We sat down with Jeremy Ries, the new Director of First Impressions for Hop & Barrel Brewery, aka Beer Sales. We are very excited to have him on board! He is a home-brewer who just recently won the Osceola Wisconsin Homebrew Competition. Jeremy is also a personal trainer, how do those two come together? Well they are both awesome, that’s how. He is knowledgeable in the craft beer world and was born and raised in Brew City, Milwaukee. He has known Brian Priefer, our co-founder, for many years. He attended the Brewing and Beer Steward Technology at Dakota County and completed an internship after that which helped him get his foot in the brewery community door. He kept in touch with Brian during this time and was excited when he heard about the unique opportunity of their brewery in Hudson where he currently lives.
What about craft beer do you like so much?
I love learning about where beer comes from and where it’s going- creating, educating, enjoying, and everything in between. A lot of people don’t really understand where craft beer comes from. Hop & Barrel is a part of the community and having the opportunity to educate the consumer is one of the coolest parts for me.
Why craft beer sales?
Being a personal trainer and also doing sales in that industry for almost 15 years, it is the mindset of selling who you are, not always a product. In craft beer there is so much diversity, so much out there, with that variety it is finding out how to set yourself apart and Hop & Barrel does that well! We have so much on tap, and what we have planned for new releases and events is going to really excite everyone out there.
What is your favorite Hop & Barrel beer?
My favorite is Hudson Haze – come to the taproom to try it, it’s amazing!
What direction do you see bringing the Hop & Barrel Beer sales?
Location. Getting our beers into communities and areas that make them accessible to people who can take them where they want to go. Hudson, Eau Claire, Amery, glass can limit you sometimes, but cans and crowlers offer endless opportunity. Also, places with revolving tap handles, the community comes in and drinks it up, they love to try new things and what they can get their hands.
What contributes to the huge rise and success in breweries and craft beer?
I think it’s the variety, the local movement, and quality. Eat local, grow local, drink local. It’s about the personalities. It’s about being involved with the community. Hop & Barrel does this all so well. Our location, our people, our patio; it’s all a unique setting for Hudson and will be a great place for the community and visitors to gather.
What is unique about you?
My wife says I am a bad a$$ cook/griller, and a skilled dishwasher organizer too. I also like to think of myself as a handy man, if I don’t know how to fix it I will learn how through YouTube before I call a professional.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have a six year old daughter, a wife, and two dogs – a corgi poodle mix named Milo, and a purebred corgi named Barley. I enjoy listening to podcasts on health and fitness, home brewing, and sales. Anything for a growth mindset.
Any last words?
Drink great beer.
If people are interested in having Hop & Barrel beer in store or on tap, how do they contact you?
Hop & Barrel Brewing Co.
Director of First Impressions…and Beer Sales
To hear an audio version of this article, click below.