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.


Venice Beach, CA. (Image from https://hdontap.com)

 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.