[Part of the #wearebalebreaker series]
From the shores of Sydney Harbor to the hop fields of Yakima, Tom Northwood brings international flavour to the Bale Breaker packaging team. His road to the brewing industry began with a youthful love of lagers, and graduated to bartending in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. The flexibility of the hospitality industry led to post-college travel (and a bar gig) in Ireland where he met his future (American) wife, Ashlee. The road less traveled took the new couple to Spain, where Ashlee was teaching English. Finally, their mutual affection transported them across the Atlantic to settle in the states in 2013. Tom started at Bale Breaker in January 2016, as one of the first post-expansion hires. Here, he fills us in on what it is like to package beer, and some of his favorite things.
What do you do here at Bale Breaker?
Our team’s responsibility is to move the beer from the brite tanks to cans or kegs and prepare it for shipping. We put clean beer into clean cans with as little oxygen as possible. The smallest things matter to beer quality.
Days can get long on the canning line. How do you stay entertained?
We mix up the music a lot. Often in the mornings we listen to “The Lumineers” station on Pandora, then maybe shuffle it up to “OMC” station where you might hear some Chumbawamba. This week we’ve been digging the “David Hasselhoff” station for some power ballads.
What’s the best thing about working at Bale Breaker?
Besides free beer? It’s the people. Meghann and the Kevins have created a great atmosphere here by building an awesome team of passionate people.
Three words that describe Bale Breaker:
Family, Fun, Flavour
What do you like to do outside of work?
Ashlee and I spend time with Olive, our two-year old daughter. I also like to hike, SUP, snowboard and kayak.
What’s the coolest thing you own?
Beer & Pizza or Beer & Burgers?
Beer & pizza. I’m vegetarian, so I’d go for a veggie pizza with “facon” (fake-bacon)
Anything else you want us to know?
Don’t ask me to speak with an American accent.
Posted May 25, 2017