Each month, we conduct a long-form interview with an awesome member of the Rhinegeist team. This month, we chatted with Amie Ruggles, our skydiving, sandwich savvy accountant.
What is your spirit animal?
It’s cliché, but I have to say a cat. They’re independent, curious, selective, and sometimes they’ll surprise you.
What do you do here?
I’m part of the accounting team, and we dabble in a little bit of everything. I work in payables, receivables, payroll, and I file excise taxes. We reach a lot of corners of the brewery, and people trust us, so we end up fielding some of the most random questions. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll find out.
How long have you been here?
It’ll be four years in January. I used to live in OTR and I was working in Mason. I saw a post on Facebook for a part-time accounting job and thought, hmm, I have some time in the evenings, I love Rhinegeist, and I can count, so I felt pretty qualified. *laughs* I sent Bob my résumé with what I thought was a clever subject line and they called me in for an interview just before Christmas in 2014. Bob and Amy met me early one morning, and I started two weeks later. Shortly after, we talked about me joining full time, and here I am, an old timer by all accounts.
How have you seen things change over that time?
I think one of the coolest things is the architecture of the building. The main entry stairwell didn’t extend as far as it does now, and that space used to be our offices. There weren’t too many desk jobs at that point, so you’d race in each morning to find your spot around this Craigslist kitchen table that everybody kind of just crammed around. It was really cool to be able to overlook the brewery when the taproom opened; people would pour in. One of my favorite things about the brewery is seeing people’s faces when they visit for the first time. They’re awestruck.
Personally though, it’s amazing because there hasn’t been a day I wake up and think “ugh I have to go to work today.” So that’s a delight I don’t think many people get to experience.
Speaking of waking up, what did you have for breakfast?
Cottage cheese. I’m on a protein kick right now.
Do you have a favorite bagel topping?
I love bagels. I like a little cream cheese or a whole lot of butter.
Do you have a favorite Rhinegeist beer?
Oh yeah, I love Peach Dodo!
Regular or Nitro?
I’m typically a CO2 to kind of gal. As far as specialty beer goes, I loved Guava Dodo this summer. Also, pretty much anything Luke and Mitch do that’s been on wood is just incredible.
This might be the same answer, but if you were Rhinegeist beer, what would you be?
I’d definitely be Peach Dodo. I’m tolerable in small doses and a little sour. *laughs*
What’s the best part of your personality?
I think I’m a good listener. Often when people run into a problem or just need to to talk something out, I’m always willing to listen and troubleshoot.
What things are commonly thrown your way?
It’s so funny because I think this is true for anyone in our department. You might have a well planned day, but there are always interruptions, not in a bad way, but there are so many questions for us…all the time. You may have good intentions to finish everything on your to-do list, but you may totally veer off course. That’s kind of the fun of it, though, because that means no day is the same.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I think that a lot of us tend to spend time here because it’s fun, our friends are here, and we have awesome events. I’ve tried to focus more energy on volunteering, lately with the Freestore Foodbank and the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center. Traveling with Sam and hanging out with our dog (Banana) and cat (Duncan) rank really high on the list as well.
Is there anything about you that people might not know?
I love making spreadsheets, and I have a tracker of all the breweries my husband and I have been to. I’ve been to 240 breweries, he’s close to 300. Also, we went skydiving at the Grand Canyon! There’s a tiny little airport, and it’s super cool because they fly you right along the South Rim. You get to see everything and then you turn back around and jump out of the plane- well, they had to push me out. Thankfully it was a tandem jump– I’d still be in the plane if I had to jump of my own volition. That’s the place to do it though. It’s gorgeous.
On that list of all the breweries, do you have any standouts?
It’s funny, we were just talking about this the other day. We’ve been to so many breweries together, and it’s too hard to pick one, so, we narrowed it down to three: Russian River in Santa Rosa, Jester King in Austin and Hill Farmstead in Vermont. The map spans the whole country, like a little smiley face.
Do you have a favorite sandwich?
Oh my goodness, can I give you a list? Here in town, Em’s Sourdough grilled cheese with avocado and tomato, Northside Yacht Club’s short rib grilled cheese, and Littlefield’s grilled cheese and soup combo is amazing- sensing a theme? Out of town, I would say it’s Goose the Market in Indianapolis. They have a sandwich called The Goose that is amazing. Is a burger a sandwich? If so, then Zip’s, over in Mount Lookout. It’s simple, inexpensive, just a perfect burger every time.
Favorite TV show or something you’re currently binging?
There’s a youtube channel called Binging with Babish that’s a super neat little cooking show. He’ll choose a recipe from a TV show, and try to cook the recipe as it is and then an improved version. Oh and Hot Ones, I try to keep up on all those episodes. Also Jeopardy. It either calms me down or I get very upset with the contestants.
If your friends used three words to describe you, what would they be?
Focused, reliable and punny.
Is there anything about the brewery you think people don’t know?
There’s just so much hustle now, in a good way. Everybody’s always doing something and there’s all this activity in here, but in those brief instances when you can find a quiet moment, you can take in the history of the building and really appreciate how far we’ve come as a company. It’s super cool that we’re breathing life back into this old building that has seen so much before and has so much brewing history.
Anything on the horizon you’re looking forward to?
My husband and I are going to Spain in March, I think we’re going to try to squeeze in Portugal and Gibraltar too. I’m super excited! That’s the shining star.