Women in Beer: Haley McHenry, Marketing Manager of Belching Beaver Brewery
There are many aspects that go into making any brewery successful, and marketing is a key part. When Haley had the chance to join the team at Belching Beaver Brewery as their Marketing Manager, she took it and didn’t look back. Driven by her love of the craft beer industry, she is helping to build the incredible brand that we all know and love, the Beaver! Learn more about Haley below and get a sneak peak as to what is in the works for this San Diego favorite!
Tell us a little about yourself and how you help support the brewery.
I grew up in San Diego and have always been referred to as an old-soul (or grandma). I love to binge watch Friends over and over again, make the early bird specials/happy hour, and go to bed at a decent hour. You might think that’s a little odd being in the beer industry, but luckily my role at the brewery allows me to still enjoy these things. At Belching Beaver I feel like I have the most fun position (of course I’m bias), but I get to handle all our marketing. Everything from social media, to our website, help with beer names (we all know how important that is), events, news releases, and much more. I absolutely love my job. Everyday I am using skills I’ve gained from previous positions and school, while always learning something new.
How did you get started / what interested you about the brewing industry initially?
I was really fortunate. Troy Smith our Brewmaster and a partner at Belching Beaver is my amazing boyfriend. He knew I was ready to leave my job at the time and recommended me for the position. I had been around Belching Beaver almost from the beginning. This has allowed me to see the amazing growth, not only internally but the entire industry itself. Troy introduced me to some outstanding breweries and I knew that this was my dream job. If I joined the team, I was getting the opportunity to help build a brand through: events, social media, and the overall marketing. I was interested in the brewing industry because you truly get to make peoples days better. Like Dave Mobley, one of the partners always says, “We are in the happiness business.” and I couldn’t agree more.
Anything exciting coming up with Belching Beaver that you can share with us?
Absolutely! We have been busy beavers these last few months. We are very excited about our continued relationship with the Deftones releasing Phantom Bride in 6 pack of 16 oz. cans. On top of this, 4 additional limited releases will be released. The first was Swerve City, a passion fruit, orange, guava IPA.
We’ve had a lot of fun with our beer calendar this year. We have been very successful with trying new styles and finding out what consumers want. Beers like Peanut Butter Latte and Orange Vanilla were part of the limited releases that had a great response in the market. With that said, our next limited release will be a Peanut Butter and Jelly Blonde that will be coming out soon.
We are really excited about our overhaul of the production facility in Vista. We recently expanded our tasting room and are adding a kitchen. While we are not sure the exact menu yet, we do have some fun ideas in the making. Our original location is also where Barrel Master Peter Perrecone, makes his magic happen with our Sour Series. We will be releasing Batch 5 in the next month, an American Sour with blackberries.
On your days away from Belching Beaver, what type of activities do you indulge in?
Back to my old soul personality, I love easy going days. On a typical day, I may: go for a short run in the morning (3 miles, I’m working on that), head to the grocery store with a few new recipes I want to try (don’t always turn out the best), and pick out a couple craft beers to try. I love to spend time with my family. I have a twin sister that is my best friend and we enjoy trying new restaurants together. This might sound crazy, but on my days off I also love cleaning my house. I’m just like Monica from Friends that way. There is just something so satisfying about a clean house.
What style of beer do you enjoying drinking the most?
I have always had a thing for Belgians, because I love the clove and spicy flavors. They’re so refreshing! I’ve also started to really love Sours. In the beginning I was not really a fan, but they have definitely grown on me. I love all the different fruit flavors and the colors are so great!
What advice would you give women who want to break into the craft beer industry?
Put yourself out there. If there is a specific brewery you want to work for make sure you visit it often and get to know the staff. Stay engaged, volunteer at festivals, and you will get noticed. We’ve had a number of employees start out as volunteers, just wanting to know the business. Eventually they got hired on as staff.
One of the best words of advice I got when I graduated from college was: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Those words have always stuck with me. Doors will open if you have a positive attitude and get to know the right people.
*All photos provided by Belching Beaver.
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