Say Hi to Dani
Meet one of our well-travelled resident beer geeks
Life working at BrewDog can take you to the four corners of the Earth and back again. It's never dull, it's very fast-paced and it can be a bit scary. But in a really good way. Like a first date on a rollercoaster.
Dani's someone who knows this all too well. Having started off as a part time member of our bar team in Manchester, she's gone from a student with a few hours a week to one of our full timers in Tokyo! In 2 years she's seen the craft beer scene in the UK explode and now she's experiencing what it's like on the other side of the world.
So how different has it been working in Manchester compared to Tokyo?
"Exciting yet daunting. Japan is so different culturally, but it’s an amazing country. It was a big change but definitely one of the coolest things I’ve done.
We’re pretty spoilt in Manchester with so many great beer places and breweries nearby. In Tokyo craft beer is just starting to kick off in a massive way. There are so many cool bars! There are loads of beer fans here – like superfans – and everyone always wants to try everything and be in on it. On opening night there were people queuing hours before. One absolute trooper was determined to be the first guy in and the last one out! The bar itself is awesome – it still feels like a BrewDog bar, but it’s really chilled. It’s definitely already found its place in the Tokyo scene."
Exciting stuff! So what would you recommend for anyone hoping to get some travel involved with their craft beer career?
"One way is to volunteer at beer festivals – it’s a great way to meet people in the industry and to fit travel into a beer career. Often if you volunteer for a few shifts they’ll give you free tickets (for when you’re not working) and some food, and can probably recommend a hostel/somewhere to stay. It’s also great fun and doesn’t really feel like work!"
Below: Dani working at Indy Man Beer Con in Manchester
Dani's big into her IPAs, counting Ballast Point Sculpin, BrewDog Jackhammer and Green Flash Palate Wrecker amongst her favourites, but we wanted to know what Japanese breweries she;s discovered and could let us in on...
"I had a Hitachino Nest Beer Dai Dai which is a sour orange IPA which was pretty funky. North Island Brewing from Hokkaido make a punchy IPA as well. Thrashzone in Yokohama is really tiny, but still definitely worth a try!"
Below: BrewDog Manchester, where Dani's craft beer career began
Dani is one of our resident Certified Cicerones. This means she has achieved the second level of the accredited examination programme that tests in-depth beer knowledge from styles and serving to draft systems and storage, but how has that helped in Japan?
"Cicerone helps with loads of different aspects – whether it’s having a better grasp of beer styles so you can help a customer find the right beer for them, or finding the perfect beer and food pairing. It’s been really useful with the Tokyo bar because the draft system is quite different – it’s good to have studied and know what’s going on to make sure the beer’s being served at its best."
Finally, what's the weirdest experience you've had at BrewDog?
"I was doing a BrewDog stand at The British Embassy cherry blossom party, when the band starting playing Auld Lang Syne seven times in a row on a honky tonk piano. That was kinda odd...!"
There you have it, from Manchester to Tokyo, Dani's taking the craft beer revolution across the seven seas!
Got a question for her? Drop it in the comments!