Darcy is our Vancouver Craft Beer Ambassador for Lighthouse Brewing. She has worked here since November 2014.
This is “Meet the Team” – a series that will bring you insight into what it’s like to work for a craft brewery in BC.
So besides hanging all day around bars drinking beers, what’s a day in your life look like?
I wish that is all I did..don’t get me wrong, you definitely have days when you can sit , socialize and drink great beer. However, as a craft beer ambassador, my job is to build and maintain relationship with customers and future customers, so it’s all about showing up and adding value to our customer’s day. Whether it’s dropping off a sample of our newest beer or just by asking the right questions to find out what I can do to help them sell more beer and make their business grow.
My office is my home & car, and being based out of downtown Vancouver you can imagine that a lot of time is spent in traffic in-between visits to different customers. Besides pumping some awesome jams and car dancing, I mostly listen to podcasts.. Usually about beer or sales.
Some days I pour beers at either at large beer fests or small liquor store tastings – this is a great way to get to know your customers and answer any questions they might have. Other days you can be troubleshooting issues they may have with their taps, so you have to be well-educated in the entire system of what it takes to pour a beer.
Where is the best place you’ve been for beer?
This one is tough—Over the past 2 years, the majority of my travels have been centered around beer. From Washington to Portland to San Diego, these are all easily accessible from Vancouver and a must do. But my ultimate beer trip was over in Europe. My partner Alex and I traveled for 3 weeks to over 16 cities and 5 countries to learn about beer.
We started in Belgium—the land of Dubbels, Tripels, and quads. The highlight was visiting Cantillon Brewery in Brussels. Seeing the open fermentation tank to allow wild yeast to come do its thing was incredible.
Next up we went to Germany where we tasted the 100 year old breweries in Dusseldorf that only served altbier. . In Bamberg we tasted the smoky rauchbier. Lastly, in Munich we experienced the thrill of the famous Bier Halls , and enjoyed the ultimate Bavarian experience with many nuremburgs & much sauerkraut…did I mention I gained at least 5 pounds #worthit.
After Germany we checked out Prague to taste some of the best pilsners in the world—and also biked 42km to visit a castle that was closed…it’s all about the journey right?? The beers we enjoyed throughout the ride will stick with me forever.
Why did you choose to join the Lighthouse team?
When I graduated from University 3 years ago, I did not envision being a sales representative of a BC craft brewery. To be honest, I had zero clue what I wanted to do. I had been always been told to “do what you love” and “you can have any career you want” which was overwhelming—what did I love to do? There are a million career options, which do I choose? Looking back, this is totally normal & I am glad I was able to discover my passion. It wasn’t about drinking & tasting new beers—okay sometimes it was. But it gave me a rush to educate my friends and family about beer & beer styles. One of my favourite things to do is to find a beer style for people who say they don’t like beer (huh??). That’s when my boyfriend and I started our blog BC Beer Guide . It was more of an excuse to try new beers & learn about all the styles. We really got into it when we started brewing beer in our 600 sq ft apartment to really know what beer is about. Of course, we needed to visit ALL THE BREWERIES! So naturally we started in Victoria . We messaged a few breweries to see if we can come take a tour. Lighthouse answered immediately and welcomed us with open arms to their brewery. Wade Mclachlan, our BC Sales Manager even went above and beyond to bring us our favourite Lighthouse brews (one was the Belgian Black he had cellared!) We met Ben Thomas, our events coordinator/sales rep, where he showed us all around the brewery. We left buzzing and hands full of swag. After some other tours, I was thoroughly impressed. Lighthouse goes above and beyond in everything they do.
Fast forward a year later and I see that my favourite brewery is hiring in Vancouver—it was meant to be. I took a risk, quit my job and started a new career in craft beer and I haven’t looked back since.
What is your favourite style of beer right now?
I honestly like a ton of styles, but it depends on my mood, activity or the food I’m eating. For example, my everyday sipper would be a wheat beer, especially ones brewed with fruit like apricot. After sports, I usually go for lighter tasting and ABV beers like lagers or Tasman Pale Ale. My favourite food pairing is a BBQ burger with a Smoked Porter. Mmm.. okay now I’m hungry.
Do you drink beers on your days off or are you tired of it by the end of the week?
Of course I drink beers on my days off! I think a big misconception of beer reps is that you are constantly drinking beer at each of your accounts. The truth is, I have little to no beer on work days (unless I am attending an event). I do however, have a sip here and there of beers to expand my palate on different styles of beers and to check out what other breweries are doing out there. I think that if I was a beer rep 10 years ago, it would be a different story and I wouldn’t have as many option of styles of beers to try. I am currently studying to become a certified Cicerone (think Sommieler for beer) and having access to all these styles & types of beers really helps the tasting portion of it.