On Sunday, my husband Mike and I volunteered at the North Market’s Ohio Brew Festival. I have loved the North Market since I moved to Columbus almost 10 years ago. It’s a fantastic community of “top of the trade” vendors. They have the freshest produce, the most knowledgeable merchants and some of the most delicious restaurants from around the city.
I digress… each year the North Market gets almost 20 breweries to participate in the event (over 20 this year). They line the streets and put their best brews forward; needless to say it’s a great event.
Since this is the first time volunteering at a brew festival (yes, it was amazing….pour, pour, pour…taste; pour, pour, pour…taste: repeat) I loved the community these guys (and gals) have built.
In an increasingly competitive market, these brew masters are friends. They know each other’s best sellers, and when a customer approaches looking for something specific they direct then to the best brews, even if that isn’t at their booth. It works, because the other brewers do the same.
When traditional business is known for wanting exclusivity at events and encourage their sales people to “know the competition and use it to your advantage” these guys have put a positive spin on it. They’ve built a community, they like each other (at least it looks like it) and there are plenty of beer drinkers to go around, so they’ve united! And it works!
After I poured a “Big Vic” from Elevator Brewery for a gentleman, he asked if we accepted tips. I politely declined to which he responded; “Are you getting paid to do this?” “Nope, I’m a volunteer” I said with a smile. He could not believe I would be out “working” all afternoon without getting paid. That’s the best part of volunteering, anyone can do it, he can do it too. I’m building my own community through my #50CharityChallenge… and the community is one of the best parts!
I know each of you has a unique community. I'd love to hear about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Cheers!