Welcome back friends! You’ve stumbled into the fifth iteration of BlogDBB. I hate to do it to you, but seeing as it’s the season of giving and giving thanks, your boy is about to serve up a huge helping of corn with a heaping side of cheese! As I promised in our December Newsletter two weeks ago, I wanted to take the opportunity this month to tell you all why I’m so thankful to work for a company like Divine Barrel Brewing. I know this isn’t necessarily an inside scoop on the next new hotness bitterboi, but I truly think it’s important to give you an inside look at the kind of people I have the honor of getting to work with day in and day out. Though there are few employees here, I have a lot to say about them:

Obviously, without the ownership group of Ben, Scott & Gavin then Divine Barrel wouldn’t be a thing. They are all truly amazing people. They all care so much about us as employees of course, but more importantly, they care about us as people so much more! Since I have so much to say about each owner, I’m going to break this down into a paragraph for each guy! However, I also wanted to shout out Mary Catherine, Jess & Sandy for being as amazing and supportive as they are. Aside from allowing their husbands being here as much as they are, they’re also always willing to lend a helping hand whenever we need it. You can find all of them pouring beer at festivals and events, joining us for canning runs, picking up glasses when we’re busy, being a vendor at a NoDaHood Market, or just generally being amazing ambassadors to their brewery!

You don’t see Ben a ton, and that’s because he literally does everything in the brewhouse. His days are typically spent back there cleaning, brewing, cleaning, planning new beer, cleaning, critiquing current beer and more cleaning. Ben does all this back-breaking work because he loves making art in liquid form. If he didn’t, then he wouldn’t have done it as a hobby for 20 years. There’s nothing that makes me happier than to see his face after he tries a certain beer, and proceeds to tell me it has just been put in contention for the best beer he’s ever brewed in that style. He’s hyper-critical of his own work, and honestly, I love it. I want a brewer that’s constantly looking for ways to improve. The thing that I admire most about Ben though, is his philosophy on beer. We’re going to dip our toes into this new world of craft beer where brewers are seemingly throwing as many hops or adjuncts in a beer and creating weird new styles, but we’re also stubbornly going to do our part to keep old world and classic styles alive, like the Gratzer, and I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but the West Coast IPA.

You also don’t see Scott very much. Scott has another job outside of managing the finances and pouring at festivals for Divine Barrel. You may not know this, but much of the furniture you sit in at the brewery was designed and built by Scott! Aside from his masterful wood-working skills, Scott is one of the most thoughtful and generous people I’ve gotten to work for. I’ve seen him speak to employees about stuff they wish they could have, whether it was for work or not, and the next time he’d see them he’d have whatever it was they were talking about in their last discussion. This is the kind of thoughtfulness that my co-workers and I encounter every single day! Scott also travels a lot for his other job, so we always love it when he returns because he usually brings us “research” to sample from other breweries from his travels!

Now Gavin, everyone sees Gavin! Gavin is Mr. Do Everything at this place, or as he likes to say, “I manage generally around here.” I literally have no idea how he can keep everything he does in order. I’ve seen Gavin help brew, deliver & sell beer, plan a wedding, bartend, clean leaves out of the gutters and deliver a baby all in the same day. Not only does Gavin do all these things and more, but he also manages 8 of us. I think it should tell you a lot about how much he cares about us when he’s had people like Ashley or Frank who’ve worked with him for years at multiple stops before Divine Barrel. He truly loves us, cares about us, and challenges us to grow because he genuinely wants to see us start our own Divine Barrel, or whatever dream it is we want to follow! He gives us all responsibility, and he forces us to grow and advance. I can’t tell you how much personal growth I’ve experienced in the nearly two years I’ve worked here.

Don’t get me started on all my co-workers! Every single one of my co-workers is a kind-hearted soul I have the privilege to call a friend. We have a team that truly enjoys working together, getting together outside of work, supporting our regulars outside of the brewery, visiting all the amazing industry people that support us, as well as all our other countless friends! I genuinely think I could ask any of them for a favor, and they’d drop what they were doing to come help. But they’re also the kind of people who will have a hard conversation with you when needed! It’s so refreshing to receive honest feedback from them. It’s not always easy to be honest with your peers, but we are a thick-skinned group, and we can appreciate being told that an idea may not work. It’s never to make one another feel or look bad. We all just want this place to succeed for our amazing owners and ourselves. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to try and figure out fun ways to get you lovely people into the taproom. Not every idea works, but we’ll damn sure learn and grow from it, and make sure the next idea is a great one!

Getting to work with such smart and caring people is one of the privileges of my life. Again, I know I went heavy on the cheese today, but sometimes it’s just so hard for me to contain how full my heart is for all of these humans, and it seems like the appropriate time of year to show just how thankful I am for my Divine Barrel family. I’m sure I speak for all my co-workers when I say we do all of this for you guys. The pain staking hours it takes Ben to craft a beer, all the event planning, can releases, cleaning, opening early for events, it’s all for you! We can’t do any of this without your love and support, so thank you all for allowing me to love my job and FamDBB daily! Happy Holidays to you and yours! Stay warm, stay safe, and be good to one another!