The Lager Bloggers

HAVING SO MUCH FUN, IT'S BARLEY WORK

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Check out the 2013 recap of Budweiser’s America Made Better! Anheuser Busch is dedicated to being the best beer company in a better world, and this is just one of our many programs highlighting that goal.

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Corona, Fresh Pow, and Tim’s, Oh My!

[EDITORS NOTE: Having issues again with pictures being uploaded. Stay tuned…]

Hello again from Cow Town – Calgary, Alberta (Canada)!

Boy has time flown since my last post. I’ve been to back to St. Louis, experienced the most unbelievable week in Toronto for our National Sales Conference, spent time with some GMT boys in NYC, and am already half way done my Project Assignment here in Calgary. What a ride it has been.

For the Lager Blogger regulars out there, you have already gotten a run down from Taylor on what our projects entailed. Namely, we have been visiting and “calling on” a number of Uncalled on restaurants and bars with the focus to ensure they keep the newly acquired Corona & hopefully push some other draught lines into these accounts. On top of that we have just gotten into running our National insights survey for the Corona brand – trying to find out what we can improve on since taking over from our biggest competitors as well as gaining a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the most imported brand in the world. Last, there is a lot of free-balling as I like to call it. Being in the fast moving consumer goods industry there are new challenges daily, and being an extra body around the office means spending lots of time helping fill voids and close gaps. Especially being at the office here in Calgary where there has been lots of expanding (we have taken on 6 additional bodies since me being here) there is always lots of action to immerse myself in.

One of the biggest highlights of moving to Calgary for a few months was being so close to the Rocky Mountains – but I just did not realize how incredible it really would be. Growing up in Ontario, I was brought up skiing/snowboarding on hills the size of a Tim Horton’s (Dunkin’ Donuts) muffin tops. Needless to say, it has been a whole new world out West, where I have spent 3 of my 6 weekends here in the Rockies snowboarding with Taylor who has come down from Edmonton. We have gone out to BC for Panorama, and stayed local at Lake Louise, and Castle Mountain – none of which were more then a 3 hour drive. It was my first time snow-boarding a real mountain, in real snow and I have not been able to get enough. I have had friends in the past talk about their ski trips and this mystifying, bewildering, notion of “Pow”, and just nodded my head pretending to understand like I was back in Quebec. But getting to experience “Pow” for my first time out here, I now understand the obsession with the Pursuit of Powder and the life changing experience that it really can be.

Tuesday was April Fools Day, and being the fool that I am I made sure to find the opportunity to give my Canadian co-GMTs a little scare. This week we will all be finding out our first positions – which as you can imagine is a pretty big deal (might be the understatement of the century). So with a little help from our incredible boss, I put together a little ploy to advise the other GMTs that our roles were selected and that they were probably as far from optimal as I could get them to believe realistically. Well, it worked. After Darren caught on too quick, he jumped along to help out and we took Taylor and Kristina on a roller coaster ride of a day. Lines were crossed, tears were shed, and relationships were shattered (and eventually put back together). Ultimately, it was a successful April Fool’s Day prank.

So, what else? A huge pro of the office in Calgary is all the sponsorships we have here. Labatt sponsors the Calgary Flames (NHL), the Hitmen (WHL), Rouchnecks (NLL) and a lot of the Ski resorts. So I have had the pleasure of enjoying some great nights out on behalf of the company. Also for the first time in the last 8 months, I feel like I actually live in a city. 4 week rotations are just not long enough to settle down, unpack your clothes, and learn your way around a city. But now it has been 8 weeks In Calgary for me, and I feel like I live here. And it is a really cool feeling. Sad/exciting to think I may find out in a few days that I will be packing up and moving somewhere new, but that’s just the nature of the #GMTlife. And you know what… we wouldn’t want it any other way. Well that is a bold-face lie, but hey if it was All-or-Nothing, it would be the easiest decision of my life to do it all over again.

Taylor has come to Calgary a few times, so it is only fair that I finally go up to Edmonton to visit him. Some would say that is like a friend from NYC going to visit a friend in New Jersey for a weekend – but everyone gives Edmonton too hard a time up here and I am looking forward to checking out his set up. We will do some ABI/Labatt product testing for quality consistency assurance, some bar hopping to hunt potential partners for future business, and meet some new people to understand differences in our consumer in Edmonton
That is all for now – looking forward to finding out the location and nature of my first position and hopefully getting reminded what Spring feels like soon enough.

Stay Calm & Dream on.

Cheers,
Ben

Filed under GMT13 ABInBev Calgary

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Thawing Out

Hello, from the finally warming up city of St. Louis!

The days are flying by here in St. Louis, as we are over halfway through our project assignments, and anxiously awaiting to find out our first placements. So far, I have truly enjoyed working in IBS in Application Development.

I have already gained more knowledge and experience than I had ever expected. Learning and meeting with all types of people from different functions and departments has opened my eyes to everything AB has to offer. My assignment the last two months has revolved around APO, which is a huge Logistics and IBS project requiring the collaboration of multiple departments and employees. It has been really cool to be part of a project that has such a large impact on moving beer more efficiently and effectively out our doors.

Although my project takes most of time, I am able to get out and enjoy my time on the weekends in St. Louis. St. Louis has some great indoor and outdoor soccer teams that have been a great way to relax and get back in tune with my passion for soccer. Living downtown has also been a great benefit. On St. Patrick ’s Day weekend it was cool to watch the marathon and all the events taking place downtown. Next stop for me is to check out Ballpark Village downtown and all the amazing bars and technology it has to offer!

Cheers!

Ben Y

Filed under ABInBev GMT13 St. Louis

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Wisdom, Justice, Moderation: The Peach State

Hello everyone—Kelsey here! Checking in from the Region 3 Office in Johns Creek (Atlanta), Georgia.

Just like everyone else, I’ve been working on my project for two months as of today! I have had the best time here in not-so-HOTlanta. The first day here, Sammy J and I went to a beer fest held in Midtown and enjoyed the delicious new Mang-O-Rita. If you haven’t already, you should get your hands on one ASAP! We barely had anytime to get settled at work before we got stuck in the freak 2-inch snowstorm back in late January. Due to the traffic caused by everyone leaving work at once, I was in the car for 2.5 hours for what should have been a 40-minute commute! I can’t complain, though—Sam left the Cartersville Brewery at 1pm and got to our apartments in Buckhead at 8pm. The next freak storm (two weeks later) was much more bearable. Everyone was extra cautious and we got a work-from-home “snowday” that ended up being a “40-Degree Weather and a Few Raindrops Day.” It ended up snowing the next day and I trekked 1 mile in the snow (uphill both ways, of course) to enjoy a Bud Light at my favorite bar. #worthit

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We don’t do this “snow” things very well down here

 Weather in Atlanta has its mood-swings so of course it got up to 70 for the next couple of weeks. Sam, some other friends, and I enjoyed Oysterfest sponsored by Budweiser one Saturday in February! It was a blast. My family visited a few weeks later and we saw the Book of Mormon at The Fox. I’ve certainly enjoyed being back in my home state and college city. I’m missing all my St. Louis friends and can’t wait to be back there in May!

My project is going extremely well! It is my job to develop a promotion calendar to easily see when promotions are being offered for specific brands and packages in each state. I spent the first couple weeks (when I wasn’t stuck in the snow) getting access to and becoming acquainted with the programs in place. I worked with the new Region 3 Promo Manager, Nitesh, to develop a plan and write code on an existing document to accomplish the task of developing this calendar. We have sent it out to some Region 3 KAMs to get some feedback and are wrapping up with the finishing touches now! In the meantime, I have been fortunate to be able to get out in the market with DMs and KAMs quite often. I am really enjoying my experience thus far and cannot believe the program is coming to an end!

Cheers,

Kelsey

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Me and my best friend, Eliz, enjoying a cold one!

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Some Altanta Skyline POCM (that’s a pint glass if you can’t tell)

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Budweiser-Tastes like a million bucks!

(Clever Caption Credit: Evan Dorshorst)

Filed under GMT13 ABInBev Atlanta

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Midwest Weather Doesn’t Get Much Better

Hey everyone!

So we had a beautiful few days last week in St. Louis but I woke up this morning and had to brush snow off of my car before driving to work… there is no logic in this place.

Luckily there is some logic in the office and I’ve been having an amazing time working on the Bud Light brand team for the past couple months. I’m working with extensions and primarily on the Rita family doing disruptive marketing. If you are unfamiliar with the Ritas (mang-o-rita and raz-ber-rita in particular), you are missing out.

The team has been awesome at helping me learn some of the ropes and making me feel a part of the team really quickly. But that makes sense because everything around here moves at an Usain Bolt-esque pace. A suggestion that I received on day 1 that I don’t think I would have survived this long without was to track all ongoing projects and requests in a excel sheet – I now suggest this to everyone… for everything.

Outside of work I’ve been prepping for Brochella, which is good gym motivation after some of the longer days. So far we’re going as TMNT, Avengers, and Power Rangers. Also – just found out Em is headlining Friday of Lolla; for me that’s a must.

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Every Street is Peachtree Street Here

Hello from Sam in the Cartersville brewery!

We’re about halfway through our spring projects and it sounds like everyone is working hard to drive some great results in their locations. I’ve been working on a project very similar to Nate’s in Jacksonville: glass loss.

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:-(

Glass is a pretty major expense when it comes to producing beer, and it’s an ongoing battle to stop the breakage. Here in Cartersville, we’ve formed a Green Belt team to tackle brewery wide glass loss. For those who are unaware, a Green Belt team is based on the Six Sigma methodology of quality management. The overall idea is to limit defects in a manufacturing setting, which in our case are the glass bottles we lose. Using statistics, root cause analysis, and other types of process control tools, we can identify and repair the biggest hitters of our problem.

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A new drop out plan added to the line to catch those pretty blue Platinum bottles so they can be put back on the line

So far it’s been very interesting project, with a lot of opportunities to learn from managers and operators alike. Our team works closely with all different types of personnel to find the most efficient and cost saving solutions. The ultimate result is to bring our loss down, and that’s what we will continue to do!

Beyond the project, I had the chance to be involved in our Global Brewery Excellence Program. In 2013, Cartersville was deemed the best brewery in the North American zone based on our results and our processes. Because of that accolade, we were pitted against all breweries in the ABInBev system; over 100 in total! A group of global representatives arrived for a two day audit of our people, processes, and results. Although we didn’t top the charts on the Global level, the team here is proud of everyone for all their hard work and dedication. The auditors left us with a great list of things we can continue to improve upon, and the Cartersville team has high hopes to be in the running for the best brewery in the system again next year.

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The Hog Roast after the first night of the audit. The global team was welcomed to the aromas of a smoking wild hog throughout the entire brewery. I feel southern y’all…

Outside of work I have been enjoying the southern hospitality and weather immensely. I’ve already played numerous rounds of golf and been able to run outside since the beginning of February. We’ve already planned many trips to the beach over the next couple months which is a luxury I never had in Minnesota.

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A long weekend trip to Charleston and Kiawah Island with my family for golf and beaches

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Beach on the left, multimillion dollar houses on the right. I hit them both…

That’s all for now! The projects are flying by, and I have to admit I’m a little excited to see the GMT13 crew back in STL for our capstone!

Sam

Filed under GMT13 Cartersville ABInBev NAZ

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Coastal Cali

Hey everyone – it’s Sarah here from the sales office in Region 8 (sunny California)! I’ve spent the last two months laughing at all of my fellow GMTs as they dig themselves out of snow drifts and are forced to defrost their toes on an hourly basis. It was a little windy here yesterday due to the minor EARTHQUAKE we had yesterday morning, but that was a small price to pay for year-round 70 degree sunny weather.

My four month project is focused on improving some of the key systems we use to sell our beer. The first is an online portal utilized by account managers, and the second is the process used to classify retail accounts when new licenses are opened. I’m speaking with people in the field, understanding the technology, gathering data, and providing feedback to help improve the functionality, accuracy, and value of these two areas.

While I’m in the region office, I’ve also been picking up some work with the pricing team, which has been really interesting. I’m learning a lot of excel skills, as well as learning how to use all of our internal reporting systems to manipulate data.

When I’m not at work (or sitting in LA traffic (it’s really not that bad though when you can roll the windows down and cruise), Suraj and I have been TEARING up the city! From pub crawls in Hermosa and hiking the Griffith Observatory to In-N-Out and exploring San Diego and San Francisco, we’ve done it all.

The Hermosa Beach Pier

Kings vs. Ducks

Pacific Cove Beach in Malibu

Until next time! Stay warm everyone – I’ll try to send some of this delightful weather your way!

Filed under GMT13 ABInBev NAZ Los Angeles

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Living the Dream (and Selling it too)

Hey Everyone!

Taylor here saying hi from up in Edmonton, Alberta. I have been here for the past 5 weeks and I am absolutely loving my current role.

The four Canadians have been spread across the country stretching from the Toronto/Montreal in the east all the way to Edmonton/Calgary in the west. We are all currently working in sales rep roles managing upwards of 75 bars/restaurants/retail stores. Sales rep roles in Canada are very different than USA as we don’t have the three tier system. Reps are responsible for managing all the relationships and sell-in of all our products. My specific list of customers is pretty unique and broad. I have some of the large grocery store banners in the Edmonton Area as well as the single largest bar chain around Edmonton (as far as Labatt volume is concerned) and some non-called on bars/restaurants. Non-called on customers are ones that currently do not have rep visiting them at all. My role is to simply try to sell in new draught lines and bottle listings to increase our visibility and market share in those on-premise locations. With my large bar chain the work is very differently, its managing their budget and executing all their events. The front line sales experience I have already gained is providing me with so much more context and understanding of the technical and strategic things we have learned so far as GMTs. I am really looking forward to finishing out my next 3 months here and continuing to contribute to the great sales team that Labatt/ABI has out here in the West Region.

But enough about work, the first thing I thought about when I was told I was coming out west was “Amazing, I’m going to spend so much time skiing in the mountains”. I have definitely accomplished this. For my first three weekends here I was deep in the Rocky Mountains getting up to waste deep in nice fluffy powder. Whether it was on my skis or my snowboard I have loved the mountain life. Being a downhill ski racer for 10 years when I was younger and skiing exclusively in the east, I am literally in heaven out west! My first 3 weekends out here were split between Lake Louise, Whistler Blackcomb and Panorama Mountain. All 3 weekends were some of the greatest riding and partying I have ever done. The final weekend when I was in Panorama, Labatt actually officially took over Corona distribution in Canada so that lead to quite a good party. Just to give you a real feeling for the amazing places I have been able to explore here are some pictures of each place. Though the pictures don’t even come close to doing it justice they can at least give you an idea. Week 1 in Lake Louise we spend riding deep in the trees in knee deep fresh untouched powder. For you non skiers this is some of the nicest skiing you can ever get in to. Week 2 in Whistler was even a level above. I spent my Whistler weekend snowboarding and ended up waste deep in light fluffy amazing west coast blower pow. The third and final weekend was forecasted to be -22 F at Panorama. Expecting to be riding in the bitter cold, out we went all bundled up. To our surprise it only got to about 14 F, yet again another perfect weekend of knee deep untouched snow. For non skiers, you really don’t understand how rare and perfect it is to get 3 straight weekends of perfect conditions. I have been skiing my whole life since I was 3 years old and I have never been able to find this before. I really have found my new home out west and never want to go back east, haha.

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Cheers to Corona, 12:01 right after we took over!

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Well that’s all for me this round, talk to you all in a few weeks and hopefully I will have some more amazing updates and pictures to share.

Cheers,
Taylor Marancos

Filed under GMT13 NAZ ABInBev Edmonton

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Help Make Opening Day A National Holiday!

Budweiser is sponsoring a petition to make MLB Opening Day a national holiday! Sign the petition at the link above and help push the petition to the White House! We all could use an extra day off to watch America’s National Past Time with a couple of Buds…

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No Sign of Spring Showers or Flowers Here in St. Louis

I’m not sure if you all have been following the weather lately, but there have been little to no signs of spring here in St. Louis (or anywhere in the Midwest for that matter).  Speaking from personal experience, traveling this winter has been nearly impossible.  From delayed flights to cancelled flights to frozen fuel tanks for planes, I feel like I have an entirely new understanding of winter weather woes. 

Good thing my four-month project has nothing to do with weather forecasting or predicting when spring will bloom!  Instead, my project is on the Supply side of the organization, more specifically in the St. Louis Packaging Department.  The St. Louis Packaging facility is unique because it is a multi-level operation.  There are 5 can lines, 4 bottle lines, and 1 keg line.  My project is to gain a greater insight into how bottles and cans are filled and how we can make sure that our consumer is happy with a perfect 12 oz. fill.  I’m looking closely into how we can make our fills more consistent across all brands and package types so we don’t lose beer unnecessarily.  It has been a really good project experience thus far, and I’m looking forward to hopefully delivering some key insights and results over the next few months.

Before graduation, we also must complete our Build-A-Brand Innovations project assignment.  Since I’m in St. Louis with some fellow Team Hops members, it has been really busy scheduling meetings with various departments.  Some of these departments include: Packaging Innovations, Liquid Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Brand Teams.  I’m really excited to see what we come up!

Outside of work, I have been busy exploring St. Louis with the other GMTs.  A few weeks ago, Courtney, Ashley, and I explored Cherokee Street where we went to a coffee shop that sold coffee and beer.  It’s my dream come true!

Foam Coffee & Beer

Mardis Gras was also this past weekend, so there were lots of celebrations.  Did you know that St. Louis has the second biggest Mardis Gras in the country?  It was a really chilly day on Saturday, but the parade went all the way from Busch Stadium to the Brewery.  Anheuser-Busch products were well-represented both at the parade and in the local bars of Soulard.

Mardis Gras fun!

That’s all I have for now!  Cheers!

Filed under gmt13 ABInBev NAZ St. Louis

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