[Part of the #wearebalebreaker series] Jon Mullen has seen it all at Bale Breaker. As the first hire when Bale Breaker was in start-up mode, Jon helped launch the brand from ground up. He’s worked on many different sides of the beverage business, but has found his family here at Bale Breaker. Read up on how Jon makes sure that our beer brings happiness.
How did you get into beer?
My first job was with Alaska Distributors in Seattle as a merchandiser, where I worked with wine, beer and spirits. I always liked the distribution side of the business because it is all about relationships.
What job did you do when you first started at BB?
All the jobs! It was just Quinn, Meg, Smitty and me, so I did everything from clean tanks, to help in taproom and then started setting up local distribution. Then Quinn and I started market visits to Seattle while simultaneously self-distributing in Yakima. There were a lot of 18 hour days.
What do you do now and what does that job entail?
As sales manager, I work side by side with the wholesalers to ensure that both our flagship and specialty brews are distributed properly. Between sales trips and beer events, I spend about 70% of my time on the road, building relationships. I’m always sharing how much pride we take in every aspect of the beer -- from recipe development all the way through sensory tastings. I am constantly checking dates on cans and kegs to ensure freshness. Our focus is always the beer.
What is the best thing about working at Bale Breaker?
We’re a family. We really care about each other and I think that shows.
Is working at a brewery different than you thought?
Yes. I knew how to get product into accounts, but here I got to see the whole process, which was new for me. You take these beautiful hops and turn them into a showcase of the Yakima Valley in the glass.
What do you do when you’re not at Bale Breaker?
Spend time with Ellie, my daughter, who is 8. I love enjoying the Yakima sunshine on the golf course or with my family and friends.
Fave food to make at home:
I love cooking. Grilled steak tacos are a go-to.
Two Movies you’d take to a desert island:
Goodfellas. Dumb and Dumber.
Beer and Pizza or Beer and Burger?
Pepperoni pizza. 100%.
Three words that describe working at Bale Breaker
Fun. Challenging. Rewarding.
Posted August 10, 2017