Written by Jason Simmons, Head Brewer Lindgren Craft Brewery, Duncannon Pa

Brewers are rockstars! (and some of us actually are.) I got into drinking beer and playing guitar around the same time, and as the years have gone by my involvement in both took on a more serious role. I have since grown into a career brewer as well as a diverse musician that has played on many stages with some awesome bands. For those of you that have had the experience of being on stage in front of a crowd and being in that zone knows that amazing feeling.

Brewers also get to feel that similar feeling when they are in their zone too. The beers are outstanding, sales are steady, work operations are running smoothly, beer festival lines (back when they happened) were long, and customers would seek out the brewer to talk about beer or brewing techniques. Being a rockstar and a brewer sure does feel amazing.

Yes, our hard work and dedication to be the best have a major part of our success on stage, or in the brewery. While this sounds great, the path to greatness started long ago. Musicians and brewers both had to start from the beginning by learning from others. We learned all the basics, cool techniques, given the proper equipment, practice practice practice, then given a stage to succeed. Some early shows and beers were not the best, and as time goes on we can look back and laugh. We sure did learn a lot over the years.

Being in a band and working at a brewery I find is very similar. As we gained experience and started to perform better, we got a bigger audience, then a bigger fan base, then a loyal fan base which we work hard to keep. We often find ourselves crammed in a van with equipment going to an event to have a good time, put on a great performance, and to make people smile. On the brewery side, we get to work with other talented folks as a team to make “the band” and make our final product better. This can be anyone from the tour manager (accounting), singer (head brewer), the drummer keeping everyone on time (definitely the engineer), the cellarman polishing the beer up for packaging (guitars), the go-to warehouse/forklift guy (bassist), then packaging and the rest of the crew (making up other odd instruments and stage crew)

Yeah, man! The band is playing tight, the music is sounding amazing, and the crowds are loving the performance. As much as brewers feel like rockstars, I must point out that without the help of those who have shown us the way, those who believed in us when we sucked (thanks to all the parents supporting their child’s garage bands), promoters/employers that took a chance on signing us into the company, the amazing coworkers that help keep the band going and being successful, and most importantly our fans, we would not be who we are today. Success is meant to be shared with those who have earned it, and I am thankful for those people who have helped me rock my way to the top of my stage.

I wanted to end this with an excellent Bill & Ted quote, but there are two that quickly come to mind, and are both appropriate. “The best time to be is now, and all’s we can say is…let’s rock!”, and “Be excellent to each other”. Cheers!

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