!

Eric Watson
Head Distiller & Brewer

Seven Fathoms Rum
Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands
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Postby brewrat » Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:25 pm

Good luck with the change (lets call it progress) Mesa.You have had more than a little influence on my brewthink and I hope you will continue to share your thoughts and sometimes oblique interpretations of brewing data here on the Hop Vine. You seem to be a risk taker with your ideas and also your life. Best wishes for future successes.
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Postby hansolo » Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:36 am

Wow, talk about living the dream. Isn't that what every homebrewer wishes for? Great success with the move and new employment. When you get to be a major brewer don't forget us! Cheers!
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Thanks!

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:39 am

All,

Thanks for the well wishes.

Fortunately, it is true that I am not change adverse. Risk taking... hmmm... I do take some risks, but my moving about is more a function of my career.

The craft brewing industry is a difficult business which at the low end does not tend to pay very well. You have to really have a passion for it as it takes a while to "put in your dues" to get a better position. Therefore it is quite common for brewers with ambition both personally and professionally to have worked for a number of employers semi-short term. Complicating this is the fact that many small breweries are long on passion and short on management and cash which can lead to an inconsistent ability to operate to their full potential or even to survive. I, unfortunately have experienced all of these. But it certainly provided a great learning experience!

If anyone is pondering entering the industry and has more in mind than just producing product, you can learn from my example. I have been a professional brewer for 10 years and have had the pleasure of working in many different types of breweries... from an open fermentation brewpub to production breweries. In addition to my formal brewing education I also have a marketing degree. The combination of the education and experience has allowed me to rise above the ranks of a typical pub or micro brewer and actually run a brewery both from a production and a business perspective, but without the risks of ownership. It is through this added value that, like in other industries, you are significantly better compensated.

We'll see how it plays out!
Make your next beer (or spirit) a local one!!!!

Eric Watson
Head Distiller & Brewer

Seven Fathoms Rum
Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands
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Mesa Maltworks
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:16 pm
Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island


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