I have many people to thank for helping me toward getting my Chemical Engineering degree chief among them is my chemistry teacher from high school, Dr. Al Evans. Not only was he my chemistry teacher for two years, he was my soccer coach for all four years and my mentor for getting me into the prestigious Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. His gift to support and cheer for me beyond the traditional classroom is something I will always cherish and hope that everyone else has someone like him to help guide you through a time in everyone’s life where “tough” is a heavy understatement.
Prior to ever meeting Dr. Evans, however, I have always loved science and the study of how the world around us works. More specifically, I loved learning how food was made, (just to reveal my inner fat kid side that few know about). To be able to describe the way a chicken was roasted, how broccoli tasted, how milk curdles, and so many other processes at the molecular level was and still is my strongest curiosity. Dr. Evans recognized this and was the one to make the suggestion of becoming an engineer, which I haven’t turned back from since.
In my very short career as an engineer so far, I’ve already fallen in love with the manufacturing industry. The warehouse-like environment, machines cranking out products at incredible speeds, operators and engineers hard at innovation work trying to improve the process: all of this plus the passion to add value to my community to make it a better place and make products that allow people to feel good is where I want to spend my career. So naturally I’m drawn to certain companies with the same mindset. Here enters IMBIB Custom Brews of Reno, Nevada.
IMBIB has a great story with humble beginnings of three home-brewers who came together over a common desire to make Nevada-based beers while collaborating with the community to educate about and share ideas on beer-brewing. I had the pleasure to make a Malbech batch with Matt, one of the owners, earlier today. His 15+ years of brewing experience definitely shows in the ease at which he’s able to describe the science and art behind the brew process while also performing the necessary tasks; and he isn’t even the “official” brew master! After 5+ hours of work and a sample of their black currant Belgian sour, we successfully were able to put 85 gallons of beer into the fridge to await the yeast addition once the temperature dropped to the ideal degree.
Even though I’ve only spoke with Matt on a handful occasions and done one small batch of brewing, Matt reminds me of Dr. Evans in a couple ways: generous, helpful, and (most importantly) patient. I came to Matt after learning about IMBIB through my brief search for potential local brewing opportunities and he immediately was open to showing me how to brew without asking for anything in return. He answered all my questions patiently, corrected me when I was doing something wrong (even though he just showed me two seconds before), and he was very encouraging about me learning more on my own.
This willingness to mentor, guide, and grow others without asking for anything in return is a rare gift in our society and I’m very thankful I’ve met such generous givers like Matt and Dr. Evans who have helped guide and shaped my path. These characteristics are also prevalent in strong leaders and need to be encouraged and expected more in all of our leaders without discrimination of industry or group function. This servant-style leadership will make all of our businesses more fruitful in many aspects of all our lives and cultures if and when it becomes the dominant leadership style.
Go say thank you to a mentor you’ve had in your life and tell them how their guidance helped you to where you are today, doesn’t matter if you still regularly talk with them or not. And also check out IMBIB, either through their website or go to their taproom, (especially if you live in the Reno, NV area)!