Monthly Archives: August 2014

2 am real talk.

August 30, 2014

i’m not sure i can fully describe what is going through my mind right now.

it’s 2 am. and i’m doing laundry. in a hotel. while writing this post. and i leave for Georgia in the morning. my life currently doesn’t fit into a category.

today was the last day of training in St. Louis before our rotations. this means that it was the last day of endless power points. the last day of hotel living. the last day of the American GMTs being in the same location. the last day of eating out for every single meal. the last day of knowing my surroundings. the last day of someone making my bed. the last day of this pampered lifestyle.

don’t get me wrong. i don’t think my life is hard. or that this upcoming segment of my life will be hard. but it will be closer to real life. i am so ready for it. i have been itching to actually get into the thick of things for a while. to get my hands dirty. to learn first hard. to realize how incredibly inexperienced i am. i am ready to learn in the real world. i no longer want to be talked at. i want to watch. i want to do. i want to interact. i want to participate.

now let me rewind.

i started this week a little worn down. global week took it out of me. those kids are crazy. i cannot keep up. i am so inferior.

the group of 147 global GMTs dispersed back to their lands of origin until only the Americans and Canadians were left. a mere 30 people. that dwindled even more quickly to 23 when our dear Canadians left on wednesday. this week, we began our training of the information technology and business services department, affectionally known as IBS. we learned about the different roles that information technology and business services play in the company. about how the information technology is the continuous improvement aspect and the business services are the foundation of the company’s everyday transactions that keep the beer flowing.

i could tell you so many more things about IBS. i interned in that department for the last 2 summers. it was a blast. i loved the people. i learned more than i ever cared to know about ETTL codes, DLLs, and software platforms.

but this week was really about the people to me.

people from my previous summers. people from this program. people from the company. people from home. just people. all kinds of people.

now let’s be real here for a minute. because it’s 2 am. and 2 am is the perfect time for raw, honest conversations.

it’s amazing how much of an impact people make on your life. they shape you. mold you. encourage you. discourage you. build you up. tear you down. laugh with you. cry with you. grow with you. teach you. correct you. just hold you.

i have spent a month with 23 people. some that i feel really close to. others that i wish i knew better. a few that i would not mind a break from. but all of which i care deeply about. they are great people. they each have their quirks. they each have their weaknesses. they each have their downfalls. but don’t we all? isn’t that what makes life so interesting? i have more than my fair share of faults, shortcomings, quirks, weaknesses, and straight up failures. but i hope these  people can see past that. because while i see their weaknesses, i also see immense strength in them. i see hopes, dreams, futures. i see something beautiful.

that’s what it is all about to me. it’s about people. always has been. always will be.

i am learning incredible skills, processes, and aspects of this company through my program. but those things pale in comparison to the people. inside the company or out.

a friend shared an article with me about a man that spent too much time focusing on his career and lost everything that he really had been working for: his wife, a family, someone to care about him. regardless of the job, the money, the toys, he was miserable. it was depressing. he forgot what life was truly about. have you ever got caught up in that? thinking that toys will make you happy. that a salary will make you happy. that a promotion will make you happy. that recognition will make you happy.

don’t get me wrong. i get caught up in it too. and i absolutely think that having a job and contributing to society is important. essential even. but my first priority should never be my job. it may work for some people. it doesn’t for me. people are the first priority to me.

so what do i really remember of this week?

watching Frozen with 6 guys from the program. yes. they voluntarily chose Frozen when i was the only girl present.

a friend that had glass stuck in her foot, but was just happy because it brought everyone together to get it out. she was a champ.

real, honest conversations with new friends. and old friends.

a mentor that is willing to spend her evening with me. to teach me, to give solid advice, and to be honest with me.

lunches with people that care about me.

quippy jokes about something stupid that i did.

dinner with friends that have known me forever and dinner with friends that haven’t even known me a year.

hot, sweaty country concerts and party buses.

my parents coming to visit this weekend. to love me. support me. laugh with me. remind me of how truly blessed i am to be their daughter.

that’s what is really all about to me. what is it really all about to you? because whatever it is or whatever you want it to be… make sure you reflect that in your choices.

usa usa canada, eh?

Beer Camp

August 24, 2014

i retract my earlier statement.

i am not in the real world.

this is summer camp.

or this week was anyways.

this week was global week. and it was insane. we had to be on the bus at 6:30 am sharp. yes. a bus. a very big bus. and regardless of the time of day, the excited campers would serenade each other. yes, there was singing at 6:30 in the morning. it was summer camp.

that was only the start too. dancing usually followed. at all hours of the day. occasionally i thought i had been cast into some new reality tv show.

for a little brief on what global week is… it is this crazy week where all of the international GMTs come together in St. Louis to hear from the executive board members of the company. it’s an incredible opportunity to have some of the most influential leaders of the beer industry take time to talk with a bunch of newbies. seriously. i don’t deserve that chance. it was very humbling.

in total, we had 147 GMTs from 19 different countries across 6 different zones. it was a smattering of languages, cultures, and perspectives. one of my best friends came to visit and she described it perfectly: it’s the beerlympics. you know how they talk about Olympic Village? with all the different nationalities coming together to live, eat, work, and play? the Chase Park Plaza Hotel was Olympic Village this week. and with 147 of us, we kind of took over the place. especially whenever we would go out to a fine establishment serving liquid libations. i almost felt bad for those that were left in our wake.

the gang.

what did we actually do this week besides mingle with some of the coolest international kids?

well, as discussed earlier, we were on the bus at 6:30 in the morning. it was a little rough on me. i am not a morning person. at all. why would i ever want to leave the warm comfort of my bed before 9 am? our day started with a hearty breakfast and then presentations from various impressive people about marketing, procurement, sales, logistics, legal, finance, brewing, innovations, and the culture of AB. i’d tell you more about the topics, but i doubt you really came here to read a lecture on procurement strategies. lunch was thrown somewhere in there and then some more presentations. the material is good. but i am not built to sit still for 15 hours a day. the people behind me must have been so annoyed as i squirmed and fidgeted. never sitting still. always tapping a foot or a hand or switching positions. i don’t sit still well. i’m not a very settled person. i like to be moving.

too early.

after our presentations, we usually had a play activity. day one we had a happy hour and a beer pairing dinner. who knew that budweiser and cheese soup is the greatest combination? that’s going to have to be a new staple in my diet. for real. you should try it. bacon and cheese soup with budweiser.

day two we were broken into teams in which we had to write an anthem for the company. we had to adapt the lyrics from happy by pharrell to be about the company. it was rough. i am not musically inclined, so that is all i am going to say about it.

day three we went to a baseball game. now this wasn’t your typical baseball game. remember that i went with 124 internationals (there are 23 americans). so what should have been a baseball game was basically turned into a futball game. there was constant chanting, singing, and plain debauchery. we turned a few heads. some loved it. some hated it. some were just confused by it. i don’t blame them. i was in the midst of it and i still don’t have a clue what was going on. but it was fun, in a crazy, disorienting way.

day four we worked on our pretty song again. buh.

the winning anthem team! go jim!

day five they let us out early. which really just turned into a happy hour back at Beerlympic Village. and the insanity ensued from there. the foreigners put us to shame. i cannot keep up with them. somehow they were out almost every night past 2 am and wanting to stay out but the bar kicked them out. apparently 2 am is just the start of the night around the world. it’s my bedtime.

the last night was the best. mostly because we didn’t have to get up at 6 the next morning. or at least i didn’t. some of them had a flight to catch. i don’t think they slept. and everyone went out. i’m pretty sure we comprised over 80% of the patrons at the bar. it was a big international party. i feel bad for those that weren’t used to the insanity and energy and excitement and boisterous nature of our group. it’s a lot to take in.

that was my week. it was crazy. my head is full of information about the company, about other countries, and about other people. no wonder i have a headache. now i need a 12 hour nap.

147 person ice bucket challenge

thanks for visiting Tay!

Happy Wedding!

August 17, 2014

in the midst of my new job, i love having little reminders of what’s really important. of chances to get to see old friends and celebrate the joys of life together.

one of my beautiful friends got married this weekend. it was beautiful, classy, fun. it was everything that she is. and the way that the groom looked at her? love, joy, adoration. man, that’s the best thing i could ask for my friends to have. they deserve it. they have had to put up with me all these years.

Congrats Cara and Sam!!

the blushing bride and the joyous groom

they were precious. giggling and laughing through their whole first dance. glowing. happy. it’s such a perfect reminder of what is truly important. their first dance was to a sweet country song. in an elegant, formal dining room. it was perfectly them: classy, sophisticated, country, casual, unassuming.

and on top of that, i got to see some great friends again. they are my favorites. and i got to see my puppy. what more could i really ask for?

best friends entertain each other in catholic weddings.

ain’t she pretty?

wedding rule #2: always take a charming, handsome date

coonhound love.

Brewing Bootcamp

August 16, 2014

week 2 started with a bang. or a sip. of 30 beers. in brewing bootcamp.

swirl, sniff, sip.

yes. this is my job.

brewing bootcamp was so much fun. and so informative. we learned about the 5 ingredients in beer: water, hops, yeast, adjunct grains, and barley. water makes up 92% of beer. hops are the spice of beer. yeast has the greatest influence on flavor. adjunct grains are additional sources of non-malted starches. barley malts are the only necessary ingredient in the brewing process. these 5 ingredients are the only ones used in our products. it seems easy, right? i wish.

we learned how the company carbon filters their water to eradicate any chloride and fluoride. that hops are only grown between the 35th and 55th latitudes. the different flavors, aromas, and bitterness associated with hops from various regions. the types of bacterias and wild yeast that can impact flavor.

we learned so much more from Jim and Mick. they are the bomb. and are geniuses about beer.

the perfect pour. Mick style.

Jimmy leading the sampling process.

i can’t believe i get paid for this job. it doesn’t feel like the real world. am i really a big kid?

we also went through the insights training. it is a program that helps identify the ways you communicate and interact with others. i found out that i lead with blue and green. blue is data driven. green is focused on caring. it was scary how accurate portions of it were. it’s unnerving when a piece of paper can describe you accurately after 24 questions. just 24 questions. am i really that simple and predictable? i guess so.

one thing that i find impressive about the company culture is the informality. the candor. the openness. the other day we had lunch with the president of the North America zone. in case you missed that, let me repeat that for you. we had lunch with the PRESIDENT of the North America Zone. the guy in charge of the largest beer company in American and Canada took 2 hours out of his day to hang out with some newbies fresh out of college. do you understand the gravity of that? what other company would that happen in? i am so spoiled in this program.

president of NAZ and VP of HR. just chilling.

outside of work, we had a little excitement too. a group of hardcore GMTs work out in the morning to start the day. led by fitness guru Isha. after a hardcore workout Friday morning, we noticed that my roommate’s phone was missing. and a shady character had been hanging around. so what do we do? quick on her feet, Isha tracked the phone with the “find my iPhone” feature. it was only a couple blocks away! the crime squad took off to right this terrible wrong. Conor took the lead as i followed closely behind. i noticed him stop to ask a few friendly faces if they had seen an shady individual wearing cargo shorts and a jersey hanging around. and at that moment i caught a sight of him out of the corner of my eye. unfortunately he caught a glimpse of me too and started taking off in the other direction. quads burning from Isha’s glute whipping, i sprinted off up the hill. (yes mom, i did pause long enough to ensure one of my fellow (male) crime fighters wasn’t too far behind.) thankfully he wasn’t the brightest thief and tried to hide in a crevice of a parking garage. he wasn’t sneaky enough though. i spotted him trying to get the SD card out and deactivate the tracker. full sprint, i ripped the phone out of his hands as i ran by. he tried to protest, but i sure as heck wasn’t slowing down. (see mom, look at me being responsible and not confronting a large shady man by myself.) end of the day, the phone was returned to its rightful owner and justice was served. ish.

and my sister came to visit this week. she’s the coolest person i know. i like her a lot.

the rest of my week was fun. crazy. exciting. that seems to be the theme of the last 2 weeks. it’s such an incredible adventure to be on. my group is so much fun. we added the Canadians this week. the rest of the global kids are coming next week. i am not sure that i am ready for that kind of craziness yet. but oh well. here it goes!

research brewery tour!

we love chipotle.

off to hotel number two!

What Just Happened?

August 9, 2014

so i started my program Monday.

i guess some of you don’t know what my program is. and this seems like a good time to talk about it. i am working for Anheuser-Busch in a training program called GMT. i get the awesome opportunity to learn about the beer industry, and specifically about AB from a high-level, comprehensive perspective. i will get the opportunity to do specific rotations in brewing, sales, information technology, and marketing. you can see where i travel to here! it’s a great opportunity. especially because i don’t have a clue what i want to do with my life. so why not try a little of everything? i’m more of a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none anyways. and that’s why this program fits so well! I get to try a little of everything. AB has some other great programs specifically in logistics, sales, technology, and brewing. and those are awesome. you get to learn so very much about a department. you get to be the expert. and someday, i would like to be an expert in one of those areas. i just would like to figure out which department i like first.

anyways. back to my first week. before i get to go have fun learning about the different departments, i have to learn enough about them to not be a total deadweight pestering my manager with annoying questions. that means a lot of information in a short time. an overload of information. more information that you can comprehend in two months. like what kind of information? i’m so glad you asked!

– 1/8 inch of dust is combustible
– there are over 500,000 retail accounts that sell AB products
– twist off aluminum cans require half the aluminum as crown tops
– a can line will turn out almost 2000 cans per minute
– AB uses high gravity brewing to meet consumer demand
– we produce 6 of the 10 top beers in the world
– AB produces of 171 millions hectoliters of beer. every year.

i know i learned hundreds of other tidbits this week. but my brain is currently overloaded. and decided to just quit functioning. it’s amazing how much information is accumulated during 162 years of brewing. we learned about safety, sales, brewing, human resources, engagement, development, and innovation.

brew that beer

we sat through heaps of powerpoint presentations. AB loves powerpoints. if it’s not on a powerpoint, it didn’t happen. they are emails, notes, memos, announcements. everything goes onto a powerpoint. i will say, i would much prefer to watch powerpoints than make them.

while the powerpoints aren’t the most invigorating, the information was. the company was. the brewery tour was. and most of all, the people are. i get the great privilege of working with 22 other GMT’s. they are some incredible men and women from across the country. some are fresh out of college, some are a few years into the industry. some are engineering majors, some are political majors, some are finance majors, some are economics. some are tall. some are short. but they are all incredible. they are so much fun. and i am so lucky to get to learn, laugh, grow, and explore with them. it was a whirlwind of a first week. i can’t believe it has already started. guys, i actually started my real job. i am apart of the real world now. i am a big girl now. well, kind of. not really. regardless, it is going to be an exciting couple of months. and i am so excited to get started. so here we go, my newest adventure is starting.

and now for a smattering of pictures to enjoy!

because it’s important

GMTs work it out

some lovely ladies! Laura was just published in the Huffington Post!

these beauties make the work day better.


get ready for next week. the Canadians are coming!


Buffalo, New York

August 3, 2014

i graduated high school 6 years ago. i am one of those strange kids who loved high school. i had a rock solid group of friends that i didn’t deserve, but am so thankful for. we had a group of 30 or so, and we were always up to some good clean fun. they were my favorite. they made high school fun.

during my 2 month break, i had the privilege of going to visit one of my great friends. i haven’t seen Miss Olivia since i graduated high school. yep. 6 years ago. we’ve kept up with each other’s lives through letters and emails and many phone conversations. she has been a true friend over the years. a kindred spirit. and always gave the best book recommendations.

Liv and i

my trip to get there was long. so very long. i had decided to fly because i didn’t feel like making the 14 hour drive by myself. New York is a long state. and i’ve already done that once. on my way to catch my flight, i was caught in Illinois construction traffic outside of Chicago. not just normal Illinois construction traffic. Chicago construction traffic. Chicago traffic is bad enough without construction. especially for a girl that grew up in the cornfields, where traffic only occurs when you are caught behind a tractor in harvest season.

once i finally got to the airport, my flight was delayed. for 2 hours. it probably should have bothered me. but i got to enjoy some deep dish Chicago pizza and wine while i read my book, Bitter Brew. it was actually the perfect start to the weekend. a good book and good food.

i arrived in Buffalo a little after midnight. and Liv’s ever cheerful face greeted me outside the airport. she took me back to her darling apartment where we chatted and settled in for the night. it made me smile, her apartment looked just as i would’ve expected. yellow and gray and purple. it was simply Liv-esque.

the weekend was perfect. we slept in, went on walks along the Tonawanda Creek, watched movies, ate delicious food, watched the sun set, and played ticket to ride. it was just what i needed before i started the insanity of the coming year.

tonawanda creek

ticket to ride

during one of our strolls along the Tonawanda Creek, we found a few friends. they were small and scaly and cold-blooded. of course we were fascinated and went to investigate the little critters. unfortunately one of our scaly friends was a bit shy and quickly slithered into his home. but using our detective skills, we found another little guy. he was tiny. no bigger than a half inch around. we poked and prodded to attempt to see him better, but he just didn’t want to move. we must have been scary looking. or he was too tired from a wild saturday night out. guessing it was the former, we decided to trick the little guy. we pretended to walk away ever so casually. just strolling along. don’t mind us. we aren’t pesky kids up to no good.

and it worked! he began to unravel himself and make a bolt for his home. but not before we caught him. he was charcoal gray on the sides with a lighter gray down his spine, set off by tiny black triangles. through strenuous investigative research here, we learned that he was a Northern Diamondback Water snake. we also learned that his scales are keeled. whatever that means.

my new friend

i thought he would’ve made a good pet. after all, my freshman roommate had a pet snake. in our room. it couldn’t be that bad. but Liv thought that was a bad idea. and then i remembered that i hated having that snake in my dorm room. so we decided to leave him be.

we spent Sunday afternoon watching How to Train Your Dragon 2. i love this movie. judge me all you want. i was thrilled to see it. and it met all my expectations. if you haven’t seen it, drop everything you’re doing and go now. (and mom, this is a great Christmas present idea for me!)

in the end, the weekend was too short. i got to see Liv’s place of employment, as they were moving buildings, before i flew out. Liv is a librarian for a medical libraries in western New York. it’s a perfect combination of the things she loves. her undergrad resembled a pre-med route and they she continued to a masters in library science. she loves biology and she loves books. do you know how incredible it is to see someone that has found a job they love? to have found their passion? it’s contagious and it’s beautiful.

after a perfectly relaxing weekend, i got to enjoy coming home to a very excited puppy and a wonderful family that spoiled me with good company and good food. they even took me out to see a friend’s band play at a local dive and to celebrate my cousin’s baby-to-be at Springfield’s signature horseshoe joint*. they are having a girl, if you wanted to know. they’ve sent me off in style and now the real world starts tomorrow!

miss bailee

my precious parents and aunt.

paigey’s band- Fun DMC

buffalo chicken ponyshoe

*don’t know what a horseshoe is? well it’s fantastic. and it’s a heart attack on a plate. if you ever go to Springfield, you need to get one. or split one. go to D’arcy’s Pint. it’s my favorite. and it’s been on Man vs. Food.