Moving On Again
May 14, 2012
So it’s time for me to move on from this leg of my brewing career. There’s no reason to get into the specifics, but it’ll suffice to say there was a disagreement over a potential conflict of interest. The place has had a very corporate feel to me for a long time now, so I’m not really sad to be gone. Part of me thinks I forced the issue because I wanted to get out and didn’t have the balls to quit. It was a great experience for the last ten months, and I met some truly awesome people there and made great friends in the Cooperstown/Oneonta area. There are no hard feelings toward this brewery at all, and I wish them all the best.
Now is the time to start looking at moving on to bigger, better, and more awesome things. I want to spend some time now figuring out exactly the best path forward for me. I’m really sick of being desperate enough to have to take the first opportunity I see, which is what led me to ITT all those miserable years ago. My time at ITT and Rochester set the stage for everything that has come since then, as it gave me the financial ability to attend brewing school, and put me near a brewery that has a strong apprentice program (and a set of amazing brewers – I can’t thank Bruce and JP enough for what they did for me). This time, though, I want to slip into a job and brewery that are exactly what I’m looking for.
Right now, there are a couple of options to choose from and several possibilities elsewhere. I’m still in talks with the guys starting Abandon Brewing out in Penn Yan. That project won’t be finished and up and running until the end of the year, at the earliest. Pursuing that would require me to find some way to survive financially for about seven or so months, which will be a lot more challenging than the fifteen months I was unemployed after the layoff from ITT (great severance and lots of savings back then). I also hear that there is a brewpub in Albany that’s still searching for a head brewer replacement, so I may look into that possibility this week.
The great thing about being unemployed in the craft brewing industry is the amount of start-ups, brewpubs, and expansions going on right now. There are tons of options out there, especially if I’m willing to move. That’s the other thing I need to think about, potentially moving away from New York state. At this point, I’ve spent almost thirty years living in upstate NY, bouncing between the Capital Region, Central New York, and Western New York. Part of me wants to go somewhere completely new and start with a clean slate, and part of me wants to get back to one of my former homes and reconnect with all the friends I don’t see much of anymore.
If you know me at all, you likely understand just how hard it is for me to be decisive about anything. That’s really the tough issue I have to deal with now: deciding what I want as an “ideal situation” and pursuing it relentlessly. I have no interest in settling right now. No more large corporate entities, no more being someone else’s bitch. It’s time to get some creative control, an equal footing, and respect. Nothing less.