Speed Dating with the BOD

8 11 2010

Two weeks ago, we were given the opportunity to meet with the AmBev BOD over breakfast. In our minds, this was not going to be the typical jolly chat over tea and biscuits. As it was to be set up, 4 GMTs would sit at a table and 2 to 3 BOD members would go around the room to the different tables. It was going to be done at 15 minute intervals with both parties asking “getting to know each other” questions. Basically speed dating at its finest.

The trip entailed the whole “24 hours in TO” ordeal (on the opposite side of the spectrum from Vegas-style). It also meant it would be the first time in my life I would not have to check luggage. To the average Joe, yes this is not a big deal but to me this meant being free to walk right through to security, easily putting my luggage in the overhead bin and walking right out the plane to grab a cab. After jet setting the world the past few years and having my luggage lost 4 times, I could not wait for this moment.

After landing and gloriously leaving the plane, I even gave a little smirk to those had to wait for their luggage. I used to be one of them but not this time. And it felt really, really good.

We were forewarned to eat breakfast before breakfast. Yes it is as confusing as it sounds. Our caretakers wanted to make sure we didn’t have jam sliding down our shirts and croissant flakes flying out our mouths while we talked. It was a well supported precaution but since I couldn’t get anything down before breakfast except for nerves, I could have eaten the entire food case at Starbucks. In 10 minutes.

In my head I pictured the breakfast being my 19th interview since I have been with the company. I felt like it was going to be the infamous final panel all over again. It started out like that with the CEO of AB InBev looking directly at me and asking, “So Andrea, tell us why you wanted to work for our company.”

Deer in headlights. Brito just said my name. Aloud. OMG.

After reclaiming my cool and as the 15 minute intervals rolled out the BOD turned out to be a very relaxed group.  They wanted to share important learnings with us and find out who we are. It was their checkup to make sure the future owners of the company are the right ones.

I felt very fortunate to be asked to participate in the breakfast as it was a one time opportunity. It was a wonderful experience and once again I was shown why AB InBev is the company I want to work for.


Happy Hallowe’en!

31 10 2010

Happy Hallowe’en from Labatt!

I put together a little GMT Hallowe’en e-Card. Adam and Mike, you have been spared. Click on the link to check it out. Who knew we could get down with rap?


Yup…the white stuff has arrived.

25 10 2010

Woke up this morning to a wonderful winter wonderland. Wonderful.

Let me remind everyone it is not even November yet. The scary thing is it’s already 1:14pm and it’s still snowing. Usually for the first snow of the season, it melts away by 9am.

It’s probably because Edmonton is almost at the north pole. I woke up this weekend and I thought it had to be the middle of the night cause it was pitch black. Looked at my alarm clock…oh 8:30am! Lovely.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the white stuff…but on the mountain..when I am in my ski gear.

Looks like Hallowe’en is going to be a little chilly.

The Original Kokanee Girls.

24 10 2010

This is what happens when you leave us alone to our own antics.

Drinking Games 101

24 10 2010

The advantage of travelling around with 7 early 20 somethings is that everyone is always down for a good time. Over the past 3 months the group of us have developed a tradition.
That tradition being the Kings Predrink.
Citing Wikipedia, depending where in the world you are Kings is ”(also known as King’s Cup[1] Ring of Fire [2]Circle of Death[3] Rhombus of Nosferatu, Shanty of McGinty, Sociables[4] and The King’s Game).”

Personally I think Rhombus of Nosferatu is most appropriate.

The advantage of each of us coming from a different part of this fine country is the collaboration of the best of the best rules. We have scientifically developed a game that is a guaranteed “break the chair you are sitting on” good time (cough cough ROB! ).

Our original list of rules has been long lost but this one (see here taped on our frig) has lasted the past 2 weekends.

Here’s a breakdown of the ultimate game involving beer and cards:

2 – Red take, Black give
3 – Red take, Black give
4 – Red take, Black give
5 – Bros
6 – Hoes (whoever has participated in this tradition knows the phrase to cheers to)
7 – 7’s
8 – Thumbmaster (after much editing, this one made the spot)
9 – Sociables & Shotgun for the bros
10 – Never have I ever…
J – Vagina movies. I am not even sure if I can post the v word but it’s not as dirty as it sounds. You basically substitute movie titles with the v word. And then giggle like a 6th grader.
Q – The dreaded Question Master
K – Categories
A – New Rule

There are a few missing that we like to toss around as well. One of those being “Moose in a Canoe”. Did I mention this is a Canadian edition?

How to do moose in a canoe properly.

If you feel the need to spice up your own list, Wikipedia has a few good ones up its sleeve.
This weekend we tried to switch it up to the “Beer Pong Championships” but in the end, we all sat around our kitchen table and brought out the deck of cards. The most important rule for Kings is to leave your pride at the door. Nothing is off limits with “Never Have I Ever.”

Beer Pong Championships

Drinking at Work?

24 10 2010

One of the “perks” of working for a beer company is well…working for a beer company.

Part of my job at a brewery is participating in the daily taste panel at 11:30am. Now you can pretty much guess what “daily taste panel” means…aka we taste the beer. But not only do we taste beer, we have to taste basically everything being put in the beer. This means trying 9 different types of water, 3 kinds of carbonated water and smelling rice tea (for Bud).  

Don't make the mistake of sampling this cup.

The picture above is water from the St. Lawrence River. Word to the wise: being a newbie at taste panel, you only LOOK at this one. For the rest of us…have no fear. This water isn’t put in your beer. It’s the infeed to the Montreal Brewery’s water treatment facility. I might add the water that comes out of the facility is actually purer that Montreal city water.

Then comes the beer.

Beer. beer. and more beer. You are supposed to not eat 3 hours before taste panel in order for your senses to be heightened. I learned quickly the first time that being a lightweight…it’s a bit of a challenge to go back to our work room without a giant smile on my face.

Just a normal day at the brewery.

Now it’s not like you are downing full beers. You are given a small glass and you pour a little bit of each sample into it. Swirl it around to the release the aromas and let your senses take it from there. You are looking for off flavours, lingering taste, mouth feel. I mean…this is serious stuff…there is a science to it. The mandatory participants in taste panel (for ex. Quality Manager) have to go through a series of tests before their opinion can count.

Lucky for us, Trish at the Edmonton Brewery set us up with one of these tests. The 7 of us decided to wager a pool of $5 each beforehand to the winner (whoever could identify the most flavour spikes in a sample). For the test, you sit in a room, each at an isolated desk. There are 6 samples of beer in front of you and you are given a checklist to mark off the flavour spike you taste in each of them samples. There are about 26 different off flavours to identify.

These flavour spikes are nothing delicious. They range from baby puke to wet cellar to metallic to creamed corn. Trish could have picked out some nice vanilla or apple flavours…but no, she decided to go with whatever was the most disgusting.

It turns out I am actually pretty good at picking out nauseating flavours (probably because I try them on a regular basis) but I ended up walking away with 30 bones.

It’s a tough job…but someone has to do it 🙂

Is it spelled spracket or sprocket?

7 10 2010

I think that sums it up nicely how out of my comfort zone I am working in Maintenance for my project in Edmonton.

I was interviewing trades this week and I was asked what mechanical experience I have. My response, “I can pump my own gas and fill up my windshield washer fluid when empty.”

When I used to think what I would be doing when I grow up…I did not think about planning packaging overhauls and knowing what a barring is. Oh sorry…bearing.

I am making all the world’s electricians and mechanics cringe right now. Don’t worry…before the end of the next 2 weeks, I’ll have my sleeves rolled up and grease under my finger nails.

As long as I can get a manicure after.