EP-063 Jess Straka of Off Color Brewing

EP-063 Jess Straka of Off Color Brewing

Now, I get a lot of emails from people who want to quit their day jobs and work in beer. And they want to know how to do it. But almost no one likes the answer I give. That it takes time, that you have to build relationships, and that you have to find a way to make yourself invaluable. Craft beer is a show-up kind of culture. Brewery owners pay attention to who’s there, how they engage with others, and what their perspective on things is. Because there’s just not a lot of room in a small brewery for a bad hire. There’s barely room for a good hire — and for those that are asking me for some sort of secret to getting in, I’m sorry. There’s no add-to-cart button for working in beer. You have to earn it.

Today’s guest did it all right - she did it the hard way. Jess Straka was one of the earliest voices that caught my attention in Chicago beer years ago. I saw her popping up on Twitter, chatting about beer and breweries, and generally ingratiating herself into the professional side of things with an internship at Metropolitan Brewing, Chicago’s first craft brewery after Goose Island. She went on to join the sales force at Revolution Brewing, and she’s joining Off Color Brewing in a retail operations role. That’s right, retail. So that’s a nice hint of things to come over there.