Brewing Myself a New Life: The Craft Beer Industry Isn’t Just a Boys Club
I have never really known what I wanted to do with my life career, family etc. I dropped out of high school my last year of my last semester because at the time I was working a good job and making money and that seemed more important than finishing school.
The past 10 years since then I have just worked. I have done so many different jobs along the way and gained many different skill sets. I am happy for the way that my life has turned out. I always followed opportunity as it presented itself to me. I never say “No” when asked if I could complete a task, and if I didn’t know how to do a job I worked hard and learned fast.
A couple of years ago I was let go from a serving job for stupidly posting a comment on Facebook–social media lesson learned! Luckily though this lead me to apply for the brewery I currently work for Big rock Brewery. I started at this job as a receptionist and after 3 months another position opened up as a point of sale coordinator. My boss recommended me for the position and even though I didn’t know the position very well I went for it and got it! I had no training and had to learn everything on my own. It was a struggle at first and at times very frustrating but I never gave up and almost 2 years later I can happily say I rock at this position. Unfortunately–or fortunately, depending on how you look at it–I am the type of woman who needs to be challenged, so once I learned this position I started to look for more things to do and learn about.
That’s when it hit me! I work for a brewery, why not learn more about the craft of making beer. So that’s exactly what I did. I hit the books, I offered to do tastings, I signed up to give brewery tours and I made friends with the brewers. I asked questions when I had them and I took courses to increase my knowledge. In between I offered my assistance to anyone who needed it. Over the course of two years I went from being hired as a receptionist to now working as a Point-of-Sale coordinator, tour guide, taster, beer fairy, store coverage and order desk coverage. I know so much more about craft beer and have attended two international women’s collaboration brew days. Not too shabby for someone who started off knowing nothing about the industry?
After struggling to find a career for so many years it feels so great to finally find my passion and excitement again.
I think the greatest thing about the craft industry is the overwhelming sense of community. Everyone looks out for one another, breweries do collaborations all the time and there are many big advocates for women in brewing. One woman I had the pleasure of meeting at my first women’s collaboration brew day really inspired me to jump in head first. Her name is Natasha Peiskar. She welcomed me into the world, never made me feel dumb for not knowing things, and was always willing to answer questions I had. She got me to come out to a few events and introduced me to other beer geeks like myself. Watching her succeed over the past couple of years has motivated me to step up and learn even more and to never doubt my skills as a woman in craft beer. She gives me so much hope for my future and constant inspiration to give it my all.
I like the Craft Beer Industry because there is always something new to learn. Someone is always coming up with new styles, or cultivating new hops or pushing the limit on a new brew. It is a never-ending learning opportunity which is perfect for someone who likes a challenge. It has motivated me to become a brewer and seeing so many other women succeed in this industry gives me hope that I can become one of those women I read about one day.
Now that I have found my passion I feel like I am unstoppable. It hasn’t always been that way though. I have gone through some struggles to get here. I went through a rough patch where I lost my confidence and got really depressed. I felt like the whole world was against me. I felt alone and lost. It was really hard for me to overcome those feelings and to get rid of the negative thoughts going through my mind. I constantly put myself down and held myself back from opportunities thinking I wasn’t good enough. It took one big life changing moment to wake me up. Last year I had an ectopic pregnancy which in turn led to me losing my right fallopian tube. After this life experience happened I realized just how strong I actually was, I was alone through the whole process and it was scary and heart breaking but I survived. During this time I really had to evaluate my life and the way I was living it. It wasn’t benefiting me; if anything I was harming myself and setting myself up for failure. I wasn’t taking care of myself, and I wasn’t being safe with my choices. I was heading down a bad path.
This accident helped me open my eyes to how I was living and made me question what kind of life I wanted to be remembered for in the future. So I decided to start writing at first I just wanted to write out my thoughts in order to get out of my own head but then I thought maybe my poor life choices can help benefit someone else from going down the same road. So I started my blog and made it public, I shared it with my friends and family. That was a scary moment, baring my soul for the entire world to see. Then something wonderful happened. I started receiving messages from friends/family I haven’t spoken to in a while encouraging what I was doing and telling me their own stories. Hearing their stories, feeling the love from their kind words and experiencing a weight being lifted off my shoulders really gave me a boost in confidence I hadn’t noticed in myself for quite some time. It felt amazing and it was during this time I realized I didn’t need someone else to make me happy, I didn’t need other people’s approval of my life. I could be myself and people were still going to love me for me.
This opened my eyes to a completely different way of living. I stopped relying on other people, especially men to make me feel good. I have gained my confidence back 100% and I have become a huge advocate for F.L.Y–first love yourself. Once I stopped focusing my energy on what other people thought of me and started focusing on what I thought of myself that is when my life started to change for the better. I am so proud of the woman I have become and I look forward to the woman I still can be.
by Lindsay Reid, 28
Lindsay is a hilarious & peppy introverted nerd, craft beer lover, worlds greatest aunt & appreciator of life.
BUSINESS/CAREER GOAL: Brewmaster or Craft Beer Expert
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