Greetings my devoted audience of none!
It's been almost a year since my last update and I'm happy to say that in June of 2009 I acquired a paying position at Vecenies Distributing in Millvale, PA. It is the master wholesaler of a number of different breweries, both in Allegheny County and several surrounding counties. We also distribute a couple of domestic brands and truthfully, all brands seem to receive the same amount of attention.
Working at the wholesaler level has been extremely educational thus far. I've learned a lot of the lingo and am developing a feeling for what my bars, taverns and distributors truly need. There hasn't been much turnover so I've gotten to know some of my customers pretty well. My coworkers at Vecenie are awesome and it certainly would be difficult to find a more supportive network from people whom are otherwise strangers. It's more like a family than a business.
I still try to attend as many beer functions as possible and my co-workers certainly help facilitate the search. I still occasionally do volunteer work for Voodoo and Blue Canoe, and count members of both establishments as my friends. I have worked a good deal of beer festivals, tastings, and dinners and I'm still not sick of them! I take the educational role of these functions very seriously and hope people walk away not just with a pleasant buzz, but a feeling of camaraderie and maybe, just maybe, feeling like they've learned a little something.
I look forward to learning more and tasting more!