Our Staff: Where are they now?
We try to hire team members that are in constant pursuit of learning more about craft beer. In the process, our staff are often unknowingly “auditioning” to work in the industry. See what some of our past faculty are brewing and doing in craft beer.
Some of our staff came to us with a pretty good knowledge of the local scene, but not really about brewing beer. Some had relocated to Portland, and had a really good background in brewing but nothing lined up quite yet in Portland. Then there is Bob, who had neither local knowledge or a beer brewing background.
We like to mention Bob because he solicited a job from us (one that didn’t actually exist with us at the time) while he was still living in California. He had a plan to leave his profession as a wildlife biologist, and relocate to the Portland area with his wife. Part of that plan was to maybe get into the beer brewing industry. More about Bob’s story can be found below.
It’s interesting to us how our staff has ended up in 6 different Maine breweries, at least one brewery out of state, a local craft beer distributor, a few writing gigs where beer is at least part of the focus, and one who has started his own business helping us all enjoy better tasting beer.
A staff photo from Night Shift Brewing in Everett, MA taken one year ago in January 2015. Clockwise from left: Kevin, Tim, Zach, Aaron, Don, Haley, Julia, Adam, Ashlee, Leanne.
If you have been on any of our tours over the past three years, you may have had one of these amazing craft beer ambassadors as your driver or guide.
In order of seniority (and our best memory), here is where you can find some of our past staff working now to produce and promote the best beer possible:
Tiffany – Sebago Brewing Company, Portland. You can often find Tiff taking care of you behind the bar at the Sebago location on Fore Street in the Old Port, a company she has worked for nearly 15 years. She also has experience home brewing, and has created recipes for popular beers for the company. Her enthusiasm for craft beer was obvious with every tour that she led. Tiffany was the first woman hired by our company, but certainly not the last!
Haley – Rising Tide Brewing Company, Portland. Currently on an adventure sabbatical in America’s Southwest (and newly engaged!), Haley most recently served as the Director of Quality Control at Rising Tide. She presented (along with co-founder and head brewer Nathan Sanborn) about the importance of small brewery quality at the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, OR.
Bob – Banded Horn Brewing Company, Biddeford. As mentioned above, Bob was new to the area and new to the craft brew scene. We brought him on as a driver and a guide, and soon he found himself also working in packaging at the production brewery for Sebago Brewing Company in Gorham. Bob and his wife welcomed twins into their family in the past year, and he has also continued his brewing journey at Banded Horn, where he currently serves as Assistant Brewer.
Tim – Baxter Brewing Company, Lewiston. Tim relocated to the Portland area from North Carolina, where he had been the head brewer at the well-known (for their famous milk stout) Duck Rabbit Brewery in Farmville, NC. Most recently Tim was working in the production side of Baxter, and was also helping them to set up their barrel-aging program. We hear that you might be able to taste more of his beer in the future as he has interest in starting his own brewery.
Alex – Maine Line Cleaning, Portland. Alex came to us after learning about The Maine Brew Bus while working as the brand ambassador for Atlantic Brewing Company (a position he still holds). He wisely saw an opportunity to start his own small business as an independent draft line system installer and cleaning service. With numerous accounts all over Southern Maine (and more to come), Alex is truly making sure we are tasting the brewer’s art exactly as intended.
Patrick – Bissell Brothers, Portland. Patrick came to us after deciding that he wanted to get more into brewing operations. He was looking to go to a brewing school in Vermont, and thought the job with us would be a good way to see what was happening in the area. This was two years ago, just as Bissell was opening and starting to gain momentum. And soon enough Pat was headed over to One Industrial Way to work with Noah Bissell as the young brewery was trying to keep up with the impressive demand.
Dave – The Beer Muse, Maine Today and the Maine Madness Beer Tournament. Dave is a teacher and musician who after co-founding a beer voting competition was looking for a summer job that would get him closer to the beer industry. Becoming a driver for us was good, but Dave’s personality and education background made him ideal as a guidance counselor. Many a visitor to Portland loved his daytime tours of Portland. Now a columnist for Maine Today under the title The Beer Muse , we all can read his thoughts on the Great State of Maine Beer.
Kevin – Beer writer for the Portland Phoenix. Kevin was working in a 9 to 5 job, but had an eye to get closer to the beer world. He joined us as a driver and guide, and quickly found an angle to also explore his interest in writing. Kevin is often looking to write in depth about the local beer scene, and is able to use his connections to get a good angle on the story.
Ashlee – Nappi Distributors, Gorham. Ashlee was working as a massage therapist, but when she interviewed with us we know right away that she might have known more about beer than we did. A rock star guide for well over a year, she helped Nappi Distributors to create a craft beer representative position for the Greater Portland area. Now she helps all of us to have access to some of the best local, regional, national, and international beers that can be enjoyed in Maine.
Adam – Editor, Eater Maine. Adam has long been an enthusiastic guide for different attractions within the City of Portland. He also had experience working within a few different fermentation operations. Naturally this worked very well with us, and he also took on an additional role to improve our educational offerings and help to train our guides. Adam was tapped to become the editor of the widely read online site Eater Maine. Just recently it was announced that he has been promoted to serve as the editor of Eater Seattle, and soon will be relocating to the Pacific Northwest along with his girlfriend Stasia from Rising Tide.
Billy – Madison River Brewing Company, Belgrade, MT. Billy had previously served as assistant brewer at both Boothbay Craft Brewery (Boothbay, ME) and Funky Bow Brewery and Beer Company (Lyman, ME). He came to us to drive a few shifts while he pondered his future. Soon enough, the head brewing position in this Bozeman area brewery became available and Billy was headed back West. But not without becoming our past faculty member who now lives the furthest away from Maine!
Joshua – Austin Street Brewery, Portland and Maine Craft Distilling, Portland. Joshua was new to Portland when we met with him, and really wanted to find a place to establish a community in after (quite literally) traveling throughout the world. As both a driver and a guide, he had a front row seat to some of the up and coming fermentation businesses in the area. He now slings beers at the tasting room at Austin Street, and spends time working with local restaurants and bars on the spirits of Maine Craft Distilling.
Don Littlefield is the Assistant Principal of The Maine Brew Bus. He is proud to have worked with all of these great people, and loves where they have ended up in the industry. He enjoyed a Rising Tide Cutter DIPA while writing this post. Twitter: @BeerinME