As the title of this blog states, the subject matter for my writings is truly limitless! The inspirations come from my real life experiences of more than 50 years in the beer industry, providing fodder for the inspiring topics covered over the past seven years. Frequently when asked about my knowledge of the industry, I share stories concerning the companies I have managed, the brands I have represented, and recently, about my teaching assignments, and consulting jobs.
Though questions often center on what involvement I have had in the industry, some inquiries are less focused on the mundane and more so on the exciting and less talked about aspects of this business. Like the dead bodies I have seen in bars, the outlines of human remains on bar floors, the beer stolen from my truck, the retailer who pulled a gun on me, and even the retailed who pulled a pistol from his pocket and began shooting at a rat running across the floor of his establishment. I have also seen brewery executives fired for stealing, taking bribes and kickbacks, wholesalers trans-shipping beer, selling beer outside of their territory, altering the liquid in the kegs, falsifying bill-backs, and even hiding out-of-date products.
Of course, I have witnessed many employees partaking in the same tricks and once even knew of an individual who worked in the field for two different breweries at the same time! And, he was a full-time employee for both companies. The special considerations asked for by retailers have ranged the gamut from legal to illegal and everything in between. Unfortunately, I have seen many breweries accommodate those requests.
On the flip side, I have witnessed a tremendous amount of good in the beer industry. For example, many wholesalers and breweries have provided help to victims of natural disasters; countless in the industry have hosted charity events for veterans’ organizations; and many have provided opportunities for fund-raising events to support local needs. I am happy to report that the good that is being done in the industry far out weights anything shady.
Perhaps, when asked: “What have you done in the beer industry,” rather than answer with the historical overview of my previous positions, I should respond: “I have done and seen just about everything one can imagine in an industry that has a far-reaching impact on many.”
The subject material for these blogs is unending.
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