On my way to a festival a few weeks ago Talking Heads “Once in a life time” was playing on the radio. David Byrne was singing “….you may ask yourself how did I get here?” And that is what I did. How did a small town boy from southern Sweden get to drive a van towing a kegarator on wheels, branded Firestone Walker Brewing Company, filled with 9 kegs of Firestone Walker delicious beers on the streets of Venice Beach, California at 5 AM in the morning?
This is my story about working in the American beer industry for 10 years during the most exciting times in beer history.
Today 10 years ago, on June 4th, 2007 I landed at Newark, NJ airport. I walk up to the costumes official and told him that I’m immigrating. “I was I your shoes 5 years ago. Welcome to America!”. After 15 minutes waiting, 10 minutes of finger printing, signing papers and getting my photo taken, another 10-minute wait and I was a permanent resident. I had a Green Card.
I had no clue in what line of work I was going to end up in. I didn’t even have a clue where to start. I had never written a resume. I had never been to a job interview. I had been an officer in the Swedish Armed Forces for 22 years which was my whole work life. I had to start from scratch just like millions of others before me have done in this county. When I started to get some momentum in submitting resumes and going to interviews the recession hit in December 2007. It was like driving a car in to a wall. Everything stopped at least when it came to hiring.