As an avid craft beer lover, I’ve been to a decent amount of breweries during my legal drinking age years. I love the different spins each has with their IPAs, sours, stouts.. it shows a unique personality of the venue.
I could be writing about any brewery that I’ve visited, but Brown’s Brewing Company and I have a special connection. I’m not talking about the fact that we both recently turned 25 (I promise that’s a coincidence), but because I had the privilege of becoming a part of their family about 6 months ago.
Brown’s Brewing Company has two different venues located in the Capital Region of New York in which they brew and sell their beer (as well as food and merchandise). Their original location is right in Troy debuting in 1993 and their more recent venue in North Hoosick, being only a few years old.
Although I haven’t spent much time in the Capital Region since turning 21, I have managed to visit each location a few times over the past four years.
All of a sudden my relationship with Brown’s changed. I would never have predicted it to become a professional one.
This past fall I decided to come home for the holidays, and spend time with family. In addition, I wanted to fill some spare time, make money, and try out working at a brewery. This led to me applying for a position in the North Hoosick taproom. Not only is it conveniently located 10 minutes from my house, but its beautiful setting on the river really drew me in. Okay, okay, I love their beer! Now I said it. Enough trying to avoid the obvious.
All joking aside, I think Brown’s Brewery is a great place. I learned while working there that they have great food, incredible beer, and a fun atmosphere. If you haven’t visited, and are in the area, then check it out. I highly recommend it.
Or not. It doesn’t really matter. I would be lying if I said this post is only about Brown’s Brewing Company and their beer. However, I will use them as an example to display my point in which inspired this post.
Brown’s Brewing Company actually showed me something much bigger than themselves, and I want to share it with others.
Truth is, I recently left working at Brown’s to fulfill my dream of spending time in Australia.
I’m honestly in love with traveling, but I don’t want to be a tourist. In order to get the most out of each destination, I start working there, so I can really get a feel for the culture and learn the region. In my opinion, it beats passing through, and only seeing the tourist view of an area. Needless to say, I’ve worked a decent number of different jobs in my life under many managements.
This in my opinion doesn’t make me a typical employee. Aside from other travelers, I don’t know many people who work temporary/seasonal jobs just so they can attain a plethora of experiences around the world.
I heard once and I confirm the validity of the statement (regarding the conventional workforce) that “many times people don’t leave jobs because they don’t like their job, they leave because they don’t like their supervisor/boss.”
What a hard truth this is.
Sorry, I got distracted by the fact that many companies are more invested in profit than they are in their employees.
I understand that with limited financial capability, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to leave a toxic working environment. On the other hand, many people don’t understand how much of an asset they really are. You can and should use your abilites for those who appreciate you, love you, and invest in you.
Brown’s Brewing Company is different than some jobs I’ve had, and many more that I hear about. I was a part of the team, family, community..
Wherever you are from, or in whatever industry you work, I want you to inquire within yourself: does this company align with my values? Do they care about me? Am I making a difference?
If you answer “no” to any of the above, then ask yourself if there are alternative jobs that you can rotate into your life. Again, easier said than done. For the sake of your financial security, it’s smart to have a plan “B” or something set up before you leave your current role.
I want to thank Brown’s for making me feel welcomed. They understand the importance, and value of their employees. Customers come for the beer, but stay for the people. Why does this happen?
Gary and Kelly Brown (whom are the founders of the Company) invest in the folks who work there. They obviously know that happy workers lead to happy customers. No wonder why they have such a following. The people who work there love their job.
I also personally support their business decisions. It is so easy in this day and age to opt for mass produced products at very low prices. However, Kelly is passionate about supporting, and coordinating with local businesses as much as possible. It may be more expensive, but it’s an investment in the growth of their community. Brown’s is a small brewery so they understand the value of their money staying close to home. It’s a classic case that each dollar you spend represents one vote for how you wish the world to be.
Its not just about small town thinking. That’s how you end up with big problems. It’s no secret how much of an impact we have on this planet. Unfortunately, to date, humans have been too much of a negative influence on the world’s ecosystem. That’s why I’m proud to see Theo, a representative at Brown’s Brewing Company taking initiative to make the two taprooms more sustainable. Some areas of focus are plastic straws and reducing/eliminating them, addressing portion sizes to reduce food waste, encouraging staff to use reusable water bottles.. etc. I’m not even going to delve into all the things they already do.
This stuff excites me. We as individuals can make a big difference. Taking it to the next level, and impacting the people at your work is even bigger. Start a chain reaction. Be that change, and others will follow. Change doesn’t remain uncomfortable, or scary although it tends to start out that way. The reality of it is that once we create that new norm, we will question why we did it differently in the first place.
Let’s make things more sustainable. Let’s create that job environment that makes people happy.
I felt very lucky to work for Brown’s Brewing Company because they align with my values.
If you happen to work for a company that doesn’t value the same things as you, or you for that matter, then I have great news. Even if you’re not the boss, you have so much power. This goes back to you being an incredible asset. You may not be the boss of the business, but you are the boss of your future.
Quick note: Let me clear things up about the word “future”. Many of us mistake it for a point in time 5 years from now, or 50 years down the road. Yeah yeah yeah, that’s true but, stop. Just stop. That horizon is too big for most things. Let’s try 1 minute from now. Actually, 3 seconds from now is more like it. You are the boss. Own your immediate future.
It can be like Theo’s simple request for a drink without a straw. It can be the acknowledgement of someone’s great work (which will most likely make their day). It can be giving someone a high five.. Have you ever received a high five without feeling better afterwards? Yeah, me neither.
You are the change. You are the boss. You are the future. You are the beginning of a very big chain reaction.
While working at Brown’s Brewing Company, I thought many times “they’re too good to me”, which they absolutely were. The only thing I did in return was give them my best. What an interesting concept. 😉
There is something really simple at play here.. It’s people. It always comes back to the people. People make it or break it when it comes to overall morale. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Do you know who is a part of the “people”? That’s right, it’s many advocates like you!
Sometimes when it’s cloudy for long periods of time, you forget what sunshine looks like. Regarding a job/career, please be that sunshine or go somewhere where they light up your world. Because, if you didn’t before, now you know places like that exist.