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An Unusually Inspiring Story of How to Become a Brewmaster

When life gives you a drug test you know you're going to fail, quit your day job as a teacher and become a brewmaster... obviously.

Pictured is my friend K, brewing a small batch of sweet potato pie style ale for Thanksgiving, complete with marshmallows and all.

There's a craft brewery not far from where I live. It's a pretty good one too. They've even won prestigious awards for a few of their brews. I'm gonna leave the brewery unnamed for now because, well, this isn't really "my" story to tell and I don't even know the guy personally. But I will say, it's a central Florida place and I could go on and on and on forever about how much I like their beer.

I've made friends with one of the brewers and a couple employees and was invited to come with to help out at an Oktoberfest where they were participating. On our way there, they started talking about the original brewmaster who's no longer there. C**t Rocket was the name he once said he would rather be called than the shortened version of his name (think, Joseph and Joe), so... the nickname stuck and as I was obviously very lost in this convo, I asked and was given the full background story. But it's turned out to be an an oddly inspiring tale of weed, career suicide, and ultimately winning at life. Basically, it's one of those stories that—when it's you—eventually you look back on and laugh really hard about, but while you're in the thick of it, you're replacing all the silverware in the house with plasticware as an added layer of protection to keep from ending it all... just in case.

For privacy, I'm gonna call him CR. CR was working as a teacher at a local high school. He was either an English teacher or a stage craft teacher (undecided within the group and perhaps both). He got some sawdust in his eyes one day while using a power saw working on a set. So, when he tried to claim workman's comp to cover the bills, he was told, "If you are filing workman's comp, we're required to drug test you." Rather than take the DT and lose his job—and having backed himself into a corner—he resigned and quit his job.

So, high school teacher of unknown subject for many years -> craft brewery master? Well, basically, CR knew nothing about beer on a large scale but he had been home brewing his own for about a year. And, as many great business stories go, CR knew the right people who were just deciding to open up a brewery and got set up with, essentially, a big promotion. Oh, but the story gets better...

He worked there for about three years before he left the company on good terms. He left because he ended up getting another teaching position. In fact, it was a significant promotion from where he was originally also. He became a lecturer at a college up north (won't say what state) teaching what most of us only dream of taking a college course in: beer brewing. Yes. Make way, underwater basket weaving! Brewing beer is now a college level course and we are all dying to reap the benefits of being highly educated and drinking some more gosh darn golden-y goodness!

So, that's how losing your professional level job for smoking marijuana (and probably feeling like you definitely reached a total low in your adult life and career) actually became a springboard for what I think most people would call truly "living the dream."

Moral of the story?

Make your failures into your best successes and follow your passion!

And of course that doesn't work 75 percent of the time, but in the case of this middle-aged stoner who really loved beer? Absolutely did. And really, doesn't C**t Rocket really just sound like he represents "everyman" anyways? I hope so, for my sake.

So now tell me, when was the last time you heard a more wholesome story where the catalyst for positive life change is illegally smoking weed??

You're welcome.

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An Unusually Inspiring Story of How to Become a Brewmaster
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