Adam Kashin ’18 Triton Brewing – As an intern at Triton Brewing Company, I have had the pleasure of learning about how all components of the brewery operate from day to day. This internship is an exploration of how the brewing industry is arranged and maintained, and more broadly about how a small business operates successfully and efficiently. Triton is a small business of about 15 people and each employee performs numerous tasks in each segment of the business. One employee may be expected to maintain customer account data, upcoming systems management projects, quality control on products, and a significant portion of the business’ social media presence. Beyond the size of Triton, producing beer places the company in the limelight with state and municipal authorities with respect to alcohol control laws and food and beverage codes. These legal constraints allow the state unusually broad access to the brewery establishment and information on sales. Moreover, I have necessarily become much more familiar with the laws regarding serving and selling alcoholic beverages as I have moved through this internship.

I have had the opportunity to be the face of the company on a few occasions. As a part of the sales team, I scheduled samplings at a few retail establishments around Indianapolis and talked to potential customers about various aspects of each sampled beer. I learned quickly how to talk to different people, given each individual’s particular interests. Customer relation skills translated well when I began working in Triton’s tasting room as a server. I used my experience selling individual beers to do exactly that in a much more immediate form. Having worked for larger, national corporations in the past, I had to develop different customer service skills considering how important each customer interaction can be. Word of mouth carries weight for a small, local business. I have come to appreciate the value of relationships in the world of small business as each interaction, whether it’s with a distributor, store manager, bar owner, or a family in the tasting room, adds value in some way to the brand. I think the most important factor for success in the brewing industry is understanding what people are looking for at any given time of the year and in any part of the state (or given distribution area).

I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for affording me the opportunity to work at Triton this summer. It has truly been a unique experience and I am excited to see what my experiences can push me toward in the future.