Behind the Brewing Scenes with Jim O’Neil
As part of our “Meet the Team” blog series, we thought it would be fun to take a peak behind the scenes at our Boston brewery to show everyone how the magic really happens. You know we’ve got a talented team of brewers and some amazing staff up front in the Tap Room, but how does it all come together logistically? One aspect of how that happens is through Jim O’Neil, our Operations Manager, so we’ll take some time today showing you how Jim brings it all together!
Jim went to Boston University (Go Terriers!) for undergrad and then spent twelve years working in the travel and hospitality industry. His career in beer started off as a volunteer at Blue Hills Brewery doing a lot of cleaning and helping to bottle. After paying his dues, he was hired full time as the Office Manager and then was promoted to Director of Operations with Blue Hills. He helped manage the brewery for over 5 years, responsible for everything including inventory, payroll, sales team, AP/AR, events, social media and more.
Here at Dorchester Brewing Company in Boston, Jim basically keeps everyone on track. As he said, ” In a nutshell, I work with CEO Matt and the Brew Team to make sure that they have everything they need.” Jim helps to make sure that the brewing and packaging dates are kept on schedule for our partner beers as well as ensuring that the brewery has all of the correct raw materials are on site. He also works with distributors on pick ups for the finished products.
Jim’s job at Dorchester Brewing Company is certainly a little bit different then an Operations Manager at another brewery for sure. As he says, “What makes Dorchester Brewing Company different from other breweries is that we work with such an interesting group of partner brewers. Some are local, while some are international. They each have a different perspective, and everyone’s beers are so unique. It’s very cool to work with brewers from all over the country and world.”
So, how exactly does he do it all? Jim says, “It’s a pretty manual process.” and he has to stay organized and keep on top of it all – every single day. Similar to all things in life, Jim’s advice for others in a similar position would be to do what works for you. “In terms of organization, I’d say come up with a plan that works. If you are not effective, data will get lost and things just won’t add up. Also, you need to be diligent. Data entry is a daily task. Our partners might want an update as to where things stand NOW, and if I haven’t updated the sheets in days, the info in our system will be out of date. We try to keep things in “real time” here.”
“My favorite part of the job is when a particular job is done and we have a cooler full of pallets of yummy beer cans. I like to think that I helped make all this beer that is going out to the market for thirsty beer lovers to enjoy. I wish consumers could see how much work our team puts in to make this great product. It’s a labor of love.”
So, what does Jim drink when he’s not pouring over excel? He prefers a nice porter or stout any time during the year, especially our bourbon barrel aged version of Stove By A Whale, a Baltic Porter!