A brewer that can’t drink beer… A sad or happy irony?

beer no

I can’t drink beer anymore… and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a truly incredible truth that needs further explanation.

It has been an eventful 18 months since I walked away from eBay/StubHub with a box of knick knacks and memories (and to be clear, a lifetime of friendships that I’ll cherish forever). May 31, 2013 marked my final day at StubHub and the second half of the year consisted primarily of me embracing the role of “Mr. Mom” with the periodic moment of 30-something angst and soul searching. 2014 saw me rejoin the world of social media (in an employed capacity) as the head of social strategy at my good friend Jill Tracy’s digital marketing agency, Creative B’stro. After 10 months helping guide social programs and strategies for our clients I realized that I missed actually being in the driver’s seat; getting under the hood; taking pole position; (any other driving analogies I’m missing?). Bottom line, I was hungry to implement the same programs I was recommending for other companies. It was tough to relay this to Jill and the team, but it was the right move for all involved. No denying that I miss the Beasts already though.

At the same time, I was experiencing some rather uncomfortable and disheartening medical issues that were impacting my day-to-day routine. After multiple visits to the hospital it was clear that my ulcerative colitis (only click on that link if you can deal with TMI) was back – and back with a vengeance. After years of denial it was finally time to face the fact that my regular enjoyment of all things malty and hoppy was going to have to come to an end.

As a result, I’ve only had one pint of beer since September 10.

That’s right, folks. I’m a brewer who can’t drink beer.

Surprisingly, I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would (I still get to enjoy wine and the occasional vodka/soda), but I definitely miss the community and events that I was so deeply involved with. By dialing back my beer enjoyment I have managed to get my condition under control and I’m feeling really, really good. I’ve since turned 40 and was able to take part in the San Francisco Giants‘ third championship parade in 5 years. Amazing what a difference just two months makes.

I’m also on day three at my new job as head of social for Splunk. The reasons and journey that saw me arrive here at Splunk HQ (just a half block away from 21st Amendment Brewery – yet another wild irony) are too long for this blog post but suffice to say that I feel extremely excited and fortunate to be in this role at this organization. When I came home on Monday to tell Allie about my first day at work, she stopped me half way through and said that she hadn’t heard or seen me this excited and vibrant for years (I would go so far as to say I haven’t been this enthusiastic talking about work – and not beer – ever).

I’m writing all this to answer the two main questions I’ve been getting recently:

1. Yes, I will definitely continue to brew. I’m even researching distilling too. I love it too much to stop now and just because I can’t partake in the final frothy goodness, doesn’t mean you have to do without. I can’t wait to host folks at our home in the near future to pour our latest goodies for you all.

2. When I’m not brewing on the weekends and tweeting via @ESBAle, I’ll now be managing all things @Splunk – so please follow me over there if you’re interested. The opportunities here are vast and I’m genuinely thrilled to be able to lead the program moving forward.

So that’s it. I’m a brewer who can’t drink beer and I haven’t been this excited in a long time. If that isn’t irony, I really don’t know what is.



Got Something to Say?

Filed: Brewing, ESB Background


Being a brewer that doesn’t drink just makes you like a good drug dealer. You won’t eat up all your profits. :)

Posted by: Eric Kauschen @ 5:22 pm // November 12, 2014

Thanks for sharing, Richard! It was a pleasure to get a chance to watch a brewday with you around this time last year. Hope to share a conversation with you again sometime soon!

Posted by: Shawn @ 10:11 pm // November 12, 2014

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