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New Hire: Dane Williams

From The Iron Horse Brewery Blog

New Hire: Dane Williams


In January, we had revelation: We want to get better at things and stuff. One of those things was having a better understanding of the off premise world (note: off premise = places where you buy beer to go = grocery stores). In order to realize that goal, we had two options self-improvement or find someone who already has this knowledge. We chose the latter.

A fictitious iron horse person sat down with our new hire and asked some questions.


Full Name: Dane Williams
Official IHB Response: Correct. You’re hired.

Title: Resident Ginger (Off Premise Manager, New Business Development and MT State Manager)
IHB Response: We’re glad you used brackets. We assume that’s the equivalent of air quotes.

Years Worked at IHB: 99 glorious days.

What’s your education/work background?
Graduated from Washington State University in 2000 with a degree in Business/Economics. After a short 6-month stint of selling Radio, I was hired by Labatt USA (Interbrew) as a Canadian Sales Specialist (Labatt Blue and Kokanee On Premise Focus). Over the next 13 years, I held a variety of different positions ranging from Area Manager, District Sales Manager (AZ/NM), Executive Assistant to VP of Marketing, Bud Light Brand Promotions, Marketing, On Premise National Accounts, Wal-Mart Team and Small Format Team (7-Eleven, Rite Aid and Walgreen’s).

IHB RESPONSE: Wow, that’s a big list of words and things you did. we’re impressed with your ability to make lists that sounds listy.

What prompted you to apply for a job with IHB?
The opportunity to be a part of a really exciting portfolio of brands, with a tremendous amount of growth upside and a team committed to building the business “the right way”. It also happens to be in my hometown…

IHB RESPONSE: We don’t know what portfolio of brands is. Also, let us know when you figure out what the “right way” is.

What’s the worst part about working at the brewery?
Scale. Because of the high demand for specific goods (hops) and services (can design), the “small guy” doesn’t always have the leverage, or buying power to expedite a timeline. After being on the opposite side of the pendulum, it’s taken a little to get used too…but it’s also a great lesson in business planning. In addition to scale, I would have to say the ordering process. With a brew house extended as far as IHB, it’s absolutely critical that our Wholesale partners are forecasting product inventory accurately and in a timely manner. Not having the ability to overcome inaccuracies can be frustrating…it makes you plan ahead and cognizant of historical/seasonal trends. Other than that, we have paper towel shortage in the kitchen that needs to be addressed.

IHB RESPONSE: That’s a lot of Jargon. Also, were you trying to be funny in your last sentence?

What’s the best part about working at the brewery?
IHB has created an environment that rewards the freedom of creative thinking. After being in the industry for the past 13 years, with a very structured and pre-determined process…it’s rejuvenating to have the corporate shackles removed and the ability to think with an entrepreneurial mindset. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity and future of IHB.

IHB RESPONSE: We also get excited by you. You know what we mean by excited.

If you could kick Greg in the groin and he didn’t know it was you, would you do it?
Absolutely! A little groin adversity never hurt anyone. “Laces out Finkle”.

IHB RESPONSE: We expect this to happen at your nearest convenience, a gorilla suit may help expedite this endeavour.

If Beer did not exist in this world, what else would you be doing?
First off, that world would suck and I wouldn’t want to be a part of it! I’ve always had a great passion for sports and traveling. If I could find a way to combine the two and make a living…that’s what I would be doing. I always thought it would be fun to write a book, or film a series on the social aspect of sports around the world…For instance; tailgating is a huge part of American Football…what’s the “tailgating” equivalent for Cricket in New Zealand or India? Really, I’m just looking for an excuse to travel, drink and watch sporting events.

IHB RESPONSE: You are right, that would be fun, but you are living in a fantasy world.


Thanks for taking the time to write this out Dane. Also thanks for NOT making this a power point presentation or referencing sharepoint.

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