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Crafting Transitions- A Young Brewer's Tale


Welcome to our April Edition of the Brewer's Blog! For this month, we asked John "Butters" McMains to share some thoughts with us. 


Finding a craft that you truly love isn’t something that you choose, it chooses you. Professional brewing is not something I decided on doing early in life, although it was a profession later on that fully engulfed my life. To craft, by definition, is to exercise skill in making (something). For many this “something” is a very difficult and important decision in life’s adventures. As a young adult I had so many aspirations; fireman, architect, spaceman, professional skateboarder. But to my surprise I never made the X Games or rescued a puppy from a burning building and have yet to walk on the moon. I have, however, accomplished one thing, finding a career path that allows me to be truly creative and share these glorious libations with many others.

For me, the path to professional brewing was completely unplanned. It started as a simple hobby to make my own quality, cost effective beer which quickly turned into making high quality and less cost effective beer. For some, this transition can continuously improve with better, more expensive equipment, hours of reading beer books, and drinking hundreds of bottles of beer. I spent hours reading books and connecting with my peers to discuss what we drank and how we drank it. It allowed my passion to gain a stronger base of knowledge. As my journey from novice to a practiced, more skilled brewer continued, I gained an understanding that today’s brewing industry is full of individuals wishing to switch from home brewing to full-on knowledgeable, well versed expert.

There is endless opportunity in today’s craft brewing industry. It spans from marketing, sales, equipment engineering and of course professional brewing. There are many different paths you can take to have a hand in today’s craft beer market. Making a transition from one profession into today’s craft market is now more realistic than ever before. It is very important to find your strengths, know your beer, make the plunge, and never look back. The end result is so gratifying knowing that you are part of crafting today’s ever growing beer scene.

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