Want to start off this blog with a quick introduction. My name is William Bergman (Will or Wills) and this is my first blog, so I’ll do my best to put down the random thoughts of a young Navy veteran, now working for a brewery, down in the finest fashion my “professional” experience can muster. I am currently “slinging hash” with the kitchen crew at [the pub], and do the inventory and ordering for food. I received permission to come aboard Iron Horse Brewery in June of this year (2017 to clarify, if you are reading this later). I am currently a junior in the Exercise Science program at Central and love 95% of it. Let’s be real, you cannot 100% love every aspect of schooling. Some hobbies of mine include reading and studying theology, playing sports, hiking, and cooking. My favorite author is C.S. Lewis. He is a language and writing legend and I try to mimic his writing, so if you sense or feel that I am feebly attempting to copy him, it’s because I am.
To set the framework of this mostly chronological narrative to my life and the role Iron Horse is playing in it, and, satisfy your curiosity of my experience in the Navy, I’ll provide a little info about my time spent serving this great country. I enlisted right before I graduated high school with zero desire to continue school, and aspirations of becoming a Navy SEAL. I left for boot camp in November of 2009 with a six-year contract. I completed that and went across the street to do pre-training with my class and then we all headed down to San Diego. Once down there and settled in, we started training and I made it three and a half days before I rung the infamous bell that signified a candidate quitting. From there I was sent to the good ol’ USS Mesa Verde LPD-19, an amphibious transport ship stationed in Norfolk, VA where I did the rest of my five years working in different departments, but ending up in supply and logistics for the bulk of it. Too many stories to tell for the brevity of this blog. If you’re curious, just find me outside [the pub], how bou dat. I moved to Seattle for a spell and then moved to Ellensburg where I moved in with Connie Morgan, and was introduced to the magic of indie beer. And a little under a year after that, I was hired at [the pub] and the rest is incredibly recent history.
Many people ask how was the transition from military to civilian life for you, or what was it like? I feel fortunate to answer them, “It wasn’t that hard really.” For me while I was serving I knew that I wanted to get out about a year before it was going to happen. I had plenty of time to mentally prepare and look forward to it. Being in the Navy that last year looked a lot like a regular nine to five job too. I lived off the ship in town at my own apartment and went to work on the ship in the morning and then went home when the work was done. I think that helped me prepare for “civilian life”. The way I saw it was like, “hey, its gonna be different when I get out so just learn to adapt and roll with what happens.” That mentality really helped me make that transition. Although the funny part is, because I didn’t get out and go right to work, and instead started school, I haven’t had a regular nine to five job since I got out in Nov 2015. So, yeah that’s about it for that.
At this point, I would like to do some comparing between my experiences in the Navy with working at the brewery. For me, working for Iron Horse has been an eye opener to the vast world of craft beer. It is a very niche’ place to work like working in the military. I feel like I have been blessed with an opportunity to work in an environment that has a close-knit community and even closer within the specific breweries, which is fantastic for me personally because that comradery is something that is cherished and valued very highly within the military and has been ingrained in me because of my time in the military. The crazy antics that go on within indie breweries I can only describe and compare to that of the similar antics to that of sailors not with a drinking problem, but alcoholics with a sailing problem. Just switch sailors with brewers and sailing with brewing and the comparison is made! All in jest of course, for I do not think you are all alcoholics.
To cap off this blog, because it could be boring you, I want to relate how much as someone who has worked in some of the worst work conditions and environment where the majority displays stress, they are heavily overworked, and not recognized, that Iron Horse for me is such a great place to work. I truly enjoy it and want to continue to learn more about the company and invest in it. It has been my experience that the management and company want to know about their employees and give them all the tools necessary to succeed at their job, while also caring about the employees mental and emotional well-being. It is quite the contrast compared to my experience in the Navy and I must say that I appreciate it even more after having experienced the opposite side of the spectrum.
I hope that this blog has been worth your time. If not, oh well. I apologize for not being a more creative writer in telling the “Readers Digest” version of my life, but do hope that it did spark some questions that you would like to ask me. This is an open invitation for anyone to come ask me about my experiences where you can get a slightly different answer in more detail. I want to get to know you all more and hope that when you come by [the pub] for a beer, if you see me working in the kitchen drop by the window or door and visit for a minute.
P.S. This blogging thing is weird. I’ll probably do another one. But better.