Great People, Great Passion, Great Product

I started working for my new employer this week. After working for the same company for 27 years, it was a pretty big deal for me. Two of the most challenging things for me would probably be considered a plus to most. My wife and I have worked for the same company for the entire 18 years we have been together. We got up together, went to work together, came home together and talked about work together. Now we go our separate ways, which for both of us was a bit sad. My hours have changed dramatically as well. I have been getting up at 4:30 in the morning for as long as I can remember. Now I don’t have to be at work till sometime between 7:30-8:00. I feel like I’m wasting half my day!

What I have discovered in this change from working for one of the largest corporations in the world to working for a locally owned, passion driven small business is that the atmosphere is like night and day. I went from working for a durable goods manufacturer to a maker of craft beer. In only three days I have met some of the friendliest, most passion driven people I have ever known. Make no mistake, they work hard. The bottling line I manage runs 88 bottles per minute, as well as a kegging line. These young people work long hours and are meticulous in the preparation of their fine product, as well as in the cleaning of their equipment…and they are proud of the end result. I have also been highly impressed with their intelligence. Many are highly educated and could be doing other things. Others are just plain sharp. After the first day on the job I felt like I needed to return to school to brush up on my chemistry!

Some days I wish life were as simple. Maybe it is as simple as you make it, and I keep mucking it up. Just when I thought I was getting settled in, something has come along to tempt me to rejoin Goliath. I don’t know what is happening next, but I do know this; you will not find a greater bunch of passion-filled men and women than right here at our local microbrewery in Bloomington, Indiana. If you are ever passing through, do yourself a favor and stop in for a fine beer. And while you are there, ask to speak to “Book,” that’s the new nickname my crew gave me. Apparently my life has some parallels to a character on Firefly named Shepherd Book. Knowing this group, it could have been a lot worse!

Upland Brewing Co.

Shep

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