Jason Vincion
I create in the realms of brewing, music, and writing.

Home | Albums | OSD | IID | Articles | Now | Bandcamp | SoundCloud | Twitter | YouTube | Contact

Opportunity
Posted 2016-10-11.

I was given the opportunity by my former manager to work full-time as an administrative assistant for various corporations contracted by the United States government, which I did from May 2006 to May 2014.

When I embarked upon that opportunity, I was under the impression that a person had to work a standard job to pay the bills and could make time for creative projects during off-hours.

I had creative projects going on throughout my time there, from albums (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8) to a record label, as well as aspirations of transitioning from full-time employment to working freelance on creative projects.

These ideas were reinforced by one particular Steve Pavlina article I read in August 2009, which was a further catalyst to work toward the above goal.

I kept plugging along until I lost hope in my creativity, which occurred in August 2012.

I lost that hope because I had just ended my record label due to lack of interest from former artists and customers, and the musical project I had put six months of effort into went absolutely nowhere.

I also discovered a quaint little hop shop in August 2012 a few blocks from home that carried a variety of different craft beers from across the United States, as well as some international offerings.

As I'd been a craft beer aficionado since discovering Alaskan Amber at a restaurant in Astoria, Oregon in summer 2003 (also discovering Cavatica Stout from Fort George at that same restaurant in summer 2007) and had lost hope in my creativity taking me anywhere, I ended up at that hop shop a lot.

I drank heavily out of dissatisfaction with life and the way I perceived the universe to work, but a funny thing happened along the way – I started being able to pick out certain characteristics in beer and appreciate the dynamics of different beer styles and brewing approaches.

I also started visiting local breweries in January 2013, when I realized that some of the breweries carried at the hop shop were just a couple miles down the road.

I became a regular at Reuben's and Populuxe, where I noticed I had more of a kinship with the brewers and people interested in working in the industry than I did with the regulars, which I didn't notice at the time, but makes sense in retrospect.

In May 2013, I took part in Seattle Beer Week by going to at least one event each day of the festival (11 days in total).

During the festival, I discovered a beer from a brewery in Fremont called Outlander that I really enjoyed (an amber infused with ancho pasilla chilies) and started visiting their brewery Friday nights after work.

I decided to start homebrewing after the festival was over, which coincided with a good friend of mine that wanted to start homebrewing as well – we went together to purchase our own homebrew kits from a local homebrew shop shortly thereafter.

I brewed my first 5-gallon batch on Memorial Day 2013 and kept going into Outlander on Fridays to enjoy the ever-changing beers on tap and got to know and enjoy the company of the owners and regulars of the brewery, while eventually bringing in my homebrew to share with them.

After a few more months of the above routine and after Outlander's first anniversary in August 2013, I was given the opportunity to intern at the brewery after they decided to upgrade their brewhouse from 1 bbl (31 gallons) to 3.5 bbl (108 gallons) and would need an assistant brewer to help with the brewdays.

I was a bit stunned at the offer, but I agreed without hesitation after the split-second it took to process the idea.

From August 2013 to May 2014, I worked for the government Monday through Friday, homebrewed or bottled homebrew most Saturdays, and interned at Outlander most Sundays.

In that time, I earned my Class 12 license and poured at Strange Brewfest (my favorite festival) in January 2014, which also created the opportunity to network with a lot of other craft brewers and learn even more about brewing, as well as try a lot of unique and delicious beers.

In May 2014, the owner that manages the bar broke his leg and the owner that brews the beer had to do both tasks, which became more difficult as time progressed.

Once I found out about the above, I knew I had to leave the government job, because I knew the opportunity I was given would never come to fruition if I didn't.

I put in my notice with the government and continued to intern at the brewery (while doing a good deal of the brewing) from May to September 2014, which is when we received all of the parts for our 3.5 bbl system and got it set up.

I've been an official brewer at Outlander for over two years now and it's given me the opportunity to be creative and make a decent living at the same time, which is what I sought throughout the time I worked for the government.

My previous pitfall was focusing solely on making a living through music, rather than making a living through being creative in any way I could.

Once I let go of that limiting idea and embraced the opportunity to be creative in all forms, I mellowed out and became much happier for it.

It's difficult to say what the future holds, as I'm creating new opportunities through the reboot of this website, but transitioning from working in an office to brewing in a basement was one of the best decisions I ever made.

This is a page that Jason built. Previous article. Next article.