We're starting a new feature here on our blog where we hope to eventually introduce you to the entire cast of characters that make up our company. Since Benjamin is the guy who controls the blogosphere on a day to day basis, we'll start with him and add someone new every couple of weeks.
Benjamin came to us from the music industry where he used to work in the business affairs department for Interscope Records. While the brewing world doesn't lend the opportunity to drink cognac with Snoop Dogg in the lobby or enjoy a private conference room concert with Dashboard Confessional during lunch, homebrewing has been a great hobby of Ben's and he wished to pursue that hobby as a career, leaving the Cristal, Alize and Dr. Dre behind.
The first true craft beer that Benjamin recalls ordering (and instantly loving) was Craftsman Brewing's "Orange Grove" ale from a bar called Lucky Baldwin's out in Pasadena, CA when he was a student at USC studying business. In all honesty, he ordered it because he thought the row of simple, wooden Craftsman tap handles looked cool and rustic, plus he always enjoyed trying new things. From that day on, he was always trying new beers when he was at a bar where they were available and while he wasn't yet a complete beer geek, he was well on his way.
Ben began homebrewing with his friend Jared in 2006 where they spent many of their Saturdays whipping up different styles of beer from pale ales to spiced holiday stouts. A member of West LA's homebrewing club "Pacific Gravity", he'd attend meetings, learn about new beers and brewing techniques, buy the ingredients and go home to try it. Ben and Jared even made a name for their little "brewery", but it isn't quite appropriate to post on this site. We can let you know, however, that they had some fantastic brews, such as "Right in the Eye.P.A." or "Swallow Wit".
In a well documented moment, on November 9th, 2007, Benjamin took a small step for his afternoon, but a giant leap for his career by commenting on this very blog, letting Patrick know that he'd be interested in learning more about professional brewing and helping out at this fledging company. A few months later, once The Bruery was built, Ben had left his job in music and was hired on part time as The Bruery's second employee, working right along-side Tyler and Patrick. He bottled beer, labeled beer, and of course, brewed beer. Infamously, Benjamin was present and involved in the Black Tuesday debacle in 2008 which was the first time he got some recognition on this blog. Shame it couldn't have come for a slightly more inspiring day of work, but at least everything turned out well in the end with that particular beer.
Today, 3 years later, Benjamin is the manager of sales & marketing for The Bruery. He hung up his boots to get back into an office and let some more skilled brewers handle the hard labor. While he misses being on the brewing floor at times, he never planned on being a professional brewer his whole life and is happy handling some of the creative aspects of the brewery that don't involve recipes (and lifting heavy things).
Tune in soon to learn about some more of The Bruery's hard working staff like Kevin, our brewer with the biggest beard or Patrick, the warehouse worker with a heart of gold.